Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Declassified documents reveal Telecoms complicit in government spying

Perhaps in an effort to get out in front of more revelations from former private security contractor employee and whistle blower Edward Snowden, the US government has declassified documents that not one single telecommunications company objected to turning over bulk customer records. According to USA Today, “A newly declassified opinion from the government's secret surveillance court says no company that has received an order to turn over bulk telephone records has challenged the directive.” Ironically, this was the opinion of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Judge Claire Eagan, whom was awarded the 2012 Constitution Day Award by Rogers State University.

New information has emerged in the case of Charlotte Police Officer Randall Kerrick who was charged with manslaughter for the shooting death of unarmed 24 yr-old Jonathan Ferrell. Attorney Chris Chestnut who represents the Ferrell family has viewed dash cam video and the picture he painted was not favorable to Officer Kerrick. Chestnut said Ferrell walked toward officers when he came into view, which seems to contradict reports that the young man “charged” officers. It seems that Ferrell started to back away and run from the officers when two of officers pointed tasers at him from about 20 feet away. By that time, Officer Randall Kerrick, the shooter, was behind Ferrell therefore when he started to run, he was running towards Kerrick. Chestnut says that their were no commands from Officers to Ferrell “to stop, freeze, stop or I’ll shoot,” until after he was shot 10 times by Kerrick at which point officers then yell “‘Get on the ground, get on the ground”. The attorney also said that the video showed that made no threatening comments were made toward officers by Ferrell and “It was clearly apparent he had no weapons, He never reached” for his waistband while running or anyplace a weapon could be concealed”. As we reported yesterday, an attorney for Officer Randall Kerrick, Michael Greene said Kerrick’s decision to shoot was legal but could not be reached by the Charlotte Observer to comment on the video.

In local news, a Greenville entertainment venue will be changing its name from The BI-LO Center to Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The contract to name the entertainment complex after the nonprofit hospital system will come at a cost of $4.5 million for ten years.

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