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Friday, 30 December 2011

Christmas massacre

It's only natural that throughout our lives certain encounters, experiences automatically trigger certain memories. Looking around at all that's presently going on in Chattanooga brings back certain memories, personal experiences, conversations with family members etc., many unpleasant ones.

I'm reminded of another quote by Maya Angelou who once said, "People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did (to them), but (good or bad) people will never forget how you made them feel."

There are problems in Chattanooga, perhaps with its youth. The question, however, should be who, what and why might be behind triggering those problems? Now, the original story of the "Christmas massacre" as Mr. Roy has called it, and the the original cause presented by members of Chattanooga's "finest" police department turns out to be a tad or even heavily exaggerated. Purposely. It looks that way. Even the exaggeration of a situation still makes it a lie. Makes the exaggerators less trust worthy.

My dad wasn't a very educated man, but he was wise beyond some of your most educated scholars. When someone would come to us and tell us something that just didn't sit right, he'd always tell us, "Shhhsh! chi'le, sit back and wait for the truth." The truth, may have taken some time, but the truth always prevailed.

The truth, as it turns out, was there were no rival gangs shooting it up with one another. The truth is no one really knows for sure where the shots came from. If they don't know where the shots came from, then they don't know who fired the shots. If they don't know who they can't say for sure if the shots were gang related, or someone(s) (even a law-abiding, upstanding pillar of the community licensed gun owner) trying to trigger a situation where gang would be blamed.

What we do know is there are elements in the city making every attempt to take the city back to a time and period where certain areas of the city were exclusive and others weren't allowed, unless they worked in the area. Even then they had to be out by sundown. Hence, the term sundowning was coined.

For personal reason, I don't trust some members of the CPD to be upfront and honest about these situation any further than I could throw them. In fact, from personal experience, it wouldn't be at all surprising if to learn some of the more roguish sides of the department are either directly or indirectly behind many of these disturbances and outbreaks of violence. I won't go into how it works here, but I've personally experienced it in action.

Yet as our young men and women of all colors, religions, nationalities, gender and class have fought and died together in conflicts and wars around the world, some continue to play these silly games at attempts to segregate the masses in America again. Which triggered a memory of a story my oldest brothers once related to me about an experience that left a profound effect on him while serving his first tour of duty in Vietnam and a brief encounter with General Westmoreland.

His experience, in his own words: "When I first went to Viet Nam, I was assigned to B Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. Our base camp was in An Kie, South Viet Nam. During the latter part of Dec 1965, our entire division went on Operation White Horse, which was one of the largest military operations in the Central Highlands in Bong Song Viet Nam. The native Vietnamese people in that area had not seen an American since possibly when American Advisors were over there when the French was there. Well to make a long story short, In January 1966, my unit came under heavy attack from the North Vietnamese Regular Army. Those (North Vietnamese) knew how to fight a battle. Although my unit suffered heavy casualties, who were killed in or wounded in action. But our unit out fought the North Vietnamese unit, by inflicting heavy casualties. We fought so well until General Westmoreland, who was the top American military commander in Soputh Viet Nam, personally came out to our field location to view the damages we had inflicted on the North Vietnamese unit. He went around to greet and shake the hands of some of the soldiers in our unit. I was one of the soldiers. I put my hand out to shake his hand and (he) passed me by as though I was not standing there. And I said to myself (Screw HIM). True story."

All I can say is, if these people want to make downtown exclusive for only a select class and, yes, ethnicity or race, then screw 'em. Let'em have it. Uplift yourselves. Reach out to your young. Help them to master the skills, knowledge and power needed to sustain themselves and where they live. But whatever you do, don't seek to isolate yourselves in the way these others are attempting. Don't make your accomplishments exclusive for only a select few.

It isn't that people can't forget the past, but the past never really became the past in America. The past continues to rear its ugly head in various ways. Today the past is rearing its ugliness in the form of shouting gangs when the truth might be more sinister.

