The alleged butchers have become the prey.Three of the suspects in the horrific killing of Bronx teen Lesandro (Junior) Guzman-Feliz have been isolated in a 50-unit cell block at Rikers Island as Correction Department officials try to hustle them and their accomplices out of the city for their own safety, law enforcement sources said Tuesday.“All movement in the jails stop when they move around, and we follow with a camera,” a law enforcement source told the Daily News. “The department is scared to death and is doing everything they can to keep them safe.”So far, eight suspected Trinitarios gang members have been arraigned in connection with 15-year-old Lesandro’s June 20 slaying, and two more await their first appearance before a judge in the case. All 10 are charged with murder.The Correction Department has tried to move all of the alleged killers to jurisdictions outside the city to protect them from death threats, but only two were accepted by Suffolk County officials, one source said.Three of the alleged killers — Jose Muniz, 21, Danel Fernandez, 21, and Antonio Hernandez-Santiago, 24 — are at the George R. Vierno Center on Rikers Island. Sources say they’re being held in separate cells in the same 50-unit wing — and the other 47 cells are empty.Elias Husamudeen, the head of the correction officers union, said that the trio is essentially being housed in “punitive segregation” — even though the city ended the practice of putting inmates 21 years old and under in punitive segregation in 2016.“It reaffirms the argument we’ve been making for years. The most effective tool we have in protecting both correction officers and inmates from other inmates is punitive segregation,” he said. “Secondly, this is yet another perfect illustration of the mayor’s hypocrisy — condemning the use of punitive segregation and claiming in his words, ‘it’s not the answer,’ while actually utilizing the very same tool when it fits his political needs.”Lesandro, a member of the NYPD Explorers program who dreamed of becoming a police detective, was dragged out of a Fordham Heights bodega and butchered by members of the Trinitarios, who confused him for another teen, according to authorities and Facebook apologies allegedly sent by the killers.The killing was captured in shocking detail on security and cell phone video footage.Two more suspects, Jose Tavarez, 21, and Jonaiki Martinez-Estrella, 24, are being held at the Manhattan Detention Complex, while Manuel Rivera, 18, is held at the Robert N. Davoren Complex on Rikers.Elvin Garcia, 23, and Kevin Alvarez, 19, were moved to Riverhead Correctional Facility on Long Island, state records show.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KSFY) – The Trump Administration rolled back an Obama-era mandate on Friday, that allows women access to free birth control under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).The rollback creates two rules — allowing employers to opt out of insurance coverage for religious or moral objections.”Fifty-five million women benefit from this mandate and they could stand to lose their freebirth control,” said Samantha Spawn, executive director for NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota. “The pill ranges anywhere from $5 to $55 per month. The most effective form of contraceptive is an IUD (inter-uterine device) and without insurance that can run about a thousand dollars.”The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) says the new rules, “will not affect over 99.9 percent of the 165 million women in the United States.” HHS added that the exemptions will likely only have an impact about 200 employers that have filed lawsuits based on religious or moral objections.”The President believes freedom to practice one’s faith is a fundamental in this country,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, on Friday.And so do South Dakota’s lawmakers.Rep. Kristi Noem issued this statement to KSFY:“The Obama administration spent the last eight years chipping away at our religious liberties. I am thrilled to see President Trump uphold our constitutional rights and give family-owned businesses the freedom to live out their moral and religious beliefs.”Spokespersons for Senators Rounds and Thune said both of them also agree with the President’s decision.But advocates disagree.”Religious liberties should never be used as a license to discriminate, which is what is being done,” said Spawn.
Share or comment on this article:
Senators Cory Booker, Tim Scott and Kamala Harris introduced a bill that would make lynching a federal hate crime. A similar bill has been introduced in the House.From left: Bryan Anselm for The New York Times; Al Drago for The New York Times; Stephen Crowley/The New York TimesThe United States Senate’s three black members introduced a bill on Friday that would make lynching a federal hate crime.The move came more than two weeks after a similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives. Nearly 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in Congress from 1882 to 1986. None were approved.“This sends a very powerful message,” said Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey, who introduced the Senate bill along with Kamala Harris, Democrat of California, and Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican. “Literally thousands of African-Americans were being lynched throughout history, and the Senate never stepped up to pass any legislation to stop this heinous, despicable behavior.”Under the bill, lynching would be punishable by a sentence of up to life in prison. The measure would not preclude murder charges that can already be brought under existing law.Representative Leonidas Dyer of Missouri sponsored an anti-lynching bill that was thwarted by Southern Democrats in the 1920s.Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives“In the course of a crime there can be multiple charges,” Mr. Booker said in a phone interview. “This bill will make lynching another charge on top of murder.”Sixteen other senators, including Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont; Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat; and Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, have signed on as co-sponsors. The bill also has the support of the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky.“I thought we did that many years ago,” Mr. McConnell said this month in an interview on Sirius XM. “I hadn’t thought about it, I thought that was done back during L.B.J. or some period like that,” he said.“If we need one at the federal level, I certainly will support it,” he said.The bill comes nearly 100 years after Leonidas Dyer, a United States representative from Missouri, introduced anti-lynching legislation. In 2005 the Senate agreed to apologize to the victims and the descendants of the victims of lynching, for its failure to enact anti-lynching legislation.“The Senate’s apology, while laudable, stills falls short of the mark,” Ms. Harris said in a statement. “It is time for the Senate and the House finally to take up and pass this legislation, and end this stain on American history.”A memorial for victims of lynching in Montgomery, Ala.Andrea Morales for The New York TimesMore than 4,000 people were lynched in the United States from 1882 to 1968, according to the three senators who introduced the bill. The documented killings have been recorded as having occurred in all but four states.Earlier this month, Representative Bobby Rush, Democrat of Illinois, introduced a bill in the House that would make lynching a federal hate crime. Thirty-five other members of the Congressional Black Caucus co-sponsored it.“While many may argue that lynching has been relegated to history, you only need to look at the events in Charlottesville last year to be reminded that the racist and hateful sentiments that spurred these abhorrent crimes are still prevalent in today’s American society,” Mr. Rush said while introducing the bill.The only memorial in the United States for lynching victims opened in April, in Montgomery, Ala.The memorial, officially called the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, is dedicated to the victims of white supremacy. It features a walkway with 800 worn steel columns that hang from the roof. The names of the different counties and the people who were lynched in those counties are engraved on the columns. Some of the reasons for the lynchings are also engraved on the columns.“This bill,” Mr. Booker said of the Senate measure, “finally rights a wrong that should have been done a long time ago.”
