Ex-Oklahoma Cop’s Rape Conviction Symbol of National Problem

11 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AP News in Brief at 1:44 a.m. EST.

OKLAHOMA CITY — The teenager’s mother clapped her hands and screamed with joy as she watched an Oklahoma City jury convict a former police officer of raping her daughter and sexually assaulting seven other women. The former Oklahoma City police officer was found guilty on 18 of the 36 counts he faced – all of which were sex crimes – according to multiple reports. He could spend the rest of his life in prison based on the jury’s recommendation that he serve a total of 263 years, including a 30-year sentence on each of four first-degree rape convictions. Formal sentencing is scheduled for next month, but the suggested sentences from the jury add up to over 260 years and District Attorney David Prater is requesting that those sentences be served back to back, NBC reports. • Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage?

Defense attorney Scott Adams declined to comment after the verdict and did not immediately return telephone messages seeking comment about jury selection. CNN also made note of the racial overtones involved in the case, as Holtzclaw’s father is white, his mother is Japanese and court records identify him as “Asian or Pacific Islander,” but all of his victims were 13 black females ranging in age from 17 to women in their 50s.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government appears not to have picked up on extremist messages exchanged during the online courtship two years ago between the American-born man accused in the California shootings and his then-fiancée in Pakistan. Benjamin Crump, president of the National Bar Association, reportedly said at an earlier date in the trial that justice would be served, regardless of race. “We will be here to make sure that this is not swept under the rug,” Crump said. “We come here to stand with these 13 victims of rape, who happen to be African-American women, to say that their lives matter too.” Prosecutors reportedly accused Holtzclaw of preying on economically disadvantaged women in one of the state’s poorest neighborhood, by using his badge to force victims to heed to his escalating crimes that went from groping to rape. His case brought new attention to the problem of sexual misconduct committed by law enforcement officers, something police chiefs have studied for years.

They said he did this because he did not think authorities would take the victims’ word over his if he had to defend himself against sexual assault allegations. In addition, it’s reported that he promised the victims – who all had a history of drug-related crimes – to drop a charge against them if they didn’t report him.

American officials say 28-year-old Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, 29-year-old Tashfeen Malik, discussed martyrdom and jihad online as early as 2013. But the couple never surfaced on law enforcement’s radar and Malik was able to enter the U.S. on a fiancée visa last year despite having professed radical views online. Meanwhile, the investigation into the shootings that left 14 dead last week continued in San Bernardino, where an FBI dive team searched a small, urban lake about 3 miles north of the shooting site. LE BOURGET, France — High-stakes climate talks outside Paris will not end Friday as planned but will continue at least one more day as diplomats try to overcome disagreements over how — or even whether — to share the costs of fighting climate change and shift to clean energy on a global scale.

David Bowdich, chief of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, said investigative leads indicated the shooters had been in the area the day of the massacre and said the search of the lake could take days. Negotiators from more than 190 countries are trying to do something that’s never been done: reach a deal for all countries to reduce man-made carbon emissions and cooperate to adapt to rising seas and increasingly extreme weather caused by human activity. A common thread among cases of police sexual misconduct was they involved victims who were among society’s most vulnerable: juveniles, drug addicts, and women in custody or with a criminal history.

After receiving a report from a grandmother who said Holtzclaw forced her to perform oral sex during a traffic stop, police identified a dozen other women who said Holtzclaw had victimized them. The Associated Press generally does not identify victims of sex crimes and is not using the mother’s name so as not to identify her daughter, who was 17 when she was attacked. FBI Director James Comey and other senior American officials briefed members of Congress, who are curious to know if any red flags were missed in the last two years.

TORONTO (AP) — The first Canadian government plane carrying Syrian refugees arrived in Toronto late Thursday where they were greeted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is pushing forward with his pledge to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of February. The U.N. talks often run past deadline, given the complexity and sensitivity of each word in an international agreement. “I will not present the text Friday evening, as I had thought, but Saturday morning,” Fabius said on BFM television. “There is still work to do … The arrival of the military flight carrying 163 refugees stands in stark contrast to the U.S., which plans to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year and where Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump caused a worldwide uproar with a proposal to temporarily block Muslims from entering the U.S. She pushed back at one point, telling him, “I’m really getting upset by the way you’re coming after me.” Her mother said her daughter didn’t want to talk about the case anymore, but that she was relieved about the conclusion of a “long journey to justice.” Several of Holtzclaw’s accusers had been arrested or convicted of crimes, and his attorney made those issues a cornerstone of his defense strategy. A grandmother in her 50s, the woman said Holtzclaw pulled her car over, ordered her into the backseat of his squad car, and stood over her as he demanded oral sex.

Both families said they were happy to be here. “This is a wonderful night, where we get to show not just a planeload of new Canadians what Canada is all about, we get to show the world how to open our hearts and welcome in people who are fleeing extraordinarily difficult situations,” Trudeau said earlier to staff and volunteers who were waiting to process the refugees. CHICAGO (AP) — Protesters who have been calling for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s resignation also have another target: a much-criticized, quasi-independent agency that was created to investigate complaints against police officers but has rarely ruled against them. The poll was taken before he called for a ban on Muslims coming into the United States and does not reflect the furor that has turned some leading Republican figures, at least, against him. “I wouldn’t give him a 10 on the compassionate scale,” said poll respondent Lisa Barker, 55, of Worcester, Massachusetts, an unaffiliated voter who says she’s all in for Trump. “I’d probably put him in the middle. Holtzclaw was convicted of one of two charges related to a woman who testified he gave her a ride home, then followed her into her bedroom where he forced himself on her and raped her, telling her, “This is better than county jail.” That woman testified in orange scrubs and handcuffs because she had been jailed on drug charges hours before appearing in court.

