Friday, December 27, 2013
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Sunday, November 24, 2013
JFK and His Thoughts on Free Speech and the Dangerous Rise of the Secretive Surveillance State of America
Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment…"
American University Speech
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
is this not the entry platform of a national surveillance state? given what we know
of the NSA and the "private" contractors of Verizon, Sprint, At&t, Microsoft and Facebook?
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Absolute Judicial Immunity: A judicially created doctrine that has no true legs or firm foundation in the 14th Constitutional Amendment
I have been writing and arguing against the broad grants of absolute immunity for prosecutors and judges and even at times, how it applied derivatively as qualified immunity for police officers and state actors, within our current federal courts system.
It is plainly against the spirit of the law of the land and the reason for the American revolution itself and the notion that one class of American officials are somehow far above the law and the rest of us mere humans, is something that has generated a lot of scholarly and citizen debate and backlash recently
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
A Day of Uprising Against Police Misconduct: A National Response to the Persistant and Growing Issue of Serious Police Misconduct
this is an excellent article about the growing public outrage happening across America, originating this protest from California but spreading from coast to coast
This type of major public organized protests needs to happen and the public and everyone, in the US needs to become educated and made aware of the persistent, deep and seemingly growing problem of serious police misconduct in this nation
Its time for action, not just nice scholarly studies, DOJ inspired articles and criminology studies and more "observation"
Monday, October 21, 2013
Youngstown early article referencing my efforts and public comments on obtaining US Justice Dept civil rights division assistance in Warren, in 2003
very early on, in the original initial phase of my civil rights representation and litigation efforts in Warren, arising out of the Lyndal Kimble case that went national ...in the midsummer that same year,
I was already sensing and knew that the issues in Warren were NOT isolated instances of police misconduct or merely the case of one individual bad act by a set of particular few bad officers
the problem I saw there, from the start, had a depth that I had never quite seen before, even though I had been involved directly and personally in the original DOJ Civil Rights consent decree 14141 investigation into Steubenville Ohio
the Warren issues were extremely serious, deep and long term in terms of what the citizenry of that larger eastern Ohio city had been subjected to by its very rough and heavy handed police department, led by a Greek police chief who was running things in town as if he were the local gestapo head instead of a modern era American city police administrator
Instantly these views were communicated up the chain to the DOJ in person in August of that same month as the Kimble case continue to shed its broad light across a forgotten steel and car manufacturing town on the northeastern quadrant of Ohio near the Mahoning Valley.
Since it was so close to Youngstown, Ohio, its sister city well known for its own complex and oftentimes mobbed up local officials and enjoying such a rep....this area and region was not exactly a normative city or area to focus a sole plaintiff's civil rights litigation strategy on alone.
The public comments posted here, are noted, in view of the public comments made by the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio and the Chief of the DOJ Civil Rights Division for the U.S. out of DC about the origins of the investigation into Warren, which began officially by them, in 2004.
Early into the mix, I knew that we were facing a serious patterned problem of serial local pd civil rights violations on par with anything that had triggered the original 14141 investigations into Pittsburgh and Steubenville.
an old prior post ...that notes the committment to our basic fundamental liberties and pursuit of justice
an address made before the noted peacemaker's congress held that year, in Youngstown Ohio
at a local Knox Presbyterian church on Market Street
a powerful moment in a series of powerful moments arising out of the Warren PD civil rights "campaign"
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Warren Ohio's Police Department Is Placed Under A Federal US Justice Dept 14141 "Consent Decree" After 8 Yrs Effort To Redress Police Misconduct
These lawsuits alleged among other things, that the City had "maintained a pattern and practice" of civil rights violations against their own citizens for years, prior to the filing of these individual citizens' claims that the lawsuits contained.
There were complex legal maneuvers that challenged both the City Police and the local officials to admit and/or reveal that they had either tacitly and/or intentionally condoned or acquiesced in a wide variety of improper, serious repeated acts and conduct that characterized their treatment of many of the city's citizens particularly among the poor and the minorities of this Northeastern Ohio midsized
former hard working steel town.
These lawsuits were filed in a number of Northern District U.S. District Courts and were met with serious opposition from the start and in particular the City retained the legal representation for their defense from the large municipal insurance law firm of downtown Cleveland, Ohio, Westin Hurd.
This firm was known for its bare knuckle approach to representing its larger insurance represented clientele across the corporate and private lawyer world and in this particular instance they chose as their lead counsel on these race sensitive case, a top African American lawyer from their metro Cleveland's office, Hillary Taylor.