Salford Murder: Family Of Anuj Bidve Learn Of His Murder On Facebook


Police have admitted that the family of an Indian student murdered in Salford on Boxing Day found out about his death on Facebook. Anuj Bidve, 23, was shot in the head at point-blank range as he walked with friends near their hotel in the Ordsall district of Salford early on December 26. His murder is being treated by detectives as a hate crime which may have been racially motivated. Anuj's father Subhash has complained that he heard about his son's death via Facebook rather than an official channel. He told Sky News: "It has been very, very difficult to understand why no authorities - from the British government, police or anyone - could give this news to me." Greater Manchester Police confirmed that "sadly that was the case" and apologised for not breaking the news in person. The family found out about the student's death on Facebook Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley, who has overall command for the operation, said: "That is not the way anyone should have to find out something so devastating and we completely understand how upset the family are." She explained that a family liaison officer had been trying to contact the family to inform them when a post was put up on the website. "Social networking is instantaneous and we have no control over when and what people post on such sites, but no-one should hear such tragic news in this way," she said. ACC Copley stressed that two officers have since been in regular contact with the family and are working on bringing them to Manchester as soon as possible. On the release of the student's body, she said: "We understand how important this is for the family and we are working closely with the coroner to ensure the family can bring Anuj's body home as soon as possible. "The body cannot be released at this stage of the investigation but we are doing everything we can to respect the family's wish." She continued: "I want to reassure the family that staff across the whole of Greater Manchester Police are working on this investigation night and day to bring those responsible for Anuj's murder to justice." That is not the way anyone should have to find out something so devastating and we completely understand how upset the family are. Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley A 19-year-old man and a 20-year-old man are still in custody as investigations continue but police have released three other teenagers, two aged 17 and one 16, pending further inquiries. Detectives are now offering a £50,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of the person responsible for the killing. The murder weapon, believed to be a small handgun, has yet to be found. Forensic and ballistics investigations are being carried out and police are trawling through CCTV along with house-to-house inquiries. According to a Facebook page set up in Mr Bidve's memory, he "was killed for not answering a simple question: 'What's the time?"'. REWARD OFFERED ON SALFORD MURDER Police have said they are treating the murder as a hate crime, although at this stage they are unsure whether it was racially motivated. The student, who arrived in the UK in September and had been studying at Lancaster University, had been with a large group of friends on a Christmas visit to Manchester. They were walking from their hotel early on Boxing Day when they became aware of two men on the other side of the street. The gunman then walked across the road, spoke briefly to Mr Bidve and then shot him at close range in the side of the head. He then ran back across the street before the pair fled. Armed response units were sent to the scene but Mr Bidve died in hospital a short time later.

Murder squad detectives today offered a £50,000 reward for information as they investigated the "horrific" murder of an Indian student blasted to death on Boxing Day.


Anuj Bidve, 23, was shot in the head at point-blank range as he walked with friends near their hotel in the inner-city Ordsall district of the city, in the early hours of December 26.

The murder of the Indian student is being treated by detectives at Greater Manchester Police (GMP) as a "hate crime" which may have been racially motivated.

Today senior officers from the force announced the cash reward and said they hoped it would help get the killer gunman caught as soon as possible.

Det Chief Supt Mary Doyle, leading the murder inquiry, said: "It is an extremely unusual, savage and motiveless attack, an absolutely horrific crime, which is why we are taking the step of issuing it (the reward) a bit earlier than we normally would.

"We absolutely understand the need to take whoever is responsible for this off the streets.

"That's the reason we are issuing it now at such an early stage."

Often rewards are offered by the police weeks or months after the crime.

Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley, from GMP, speaking at a news conference at the force HQ in Manchester, said: "We are going to issue a reward here and now, for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Anuj's murder.

"That reward is £50,000.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Two alleged associates of the Hells Angels have been charged after a police officer was put in a headlock and punched several times

Two alleged associates of the Hells Angels have been charged after a police officer was put in a headlock and punched several times in front of a Kelowna nightclub Tuesday.

Shortly after 2 a.m. two uniformed Kelowna RCMP members were on patrol when they saw a fight break out between several men on Leon Avenue. When they moved in to arrest the main aggressor, one of the officers was jumped from behind and attacked.

The officer who was punched ended up with swelling and bruising.

Kelowna RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Ann Morrison was unable to say what caused the fight.

