News Round-Up: April 15, 2021

Nick Vallejo
Nick Vallejo
Nick Vallejo (image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

Outsports: A gay surfer started an OnlyFans page to feel sexy, and apparently it’s working. Nick Vallejo (above) finds inner-peace in the ocean and confidence in front of the camera.

Pink News: Arizona Republicans have passed an anti-LGBT+ bill that would allow parents to stop their kids from learning about queer people. The bill would also prohibit schools from providing sex-ed classes which include information about AIDS and HIV without parent’s permission.

Instagram: Ivanka Trump celebrated getting her coronavirus vaccine shot on social media, and Republicans lost their minds leaving ugly comments. I’m still surprised they oppose the vaccines so much considering their lord and savior the Donald says he created them with his own two, itty-bitty hands.

New York Times: While it is rare for the police to mistake their sidearms for their stun guns, it is even rarer for charges to be brought against them in such cases. A Times review of 15 other cases of so-called weapon confusion showed that only five of the officers were indicted. Just three received guilty verdicts.

WIS News10: Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott confirms Sergeant First Class Jonathan Pentland had been arrested and charged with third-degree assault and battery after viral video footage showed him assaulting a young Black man on a public sidewalk. The charge carries a maximum penalty of a $500 fine or 30 days in jail.

The Hill: A Minnesota man was arrested Wednesday for assault after he allegedly drove away while a police officer’s arm was trapped in his truck window. An officer was standing on the truck’s running board when Oeltjenbruns is accused of rolling up the window on his arm. The suspect then allegedly drove away at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, leaving the officer hanging off the vehicle. Note: the accused was neither tased nor shot.

Officer Charged With 2nd Degree Manslaughter In Shooting Of Unarmed Black Man

Kim Potter, who shot and killed Duante Wright, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter
Kim Potter, who shot and killed Daunte Wright, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter
L-R Kim Potter, Daunte Wright

CBS News reports that Kim Potter, the former Brooklyn Center police officer who shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright, will be charged with second-degree manslaughter.

Potter, a 26-year veteran who killed Wright, 20, resigned on Tuesday, along with the city’s police chief, officials said.

Wright’s killing has sparked nights of protests and more than 60 arrests were made overnight following clashes with law enforcement, CBS Minnesota reported.

On Monday, Police Chief Tim Gannon said Potter meant to use her Taser but instead grabbed her gun. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the fatal shooting.

Potter was reportedly taken into custody this morning at 11:30 a.m.

The charge of second-degree manslaughter has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Many have questioned how a 26-year veteran police officer could confuse a gun and a taser which, according to reports, feel, look, and weigh very differently.

“Tasers are often produced in bright colors, or with neon accents, to distinguish them from pistols,” reports the New York Times. “The Brooklyn Center Police Department manual cites the Glock 17, 19 and 26 as standard-issue for the department. All three pistol models weigh significantly more than a typical Taser.”

Police Officer & Chief Both Resign After Deadly Shooting Of Unarmed Black Man

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott
Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter, the officer who shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright, resigned from her position Tuesday, effective immediately.

The police chief, Tim Gannon, also tendered his resignation.

From the local NBC News affiliate KARE11:

In a letter to Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott, Acting City Manager Reggie Edwards and Police Chief Tim Gannon, Potter wrote:

“I am tendering my resignation from the Brooklyn Center Police Department immediately. I have loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability, but I believe it is in the best interest of the community, the department and my fellow officers if I resign immediately.”

Elliott said the city did not ask Potter to resign, and that it was a decision she made herself. The mayor said he hasn’t officially accepted Potter’s resignation, and that the city is completing its internal process “to make sure we’re being accountable to the step that we need to take.”

Elliott would not comment on whether Gannon gave a reasoning behind his resignation.

Kim Potter, who shot and killed a 20-year-old Black man, resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Dept
No word on if Potter will be arrested for the homicide of Daunte Wright any time soon.

It also came to light today that none of the 49 members of the Brooklyn Center Police Department live in Brooklyn Center.

Police On Latest Killing Of Black Man: Officer Meant To Fire Taser, Not Gun

An 18-year-old man in Jamaica is in critical condition after being ambushed in a fake dating app hookup where he was robbed, had his penis partially severed and set on fire.

Stock photo of a crime scene

In the aftermath of a Black man being fatally shot on Sunday during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb, the police chief told reporters the officer meant to fire a Taser – not her handgun.

I kid you not.

From APNews:

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting death Sunday of 20-year-old Daunte Wright as “an accidental discharge.” It happened as police were trying to arrest Wright on an outstanding warrant.

The shooting sparked violent protests in a metropolitan area already on edge because of the trial of the first of four police officers charged in George Floyd’s death.

“I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” the officer is heard shouting on her body cam footage released at a news conference. She draws her weapon after the man breaks free from police outside his car and gets back behind the wheel.

After firing a single shot from her handgun, the car speeds away, and the officer is heard saying, “Holy (expletive)! I shot him.”

Read the full article.

On The Anniversary Of The Shooting Death Of Breonna Taylor

Breonna Taylor
Breonna Taylor
Breonna Taylor

It was exactly one year ago today that an innocent young Black woman lost her life in a late-night police raid gone wrong as police gunfire rained through her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky.

From the New York Times:

For months, her death went largely unrecognized. Once more people took notice, though, the city was shaken to its core. Protests rocked the downtown area during the summer and fall as demonstrators demanded justice through tears and megaphones and erected a memorial in a prominent square. They prayed together and sang together, chanting, “Say her name!”

Breonna Taylor became a rallying cry, and when no officers were charged in connection with her death, which occurred during a botched drug raid, protesters returned to the streets. Activists are optimistic that the first anniversary of her death, on Saturday, will further fuel a promising surge of civic engagement, particularly from Black residents.

“What happened to Breonna Taylor has shaped every aspect of our lives,” said Charles Booker, a former state representative for Louisville. “Her door being kicked in was our door being kicked in. It really has transformed everything.”

For those who aren’t aware, the police got a tip Taylor’s apartment was being used to traffic drugs. They got the address wrong.

According to reports, the police burst through the door in the middle of the night under the use of what’s known as a ‘no-knock warrant’ which means they didn’t announce who they were before entering. Taylor was shot dead in her bed.

Over the course of a year, none of the officers who fired into the apartment that night has been charged for the death of Taylor.
Read the full article.

Breonna Taylor Grand Jury Member: We Weren’t Given Opportunity To Consider Homicide Charges

Deceased ER tech Breonna Taylor (AFP/Getty Images/Fair Use)

A ruling from a Kentucky judge has allowed an anonymous grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case to come forward and speak publicly about court proceedings.

The juror shares the grand jury was never given an option to even consider homicide charges regarding the police officers who shot Taylor bed in the middle of the night.

From ABC News:

“Being one of the jurors on the Breonna Taylor case was a learning experience. The three weeks of service leading up to that presentation showed how the grand jury normally operates. The Breonna Taylor case was quite different.

“After hearing the Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s press conference, and with my duty as a grand juror being over, my duty as a citizen compelled action,” the statement said. “The grand jury did not have homicide offenses explained to them. The grand jury never heard anything about those laws. Self defense or justification was never explained either.”

They said “questions were asked about additional charges,” but the grand jury was told there would be none because the prosecutors didn’t feel they could make them stick.

“The grand jury was not given the opportunity to deliberate on those charges and deliberated only on what was presented to them. I cannot speak for other jurors but I can help the truth be told.”