Share or comment on this article:
House Financial Services Committee ranking member Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., asks a question of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, during a hearing June 27, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jacquelyn Martin / AP)
Rep. Maxine Waters, whose call for public protests of Trump administration officials has triggered a debate over civility in politics, said Thursday that she has canceled events in Texas and Alabama this weekend after a “very serious death threat” was made against her.
In a statement reported by CNN, the California Democrat said that after President Donald Trump took aim at her Monday on Twitter, “even more individuals are leaving threatening messages and sending hostile mail to my office.”
“There was one very serious death threat made against me on Monday from an individual in Texas which is why my planned speaking engagements in Texas and Alabama were cancelled this weekend,” Waters said in the statement.
A Waters spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.
Waters had been scheduled to speak Saturday morning at the annual legislative conference of the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women in Birmingham, Alabama. The organization’s president, Karen Camper, told the Alabama news website AL.com that Waters had canceled her appearance because of security concerns.
The details of Waters’ Texas event were not immediately known.
Waters has been rebuked by Republicans and Democrats after calling at a Los Angeles rally last weekend for demonstrators to harass Trump’s Cabinet officials wherever they go amid an escalating debate over immigration policy.
Taking to Twitter, Trump fired back by calling Waters “an extraordinarily low IQ person” and warning her to “be careful what you wish for.”
According to CNN, Waters said in the statement that Capitol Police are investigating several other threats in which people have vowed “to shoot, lynch, or cause me serious bodily harm.”
Eva Malecki, a Capitol Police spokeswoman, said the department does not comment on ongoing investigations.
The news comes on the same day that a gunman opened fire in the offices of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, killing five people and gravely injuring several others.
On his radio show Thursday afternoon, Fox News host Sean Hannity appeared to suggest that Waters was partly responsible for the shooting.
“I’ve been saying now for days that something horrible was going to happen because of the rhetoric,” he said. “Really, Maxine?”
Share or comment on this article:
James Rynerson didn’t so much escape from jail as walk out freely due to a mistake.
But his wife wouldn’t let him become a fugitive.
Mesa County Sheriff’s Office
As the Daily Sentinel reports, the 38-year-old from Mesa County, Colorado was in jail, awaiting trial on charges of trespass, disorderly conduct, and menacing. For a short time, Rynerson shared a cell with a man named Marvin March, who was due to be released on May 21.
March was moved out of their cell before his release date. However, the jail’s housing list wasn’t updated before the release date arrived. So when jailers arrived to tell March he was able to leave, the only person they found was Rynerson.
Rynerson didn’t correct the guards who assumed he must be March and gave him March’s clothing and debit card. Rynerson signed March’s name on the release forms, and no one at the jail thought to check Rynerson’s ID wristband against the name on the forms.
That’s how Rynerson found himself unexpectedly free on the evening of May 21. So he did what most men would do in his situation … he went home to see his wife.
Rynerson’s wife was surprised to discover the husband she thought was still in jail standing in the garage at her apartment complex. He explained that he had been accidentally released after being mistaken for someone else. But if he expected her to let him stay, he was in for a surprise.
Meanwhile, the staff at the Mesa County jail discovered the mistake when the real March asked a deputy when he was going to be released.
Rynerson’s wife told her husband that he had to go back. And she even drove him back to the jail herself. According to the Daily Signal, the subsequent court records stated:
[Rynerson’s wife] told Inmate Rynerson he needed to turn himself in after he informed her he had been released under another person’s name,. [She] convinced Inmate Rynerson to go back, and personally drove him back to the Mesa County Detention Facility.
Two hours after he walked out of jail, Rynerson was back. Rynerson’s wife later returned March’s jacket and debit card to Mesa County deputies, as her husband had left them at her house before returning to jail.
