Broward Mayor Calls For Additional BSO Firings

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Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen is once again calling for the firing of a Broward Sheriff Deputy who is seen on video punching a man who is handcuffed to a hospital bed. 

“There has to be a zero-tolerance policy for abuse and brutality.  This is the second time in less than a week, where videotape shows a BSO deputy abusing his power,” said Bogen. “I am asking the State Attorney’s Office to open a criminal investigation into this as well.”

The video shows BSO Deputy Jorge Sobrino punching suspect David O’Connell, who had been arrested and taken to North Broward Medical Center for observation before being taken to jail. O’Connell has one arm handcuffed to the hospital bed.  The incident occurred in January.

The video was recorded by Officer Sobrino’s body camera and comes just days after the beating of 15-year-old Delucca “Lucca” Rolle, which was videotaped and has gone viral on social media.  That video shows Rolle being pepper sprayed, thrown to the ground and beaten by BSO deputies.

“I was the first to call for the firing of one of the officers involved in the beating of a Delucca Rolle, who put up no resistance.  I want the same to happen here.  I’m asking for the Sheriff to take immediate action.”

Broward Appointed Sheriff, embarrasses himself in front of Tamarac Commissioners

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Tony didn’t want to hear complaints, telling commissioners he was working on the investigation.
“I will not stand here as if I’m suspect to anything,” he said. “I will not be lectured to.”
If this had been at Coral Springs Commission meeting and the teen was a kid from Parkland, the deputies would already be fired 

City spokeswoman Elise Boston said the “city manager will need to review the [sheriff’s] contract and move forward accordingly.”
Cellphone video — which spread nationwide on social media — shows deputies spraying Rolle, throwing him to the ground and banging his head into the pavement at a McDonald’s near the school.




Three deputies are visible in the video, although the Sheriff’s Office said at least four were present. The agency wouldn’t say how many deputies responded to the scene.

Two officers were suspended Tuesday as the agency conducts an internal investigation. A third deputy handcuffed the teen but did not hit him, according to the Sheriff’s Office. A fourth deputy was listed as the arresting officer, but the Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that he was not.

Representatives Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Frederica Wilson (D-FL) released the following joint statement on the conduct of two Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputies last Thursday in Tamarac, FL:
 
“We are outraged by the appearance of unprofessional conduct of the two Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputies last Thursday in Tamarac. Rather than deescalating the situation, the deputies appear to have dramatically overreacted with a disproportionate use of force – pepper-spraying a non-violent student, tackling and forcing his neck to the ground, and repeatedly striking his head on the pavement. 
 
"At a time when unarmed black children are being beaten and killed at an alarming rate by law enforcement in this country, we appreciate that Sheriff Gregory Tony is conducting a thorough investigation, but we also urge him to be fully transparent and to take appropriate action to reassess the Office’s crisis response training and techniques, so that this type of incident does not occur in our community in the future.” 

A peaceful rally is planned for Saturday afternoon at Hampton Pines Park in North Lauderdale, with attendees encouraged to wear red. The gathering is scheduled for 3 to 5 p.m. at 7800 Hampton Blvd.

See Sen Gary Farmer's Letter to Appointed Sheriff Tony



Source SunSentinal 

The real story of the 2018 midterms

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For decades of elections, the "youth" vote was like the city of Atlantis. It promised untold (political) riches if only you could find it.

And like Atlantis, no one could. Sure, Barack Obama galvanized young people in 2008 and, to a lesser extent, 2012. But that felt like a personality-driven movement, as young people viewed Obama as their generation's John F. Kennedy. Without another Obama waiting in the wings, it was hard to see young people being so involved again.

All of which makes what happened in the 2018 midterm election so interesting. According to data published today by the Census Bureau, the prime driver of the record turnout in last November's election was voters aged 18-29.

"Among 18- to 29-year-olds, voter turnout went from 20% in 2014 to 36% in 2018, the largest percentage point increase for any age group — a 79% jump," wrote Census's Jordan Misra.

79%!

That mattered -- hugely -- because of how overwhelmingly young voters backed Democratic House candidates.  Voters under 30 voted 67%-35% for Democratic candidates over Republican ones, according to 2018 exit polling. That was, by far, the biggest gap -- for either party -- among any age group.

