It's been just over five years since the death of Eric Garner as he was being arrested for selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. This month, the New York Police Department (NYPD) fired the officer who placed him in a chokehold as he and fellow NYPD officers held him on the ground. Garner's exclamation, "I can't breathe" became a rallying cry for people across the country protesting excessive force by law enforcement officers.
With all of the talk of impending raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are making sure that people who may be the targets of these raids know their rights if ICE agents show up at their door. However, how many people know their rights if any law enforcement officer comes to their home?
The future of the 109-year-old Boy Scouts of America (BSA) organization may be in jeopardy. The uptick in sexual assault lawsuits against them in recent years may be to blame for its ultimate demise.
The mayor of Pomona, N.Y. along with the Village and the Village Trustees have been sued in a Federal Civil Rights lawsuit filed in White Plains. The suit alleges that the defendants violated the civil rights of the plaintiff, former Pomona Village clerk Lisa Thorsen, by having her arrested. The arrest was based on a three-year-old bogus allegation that Thorsen stole postage from the village postal meter without permission.
Proposed rule changes would provide greater rights to students in New York or elsewhere who are accused of sexual assault. During the Obama administration, schools were encouraged to use a preponderance of evidence standard in such cases. This means that a person could be found guilty of sexual assault by a school if it seemed more likely than not that it occurred. The changes proposed by Betsy DeVos would allow schools to choose their own standard of proof.
Wrongful convictions in New York are sometimes overturned by the introduction of new DNA evidence not previously available. Anywhere between 3 and 5 percent of serious crimes like murder results in exoneration when new evidence comes to the light. Lesser crimes like aggravated assault and drug possession rarely get overturned due to wrongful convictions.