Parents Charged With Torture And Abuse Of 13 Kids May Face Life In Prison

A California couple accused of holding their 13 children captive in their home for years face up to life in prison. The couple allegedly chained, beat and starved their kids, whom prosecutors said on Thursday were found malnourished and suffering both physical and mental impairments.

David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, pleaded not guilty to all of the charges on Thursday. Those charges include multiple counts of torture, abuse of dependent adults, child abuse and false imprisonment, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said.

David Turpin was also charged with one count of committing a lewd act on a child, under the age of 14, using force or fear.

If convicted on all of the charges, they face between 94 years to life in prison, District Attorney Michael Hestrin said.

David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested on Sunday after authorities raided their home in Perris, California.David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested on Sunday after authorities raided their home in Perris, California.

According to Hestrin, the charges are related to abuse that allegedly took place at the family’s home in Perris from 2010 to the present, though he said there’s evidence the kids ― described as between the ages of 2 and 29 ― were abused at a prior home in Texas. 

Hestrin said the children showed signs ofcognitive impairment and nerve damage as well as severe malnourishment. “To give you an example, one of the children, at age 12, is the weight of an average 7-year-old. The 29-year-old female victim weighs 82 pounds,” he said.

The children were forced to sleep during the day and stay awake at night, and they never saw a dentist and weren’t allowed to shower more than once a year, Hestrin said.

The parents punished actions such as hand washing above the wrist area, which they characterized as playing in the water, he added.

The Turpins pose with their 13 children, whom authorities said were extremely malnourished and physically abused.The Turpins pose with their 13 children, whom authorities said were extremely malnourished and physically abused.

The abuse “appeared to intensify over time,” Hestrin said. “The punishments included frequent beatings and even strangulation.”

Hestrin said the Turpins had been restraining their children for many years. “As a punishment, starting many years ago, they began to be tied up, first with ropes. One victim at one point was tied up and hogtied, and then when that victim was able to escape the ropes … [the parents] started using chains and padlocks to chain up the victims to their beds,” he explained, adding that the children were often not released to use the bathroom while tied up.

“These punishments would last for weeks or even months at a time,” he said.


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One activity the kids were permitted to do, Hestrin said, was to write in journals. He said authorities have recovered “hundreds” of them. 

One of the children, a 17-year-old girl, managed to escape the home and alert authorities on Sunday. She said she’d been working on an escape plan with her siblings “for more than two years,” Hestrin said.

A 17-year-old girl, who managed to escape the home and call for help on Sunday, said that she had been working on an escape plan “for more than two years,” the district attorney said. (Facebook)A 17-year-old girl, who managed to escape the home and call for help on Sunday, said that she had been working on an escape plan “for more than two years,” the district attorney said. (Facebook)

A younger sibling managed to escape with her through a window, Hestrin said, but ultimately got scared and turned back. 

Perris City Police Department Chief Greg Fellows, whose officers searched the home on Sunday, described the conditions inside as “horrific” at a press conference on Tuesday. However, when law enforcement officers spoke with Louise Turpin, the kids’ mother, Fellows said she seemed “perplexed as to why we were at that residence.”

Hestrin said he will request bail to be set at $13 million for each parent.

David Turpin’s mother, Betty Turpin, told Reuters on Wednesday that the family has retained an attorney and that they have been advised not to speak about the case.

The Riverside University Health System Foundation announced on Thursday that it has opened a fund for the 13 siblings after offers of help poured in from across the country. All donations will go to a trust fund set up for them, the foundation said.

“We recognize financial gifts will not eliminate their trauma, but these additional resources will be extremely important in helping these victims address their long term educational and physical needs,” Erin Phillips, executive director of RUHS Foundation, said in a statement.