(Interesting sidebar: For all of the talk of the surge of female voters in 2018, turnout increased roughly similarly from 2014 to 2018 among women, 12%, and men -- 11%).

On its face, that should worry Republicans. A Pew poll released earlier this year showed that millennials and Gen Z members are significantly more liberal -- across the board -- than members of older generations.  Seven in 10 members of Gen Z (those born after 1996) believe government should do more to solve people's problems; 64% of millennials said the same. More than 6 in 10 in both generations said the increasing ethnic and racial diversity in the country is good for society.

The Point: What motivated such a big youth turnout in 2018? Our guess is Donald Trump. Who, yes, will be on the ballot again next November.




Source CNN

Sen. Gary Farmer wants Answers From Appointed Sheriff Tony

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Appointed Sheriff Tony

It may take some time, but we will be transparent,” the sheriff said. “And if folks need to be held accountable, it shall be done.”
The Broward Sheriff’s Office released documents that identified two of the deputies involved — Krickovich and Sgt. Greg LaCerra. The agency said Krickovich was placed on restricted assignment pending an investigation. As of Monday, LaCerra’s position with the agency remained unchanged, the agency said. But Bell, the union president, disputed that, saying he had also been placed on restricted duty.
Bell said, “It’s very disappointing that [Tony’s] crumbling now that he’s feeling a little political pressure. We’re taught to do one thing and now he’s turned his back on his deputies.”
The prosecutor who oversees the juvenile division in the Broward State Attorney’s Office, Maria Schneider, said no decisions had been made on whether the boy in the video would face formal charges. He was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer. A judge reduced it to simple battery.
“We are evaluating all aspects of the incident, and we will take appropriate action when we are done,” she said via email Monday evening.
Defense attorney Richard Della Fera, who represented the boy in court last week, said the child did nothing wrong and the video was “the equalizer” that proved it.
“Everything [the deputies’] describe in this incident is refuted by this video,” Della Fera said. “I don’t know what they’re going to say this kid did aggressively. He took an aggravated stance with his fists clenched? Well, that didn’t happen.”
And throwing the boy to the ground after he was pepper-sprayed point blank in the face was way out of hand, he said.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel isn’t naming the 15-year-old boy because he’s a minor facing misdemeanor offenses.
Classmates of the boy, a Taravella freshman who lives in North Lauderdale, said they are still stinging from last week’s viral encounter with the Sheriff’s Office.
On Monday, a half-dozen sheriff’s squad cars and motorcycles were parked at the McDonald’s across the street from the high school in Tamarac. It’s where kids hang out and grab a bite after school. It’s also the spot where Thursday’s melee erupted.
After deputies arrested the first boy, the 15-year-old boy stepped forward to pick up his classmate’s phone on the ground, said John Brown, 16, a sophomore from Coral Springs, whose still feeling “sad and angry” about what he witnessed.
“That’s when things got bad,” said another witness, Keylani Canton, 19, a senior from Tamarac.
The kids were expecting two separate fights to break out, she said. That’s when the deputies tried to stave off problems, she said, by taking aim and challenging: “who wants to get pepper-sprayed?”
Most of the kids cleared out amid the threat of being pepper-sprayed, but one teen wound up in handcuffs, students said. When the teen went after his friend’s phone, he wound up part of the mess, students said.
Krikovich, in a report, said he was “dealing with” another boy who he had face down on the ground when the boy’s phone slid away.
“I observed a teen wearing a red tank top reach down and attempt to grab the male student’s phone,” Krickovich wrote.
That’s when, according to Krikovich’s account, the teen “took an aggressive stance” toward LaCerra “and began clenching his fists.”
That claim is not supported by the cellphone footage that captured the beating, according to Della Fera, students and others.
Canton said the teen in the video questioned the two deputies on top of him, asking “why did you push me” before one of them smacked his forehead into the ground.
“I was cursing [the deputy] out,” Canton said. “I was mad, upset. That’s not the way you treat a child.”
“Everyone was screaming: He’s bleeding! Stop!” said Lee Castro, a 15-year-old freshman from North Lauderdale. “Why would they do that to him? Even when they found the kid from Douglas [the shooter who killed 17 people in Parkland] they didn’t hit him.”
“They did not have to hit him like that,” Castro said.
Castro and Canton took a stand Monday by wearing red to school. Castro sported a red polo. Canton donned a red dress. The boy who was beaten had worn a red shirt.
Several students wore shades of red on Monday, Canton said, in solidarity with the 15-year-old boy and in silent protest of his treatment.
He’s “a chill, funny person,” Castro said.
“He has a mouth,” but he’s not a troublemaker, she said.
A peaceful rally is planned for Saturday afternoon at Hampton Pines Park in North Lauderdale, with attendees encouraged to wear red. The gathering is scheduled for 3 to 5 p.m. at 7800 Hampton Blvd.