The Mesa County Sheriff’s office is investigating the series of mistakes that led to Rynerson’s release. They say that the failure to check Rynerson’s photo and wristband against March’s release papers was a violation of policy.
Sgt. Henry Stoffel praised Rynerson’s wife for persuading him to return to jail. He told the Daily Signal:
“We appreciate that she recognized his error and recommended that he turn himself in before it became something more significant.”
Rynerson’s two-hour jailbreak has resulted in a series of additional charges, including escape, criminal impersonation, forgery, and theft.
Share or comment on this article:
ALBANY — Not leaving it to divine chance, the state Catholic Conference has turned in recent years to some of Albany’s most well-connected and influential lobby firms to help block a bill that would make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice.
The Catholic Conference, headed by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, has used Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, Patricia Lynch & Associates, Hank Sheinkopf, and Mark Behan Communications to lobby against the Child Victims Act as well as for or against other measures.
All told, the conference spent more than $2.1 million on lobbying from 2007 through the end of 2015, state records show. That does not include the conference’s own internal lobbying team.
Filings show the lobbyists were retained, in part, to work on issues associated with “statute of limitations” and “timelines for commencing certain civil actions related to sex offenses.” Other issues included parochial school funding and investment tax credits.
“They are willing to spend limitless money in order to basically keep bad guys from being accountable for their actions,” said Melanie Blow, chief operations officer of the Stop Abuse Campaign. “I think they’re doing it because they don’t want to have to pay out settlements.”
Added Kathryn Robb, an advocate and survivor who says she was abused by her brother as a 9-year-old: “If they need to spend that much money on lobbying, clearly, then, they have some pretty big secrets to hide.”
While a far cry from the millions in lobbying top special interests spend in Albany each year, advocates for child sex abuse survivors say the $2.1 million spent likely represents a worthwhile investment to the Catholic Conference if it can continue to block legislation that would eliminate the statute of limitations on child sex abuse civil cases and open a one-year window to bring lawsuits for victims who can no longer sue under current law.
The Catholic Conference has argued that opening a one-year window to revive old cases could ultimately bankrupt the Church.
The firms the Catholic Conference chose is also telling.
Wilson Elser has long been Albany’s biggest lobbying firm. The firm represented the Catholic Conference from at least 2007 through the end of 2015 and was paid more than $1 million during that time, according to online filings with the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics.
After several key people either left the firm or reduced their responsibilities, the Church did not renew the contract with Wilson Elser for 2016, sources said.
Wilson Elser, which was being paid $10,000 a month by the Catholic Conference, had no comment.
In its place, state records show, the Catholic Conference hired another prominent firm, Greenberg Traurig, which it is paying $6,000-a-month. The lobbyist from the firm representing the Church is Michael Murphy, who used to be an assistant counsel for the Senate Republicans.
The Senate GOP opposes the one-year “lookback” window that Democrats are calling for.
The Catholic Church, some Orthodox Jewish groups, and other private entities oppose legislation by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Queens) and Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) that would eliminate the time limit that prohibits adults who were victimized as children from bringing civil cases after their 23rd birthdays.
Another top firm, Patricia Lynch & Associates, whose namesake had close ties to now disgraced Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, was hired by the Catholic Conference in 2009. Lynch’s firm for many years was ranked in the top 3 of well-paid lobbyists.
Lynch’s hiring by the Catholic Conference came after the Assembly passed different versions of the Child Victims Act four times from 2006 to 2008. The measure never came up again for a vote after Lynch was hired.
Kathryn Robb, who was abused as a child, said the Catholic Conference is hiding something if it has to spend big money on lobby firms. (Jefferson Siegel/New York Daily News)
“Once Ms. Lynch lobbied for the Catholic Conference, Mr. Silver’s support for our bill ended, and the bill did not come out of the Assembly’s Codes Committee … which as speaker, he controlled,” John Aretakis, a former lawyer and an advocate for victims of clergy sex abuse, wrote in a scathing letter recently to a judge handling Silver’s recent criminal sentencing.
State lobbying records show the firm’s contract with the Catholic Conference was terminated earlier this year, not long after Lynch was outed in court papers as having had an affair with Silver.
Silver was sentenced earlier this month to 12 years in prison after his conviction on federal corruption charges.
Lynch, whose firm was being paid $7,500-a-month, would only say her contract with the Catholic Conference was ended by “mutual consent.”
Sheinkopf, meanwhile, has had close ties with Gov. Cuomo, the former leadership of the Senate Democrats when they were in control of the chamber, and even the Senate Republicans.
Like the others who were hired by the Catholic Conference, he would not discuss the specifics about what he does for the $5,000-a-month he is being paid.
“They like me,” he said. “They think I’m smart.”
In an email, Catholic Conference spokesman Dennis Poust wouldn’t comment directly on his organization’s lobbying efforts. He also would not comment on the reasoning behind why specific lobbying firms were chosen.
“The Catholic Conference lobbies on many issues, from assisted suicide to farm worker rights to school choice to criminal justice reform,” Poust said.
He said the conference’s lobbying activity is in full compliance with the law and is reported, as required, to the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics.