Cleveland car chase ended with 2 dead, 137 shots fired — and the 2 dead apparently unarmed!

A night-time car chase in Cleveland that ended on a schoolyard where more than 100 shots were fired at the suspect’s vehicle appeared to be over when an officer opened fire again, a prosecutor said in announcing charges against the patrolman and five police supervisors.

Cleveland patrol officer Michael Brelo stood on the hood of the suspect’s car and fired at least 15 shots through the windshield – five fatal – at the two unarmed people inside, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty said Friday.

McGinty cited a US supreme court ruling this week that said police can’t fire on suspects after a public safety threat has ended. He said the other officers on the scene had stopped firing after the November 2012 chase ended.

“This was now a stop-and-shoot – no longer a chase-and-shoot,” McGinty said in announcing two counts of manslaughter against Brelo. “The law does not allow for a stop-and-shoot.”

Driver Timothy Russell was shot 23 times. Passenger Malissa Williams was shot 24 times. No gun was found on them or in their vehicle. The chase had begun when an officer thought he heard a gunshot from a car speeding by the police and courts complex, jumped into his patrol car and radioed for help. Police don’t know why Russell didn’t stop.

Brelo fired a total of 49 shots. In all, 137 shots were fired at the schoolyard, authorities say. None of the other 12 officers who fired shots were indicted, McGinty said Friday. Five supervisors were charged with dereliction of duty for failing to control the chase.

The killings have been decried as a racially motivated execution – both victims were black – and are part of a wide-ranging federal investigation, including into the police department’s use of deadly force and its pursuit policies.

Lots more details if you want to RTFA. This all happened a year-and-a-half ago. Legal wheels always grind slowest when cops and racism are involved. The copper who jumped on the hood of the halted car and fired at least 15 times through the windshield deserves whatever may be the maximum sentence for manslaughter with a firearm – in Ohio. He has been indicted on two counts of manslaughter.

Do I think racism was part of the equation? In what country did this take place? Racism is as American as baseball and apple pie.

Massive volcano eruption in Indonesia grounds flights in Australia


Click to enlargeSofyan Efendi

A huge volcanic eruption in Indonesia has covered the region in a vast cloud of ash, grounding flights in Australia and south east Asia.

Sangeang Api, a volcano off the Indonesian island of Sumbawa, which lies in one of the most active areas of the Pacific ‘ring of fire’, has erupted at least three times since Friday…

Dramatic images show smoke, ash and debris shooting into the sky, while a flying saucer shaped current of gas wraps around the plumes.

All flights have been cancelled from Darwin airport, Australia’s Northern Territory capital, and disruption is expected for days as the cloud could reach as far south as Brisbane.

The ash cloud from the first eruption is around 20,000 and 50,000 feet high and around 15 km wide, according to reports. It is moving south-easterly over Australia. A second, now over Darwin is sitting at around 45,000 feet, while a third is over Bali.

Wow!

Turning back the destruction of Louisiana’s coastline


General Honoré replacing Bush’s flunky – turning around the Hurricane Katrina rescue effort

After decades of watching our state being ravaged to support the nation’s oil and gas addiction, the people of Louisiana have had enough.

Last summer, an independent government authority responsible for flood protection for the New Orleans area sued more than 90 oil and gas companies for damaging coastal marshes that protect the city.

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East didn’t specify the damages it sought. But the cost of rebuilding and protecting the state’s coastal marshlands has been estimated at roughly $50 billion.

Now those industries and their political allies here in the state capital are trying to kill this legal challenge by passing a law that would restrict the authority’s power to sue over violations of state coastal permits. Proponents have said it would provide defendants with grounds to seek the lawsuit’s dismissal.

This isn’t the first effort to kill this lawsuit. More than a dozen bills have been introduced in the State Legislature since March to effectively do so. All but one has stalled. A final effort to restrict the authority’s power to sue these industries is expected to come Thursday before the State House of Representatives, where it has the support of the Republican governor, Bobby Jindal, and legislative allies of oil and gas. The bill has already passed the Senate. The House needs to defeat the bill.

That won’t assure us that the oil and gas industries will fix the damage they’ve caused to our coast over decades. But it will give the citizens of Louisiana their day in court to stand up and say, “We’ve had enough.”

The fertile marshes, tidal flats and barrier islands of coastal Louisiana are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. These coastal lands provide essential habitat to migratory and native waterfowl. They are home to shrimp, crabs and oysters that feed the nation. They are the nursery for the rich bounty of marine life in the Gulf of Mexico and the source of tens of thousands of jobs.

To the people of metropolitan New Orleans and south Louisiana, these coastal lands are also something much more: the first line of defense against the single greatest threat we face — catastrophic flooding because of hurricanes. But these lands have been vanishing before our eyes.

Republican governor Bobby Jindal and the other pimps for Big Oil from both parties in the Louisiana Legislature did what they were paid to do. They voted YES for the bill preserving oil companies, gas companies, chemical plants from being sued for the damage they do to the state of Louisiana wetlands with their pipelines and canals.

General Russel Honoré’s Green Army has been effectively blocked by a Fifth Column of political gangsters who are owned lock, stock and barrel by the gas and oil extractive industries of Louisiana. The corrupt thugs in the statehouse pass a retroactive law to protect their moneyboys from a law suit already in process and considered apt and appropriate by the courts of that state.

Time for that Green Army to march to the polls, General.

Thanks, Mike

Offer vegetables early, often, to toddlers and healthy eating becomes a habit


Broccoli is still my favorite – steamed then sauteed in olive oil and garlic

Children can learn to eat new vegetables if they are introduced regularly before the age of two, suggests a University of Leeds study.

Even fussy eaters can be encouraged to eat more greens if they are offered them five to 10 times, it found.

The research team gave artichoke puree to 332 children aged between four and 38 months from the UK, France and Denmark…One in five cleared their plates while 40% learned to like artichoke.

The study also dispelled the popular myth that vegetable tastes need to be masked in order for children to eat them…During the study, each child was given between five and 10 servings of at least 100g of artichoke puree…The puree was either served straight, or sweetened with added sugar, or vegetable oil was mixed into the puree to add energy.

The researchers found there was little difference in the amount eaten over time between those who were fed the basic puree and those who had the sweetened one, suggesting that making vegetables sweeter does not encourage children to eat more…

Overall, they did find that younger children ate more artichoke than older children in the study…Prof Marion Hetherington, study author from the Institute of Psychological Sciences at Leeds, said this was because children become picky and wary at a certain age.

“If they are under two they will eat new vegetables because they tend to be willing and open to new experiences…After 24 months, children become reluctant to try new things and start to reject foods – even those they previously liked…”

Prof Hetherington said her research, which is published in the journal PLOS ONE and funded by the EU, offered some valuable guidance to parents who want to encourage healthy diets in their children.

“If you want to encourage your children to eat vegetables, make sure you start early and often…Even if your child is fussy or does not like veggies, our study shows that five to 10 exposures will do the trick.”

There’s part of the skill. Parents have to know better before they can teach their children to eat better, healthier diets. Cripes, just reading this reminds me of what my mom did. She tried my sister and me on a range of green veggies and – in addition to traditional Italian salads – she simply let us choose which of the several veg she offered during those earliest years – as long as we chose one or more to be our own.

It meant she always was left with preparing twice as many choices for a meal – because damned if my sister and I would choose the same thing. We wouldn’t even pick the same ice cream for a treat walking home from our Friday night treat at the neighborhood movie house.