Los Angeles station KABC reported that any other fundraisers set up for the family, including on GoFundMe, are not legitimate fundraisers.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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Convicted murderer attacks 7 French prison guards amid protests for extra security

The inmate, whose name hasn’t been released, attacked seven prison guards in Mont-de-Marsan prison in the southwest department of Landes on Monday afternoon, France Info radio network reported, citing local SNP-FO prison union. At least five guards received various injuries, including broken bones, the union added. A female guard was among those injured. It’s not yet clear if the convict used a weapon to attack the guards.

The attack took place when prisoners were doing sports, Fabrice Cologni, a local secretary of the union, said. A search of the convict’s bag provoked the incident, the prison administration said, adding that the prisoner was transferred to the disciplinary section of the facility.

The incident comes days after a former senior Al-Qaeda member, 51-year-old Christian Ganczarski, attacked and injured guards with scissors and a razor blade at the high-security prison in Vendin-le-Vieil. Ganczarski allegedly learnt that he might face extradition to the US in connection with investigations into the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Following the incident, hundreds of prison officers protested across France to demand tighter security around dangerous inmates. “We have between 4,000 and 5,000 assaults of staff per year, about 20 episodes of hostage-taking of staff. When will it stop? When someone is killed?” the secretary-general of UFAP-UNSA prison union, Jean-François Forget, told Europe 1 on Sunday.

The intense protests resulted in the resignation of the head of the Vendin-le-Vieil prison. The Ufap-Unsa, CGT-Penitentiary and FO-Penitentiary unions called for more protests on Tuesday.

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The Prison Industrial Complex – Another Form of Extreme Racism & Slavery

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Prison is big business, and working prisoners are a corporation’s dream. Prisoners are being contracted for work right now on a massive scale, and despite the alarming and unsustainable growth of inmate numbers in the United States, incentive to lock people up is only increasing. This is the income that prisons — comprising one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States, backed by Wall Street — depend on:

Now prison labor based in private prisons is a multimillion-dollar industry with its own trade exhibitions, conventions, websites, and mail-order/Internet catalogs (Pelaez 2008). . . . The industry also has direct advertising campaigns, architecture companies, construction companies, investment houses on Wall Street, plumbing supply companies, food supply companies, armed security, and padded cell manufacturing, all of which rival those of any other private industry (Pelaez 2008). Furthermore, private prisoners at the state level produce a variety of goods and services, from clothing to toys to telemarketing and customer service (Erlich 2005). The private federal prison industry also produces nearly all military goods, from uniform helmet to ammunition, along with durable goods ranging from paint to office furniture (Pelaez 2008). (source)

Did you know that corporate stockholders who profit from prison labor lobby for longer sentences? They do this to expand their workforce, and so, according to a study done by the Progressive Labor Party, “the system feeds itself.” The PLP also accuses the prison system of being “an imitation of Nazi Germany” with regards to forced slave labor and concentration camps.

If we look at the history of prison labour in the United States, it becomes immediately apparent that the entire system is birthed out of racism. After the civil wars of the mid-to-late 18th century, the system of hiring prisoners was established in order to continue the slavery that had dominated previous years. This was, of course, a time when racial segregation was legal across the United States:

Prison labor has its roots in slavery. After the 1861-1865 Civil War, a system of “hiring out prisoners” was introduced in order to continue the slavery tradition. Freed slaves were charged with not carrying out their sharecropping commitments (cultivating someone else’s land in exchange for part of the harvest) or petty thievery – which were almost never proven – and were then “hired out” for cotton picking, working in mines and building railroads. From 1870 until 1910 in the state of Georgia, 88% of hired-out convicts were Black. In Alabama, 93% of “hired-out” miners were Black. In Mississippi, a huge prison farm similar to the old slave plantations replaced the system of hiring out convicts. The notorious Parchman plantation existed until 1972.(source)

Vicky Pelaez, a Peruvian journalist and columnist for The Moscow News, points out that dozens of states have legalized the contracting of prison labor to corporations, which include such names as: IMB, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, Dell, and many more. Some of these inmates are getting approximately $2 a hour. She also outlines how inmates are commonly imported and exported.

