Martin Luther King assassinated by US Govt: King Family civil trial verdict

Updated in 2016: here.

Coretta Scott King: “We have done what we can to reveal the truth, and we now urge you as members of the media, and we call upon elected officials, and other persons of influence to do what they can to share the revelation of this case to the widest possible audience.” – King Family Press Conference, Dec. 9, 1999.

Dr. King’s 2-minute message to you:

Dr. Martin Luther King’s family and personal friend/attorney, William F. Pepper, won a civil trial that found US government agencies guilty of assassination/wrongful death. The 1999 trial, King Family versus Jowers and Other Unknown Co-Conspirators, is the only trial ever conducted on the assassination of Dr. King. The King Center fully documents the case, with full trial transcript (to more fully explain the following summary of evidence, here is the best article I’ve found).

The overwhelming evidence of US government complicity found valid by the jury includes:

  • US 111th Military Intelligence Group were at Dr. King’s location during the assassination.
  • 20th Special Forces Group had an 8-man sniper team at the assassination location on that day.
  • Usual Memphis Police special body guards were advised they “weren’t needed” on the day of the assassination.
  • Regular and constant police protection for Dr. King was removed from protecting Dr. King an hour before the assassination.
  • Military Intelligence set-up photographers on the roof of a fire station with clear view to Dr. King’s balcony.
  • Dr. King’s room was changed from a secure 1st-floor room to an exposed balcony room.
  • Memphis police ordered the scene where multiple witnesses reported as the source of shooting cut down of their bushes that would have hid a sniper.
  • Along with sanitizing a crime scene, police abandoned investigative procedure to interview witnesses who lived by the scene of the shooting.
  • The rifle Mr. Ray delivered was not matched to the bullet that killed Dr. King, and was not sighted to accurately shoot.

Also, the FBI acted to cause Dr. King’s death by suicide. The FBI illegally spied on Dr. King, used data in attempt to split leadership, and sent Dr. King a letter promising to expose alleged sexual misconduct. This was part of the FBI’s illegal COINTELPRO program.

Please read the above evidence twice to be clear on its overwhelming power.

The King family’s attempts for a criminal trial were always denied by state and federal government. Claimed suspect, James Ray, said that his government-appointed attorney told him to sign a guilty plea to prevent the death penalty and threatened arrests of his father and brother as co-conspirators for his only part in the assassination plot: delivering a rifle. Mr. Ray produced a letter from his attorney stating the promise that Mr. Ray would receive a trial. When Mr. Ray discovered that he was solely blamed for Dr. King’s assassination and would never receive a trial, Mr. Ray’s subsequent recants of his guilty plea and requests for trial were denied.

The US government also denied the King family’s requests for independent investigation of the assassination, despite the overwhelming evidence produced at the 1999 civil trial. Dr. King’s wife, Coretta, spent more than twice the number of years she was married to Martin working to get a criminal trial for her husband’s assassination.

Importantly, the US government has never presented any evidence subject to challenge that substantiates their claim that Mr. Ray assassinated Dr. King.

The King family believes the government’s motivation to murder Dr. King was to prevent his imminent camp-in/Occupy at Washington, D.C. until the Vietnam War was ended and those resources directed to end poverty and invest in US hard and soft infrastructure. 

US corporate media did not cover the civil trial, interview the King family, and textbooks omit this information. This is crucial evidence of a controlled corporate media rejecting coverage of a game-changing story. Journalist and author, James Douglass:

“I can hardly believe the fact that, apart from the courtroom participants, only Memphis TV reporter Wendell Stacy and I attended from beginning to end this historic three-and-one-half week trial. Because of journalistic neglect scarcely anyone else in this land of ours even knows what went on in it. After critical testimony was given in the trial’s second week before an almost empty gallery, Barbara Reis, U.S. correspondent for the Lisbon daily Publico who was there several days, turned to me and said, ‘Everything in the U.S. is the trial of the century. O.J. Simpson’s trial was the trial of the century. Clinton’s trial was the trial of the century. But this is the trial of the century, and who’s here?’ ”

For comparison, please consider the media coverage of O.J. Simpson’s trials:

“Media coverage of the Simpson trial, which began in January 1995, was unlike any other. Over two thousand reporters covered the trial, and 80 miles of cable was required to allow nineteen television stations to cover the trial live to 91 percent of the American viewing audience. When the verdict was finally read on October 3, 1995, some 142 million people listened or watched. It seemed the nation stood still, divided along racial lines as to the defendant’s guilt or innocence. During and after the trial, over eighty books were published about the event by most everyone involved in the Simpson case.”

