Thursday, September 21, 2023
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
The only way to help these people is to let them experience the consequences of their actions. "Saving" addicts who OD simply enables more and more ODs.
Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Saturday, September 2, 2023
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
Theodore McCarrick, age 93, ruled not competent to stand trial on teen sexual abuse charges in Massachusetts
DEDHAM, Mass. (AP) — A judge ruled Wednesday that a 93-year-old former Roman Catholic cardinal is not competent to stand trial after both prosecutors and defense attorneys determined he suffers from dementia, and dismissed charges he sexually assaulted a teenage boy in Massachusetts decades ago.
Theodore McCarrick, the ex-archbishop of Washington, D.C., was defrocked by Pope Francis in 2019 after an internal Vatican investigation determined he sexually molested adults as well as children. The case created a credibility crisis for the church, as the Vatican had reports from authoritative cardinals dating to 1999 that McCarrick’s behavior was problematic, yet he became an influential cardinal, kingmaker and emissary of the Holy See’s “soft diplomacy.”
The Wisconsin Department of Justice also charged McCarrick in April with sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man in Wisconsin in 1977. Prosecutors said McCarrick groped the victim while they were both staying as guests at a residence on Geneva Lake. The case remains open.
During Wednesday’s hearing in Massachusetts, a psychologist hired by the prosecution said she found significant deficits in McCarrick’s memory during two interviews in June, and he was often unable to recall what they had discussed from one hour to the next. Dr. Kerry Nelligan said she administered a number of tests on two occasions in June. As with any form of dementia, she said there are no medications that could improve the symptoms.
“It’s not just that he currently has these deficits,” Nelligan said. “There is no way they are going to get better.”
Without being able to remember discussions, he could not participate with his lawyers in his defense, she said.
McCarrick appeared via a video link during the hearing. He was slightly slumped in his chair wearing a light green shirt and what appeared to be a grey sweater vest or sweater around his shoulders. He did not speak during the hearing.
The once-powerful American prelate faced charges that he abused the teenage boy at a wedding reception at Wellesley College in 1974.
McCarrick has maintained that he is innocent, and pleaded not guilty in September 2021.
In February, McCarrick’s attorneys asked the court to dismiss the case, saying a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine had examined him and concluded that he has dementia, likely Alzheimer’s disease.
At that time, lawyers said McCarrick had a “limited understanding” of the criminal proceedings against him.
McCarrick, who lives in Dittmer, Missouri, was charged with three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14. He was not exempt from facing charges for abuse allegations that date back decades because the statute of limitations clock was paused once he left Massachusetts.
Mitchell Garabedian, a well-known lawyer for clergy sexual abuse victims who is representing the man accusing McCarrick, said in June that his client was discouraged by the prosecution expert’s findings.
“In spite of the criminal court’s decision today,” Garabedian said following Wednesday’s hearing, “many clergy sexual abuse victims feel as though former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is and will always be the permanent personification of evil within the Catholic Church.”
The Associated Press generally does not identify people who report sexual assault unless they agree to be named publicly, which the victim in this case has not done.
The accuser told authorities during a 2021 interview that McCarrick was close to the man’s family when he was growing up. Prosecutors say McCarrick would attend family gatherings and travel on vacations with them and that the victim referred to the priest as “Uncle Ted.”
Prosecutors say McCarrick abused him over several years including when the boy, who was then 16, was at his brother’s wedding reception at Wellesley College. The man said McCarrick also sexually assaulted him in a coat room after they returned to the reception.
Prosecutors say McCarrick told the boy to say the “Hail Mary” and “Our Father” prayers before leaving the room.
Monday, August 28, 2023
Friday, August 18, 2023
The emergency director should be prosecuted for killing over 100 people, maybe as many as 1,000. This is a crime against humanity. His arrogance is disgusting and criminal.
Wednesday, August 16, 2023
Monday, August 14, 2023
Sunday, August 13, 2023
Who pays for this? Not the EV makers. You and I do. Our taxes finance the fire departments. When an EV explodes, kills its occupants, and burns for hours and hours, the EV makers just whistle and walk away. Essentially, they are saying, "I will shit in your face. Then you must wipe my ass."
An Applebee's manager has been fired following Kenosha officer's forceful arrest of Black man wrongly thought to be a suspect
The former Applebee's manager who was in charge the evening a Kenosha police officer was seen on video striking a Black man mistakenly believed to be a hit-and-run suspect has been fired.