Both the City of Warren officials and the lead counsel for Westin Hurd found varying degrees of difficulty in representing the actions of the Warren police inside various federal courts in the Northern District Court, generally. However, there was one exception- the local federal court located in Youngstown, Ohio and the judge there, who was from the Youngstown-Warren area and who grew up and had many ties to the local officials for years, including the local poice chief of Warren.
This judge, appointed by President Bill Clinton, was in name a Democrat, but in reality on these cases, he may have well as been a right wing infiltrator who almost at every turn, backed or fully supported the law and order crowd and its large firm representative when we had to appear before him. Particularly this was true when it came to the issue of whether or not the City of Warren had maintained a "pattern and practice" of constitutional civil rights violations over its citizens, an issue that was expressly raised and then litigated before his court and him personally.
Judge Peter S. Economus was the name of the downtown Youngstown Federal judge who ought to have never been allowed to hear any of these civil rights cases. Because of him, the cases's were both treated poorly, neglected and their plaintiff's counsel especially the counsel of these lead counsels, were seriously derided and oftentimes subjected to express hostility and bad judging.
In the end, despite all of Judge Peter S. Economus efforts to minimize and to even destroy these cases true depths and serious allegations from ever reaching the light of day and/or becoming the supportive kinds of federal cases they were intended to be in order for the U.S. Justice Dept Civil Rights Division to come into the region and begin to make its findings and review of the Warren and regional police depts., he could not stop the DoJ and its special litigation unit lawyers from doing what they had already been sent to do, before the good local federal judge who had personal ties to Warren itself and its city officials could stop them. He could not if he had tried and this was what became a point of tension between him and my cases and his favoring of the Hillary Taylor's version of events and making sure the Westin Hurd law firm got away from having to defend the allegations that the City of Warren had in fact, maintained a city wide practice for years, of serially violating the constitution and the fundamental rights guaranteed to all American citizens.
It was very discouraging to see a federal judge acting in such a personal and unprofessional manner in hopes of delaying and/ negating a full scale federal civil rights investigation and review into the bad policing practices of Warren, Ohio for years.
It was even worse he was appointed by Bill Clinton a president who has become known for his strong stances on issues affecting race and equality for all as a solid democratic president.
It remains a mystery why a northern district judge would act so inside of a set of federal civil rights lawsuits that arose from within his own jurisdiction but the larger question is why he was even allowed to hear these cases at all, given there were so many other judges available to hear such claims arising of the Mahoning County region.
Perhaps, one day, it will become clear and the truth behind why this local District Court judge acted in such a personal and hostile manner towards the one lead private plaintiff's counsel while currying favor with the large downtown law firm lead counsel and not just on this one case but on several others and others filed by other lawyers as well arising from the same locale in this era.
What is encouraging however, is despite the best and considerable and difficult ways of one local Youngstown born and raised local judge having his way over the plaintiffs of various city civil rights cases arising out of Warren, the allegations of Mr. Olivito nonetheless, made the U.S. Justice Department and its Civil Rights Division to sit up and take note.
The payoff occurred a long time after the various individual lawsuits terminated in either settlement and/or in a way that didn't fully redress the problem of the city wide bad policing.
The allegations that Mr. Olivito had placed in all of his Warren civil rights cases includihng those heard by Judge Economus but were denied a hearing on this issue by the good Judge, were fully vindicated by the hard work and persistent efforts of the U.S. Justice Dept Civil Rights Division
as announced by the Northern District U.S. Attorney's office last year.
This came as not a huge surprise to the Executive Director but it was a long in coming and much welcomed one. It shows though the wheels of justice turn slowly...too slow... in many ways for those who suffered great and serious deprivations and losses needlessly jailed and injured by Warren's finest, nonetheless, the fact that the Dept of Justice did make its final conclusions public and did so, stating "These investigations and findings were based and begun as a result of various civil rights cases filed in 2004"
that was the meek and mild node that I myself took away from their public announcement last year with a smile and long suffering look up to heaven
it isn't something done in the dark, nor small, anytime a federal agency charged with righting the wrongs of serious local official unconstitutional misconduct manages after eight 8 long years to reach a conclusion the same conclusion that one made in writing before this nation's federal courts
in Northern District of Ohio almost a decade ago and was all but mocked by the one District Court judge and treated unfairly and unprofessionally and with serious hostility from this local judge who grew up near Warren and worked in and around Warren-Youngstown all of his professional and adult life
Judge Economus I hope you are reading this and I hope you more importantly have read and heard about the findings of the U.S. Justice Department.