Coretta Scott King was certain of the evidence after 30 years of consideration from the 1968 assassination to the 1999 trial:

“For a quarter of a century, Bill Pepper conducted an independent investigation of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. He opened his files to our family, encouraged us to speak with the witnesses, and represented our family in the civil trial against the conspirators. The jury affirmed his findings, providing our family with a long-sought sense of closure and peace, which had been denied by official disinformation and cover-ups. Now the findings of his exhaustive investigation and additional revelations from the trial are presented in the pages of this important book. We recommend it highly to everyone who seeks the truth about Dr. King’s assassination.” — Coretta Scott King.

The US Department of Justice issued a report in 2000 that explained their claimed investigation into their own possible guilt in the assassination. They concluded that they found no evidence to warrant further investigation. Dr. King’s son issued the following statement rebuking the “self-study” rather than independent investigation:

“We learned only hours before the Justice Department press conference that they were releasing the report of their results of their ‘limited investigation,’ which covered only two areas of new evidence concerning the assassination of Dr. King. We had requested that we be given a copy of the report a few days in advance so that we might have had the opportunity to review it in detail. Since that courtesy was not extended to us, we are only able at this time to state the following:

1. We initially requested that a comprehensive investigation be conducted by a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, independent of the government, because we do not believe that, in such a politically-sensitive matter, the government is capable of investigating itself.

2. The type of independent investigation we sought was denied by the federal government. But in our view, it was carried out, in a Memphis courtroom, during a month-long trial by a jury of 12 American citizens who had no interest other than ascertaining the truth. (Kings v. Jowers)

3. After hearing and reviewing the extensive testimony and evidence, which had never before been tested under oath in a court of law, it took the Memphis jury only one (1) hour to find that a conspiracy to kill Dr. King did exist. Most significantly, this conspiracy involved agents of the governments of the City of Memphis, the state of Tennessee and the United States of America. The overwhelming weight of the evidence also indicated that James Earl Ray was not the triggerman and, in fact, was an unknowing patsy.

4. We stand by that verdict and have no doubt that the truth about this terrible event has finally been revealed.

5. We urge all interested Americans to read the transcript of the trial on the King Center website and consider the evidence, so they can form their own unbiased conclusions.

Although we cooperated fully with this limited investigation, we never really expected that the government report would be any more objective than that which has resulted from any previous official investigation.”

Let’s summarize: Under US Civil Law, covert US government agencies were found guilty of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. King was the leading figure of the Civil Rights Movement, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and widely recognized as one of the world’s greatest speakers for what it means to be human. The family’s conclusion as to motive was to prevent Dr. King from ending the Vietnam War because the government wanted to continue its ongoing illegal covert and overt military operations to control foreign governments and their resources.

It is therefore a factual statement that under US Civil Law, the US government assassinated Dr. King.

People of sufficient intellectual integrity and moral courage to apply critical thinking skills will embrace the trial evidence and testimony, jury conclusion, and King family analysis as appropriate and helpful information in seeking the facts.

People who at least temporarily reject challenging information out of fear might say something like, “The government killed Dr. King? That’s a crazy conspiracy theory!”

Let’s consider that statement.

When someone says that a body of evidence is “crazy,” or a “conspiracy theory” (meaning an irrational claim easily refuted by the evidence) that’s a claim. With a claim comes a burden of proof. In this case, the person would have to demonstrate command of the facts to explain and prove why the evidence from the civil trial is somehow “crazy” and refute the evidence.