A surprising number of well-known corporations are making a killing off of the prison industrial complex, as you can see below.

7 Household Names Making A Killing Off Of The Prison-Industrial Complex

Whole Foods

The state allows inmates to work for the profit of a private corporation, and Whole Foods is one of many companies that takes advantage, buying fish and cheese produced by prison inmates and paying them a rate of .74 cents a day. They then increase the price of the product astronomically – tilapia raised by inmates, for example, sells for $11.99 a pound at Whole Foods — and enjoy all the profits. (source)


It’s no secret that McDonalds is suffering right now; in a world where people are steadily waking up and moving towards a healthier lifestyle, there is no place for such heavily processed and unethical ‘food.’ Yet despite being the world’s most successful fast-food chain, they still source many of their goods from prisons, including their containers, uniforms, and cutlery. The inmates who sew the uniforms hardly make anything. (source)


Although their company policy expressly outlines that forced labor, as well as prison labour, is unacceptable, a large portion of products sold in their stores have been supplied by third-party prison labor factories. Wal-Mart purchases its products from prison farms, where workers are put through several hours of intense labor, in difficult conditions, without sunscreen, water, or food —not to mention, basically working for free. (source)

Victoria’s Secret

Undergarments and casual wear are sewn by female inmates for Victoria’s Secret. In fact, in the late 1990s 2 prisoners were placed in solitary confinement for telling journalists that they were hired to replace “Made in Honduras” garment tags with “Made in U.S.A” tags. (source)


This is a surprising one. When BP spilled several million barrels of oil into the Ocean (Gulf Coast), the company sent a workforce of prison inmates — almost all of them African-American — to handle cleanup, despite there being scores of displaced coastal residents desperate for work. The move sparked considerable outrage, particularly since BP not only saved money by hiring inmates over locals, but also through the significant tax breaks they received as a result. (source)


In 1993 the company laid off thousands of telephone operators, who were all union members, in order to increase their profits. Despite being vocally against prison labour, they went on to hire inmates to work in their call centres, paying them a mere $2 per day. (source)


This is a company that provides food to hospitals, schools, and colleges. They also have a monopoly on food served in approximately 600 prisons. They have a history of poor food service, a problem which led to a prison riot in Kentucky in 2009. (source)

More Information On The Prison Industrial Complex

Even though various social, political, and human rights organizations have condemned the United States’ prison system, it remains one of the biggest businesses in existence today. Did you know that America has four percent of the world’s population, yet still carries approximately twenty five percent of the world’s prison population? That is a staggering number. America has the highest incarceration rate in the world and it is increasing exponentially each year. Almost half of American juveniles will have been arrested before they reach their 23rd birthday, and children as young as 13 years old have been sentenced to die in prison. The cost of this system? Approximately $75,000,000,000 a year…

These are just a few startling statistics outlined in the video below. Check it out.


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Video of Cop Beating, Sexually Assaulting Handcuffed Woman So Bad, He’s Now in Prison


Las Vegas, NV — Former Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) officer Richard Scavone pleaded guilty last year in federal court to assaulting a handcuffed woman in his custody. After the plea, authorities released the body camera footage of the assault. It is nothing short of infuriating and shows the level of violence a woman-abusing cop was willing to take to assert his authority.

This week, in a rare move, the former bad cop was actually held accountable and was sentenced to a year in prison. As the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware also ordered Scavone to serve a year of supervised release, pay a $20,000 fine and complete 300 hours of community service after his imprisonment, according to the Justice Department.

The encounter happened in January of 2015 after this abusive cop thought he had nabbed himself a prostitute.

The woman had done nothing wrong and was walking down the sidewalk drinking a coffee when Scavone attacked her for no reason. She was entirely compliant during the stop even though this sadistic predator kept abusing her.

“The hell you think you’re talking to?” he asks her in the video as he threatens her life.