Jennifer Harris, who said she worked at the restaurant for more than 10 years, told the Journal Sentinel she believes she was wrongly fired. She added that she was disturbed by the police officers' conduct during the incident.
Her attorney William Sulton said he will pursue all "legal remedies" if Applebee's doesn't restore Harris' employment.
"I put a lot of heart and passion into that job and that company," Harris said. "I feel like I've been done wrong, instead of getting support from my employer for handling the situation."
The incident took place July 20 at the Applebee's off Highway 50 in Kenosha.
Video posted to social media shows a Black man from Illinois holding a baby and being forcefully taken into custody, although he had nothing to do with the crash that happened moments before the arrest. Police would later find the people believed to be responsible for the hit-and-run in the bathroom of the restaurant.
Harris said she asked human resources on July 21 if she needed to fill out any forms or incident reports and was told no. But when the video became widely available to the public on Aug. 4, Harris was told she and her employees needed to provide statements.
Three days later, Harris said she was informed she was fired and that the company said it was her fault that employees shared videos of the incident to social media.
An email to an Applebee's HR representative was not immediately returned on Saturday.
Ex-manager describes disturbing incident, police respond
According to Harris, Kenosha police arrived at Applebee's shortly after 11 p.m. and asked a server if anyone entered the restaurant matching the description given by witnesses at the crash — two Black males and a Black female holding a baby.
The server said they didn't see anyone enter with that description, and Kenosha police departed the restaurant, according to Harris.
However, the server then shared with Harris that she noticed a Black couple with a baby eating dinner and asked Harris if she thought they were who police were looking for. Out of an abundance of concern for the baby, Harris said she made the decision to call police back to the restaurant.
When police returned, they approached the Black diners — Jermelle English Jr. and Shanya Boyd — and began questioning the couple after being the only diners left in the restaurant, Harris said.
Harris said surveillance video later showed the suspects from the hit-and-run entering through a side door while no employees were present, then entering the bathroom.
Harris said police asked the couple to show which car they arrived in, to which English responded that he had nothing to do with the crash. He then picked up his baby and proceeded to walk away from the officers, she said.
"(English) was like 'I'm here eating with my family. We've been here. It can't be us that you're looking for so excuse me, I need to go change my son's diaper,'" Harris said.
According to Harris, police insisted that English was not free to leave. Harris said English then asked the officers if he was being arrested, to which officers said no, but said that he was being detained until he answered the officers' questions. English responded that he had already answered the questions by stating he had nothing to do with the crash, Harris said.
English then continued to walk away as an officer followed him, she said.
"(English) kind of started running," Harris said. "Then they ran after him and they slammed him into the wall with the baby in his arms."
Harris added: "The baby hit his head on the wall. And then another cop tackles him so now there's two cops tackling him on the ground with a child still in his arms."
Leo Viola, spokesperson with the Kenosha Police Department, said the officers had legal authority to detain English and restrain him while they conducted their investigation.
Viola denied the ex-manager's claim about the infant hitting his head on the wall. He said a paramedic checked and found that the baby was unharmed.
As the scuffle ensued, Harris said employees immediately started asking for cooler heads to prevail.
On the video, an officer is then seen repeatedly striking English, to which employees ask the officer to stop.
Throughout the frenzy, Harris said she assumed the role of taking care of the child when she noticed the baby was starting to hyperventilate. Harris said she was informed by officers that they had accidentally deployed pepper spray.
Harris said an officer then incorrectly stated that the department was called to the restaurant because English and Boyd were fighting.
"We never said anything about fighting," Harris said. "So at that point, once we started telling the cops they're lying and (asking) why are they lying, they then threatened to arrest all of us."
In response, Viola acknowledged that pepper spray was deployed but said the child was not "directly" exposed. Viola did not directly address whether or not an officer accused the couple of fighting.
"The amount of disinformation being spread about this incident is pretty alarming," Viola wrote in an email. "The investigation when complete will answer these questions."
Prior to leaving the scene, Harris said police then reviewed security camera footage. Employees then recorded security camera footage on their cellphones, according to Harris.
"I got fired because I allowed that to get out to social media," Harris said.
Harris said she repeatedly attempted to call the general manager that evening, but no one answered.
"I didn't know what steps to take," she said. "They don't train you for situations like this."
Harris said she feels terrible about the incident and she wants justice for the couple.
What will happen next?