“I can confirm we are having difficulty receiving cooperation from the parties involved,” she said.

Kelowna’s Pedro Amestica, 39, was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. He does not have a criminal record and police say he is a known associate of the Mission City chapter of the Hells Angels.

Thomas Volker, a 37-year-old from Mission, is charged with assaulting a police officer. He has a criminal record and police say he is a member of the Mission City Hells Angels.

Both men have appeared before a justice of the peace and have been released from custody. Their next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 12 in Kelowna

Suspect in Juárez consulate killings extradited


An alleged prison gang member wanted in connection with the killing of a U.S. consulate employee, her husband and another employee's spouse has been extradited to the United States, Mexican authorities have announced. Joel Abraham Caudillo was handed over to FBI agents Dec. 20 in Veracruz at the same time that Julian “El Piolin” Zapata Espinoza, wanted in the February killing of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata, was extradited. Mexican authorities announced Caudillo's extradition this week. He's one of 35 people charged in a drug conspiracy case that alleges that the Barrio Azteca prison gang, working with the Juárez Cartel, engaged in drug trafficking and murder on both sides of the Rio Grande. Officials say that gang members in Ciudad Juárez on March 13, 2010, killed U.S. consulate employee Leslie Ann Enriquez Catton; her husband, Arthur Redelf, an El Paso County jailer; and Jorge Alberto Salcido Ceniceros, the husband of a consulate employee. Caudillo is accused of destroying one of the vehicles used in Ceniceros' killing. Extraditions in the case have been done surreptitiously during holidays. Near Labor Day weekend in 2010, Jesus Ernesto “El Camello” Chávez Castillo, a suspect in the killings, was brought to San Antonio for a closed court hearing. Court records in his case remain sealed.

all is quiet on Calgary’s gang front.


With no killings between FOB and FK in nearly three years and the biggest case of them all — the 2009 triple murder at Bolsa Restaurant — resulting in at least two convictions, it would be tempting to assume all is quiet on Calgary’s gang front. That assumption would be wrong. As detailed in a recent article, no small amount of effort goes into monitoring the gang members who aren’t either dead or in jail to prevent any further violence. However, we live in a society that values quantifiable results: while it’s easy to tally the number of bad guys who have been arrested, the amount of drugs seized or illegal guns taken off the street, it’s much harder to measure how many murders police may have prevented. It has happened, however, and only continued pressure will keep the violence in check. But that’s not the only unfinished business for Calgary police: there are at least 20 homicides connected to the gang war which remain unsolved — investigations police have been able to devote more time to, thanks to the relatively low number of homicides recorded in Calgary during 2011. Prior to the Bolsa massacre, when innocent restaurant patron Keni Su’a was slaughtered trying to flee the eatery, it was common for Calgarians to be indifferent to the death toll as long as gangsters kept killing each other. Bolsa exposed the fundamental flaw in that indifference: allow criminals with little regard for human life to run loose and it’s only a matter of time before an innocent is hurt or killed. The public may not be clamouring for police to solve the murders of 20 people who were either gangsters or people who made the poor choice of hanging out with criminals, but Bolsa demonstrated why all Calgarians have a vested interest in getting their killers off the street. For homicide investigators, an unsolved case is a case that needs solving — no matter if the victim was a criminal himself. “We are looking at cold case homicides, and included in that is, of course, are all the organized crime ones,” Staff Sgt. Grant Miller of the homicide unit said recently. “We’re motivated to solve them.” We live in a country where the rule of law is supreme, and it dictates justice must be available to all — justice that’s meted out in a courtroom, not at the end of the barrel of a gun.

3 people wounded in drive-by shooting on Hudson


Three people are being treated at local hospitals after a drive-by shooting on Hudson Avenue this afternoon. According to Rochester police Capt. Peter Leach, officers responded to Hudson Avenue near Weeger Street at 4:20 p.m. for a report of people shot. Upon arrival, they found three people shot outside of a grocery store. Leach said the shots were fired by people driving by in a gray minivan. After the shootings, the minivan drove away on Weeger Street and struck another vehicle, at which point the van’s occupants got out and ran away. Leach said the victims were a 28-year-old Greece woman, a 23-year-old city man and a 25-year-old city man. All the victims’ injuries are believed to be non-life-threatening, he said. The woman is being treated at Strong Memorial Hospital; the men at Rochester General Hospital, he said. Police are searching for the suspects.