After a brief radio call, this monster then asks his victim, “What else do you want me to do, tough guy?”

“Go ahead and take me to jail. That’s all I want you to do,” she replies, knowing that at any moment this maniac could kill her and jail is her only refuge.

“You got it,” he says, as he then puts his hand inside her bra and pulls out her personal belongings, sexually assaulting her in the process.

The woman was then arrested on false charges of littering. Once the truth came out, however, those charges were dropped.

Below is the report from the Department of Justice.

According to admissions made in the plea agreement, on January 6, 2015, Scavone, 50, was working as an LVMPD patrol officer, and was accompanied in his patrol car by an LVMPD jail corrections officer on a ride-along. At approximately 5:00 a.m., Scavone and the ride-along encountered A.O., who was talking on the phone and holding a cup of coffee. When Scavone told A.O. to “move along,” A.O responded that she was waiting on someone and threw her cup of coffee to the ground. Scavone, who was wearing a body-worn camera that recorded video and audio, exited his patrol car and approached A.O. with a Taser in hand.


Scavone admitted that during the interaction with A.O., and while A.O. was handcuffed, he: shoved A.O. to the ground; grabbed her around the neck with his hand and threw her to the ground; struck her in the forehead with an open palm; grabbed her by the head and slammed her face onto the hood of his patrol vehicle; grabbed her by the hair and slammed her face onto the hood of his patrol vehicle a second time; and slammed A.O. into the door of his patrol vehicle.


Scavone admitted that he took those actions without legal justification and that he knew his actions were against the law.


Scavone faces a maximum sentence of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.  Sentencing will be held on January 11, 2018.


“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting the civil rights of all Nevada citizens, regardless of their backgrounds,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Myhre. “The defendant took an oath to serve and protect with honor and integrity. Misconduct such as this will not be tolerated and those who break the law will be held accountable for their actions.”


“As Mr. Scavone realized today, no one is above the law,” said Special Agent in Charge Rouse.  “Law enforcement takes an oath to protect and serve our communities.  We are, and rightfully should be, held to a higher standard.  Every day, the vast majority of police officers in our community uphold that standard under difficult, dangerous conditions.  However, when law enforcement breaks that vow, they will be held accountable.”


After conducting its own investigation into Scavone’s conduct, LVMPD terminated Scavone’s employment.

Below is the body camera footage showing the damage one abusive cop on a power trip can inflict.

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'Mississippi Burning' KKK leader Killen dies in prison at 92

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Edgar Ray Killen, a 1960s Ku Klux Klan leader who was convicted decades later in the “Mississippi Burning” slayings of three civil rights workers, has died in prison at the age of 92, the state’s corrections department announced Friday.

Killen was serving three consecutive 20-year terms for manslaughter when he died at 9 p.m. Thursday inside the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. An autopsy was pending, but no foul play was suspected, the statement said.

His conviction came 41 years to the day after James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, all in their 20s, were ambushed and killed by Klansmen.

The three Freedom Summer workers had been investigating the burning of a black church near Philadelphia, Mississippi. A deputy sheriff in Philadelphia had arrested them on a traffic charge, then released them after alerting a mob. Mississippi’s then-governor claimed their disappearance was a hoax, and segregationist Sen. Jim Eastland told President Lyndon Johnson it was a “publicity stunt” before their bodies were dug up.

The slayings shocked the nation, helped spur passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and were dramatized in the 1988 movie “Mississippi Burning.” The movie title came from the name of the FBI investigation.

Killen, a part-time preacher and lumber mill operator, was 80 when a Neshoba County jury of nine white people and three black people convicted him of three counts of manslaughter on June 21, 2005, despite his assertions that he was innocent. Prosecutors said Killen masterminded the slayings, then went elsewhere so he would have an alibi.

Killen was the only person ever to face state murder charges, and even then, it was the lesser charge of manslaughter that put him in state prison.