The Kenosha County District Attorney charged English and Boyd with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and obstructing an officer. Boyd also received a possession of marijuana charge.
English and Boyd both plead not guilty to their charges earlier this week. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for Aug. 25. A message to their attorney was not immediately returned on Saturday.
Kenosha police have launched an internal investigation into the incident.
Sulton, Harris' attorney, is also board president of the ACLU of Wisconsin, which issued a joint statement on Friday along with other community groups criticizing the police officers' actions.
"Too often, Black and Brown people suffer violence at the hands of police. It’s devastating to see police – again and again – treat Black lives with such callous disregard. It’s tragic that a Black person simply trying to enjoy a meal with his family is automatically seen as suspicious and that officers feel free to behave recklessly, violently, and unjustifiably, even toward a man holding a baby."
"We are calling for answers and accountability," Sulton added.
Drake Bentley can be reached at DBentley1@gannett.com.
Saturday, August 12, 2023
This is nothing. A couple of years ago a KKKenosha kop executed a man in front of his children by shooting him five times in the back at close range. The kop is white and the suspect was black, so of course the kop is still on the force. Stay away from KKKenosha and boycott Applebee's for firing an employee for exercising her constitutional rights.
Saying too many kids are in juvenile corrections, this Milwaukee program is looking for a better way
La Risa R. Lynch
Wisconsin spends about $400,000 a year to house just one youth in its juvenile correction system.
A group of Milwaukee advocates, foundations and state officials wants to use that same amount to fund organizations to keep youth out of juvenile detention centers.
Zero Youth Corrections aims to award up to $400,000 to fund groups working on advocacy and policy issues that prevent the impact of the criminal and legal system on young people. The grant is providing two grants with a maximum award of $200,000 each.
“The goal of what we are trying to do is in the name — Zero Youth Corrections,” said Krissie Fung, operations and grants manager for the Milwaukee Turners. “We think it is a no-brainer that young people should not be incarcerated. Obviously, we are not able to accomplish that with $400,000 or $200,000 at a time, but that is the goal.”
Friday, August 11, 2023
MADISON - Two years after opening an investigation into sexual abuse committed by faith leaders in Wisconsin, Attorney General Josh Kaul is seeking access to court documents sealed nearly a decade ago in a bankruptcy filing by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
Kaul says the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has not voluntarily provided records sought as part of an ongoing investigation into abuse committed by faith leaders, including Catholic clergy.
In a motion filed Wednesday with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Kaul requested a confidential review of "sealed claims by survivors, objections to those claims, briefing on such objections, and rulings on the objections."
Under the request, information from the documents would be used to further an investigation into the scope of faith leader abuse in Wisconsin by the Department of Justice, but no documents would be released publicly.
"Given the decades of secrecy and subversion surrounding abuse reports and the findings in other states in which inquiries into faith leader abuse were conducted, DOJ’s independent review of the lists of credibly accused priests published by dioceses in Wisconsin is amply justified," Kaul argued in the motion.
Kaul's faith leader initiative launched in 2021, seeking more information about incidents of abuse among religious leaders in Wisconsin. Since its launch, the DOJ has received about 250 reports of abuse within several different religious groups, including the Catholic church.
Charges have been filed against two men as a part of the inquiry, neither of whom were directly affiliated with the Catholic church.
This is the first action to directly target information from a diocese, though critics of Kaul's investigation have been calling for more action since the early stages of the investigation.
Previously, Kaul was hesitant to discuss how he planned to obtain access to diocesan documents. He said he didn't know if he would use subpoenas to get access, noting that he would need probable cause that the documents contained evidence of chargeable criminal offenses.
“Through our ongoing Clergy and Faith Leader Abuse Initiative, we remain committed to supporting survivors of sexual abuse by clergy and faith leaders," Kaul said in a statement Thursday. "As part of that initiative, we continue to seek to obtain as much information as we can regarding clergy and faith leader abuse in Wisconsin."
The Archdiocese argues the DOJ's request is a violation of survivors and the others involved in the case.
"For the Attorney General to attempt to violate that trust more than a decade later goes against the promises and assurances made to abuse survivors and would be traumatic to survivors who made a report expecting that it would remain private and now fear it could become public," said Jerry Topczewski, chief of staff to Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, in an emailed statement.
DOJ seeks to revisit 2015 settlement
The DOJ motion seeks to reopen the 2015 case that resulted in a settlement between the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and hundreds of survivors, in which the organization agreed to pay $21 million to compensate victims of sexual abuse. The settlement brought an end to a long-running case in bankruptcy court.