If the person can do this, it would be tremendously helpful in understanding the facts. However, we know from our experience that such statements almost always have zero factual support, and that the person making such a claim literally doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

We also know from our experience, a person making such a statement is really voicing an emotional reaction something closer to, “The government killed Dr. King? Ok, I read and understood the paragraphs about the trial and evidence. I read Mrs. King’s and her son’s statement. I haven’t invested the time to verify how valid that information is. I’m not stupid, but because the implications of what that means is so disturbing, I’m going to deny anything about it could possibly be true as my first response. If I’m going to continue being in denial and refuse to discuss the evidence, I’ll attack the messenger.”

We also need to consider the lack of coverage by US corporate media of this compelling evidence, trial verdict, and King family testimony from over 30 years’ analysis of the facts. Recall the evidence of US corporate media reporting being infiltrated by CIA agents to propagandize Americans’ access to information. This included the Director of the CIA’s admission to Congress that they have over 400 agents working in corporate media to make the US public believe what the CIA wants them to believe.

In 2006, George Washington University used a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the US military’s “Information Operations Roadmap.” This formerly secret and approved document details present US government strategies to generate propaganda, and then attack Internet alternative media that provides dangerous facts and discussion. The military promoted the term, “Fight the net.”

Although I won’t enter the burden of proof here, you may know that there are similar and related bodies of evidence that the US government assassinated other American leaders. The 1975 Senate Church Committee disclosed that the US government initiated and helped assassination attempts on multiple foreign heads of state.

If we were discussing how the population of some other nation could employ critical thinking skills to understand current events from anytime in history, we would certainly understand the importance to anticipate disinformation from government, danger of controlled media, and assassination as a political weapon.

Failure to do so would appropriately elicit the label attributed to the first dictator of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin. Such people who believe what their government tells them when the history and present have overwhelming objective evidence to explain, document, and prove that the government is typical of so many other historical self-serving oligarchies are:

“Useful idiots.”

To the extent the United States today is any different from all other nations and all other times is up to your exercise of critical thinking skills.

And that said, objective, measurable, and independently verifiable facts easily explain, document, and prove US history of:

An obvious question: What does the 99.99% of humanity do to end these viciously psychopathic assassinations of our best people, end lie-started Wars of Aggression, end bankster looting, and genuinely have opportunity to create a bright future for all Earth’s inhabitants?

An obvious answer: We tell the truth/facts, arrest obvious criminals, and have media broadcast our true condition so we may begin. I explain here:

2015 Winning Time: 3 phases to 99.99%’s victory over .01% criminal psychopaths

Bill Pepper, King family friend and attorney, explaining the assassination (start at 7:35 to avoid a glitch; 100 minutes):

Dr. King’s 47-minute speech to Stanford University, 1967:

Note: Examiner.com has blocked public access to my articles on their site (and from other whistleblowers). Some links in current articles are therefore now blocked. If you’d like to search for those articles other sites may have republished, use words from the article title within the blocked link. I’ll update as “hobby time” allows; including updating my earliest work from 2009 to 2011 (my blocked author pages: here, here).

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Source Article from http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/01/martin-luther-king-assassinated-us-govt-king-family-civil-trial-verdict.html

Trial Begins For Hammond Cop Charged With Killing Ex-Girlfriend


Indiana – A Porter County jury stared at graphic photos Wednesday showing how a Portage woman was found shot dead with blood pooled in the carpet around her in 2015.

“So, how do we get to this place where she dies so violently?” asked prosecuting attorney Matthew Frost.

Frost turned and pointed to Kevin Campbell, 33, sitting in a suit with his defense attorneys at the Porter County courthouse in Valparaiso.

“We get to this place because the man sitting at the end of this table, Kevin A. Campbell, murdered her,” Frost said.

Attorneys presented opening arguments Wednesday after seating a jury Tuesday in Campbell’s murder trial stemming from the death Tiara Thomas, Campbell’s ex-girlfriend and his children’s mother.