Source: SunSentinel 

Betsy DeVos was confronted with her department’s charter school fraud


The report, from Network for Public Education Executive Director Carol Burris, found that up to $1 billion awarded by the federal government’s Charter Schools Program (CSP) went to charter schools that never opened or opened for only brief periods before being shut down for mismanagement, poor performance, lack of enrollment, and fraud. Our calculation was that a least a third of the $4.1 billion spent by the CSP was wasted.

A peaceful rally was held Saturday afternoon at Hampton Pines Park to stop BSO from beating children



"I want justice to be served and do the right thing because that is my child," said Clintina Rolle, Delucca Rolle's mother. "Put those that done wrong behind bars."
Delucca Rolle is the teen who was seen on cellphone video last week being pepper-sprayed, thrown to the ground and then punched and beaten by Broward sheriff's deputies before he was arrested.
While the state attorney later dropped the charges filed against the teen, the violent actions of the deputies involved have gained local and national attention.
Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen spoke at the rally and is pushing a zero-tolerance policy to be implemented at the Sheriff's Office for actions of abuse and brutality caused by law enforcement officers.
"Until these officers are held accountable by being fired and being criminally prosecuted, I will not rest," Bogen said.



Representatives Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Frederica Wilson (D-FL) released the following joint statement on the conduct of two Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputies last Thursday in Tamarac, FL:

“We are outraged by the appearance of unprofessional conduct of the two Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputies last Thursday in Tamarac. Rather than deescalating the situation, the deputies appear to have dramatically overreacted with disproportionate use of force – pepper-spraying a non-violent student, tackling and forcing his neck to the ground, and repeatedly striking his head on the pavement. 

"At a time when unarmed black children are being beaten and killed at an alarming rate by law enforcement in this country, we appreciate that Sheriff Gregory Tony is conducting a thorough investigation, but we also urge him to be fully transparent and to take appropriate action to reassess the Office’s crisis response training and techniques, so that this type of incident does not occur in our community in the future.” 
A peaceful rally was held Saturday afternoon at Hampton Pines Park in North Lauderdale, with attendees encouraged to wear red. The gathering is scheduled for 3 to 5 p.m. at 7800 Hampton Blvd.


Chairman Deutch Statement on Yemen War Powers Resolution Sent to President's Desk


(Washington) Just now, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate-passed resolution (S.J.Res. 7) directing the President to withdraw all United States Armed Forces from the conflict in Yemen unless authorized by Congress. This follows House passage of the companion legislation (H.J.Res. 37) on February 13, 2019.

House passage of S.J.Res. 7 sends the resolution to President Trump's desk. Following the passage of S.J.Res. 7, Chairman Deutch issued this statement:

"The United States plays an essential role in the security and stability of the Middle East, including by supporting our regional allies and partners against malign actors and terrorist groups. However, the United States Congress cannot sit idly by as the conflict devolves into a horrific humanitarian disaster, leaving millions of civilians on the brink of starvation and in need of even the most basic supplies. As I've said, we cannot allow our nation's resources to contribute to or be complicit in the suffering of innocent civilians.

"This resolution represents bipartisan, bicameral consensus that it is our Constitutional duty, as a co-equal branch of government, to intervene when we disapprove of the Administration's foreign policy, particularly when military action is pursued without Congressional consent. It is our duty as the representatives of the American people to rein in the Executive Branch when its actions harm our national interests and betray our American values.

"I urge the President to accept this bipartisan message from Congress and work with us on a more comprehensive Middle East strategy that addresses the security needs of the United States and our regional partners while still respecting our values."

Click here to read Chairman Deutch's statement following the passage of H.J.Res. 37 on February 13, 2019.