“It wasn’t even murder. It was manslaughter,” David Goodman, Andrew’s younger brother, observed Friday.

“His life spanned a period in this country where members of the Ku Klux Klan like him were able to believe they had a right to take other people’s lives, and that’s a form of terrorism,” Goodman said. “Many took black lives with impunity.”

Schwerner, a white New Yorker, moved to Mississippi in early 1964 to work on black voter registration and other projects. Chaney was a black Mississippian who befriended him. Andrew Goodman, another white New Yorker, underwent civil-rights training in Ohio and arrived in Mississippi a day before he, Schwerner and Chaney were killed. Investigators searching for their bodies found bodies of other black men who had been killed in Mississippi, including two who were brutalized before being dumped in the Mississippi River.

Schwerner’s widow, Rita Schwerner Bender, said on the day Killen was convicted that the slayings were part of a larger problem of violence in Mississippi against black people and others who challenged the segregationist status quo.

“Preacher Killen did not act in a vacuum and the members of the Klan who were members of the police department and the sheriff’s department and the highway patrol didn’t act in a vacuum,” she said.

Goodman said Friday that Killen’s passing is a reminder that issues of racism and white nationalism remain today. He pointed to the violent rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, as an example.

Killen wouldn’t say much about the killings during a 2014 interview with The Associated Press inside the penitentiary. He said he remained a segregationist who did not believe in racial equality, but contended he harbored no ill will toward black people. Killen said he never had talked about the events that landed him behind bars, and never would.

Long a suspect in the 1964 slayings, Killen had made a livelihood from farming, operating his sawmill and preaching to a small congregation at Smyrna Baptist Church in Union, south of Philadelphia, Mississippi.

According to FBI files and court transcripts from a 1967 federal conspiracy trial, Killen did most of the planning in the ambush killings of the civil rights workers. According to testimony in the 2005 murder trial, Killen served as a kleagle, or organizer, of the Klan in Neshoba County and helped set up a klavern, or local Klan group, in a nearby county.

Nineteen men, including Killen, were indicted on federal charges in the 1967 case. Seven were convicted of violating the victims’ civil rights. None served more than six years.

Killen’s federal case ended with a hung jury after one juror said she couldn’t convict a preacher. During his state trial in 2005, witnesses testified that on June 21, 1964, Killen went to Meridian to round up carloads of Klansmen to ambush Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman, telling some of the Klan members to bring plastic or rubber gloves. Witnesses said Killen then went to a Philadelphia funeral home as an alibi while the fatal attack occurred.

The three bodies were found 44 days later, buried in a red-clay dam in rural Neshoba County.

In February 2010, Killen sued the FBI, claiming the government used a mafia hit man to pistol-whip and intimidate witnesses for information in the case. The federal lawsuit sought millions of dollars in damages and a declaration that his rights were violated when the FBI allegedly used a gangster known as “The Grim Reaper” during the investigation. The lawsuit was later dismissed.

In the AP interview, Killen repeated his contention that he was not a criminal, but a political prisoner. He spoke of his many friends, Sen. Eastland among them. Of one thing he was certain: “I could have beat that thing if I’d had the mental ability.”

When she learned of Killen’s death, Chaney’s sister, the Rev. Julia Chaney Moss, said her first thought was that “God has been kind to him. And for that I am grateful.”

“My last thought on this is just that I only wish peace and blessings for all the families as well as the families of the perpetrators,” she said.


Rebecca Santana reported from New Orleans. Associated Press writer Jack Elliott Jr. contributed to this report.


This story has been updated to correct Goodman’s quote from “without impunity” to “with impunity.”

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Farmers Branch Officer Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison For Killing Teen

Former Farmers Branch police officer Ken Johnson was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday in the killing of a teen in March 2016.

The judge in the case initially said Johnson was sentenced to 20 years but then clarified that half of that sentence will be probation.

Johnson, 37, was convicted of murder and aggravated assault Dec. 19 in the death of 16-year old Jose Cruz. Edgar Rodriguez, who was 16 at the time, survived but lost a finger and was shot in the ear.

Johnson shot the teens while he was off-duty, admitting he became angry when he spotted two teens stealing third-row seats from his SUV on March 13, 2016. He pursued the teens in his vehicle and spun out the Red Dodge Challenger that Cruz was driving.

Johnson then fired 16 rounds into the Challenger.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the murder charge and 10 years of probation for the aggravated assault. The sentences will run concurrently.

“We got [Johnson] guilty of murder, we got 10 years, and yes, we definitely wanted more because we believe a life is worth more than 10 years” Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said in a news conference after Ken Johnson’s sentencing. “However, we do respect the jury’s decision in this case.”

Faith Johnson disappointed in 10-year sentence for former officer

Jurors saw surveillance video during the trial that showed Johnson spun out the Challenger.

Johnson on the stand Monday told jurors that he didn’t intend to make contact with the vehicle but did so after Cruz slowed down.

Dallas County prosecutor Jason Hermus reminded Johnson the black box data recorder on Cruz’s car reported no deceleration.

“Is that black box wrong,” Hermus questioned. “It could be,” Johnson replied.

After crashing in a busy intersection, Johnson approached and fired into the vehicle.

Testimony from 27 witnesses during the trial indicated Johnson never identified himself as a police officer before he opened fire.

Johnson told jurors he could see into the vehicle, despite the tinted windows, before he opened fire.

“He (Cruz) took his hands off the steering wheel and reached down, that’s when my heart jumped out of my chest,” Johnson said.

On cross examination prosecutors clarified after Cruz was dead, Johnson took aim at Rodriguez firing 4-6 rounds at his head, despite no evidence he posed a threat.

“You opened the door to get a clean shot at Edgar,” Hermus said.


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Re: Israel tells African asylum seekers: leave or face prison

Israel will give thousands of African asylum seekers 90 days to either leave or face prison, Haaretz reported yesterday.

The paper said the Interior Ministry’s Population, Immigration and Border Authority has begun preparing to deport asylum seekers on the orders of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan.

“The cabinet vote on the deportation campaign was postponed due to a budget dispute between the treasury and public security ministry,” it said.

There are currently said to be 27,000 asylum seekers from Eritrea, 7,500 from Sudan and 2,500 from various African countries as well as 5,000 children born in Israel to asylum seekers.

“The Interior Ministry estimates the total cost of its deportation operation at some 300 million shekels ($86 million) a year. This includes wages of Interior Ministry employees, deportation flights and money given to those who leave. For now, every asylum seeker who leaves the country will receive $3,500, but this amount will be reduced in the future,” the paper added.

Unwelcome: African migrants hit by new tax in Israel

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Trump Took A Poll Before deciding to Commute Sholom Rubashkin’s Prison Sentence

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Disgraced New Jersey Cop to Spend 10 Years in Prison for Tipping Off Gangs

New Jersey – A former Asbury Park police officer was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in state prison for his role in a criminal organization that prosecutors say terrorized the city.

A jury in September found Keith German, 49, guilty of three counts of official misconduct, including hindering the apprehension of gang members, conspiracy to commit stalking, harassment, computer theft and unlawful access and disclosure.

German, a 16-year veteran of the Asbury Park Police Department, was among dozens arrested in 2014 as part of “Operation Dead End,” a large sweep targeting criminal and gang activity in Asbury Park.

The probe was called Operation Dead End, prosecutors explained, because the criminal activities in question were based out of two dead-end streets in Asbury Park, Dewitt Avenue and a section of Jersey Street in the Washington Village Public Housing Complex.

Of the 53 people arrested, 18 of them were members of the Crips or Bloods street gangs, prosecutors said after the arrests.

Authorities say German, of Tinton Falls, gave one of the gang leaders, James Fair, inside information about whether police officers were watching the organization in return for Fair helping him stalk a woman who didn’t return his affections.