Intellectual honesty is a gift among some judges. I will as the Director of Midwest Center state and now because of the work of those in Washington DC and their special counsel and civil rights section lawyers, be able to forever state and report to the watching world .
that I and my fellow plaintiff's were right and You, sir, even as a Democratic appointee, were very wrong on this critical issue of whether or not the city had engaged in any such pattern. I had the evidence after long hours of work but this evidence was at best treated with serious contempt and subjected to hostility and just plain unjust indifferent judging.
You were wrong in both how you failed to address these claims of serious pattern and practice violations happening to the citizens of a City you grew up around a knew well but you also failed y your oath as a judge and a high ranking federal official whose very duty was to help end and expose these very serious series of unconstitutional civil rights violations and misconduct by those who did all of it, while acting "under the color of law"
You knew this and/or were told and repeatedly the evidence pointed in this direction and I wasn't the only plaintiff's lawyer trying to get you to both acknowledge and understand the same
Nonetheless, you became stubborn and as indifferent to the pleas and cries of those poor plaintiffs inside these lawsuits as any Warren former city officer and official who were using the metro law firm of Westin Hurd and their chief counsel, Hillary Taylor to deny such claim and personally mock and undermine the professional standing of the lead counsel who first brought this sad tragic and dark history of Warren Ohio into the legal world's attention in any significant manner, in the past 25 years.
I have a clear conscience about what happened back a decade ago this time of the year. I know my work was not in vain given what the cases did and how they helped the US Justice Dept in its investigation and to initially take a solid serious look at Warren's PD
whatever happens next in Warren and I do hope the City is changing and I believe with the DOJ intown and making its influence known, the police department is changing and will continue to change for the better. That is all we wanted in the end from this department.
But those who were violated and those who suffered from historical serious repeated constitutional deprivations in and around Warren Ohio were never fully given redress and any kind of full hearing i.e."their day in court"
no one knows the true depths of the suffering that such patterned police misconduct can bring to the families, to the citizens and to the individuals who were targeted and became city wide, a population under siege by its own police department.
No level of present day improvements and "changes" can ever make up for the serious injuries that were caused by such serious official misconduct done by those in authority over American citizens.
Nothing has even approached the true level of compensation or full redress for these victims of serios constitutional violations. And in large part, that is not the job of the US Justice Dept necessarily
That was Judge Economus and other northern District Court's job and they on those accounts, those various courts oftentimes, made the job and task of seeking and then finding just redress inside an American federal judiciary for these significantly mistreated and violated individuals and families, very hard and one which they were subjected to hard road and at times, especially in Youngstown's District Court forum, an unnecessarily hostile, indifferent and biased if not almost impossible objective trier of the facts.
but these findings, now create a new day of understanding and a new basis for some of these citizens to once again speak the truth to power, not just in warren and to the Justice Department lawyers but to the federal judges of Northern District of Ohio and well beyond .
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Sunday, September 29, 2013
The Local Article Referencing the Original Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit filed Against the City of Warren, in 2003, citing "a serious pattern of civil rights violations"
The suit seeks $1 million or more for Owens, who is paralyzed, and an unspecified amount for the others.
This Vindicator newspaper article demonstrates the original complaint filed in August 2003, had alleged from the earliest days, alleged a very "serious set of patterned civil rights violations exist" inside of Warren and its PD. These substantial allegations were fact based and created upon the private solo lawyer's own prior civil rights experience within the framework of the 90's DOJ investigation that he was keenly involved in and aware of arising from his hometown.
The plaintiff's lawyer, the Midwest Center's Director private but community assisted investigation in Warren, provided the basis of these original "pattern abuse" allegations.
Such serious allegations would be eventually vindicated and proven true, by the years long effort of both his ongoing federal civil rights litigation and that of other local advocates and most importantly, the final conclusion made only last year, by the U.S. Justice Department itself, who found a pattern and practice civil rights violation did exist as its Civil Rights Division has found now to officially inside of Warren.
Then as now, there existed in Warren, for years, a very deep and seriously disturbing history of extremely serious citizen constitutional patterned violations and deprivations which have never been fully redressed. Despite years of denial, the City's recently retired police chief, who presided over the first year of the DOJ Consent Decree over Warren, publically acknowledged in local press, the humbling nature of having his Police Department having been "found guilty of such a historical pattern of civil rights violations by the Department of Justice."