Thomas, 30, was found shot Nov. 18, 2015, in the bedroom of her Portage apartment she shared with her fiance in the Park Place apartment complex.

Although he couldn’t see the screen, Campbell, a former Hammond police officer, wiped his eyes with a tissue as Frost showed Thomas’ autopsy photos during opening statements. When the courtroom cleared during a morning break, he cried as he sat alone at the defense table.

Susan Marie Severtson, one of Campbell’s attorneys, argued that there was a lack of eyewitness and scientific evidence in the case. No DNA evidence or fingerprints matching Campbell were found at Thomas’ apartment, she said.

At the end of the trial, Svertson argued, “You will not know who in fact killed Tiara Thomas.”

Thomas and Campbell had three children together, but the “relationship fell apart,” Frost said. It was a “contentious breakup,” and before Thomas died, Campbell’s child support “expanded exponentially,” he said.

When Campbell was arrested, Portage police said there may have been a financial motive involved, as Campbell’s vehicle had been repossessed, he had voice mails from creditors and his bank account balance was $7.58, according to court records.

“It was ruining his life,” Frost said.

Svertson countered that didn’t amount to motive. Thomas was Campbell’s “first love” and the two had known each other since elementary school, she said.

“He was happy to emotionally and financially support his children,” Svertson said.

Police questioned Marqtell Robinson, Thomas’ fiance who she lived with, but Robinson’s alibi that he had worked a midnight shift before he found her dead at 7 a.m. on Nov. 18, 2015, checked out, according to testimony from Ted Uzelac, Portage police assistant chief.

“He did not murder Tiara Thomas,” Frost said.

David Duttlinger, a Portage Fire Department paramedic, said he couldn’t say exactly when Thomas had been shot, but she wasn’t bleeding much when he arrived at the apartment, he said. The responding officers and paramedic said none of them smelled gunpowder in the apartment.

After questioning neighbors at the apartment complex, no one said they heard or saw anything, the officers testified.

Campbell’s trial continues Thursday and is expected to run three days a week for the next few weeks, attorneys said

Campbell is being held at Porter County Jail without bond.

Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/post-tribune/crime/ct-ptb-kevin-campbell-trial-starts-0110-20180110-story.html

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Six Defendants Acquitted in First DisruptJ20 Trial

Six Defendants Acquitted in First DisruptJ20 Trial



by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)



The hashtag #DisruptJ20 became a rallying cry to protest at Trump’s January inauguration – a First Amendment right for everyone if conducted nonviolently.



Founded in July 2016, DisruptJ20 activities began post-election via social media. Organizer Regba Carrefour said the “umbrella coalition of groups (aimed) to undermine Trump’s presidency from the get-go.”



Inauguration day featured police state tactics against DisruptJ20 and others protesting on Trump’s inauguration day – 194 individuals arrested, most protesting peacefully, including independent journalists doing their jobs, covering what went on.



The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) commented on the acquittal of the first six defendants brought to trial, saying:



“In a tremendous victory for the right to dissent, a Washington, DC jury has found all six defendants in the first ‘J20’ trial not guilty on all charges.” 



“The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) welcomes this verdict despite the politically motivated charges that were leveled against them and the 188 other defendants who were ‘kettled,’ experienced abusive police tactics, and were arrested en masse during protests against the Presidential Inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017.”



“The jury’s decision represents a resounding victory, as they refused to substantiate the prosecution’s complete lack of evidence and view of political organizing as criminal activity,” said Jude Ortiz, NLG Mass Defense Committee Chair and organizer with Defend J20 Resistance.”



Wrongful charges against the defendants included multiple counts of rioting and conspiracy to riot, along with additional multiple counts of felony property destruction.



Defendants included two medical personnel, a journalist, and a college student, facing long prison terms if convicted of exercising their legitimate First Amendment rights of assembly and free expression.



Last February, the NLG called on federal prosecutors to drop all charges against nonviolent J20 protesters, legal observers, journalists, and others violating no laws.



The ACLU praised Friday’s acquittal, senior staff attorney Scott Michelman, saying the following:



“Today’s verdict reaffirms two central constitutional principles of our democracy: first, that dissent is not a crime, and second, that our justice system does not permit guilt by association.” 



“We hope today’s verdict begins the important work of teaching police and prosecutors to respect the line between lawbreaking and constitutionally protected protest.” 



“We hope that the US Attorney’s Office gets the message and moves quickly to drop all remaining changes against peaceful demonstrators.”



“For nearly a year, these people have been under the cloud of felony charges that have turned their lives upside down, subjecting them to the anxiety and expense of defending themselves against charges that should never have been brought.” 



“No one should have to fear arrest or prosecution for coming to the nation’s capital to express opinions peacefully, no matter what those opinions may be.”



“Through our civil lawsuit against the police, the ACLU-DC will continue to fight for demonstrators’ constitutional rights.”



Scores of other defendants face trials next year. Police state viciousness defines policymaking of Republicans and undemocratic Dems.



Exonerated defendants aren’t home free if Trump administration prosecutors intend bringing new charges against them – a common tactic in Washington both parties use at their discretion when determined to railroad defendants.



Others awaiting trial may be treated the same way – if convicted to be imprisoned longterm, if exonerated threatened with possible new charges brought against them.



Last June, the ACLU sued the District of Columbia and DC’s metropolitan police department on behalf of four abused inauguration day protesters.



It charged unlawful mass round-up tactics, pepper-spraying and otherwise abusing peaceful demonstrators, wrongfully arresting and detaining them, along with depriving them of food, water and access to bathrooms for many hours.



The case is pending in Washington DC federal district court.



The late Howard Zinn and others called dissent the highest form of patriotism – affirmed under the First Amendment.



Brutalizing protesters is commonplace in US cities, notably against global justice, anti-war, and Occupy Wall Street activists in recent years – flagrantly violating constitutional and international law.



Violence and vandalism, when committed, can’t be condoned. Nor can false accusations of these and other offenses.



VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.



My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”



http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html


Source Article from https://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Article/231639-2017-12-23-six-defendants-acquitted-in-first-disruptj20-trial.htm?EdNo=001&From=RSS

Republican Control of the Senate (where Impeachment trial takes place) Hangs by a Thread

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Source Article from https://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/republican-control-of-the-senate-where-impeachment-trial-takes-place-hangs-by-a-thread/

Anaheim Cop Suffered Epic Email Meltdown Over Manuel Diaz Civil Trial


At least one Anaheim policeman panicked over the Manuel Diaz civil trial in October before it ended with a federal jury finding officer Nick Bennallack liable for excessive force when he gunned the unarmed Latino down in 2012. Three years ago, a verdict in the case rejected such claims filed on behalf of Genevieve Huizar, Diaz’s mother, in the shooting that sparked summer riots in the city. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the verdict in 2016, ordered a new trial, and set precedent by disallowing inflammatory evidence from being introduced during its liability phase.

But that’s not what worried officer Eric Anderson most, a close friend of Bennallack.

“Today at the trial, a bunch of gangsters showed up to show support for Manuel Diaz,” Anderson wrote in an Oct. 24 email obtained by the Weekly. He claimed Diaz’s family and friends took up half of the courtroom with Bennallack backed only by his attorneys and father. “Putting myself in the thoughts of the Jury, I could only imagine the questions and concerns they may have when nobody from Nick’s own agency is there for support; when gangsters are.”

Anderson sounded a call for fellow officers to pack the courtroom the following day when testimony began. “For those of you who have been involved in the process of an [officer-involved shooting], you all know how stressful things can be,” he wrote. “Now add everything Nick has already been through with this case and being portrayed as a killer by Manuel’s family and the media.” Death certificates in police shootings don’t read “homicide” for nothing, ya know? Murder, a legal term, is another matter.

Even though Anderson tried rallying the force, his message stumbled along the way. The email claimed that most officers hadn’t known about jury selection in the trial that day, making the big no show something out of their control. His cop call came the day after former police chief Raul Quezada, who appeared in court backed by officers during the first Diaz trial, announced his retirement following a vote of no confidence. Apparently, the department remained divisive after Quezada’s departure with Anderson having to send an email the following day profusely apologizing for his earlier comments.

“Our department is at a very critical point right now and I don’t want to undermine and/or provide any misinformation about any one person or spread rumors,” Anderson wrote on Oct. 25. “I must clarify that I have been informed representatives from the Robbery Detail, Command Staff and SWAT Commanders were present and were there to support Nick. My apologies on that behalf and for those of you that this personally relates to, my deepest and most sincere apologies for any misleading information as that was far from my intention.”

Watch Commander Lt. Allan Roman responded to Sgt. James Cossin, who forwarded the email. “Yep, plus we will have more people this week there,” Roman wrote.

Anaheim PD delivered on the promise to up the ante. After the trial concluded, Huizar spoke at the following Anaheim city council meeting in November. “To see 40, I counted them, officers on the defense side on taxpayer’s money…what kind of thing is that?” she asked. “It’s intimidation.” The Weekly asked the department for the peak number of uniformed cops that turned out for the trial, but a department spokesman informs there’s no record of who was there and when for a headcount.

“They were there to intimidate the jury and to make me uncomfortable,” Huizar tells the Weekly. “I walked right through the middle of them in the halls on several occasions.”

Even after officers packed the courtroom, the jury returned its rarity of a verdict in an OC police shooting case. They awarded $200,000 in damages the following day.

Source: http://www.ocweekly.com/news/cop-begged-anaheim-pd-to-pack-court-during-diaz-trial-8611467

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  • An actual jury verdict against the police in the OC…unheard of!

Source Article from http://filmingcops.com/anaheim-cop-suffered-epic-email-meltdown-manuel-diaz-civil-trial/

WATCH: Trial of Police Officer Accused of Supporting Islamic State to Begin Next Week


ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The trial of Nicholas Young, the first police officer ever charged in the United States with providing material support to the Islamic State, is scheduled to get underway next week.

Young , who worked for the Metro Transit Police Department in Washington, D.C., was arrested in Aug. 2016, on charges of providing material support to the Islamic State group and lying to FBI investigators.

Young is accused of purchasing technology-related items to send to the ISIS operatives so they could evade authorities when contacting one another.

But instead of speaking to members of the Islamic State group, prosecutors say, Young was actually in touch with FBI informants and agents with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington.

The police officer was arrested after he gave $245 worth of gift cards to one of those informants.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema warned both Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Kromberg and defense attorney Linda Moreno that they have only to the end of this week to wrap up loose ends in their pretrial preparations. The jury selection process will get underway promptly on Monday morning, Brinkema said.

The judge also announced she is calling an expanded pool of potential jurors — perhaps as many as 50 — because of Young’s decision to grant an exclusive interview to the Washington Post this past summer.

In the article, Young shared some of his experiences with government agents leading up to his arrest last year, and defended his interests in white supremacy and radical Islam. The story also featured pictures of Young, including one that showed a large Nazi SS unit tattoo on his arm.

“I’m extremely concerned about the pretrial publicity and the hearsay elements,” Brinkema said.

The “unusual set of circumstances” around Young, she said, would undoubtedly make his a tough case for jurors to consider. In addition to the interview, jurors would also be tasked with reconciling Young’s diverse and seemingly contradictory affiliations.

According to court documents, Young had a license plate on his car featuring the name of a pre-Nazi, ultra-right wing German political party, and he used Adolf Hitler’s birthday for an online password.

These facts, coupled with Young having been a police officer for 13 years, could make understanding him and his actions difficult for jurors, said Michael Williams, a social psychologist at Georgia State University.

“We all have identity theory, the notion that we harbor several identities,” Williams said. “We can be parents, employees, students, teachers. We can be all of these things in different contexts. That [Young] would have different identities is not unusual, per se. The interesting thing is how he, or anyone, can resolve what appear to be certain contradictory identities.”