Snakes on a plane (almost) in Argentina


Snakes on a plane (almost) in Argentina Authorities in Argentina caught a man trying to board a plane with almost 250 poisonous snakes and endangered reptiles.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

San Jose police say a man who allegedly shot a fellow Hells Angel at an October funeral for the club's president has recently resurfaced after weeks of hiding

San Jose police say a man who allegedly shot a fellow Hells Angel at an October funeral for the club's president has recently resurfaced after weeks of hiding and are asking for the public's help in locating him.

Police have been searching for Steve Ruiz, 38, since the Oct. 15, when authorities said he got into a fight with Steve Tausun, 52, at the Oak Hill Cemetery during a funeral for Jeff Pettigrew, president of the San Jose Hells Angels chapter.

Police said Pettigrew was shot and killed Sept. 23 by Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, an alleged member of the rival Vagos motorcycle gang, at John Ascuaga's Nugget casino in Sparks, Nev. Gonzalez, 53, of San Jose was arrested by a UCSF police officer in San Francisco six days later.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Sarah Haley told ABC15 she left for California over the weekend. She received a call on December 17 that her home had been burglarized.

Sarah Haley told ABC15 she left for California over the weekend. She received a call on December 17 that her home had been burglarized. When she returned, she said the crooks had taken her motorcycle, clothes, electronics and even food from her refrigerator.

"Every cupboard was opened, every drawer was opened and overturned," Haley said.

The burglars apparently broke in through the front door of her home, near 35th and Southern avenues.

"They had a great time cleaning out my house," Haley said.

While she is out an estimated $22,000 in stolen items, it's what the burglars left for her that's left a lingering fear. On a mirror near her front door, she said the crooks used a marker and drew a gang sign along with a message, which read 'We'll be back soon, honey, love you."

"It's almost scary enough to need to move out of your house," she said.

Haley said she has since bought a security door, alarm system and weapons, and is left to hope the criminals are caught.

"This has been almost harder than anything I've had to deal with in my life," she said.

Authorities are investigating the incident. If you have any information, you are urged to call Phoenix police.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Police in Jamaica say three people including a woman eight months pregnant have been shot to death in the Caribbean island’s southern region.

Senior Police Superintendent Anthony Castell says unidentified gunmen broke into a house in Spanish Town before dawn Thursday and opened fire. It is unclear if the three victims were related.

No motive has been given, although some legislators speculate the killings were politically motivated.

On Sunday, two buses carrying supporters of the governing Jamaica Labor Party were shot up in the Spanish town area. One man was seriously wounded.

Monday, 12 December 2011

China has executed a South African woman for drug smuggling

China has executed a South African woman for drug smuggling, after rejecting appeals by the South African government to spare her life.

Janice Linden was convicted in 2009 of attempting to smuggle three kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in luggage through an airport in the southern city of Guangzhou. She later argued her innocence, saying the drugs had been planted in her suitcase.

South African news reports say several government appeals had been lodged with Beijing to have Linden's death sentence commuted to life in prison. Those reports say Linden, 35, only learned a few hours before her execution that her final appeal had failed.

The French news agency quotes Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin as saying that Chinese law had been followed in the case.

The execution is the second death sentence imposed by China on a foreigner in recent days.

Last week, a 35-year-old Filipino man convicted of drug smuggling was put to death after a court in Guangxi province rejected an appeal from Philippine President Benigno Aquino to commute the death sentence to life in prison.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Gunman walking down the middle of Vine Street near Sunset Boulevard, firing at least nine shots into the air and at passing cars

A 26-year-old man walked down the middle of a street in Hollywood, firing on passing cars with no clear target until police shot and killed him, authorities said. A passing driver was injured.

Investigators are trying to determine a motive for the attack, which some people thought was part of a movie.