Kaul's request to reopen the case is limited to the DOJ's request to access sealed documents.
"DOJ does not ask for anything to be unsealed; it only asks that the DOJ be included among those that are permitted to confidentially review claims and related documents," the motion reads.
The Archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011 as it faced more than a dozen civil lawsuits over its handling of abuse claims. The Archdiocese moved to reorganize, as the claims for financial compensation exceeded its means.
Under the eventual settlement agreement, 330 of about 570 people who filed sexual abuse claims in the case received financial settlements. At the time, the settlement payout paled in comparison to those in similar Catholic Church bankruptcy cases, such as Boston's $85 million settlement in 2003.
Kaul alleges that the claims that weren't part of the settlement mean that abusers could have gotten away with their crimes, and that survivors never got the justice they deserved.
"To the extent that names of abusers who should be on these lists are not — even if those abusers are deceased — their survivors may have lived not only with the trauma from abuse but also with the compounding harm of not having their abuse acknowledged," he wrote. "Having their abuser named, and their abuse recognized, can provide a sense of healing for survivors of abuse."
The motion outlines how obtaining information included in the settlement might help complete reports made during the DOJ's faith leader inquiry. Some reports made to the agency lack the details needed for the agency to pursue them.
"This is not a surprise," the filing reads. "The events underlying reports often happened when the reporting person was a child and did not have a full understanding of what occurred; the events are often highly traumatic, which affects memory; and some occurred long ago."
The bankruptcy filings would provide a "unique opportunity to corroborate," Kaul argued.
The motion could also grant the DOJ access to claims made against individuals within the Archdiocese that weren't clergy members, such as visiting priests, religious brothers and lay staff, such as teachers and volunteers.
"That information was not central to the Archdiocese bankruptcy but is plainly relevant to a comprehensive understanding of clergy and faith leader abuse," Kaul wrote.
Advocates applauded Kaul's action Thursday afternoon, calling it a "complete game-changing legal intiative."
Peter Isely of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and Nate's Mission, said survivors are thrilled and hopeful.
"They're going to bring out their legal microscopes and go through this bankruptcy line by line," he said.
Sarah Pearson, also of Nate's Mission, said Kaul's motion could be the first step into really digging into how clergy abuse took place in Wisconsin.
"It’s the first step on the way to really investigating fraud, and the officials, leaders and community members that participated," she said.
And in response to the claims that reopening the bankruptcy would hurt survivors, Isely and Pearson strongly disagreed, arguing that Kaul's investigation has never aimed to harm survivors and only seeks justice for them.
Archdiocese previously called investigation 'anti-Catholic bigotry'
The Archdiocese over the course of Kaul's investigation has pledged to share information with Kaul only if it is related to a currently serving, living clergy member, but has refused to acquiesce to any other of Kaul's asks for further information.
At one point, the Archdiocese called Kaul's investigation a display of "anti-Catholic bigotry" and a violation of the First Amendment.
In the motion, Kaul outlined how dioceses in other states have aided in faith leader investigations, showing transparency and accountability.
He pointed to Illinois, Iowa and Colorado, all of which had dioceses that willingly provided information to the Attorneys General.
"The Archdiocese has taken a markedly different approach, even accusing the DOJ of bigotry in connection with its work on the Initiative," the motion said. "DOJ remains undeterred."
Frank LoCoco, the Archdiocese's lawyer, argued that the DOJ missed its opportunity to get see the documents, and could have requested them when the bankruptcy was pending.
"We see no basis for providing access to these Proofs of Claim at this late date," LoCoco said in the Aug. 9 letter to the agency.
How do I report abuse?
To file a report, call 877-222-2620 or use the online reporting tool at supportsurvivors.widoj.gov. Both options provide the ability to file an anonymous tip.
The department is still accepting reports and said survivors have control of what happens after their report is received.
Laura Schulte can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter at @SchulteLaura. Jessie Opoien can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope Karnopp can be reached at email@example.com.
Boy, we'll hear some squealing from the Catholic predators. A priest tried to diddle me in high school. I shut him down. He just molested others. The Catholic Church has a 2,000 year history of molestation of minors and other sexual perversions. They brainwash their "faithful" and then prey upon their offspring. This has happened thousands upon thousands of times. It continues to this day. It's what the Catholic Church does best.