For example, Williams said, patriotism is often associated with law enforcement and the fairness required of the person administering the law, and it tends to run counter with what most people conceive of being a white supremacist.

“But humans have a wonderful capacity to rationalize and justify behavior in the name of self-esteem,” he said. “It’s like a cognitive sleight of hand.”

As the trial unfolds, federal prosecutors are expected to try explain that “sleight of hand” and will argue Young was motivated by violence and used his knowledge of Islam and white supremacy to foment terror more broadly at home and potentially, elsewhere.

For full story visit: https://www.courthousenews.com/trial-of-police-officer-accused-of-supporting-islamic-state-to-begin-next-week/

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WATCH: Three Bridgewater Guards to Stand Trial 8 Years After Patient’s Death

A screen grab from video shot during Joshua K. Messier’s encounter with guards at Bridgewater State Hospital.

Eight years after the tragic death of a 23-year-old patient with schizophrenia at Bridgewater State Hospital, three prison guards are slated to stand trial Tuesday on charges they killed Joshua K. Messier while forcefully strapping him to a bed in a brutal scene captured on prison video.

The trial, scheduled to unfold in Plymouth Superior Court, once seemed highly unlikely even though the medical examiner ruled that the guards caused Messier’s death. Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz in 2010 determined there was insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges, and none of the guards was charged or even disciplined.

But four years later, after The Boston Globe reported on the guards’ rough treatment of Messier on the night he died, Attorney General Martha Coakley appointed a special prosecutor to investigate.

Source: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/12/03/guards-will-soon-stand-trial-years-after-death-patient-bridgewater-state-hospital/Rf8TA61y7CJrscVWSnE50K/story.html

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Trial Date Set for June in Salem Police Patrolman Sexual Assault Case


SALEM, Massachusetts — A trial has been scheduled for June for a now-former Salem police patrolman charged with sexually assaulting a man in protective custody at the police station on Halloween last year.

Brian Butler, 56, of Salem, is facing charges of rape and indecent assault and battery stemming from the incident early on the morning of Oct. 31, 2016.

A Massachusetts man who was placed into protective custody after flooding his motel room while drunk reported that after checking on him in a holding cell, Butler brought him to a booking area to make a call to someone to bring him dry clothing.

The man told investigators that Butler touched him under the blanket he was wearing, then eventually led him to a closet in the booking room.

Much of their interaction in the booking room was recorded on surveillance cameras, corroborating the man’s account. Butler was arrested and charged.

He subsequently resigned, ending a 24-year career.

Butler is the husband of Salem police Chief Mary Butler. She has recused herself from any role in the investigation or prosecution of the case.

A trial date was set on Wednesday for June 12, 2018.

There are expected to be additional hearings on pre-trial motions prior to that date.

Source: http://www.salemnews.com/news/local_news/trial-date-set-for-june-in-officer-s-sexual-assault/article_12bb4ba5-9836-5691-884c-c6501ef4efd1.html

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Former Bosnian General On Trial For War Crimes Dies After Drinking Poison In Court

Slobodan Praljak, a former Bosnian general who was on trial Wednesday at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, has reportedly died after drinking poison.

Praljak, 72, was filmed drinking the poison Wednesday.

Appeals judges upheld his 20-year sentence for war crimes against Bosnian Muslims during the war in the Balkans in the 1990s, prompting Praljak to stand up and address the court.

“Judges, Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal,” the general said. “With disdain, I reject this verdict.”

He then drank from what appeared to be a small vial, ignoring calls from the judge to sit down.

“I have taken poison,” he said, according to a court translator.

The judge suspended the hearing and Praljak was brought in for treatment, according to Reuters.

The tribunal, created in 1993 by the U.N. Security Council, has prosecuted hundreds of people for war crimes and is scheduled to shut down at the end of this year.

Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian leader, died in his jail cell in 2006, apparently of natural causes, while his own ICTY trial was underway.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/former-bosnian-general-trial-war-135747522.html