These original allegations rocked the Northeastern Ohio community and its regional legal and law enforcement establishment and created an ongoing effort to both deny and to distract from and to diffuse such original allegations. This was done oftentimes by taking a very personal and seriously defamatory approach against myself, who originally brought this federal case and the other related civil rights police misconduct Section 1983 lawsuits against Warren, in 2003-4, after the Kimble police misconduct case, had been blown up due to its videotaped beating of Kimble, into a national news story bringing great light and scrutiny to the Northeastern Ohio former industrial based steel town.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Friday, September 27, 2013
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Past U.S. Response to U.N. Committee on Human Rights and Torture ...Utililizing Sec 14141 in International Human Rights Treaties and Law Compliance Efforts
The Bush Administration under John Ashcroft demonstrates the U.S. Commitment to ending and/or resolving on going internal United State historical problems of police civil rights violations and longstanding racial profiling practices by Utilizing various constitutional amendment based laws including Section 1983 and Federal "Pattern and Practice" 14141 "Consent Decree" laws...in combatting ongoing issues with Problem Policing in America
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The FOP attempted in 2001 to sue the US Attorney General to bar any further "14141" pattern and practice actions from ever taking place again
in this lawsuit, and declaratory and injunctive relief action, the national FOP attempts to curtail any further efforts of the DOJ from investigation major pattern civil rights abuses in the nation, anywhere, including LA NY New Orleans and many others cities and towns.
this lawsuit acknowledged that at that time of filing...the City of Steubenville and Pittsburgh had entered into "consent decrees"...
and there were the only two at the time of this filing....in 2000....
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Friday, February 1, 2013
Saturday, January 26, 2013
I would strongly recommend this book and review for a solid analysis of what has been
the basis of america's losing battle w/ fundamental constitutional imagination and the loss of civil liberties from a series of sources, including...ourselves...
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Steve Smiley (@stevsmiley) tweeted at 4:49 PM on Thu, Jan 17, 2013: @TheRealRoseanne Chicago pays $22.5 MILLION to woman who was gang raped http://t.co/Ao0YKVHJ Cops messed up there as well as #Steubenville (https://twitter.com/stevsmiley/status/292025983190581250) Get the official Twitter app at https://twitter.com/download
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
the new facebook page for the Midwest Center
and its posts and pics of the Ben Lundy National Landmark Home
and our growing set of followers/members
become one today! just by signing up to the page
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
the original major civil rights federal claim against the City of Steubenville Et. al, including then Jeff Co Prosecuting Atty, and his investigator which broke on thru and directly led to the U.S. Justice Dept interest in detremining that Steubenville was a city worthy of its first full scale 14141 pattern and practice investigation in Dept of Justice Civil Rights history, inside the USA
Saturday, January 12, 2013
this is the sixth circuits decision ....to the higher federal court of appeal ....on the thorne v City of Steubenville Officer Lelles et. al...
its a critical read and demonstrates the serious depth of constitutional violations that were occuring EVEN AT THE END OF THE CONSENT DECREE OFFICIAL OVErSIGHT PERIOD
the last most serious federal civil rights constitutional violations case brought by a young plaintiff who was seriously injured and brain injured by the City Police on his graduation night, as he returned home to his father's house, after work....the incident happened at the plaintiff's own residence and the police were found to have violated his fundamental civil rights, in at least four separate ways, by both the Federal District Court in Columbus, and then again, on appeal, opening up the case for a major serious federal civil rights trial
....what happened to the case.....after it was won in a unamious decision at the highest court in the region
remains a mystery to this day
this internet journalistic "wire"....reports on the Steubenville DOJ civil rights investigation and findings
in this critically relevant history of the River City
that prompted the feds in 95 to begin its first ever original 14141 pattern and practice investigation into the city
Friday, January 11, 2013
Vanishing Immunity Deal Throws More Steubenville Players Back in Spotlight - National - The Atlantic Wire
there is more to come and the outside media and social medial pressure is building to open up a broad investigation into not only this party ..but other things that have taken place inside of Steubenville
...but the question remains...when is this investigation going to begin to focus NOT just on the civilians and juveninles and ordinary witnesses and events of that p articular evening
and begin to turns its serious scrutiny as the social media has...towards the public officials in the town...namely the public prosecutors and the town's officials ..in light of the past history of serious civil rights abuses
there is unfinished business in steubenville among the locals...and its NOT all about a young woman's rape.as significant as that is and is the pivitol "turning point" in this important case
and this recent statement by the AG. himself ...seems to indicate there has been some kind of mis step taken early on in the investigation ...not so much by the police but by the local prosecution
...this much is true
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
richard olivito (@mccrguy) tweeted at 8:04 PM on Wed, Jan 09, 2013: Why Nobody Trusts Steubenville - National - The Atlantic Wire http://t.co/5c0ndhg7 (https://twitter.com/mccrguy/status/289175762454577152) Get the official Twitter app at https://twitter.com/download