In the outrage that erupted over the video showing an officer fatally shooting Laquan McDonald, Emanuel sacked his police chief and set up a task force to recommend changes. Former IPRA investigator and supervisor Lorenzo Davis said he was fired this year after refusing to reverse his finding in one fatal police shooting that it was not justified. The idea behind IPRA when it was set up in 2007 was for the agency to be wholly independent of police and the mayor’s office as a way to weed out bad officers, but that never actually happened, Davis’ lawyer, Torreya Hamilton, said Thursday.

The flight from Jordan arrived just before midnight carrying the first of two large groups of Syrian refugees to arrive in the country by government aircraft. Prosecutors alleged that he stopped women on the pretense of checking them for outstanding warrants or drug-related items, then forced them to perform sexual acts. The first family was Kevork Jamkossian, a gynecologist from Aleppo, his wife Georgina Zires, a lab technician, and their 16-month-old daughter Madeleine. “We really would like to thank you for all this hospitality and the warm welcome,” the father said to Trudeau through an interpreter. “We felt ourselves at home.” SEOUL, South Korea — Samsung’s hopes of ending years of acrimony over whether its computer chip factories caused cancer have hit a hitch: some sickened workers and their families say they’ll never accept its highly conditional offer of financial assistance.

In blunt and, at times, profanity-laced answers to a voluntary survey conducted by the Rand Corp., more than 7,600 of America’s special operations forces spoke with nearly one voice. As recently as the middle of last year, it seemed the South Korean consumer electronics giant was ready to come to terms with critics of its workplace safety.

Allowing women to serve in Navy SEAL, Army Delta or other commando units could hurt their effectiveness and lower the standards, and it may drive men away from the dangerous posts. While still not conceding a link between the chemicals used in its semiconductor factories and cancer, it apologized and promised financial help for sick workers.

Prater said he wanted a jury that was a “good cross-section of our community,” but defense attorneys eliminated every potential black juror during the selection process. “I don’t care what they look like, where they go to church, what god they worship, or how much money they make,” he said. “We stand up for people in this community.” The plight of former workers was also attracting media scrutiny in Europe and in the U.S., both important markets for Samsung’s smartphones and other products. In his efforts to work around Congress, Obama has made the aggressive use of executive power, particularly on immigration, an increasingly effective and politically accepted presidential tool. While legal scholars are divided on whether Obama has accelerated or merely continued a drift of power toward the executive branch, there’s little debate that he’s paved a path for his successor. At issue is Samsung’s rejection of the mediator’s recommendations that an independent organization be established to oversee compensation and monitor safety and preventive measures at its factories.

Depending on who that is, many Obama backers could rue the day they cheered his “pen-and-phone” campaign to get past Republican opposition in Congress. Although Turley represents House Republicans in a challenge to Obama’s health care law, he says he agrees with the policies Obama has enacted in some other actions. “Unfortunately I think the bill will come due for many Democrats,” Turley said. “In a future administration, they will hear the same arguments played back to them as they watch a different president go after a different set of priorities.” NEW YORK (AP) — Hillary Clinton says her husband wouldn’t be much use picking out flower arrangements for the White House, but if she’s elected president, he would come in handy as a host and adviser. “I’ll ask him about the economy, what we should do with dealing with a lot of difficult people in the world,” Clinton said on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” in a segment taped Thursday. Now, the gay poet has made a years-long dream come true — he is visiting Israel, Iran’s archenemy and a country known for its tolerance toward gays. But the 30-year-old Feili stands out not only because of his arrival in a country so at odds with his own, but because of his professed adoration for the state some Iranian leaders have dubbed a cancer and have called to be wiped off the map. “I still can’t believe I am here,” the soft-spoken Feili said in Farsi, speaking through his translator and the friend who brought him to Israel, Adi Liberman. Feili, who has written nine books, many of them openly discussing homosexuality, escaped to Turkey last year when the Iranian regime’s threats against him and his family became unbearable.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines Register columnist Randy Peterson suffered what the newspaper said was a broken leg when Iowa State fans stormed the court after a win over Iowa. Former Register reporter Rick Brown, whom the paper reported was with Peterson at a Des Moines hospital, said Peterson’s tibia and fibia were fractured. ZWICKAU, Germany — Christmas carols sound in the medieval square, and the scents of hot spiced wine, anise cookies and beeswax candles waft through the air at Zwickau’s traditional Christmas market.

The four children of the Habashieh family, Syrian refugees, wander from stand to stand, looking with big eyes at all the mouthwatering delicacies — filled with joy that they will be spending their first German Christmas in the warmth of their own home. Only weeks ago, Khawla Kareem, the matriarch, was so desperate about life in Germany that she said she would rather brave the bombs in Damascus than spend another day in a cramped shelter with no privacy, no school for her children and fear of racist attacks. Today, she couldn’t be happier: Following months in a succession of squalid asylum centers, German authorities found them an empty apartment where they could live with modest dignity. The Muslim family has joined in the Christmas spirit of their neighbors, decorating the door of their flat with glittery red bells and tree branches in green and gold. “We’re fully integrated now,” Reem Habashieh, the family’s oldest daughter, says with a twinkle in her eye.

Freeney stripped the ball from Teddy Bridgewater with 5 seconds remaining to deprive the Vikings a chance at the tying field goal, and the Cardinals clinched a playoff berth with a 23-20 victory over Minnesota. Her little sister Raghad, 11, even has a toy Christmas calendar like most German kids, where each date is a door that opens to reveal chocolate in the countdown to Christmas eve.

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