Two weeks into the testimony portion of his trial, German, who had been out on bail, stopped showing up to court. Judge Joseph Oxley, who presided over that trial, issued a warrant for his arrest.

He was arrested June 28 as he was walking to his car at a strip mall outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, authorities said at the time.

German will have to serve the entirety of his 10-year sentence without parole. He also is barred from holding a public position in the state.

“This sentence sends a strong message that there will be zero tolerance for cops who commit crimes,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said in a statement. “It only takes one bad cop to adversely affect the reputation of so many that do the job with honor and integrity. For these reasons, the public should be reassured that we will continue to prosecute crooked cops to the fullest extent of the law.”

Fair, who went by the name Dough Boy, led an organized group that sold drugs, robbed people of drugs and money, bought guns and tried to kill their rivals all over “greed and control,” Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Joseph Cummings said during his opening remarks.

Haneef Walker, who went by the street name “Nutty,” was described by Cummings as Fair’s go-to guy for robberies, a man who would jump quickly in response to his boss’ requests.

Fair and Walker will be sentenced in the coming days.


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Immigration and Customs Enforcement accused of hiding details of prison locations to hide reliance on contractors

ICE Processing Center


Immigration and Customs Enforcement, working at the epicenter of the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration, has released incomplete data on its detention facilities that muddies the costs and the agency’s reliance on private contractors, according to critics at two nonprofits.

The Detention Watch Network and the Center for Constitutional Rights, following years of litigation and Freedom of Information Act requests, in late November released a previously unpublished spreadsheet of 201 ICE facilities. They have housed, on average this year, 35,929 people, 73 percent of them in facilities run by contractors, the groups said.

ICE has long had a map of facilities on its website, but “they’re only pretending to give the full list,” Mary Small, policy director for the Detention Watch Network, told Government Executive. She said the ICE website map shows 112 locations and is out of date, while the July 2017 spreadsheet reveals 201, along with other key information on which ICE has not been transparent, in her view.

To the critics of ICE, the new numbers suggest that ICE has been “unconcerned with congressional oversight” and has offered questionable claims to lawmakers in charge of funding that its costs per detention bed are increasing. The nonprofits’ analysis also criticizes ICE’s signing of new contracts with private corrections companies that are “inconsistent” and “sloppy” in ways that allow conditions that can endanger detainees, such as providing unhealthy food and sanitation.

A recent Homeland Security Department inspector general’s report highlighted some of the health and safety issues.

The advocacy groups, which work to enforce the rights and safety of undocumented immigrants, argue that private contracts, many with no expiration dates, create “perverse financial incentives” that give local law enforcement “control over who enters the immigration enforcement pipeline,” and since that same law enforcement entity stands to make money per person per day through the detention contract, the approach “incentivizes large-scale racial profiling.”

The long-standing lawsuit stemmed from the group’s desire to examine unredacted contracts and other documents to evaluate ICE’s compliance with bed-cost mandates at its facilities.

Asked to respond, an ICE spokeswoman emailed Government Executive this statement: “ICE’s detention facilities are subject to a rigorous, multi-layered inspections and oversight program, which includes annual inspections and on-site monitors overseen by ICE’s Custody Management Division and targeted reviews administered by ICE’s Office of Detention Oversight.”

Citing oversight from Congress, IGs and the Government Accountability Office, ICE added, “To ensure the safety and well-being of those in our custody, ICE works regularly with contracted consultants and a variety of internal and external stakeholders to review and improve detention conditions at ICE facilities.”

Funding increases requested for fiscal 2018 are directly related to ICE’s new responsibilities under President Trump’s executive orders, implementation of which “has already resulted in significant increases in ICE interior arrests,” said the statement, which did not address the transparency issues. “ICE’s detention costs include more than the daily bed-rate. Detention funding must also cover the total cost of detention which includes items such as medical care, detention beds, labor costs and overhead.”

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