"This is Hollywood, and they do film stuff all the time," Greg Watkins, who was walking along the street yesterday when the shooting began, told the Los Angeles Times. "I honestly thought they were filming something."

There were amateur cameras on the man, who in video clips had short hair and wore jeans and a white tank top as he paced back and forth near the busy intersection.

Chris Johns captured video of the gunman from his apartment window several stories above the street, and tried to distract and divert the gunman from shooting anyone on the street.

"Hey why don't you come up here! Come up here buddy!" Johns yelled.

Johns told KABC-TV he saw a plainclothes officer shoot the man.

"I started shouting out to the officer, saying 'take him out, that's the guy!"' Johns said.

The gunman was pronounced dead at the scene, Los Angeles police Officer Cleon Joseph said. No officers were hurt.

The area was cordoned off and the gunman lay under a white sheet in the street hours after the gunfire, leaving traffic tangled on busy Hollywood streets, an area packed with stores and restaurants.

The 40-year-old male driver of a Mercedes-Benz was wounded in his upper body and taken to a hospital in unknown condition. A truck and another car were struck by bullets.

Oscar Herrera, a witness, said he saw the gunman walking down the middle of Vine Street near Sunset Boulevard, firing at least nine shots into the air and at passing cars.

"People were running all over," Herrera told KABC. "People was ducking."

The gunman eventually ran out of ammunition and pulled a knife before a policeman fired at him four or five times, Herrera said.

He was a 26-year-old from Los Angeles, police spokeswoman Norma Eisenman said. Police said they aren't immediately releasing his name at his family's request until other family members could be contacted.

Dave Pepper told KCAL-TV that he was in his car when the gunman came at him.

"This guy came running across the street and he put the gun right up to this window," Pepper said as he sat in the car. "Why he didn't pull the trigger I don't know."

United States Air Force secretly used a landfill site to dispose of the incinerated remains of hundreds of troops killed in action during the War on Terror

United States Air Force secretly used a landfill site to dispose of the incinerated remains of hundreds of troops killed in action during the War on Terror, it has been revealed.

Figures made public yesterday show that partial remains of 274 fallen men and women were sent to a site in King George county, Virginia, between 2004 and 2008. Their families, who had given permission for the remains to be disposed of in a "dignified" manner, were never told of the practice.

The scale of the scandal, in The Washington Post a month ago, is far larger than previously thought. In addition to 976 identified body fragments, Pentagon records show that a further 1,762 unidentified battlefield remains, too badly damaged to be subjected to DNA analysis, also ended up in the landfill.

Officials say they have no plans to contact families of the troops to inform them of the fate of their loved ones. They say that establishing the identities of the affected men and women would be too expensive and time-consuming.

A letter from the Pentagon to Rush Holt, a Democratic congressman investigating the affair for a constituent whose husband was killed in Iraq, argues that determining whose remains went to landfill, "would require a massive effort" and involve examining the records of roughly 6,300 troops.

"What the hell?" Mr Holt responded in the Post. "We spent millions, tens of millions, to find any trace of soldiers killed, and they're concerned about a 'massive' effort to go back and pull out the files and find out how many soldiers were disrespected this way? They just don't want to ask questions or look very hard."A month ago, federal investigators published a highly critical report uncovering "gross mismanagement" of the morgue at Dover air base, the main port of entry for the bodies of fallen American soldiers returning to the US.

It found that body parts were left in freezers for months or even years. In one incident, the disfigured arm of a dead marine was removed with a hacksaw, without permission from his parents, so that he could fit into a coffin.

Whistleblowers who tried to bring attention to shoddy practices at the morgue were ignored or threatened with dismissal. The "pattern of failure" identified in the report extended to body parts of individual soldiers falling out of plastic bags, and getting mixed in with the remains of others. In a letter to a war widow uncovered by the Post, the mortuary director Trevor Dean said the practice had been common since at least 1996, when he started there.

That the scandal never came to public attention sooner is perhaps a natural by-product of efforts by successive Presidents to keep Dover air base from public scrutiny. During the first Gulf War, George HW Bush banned news coverage of the return of fallen troops there. The ban was continued by his son during the second Gulf War, and lifted by the Obama administration in 2009.


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