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(MIAMI, Fla.) A Florida mother on Wednesday was convicted for a third time of brutally abusing her toddler before fatally beating the boy who became known as “Baby Lollipops” in a case that rivete d Miami decades ago #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Dec.14: Jurors found 56-year-old Ana Maria Cardona guilty of murder and aggravated child abuse in the killing of 3-year-old Lazaro Figueroa, whose emaciated body was found hidden in bushes in Miami Beach in November 1990: The boy was beaten throughout his short life and was starving to death, weighing just 18 pounds #AceNewsDesk reports

His skull had been fractured, and his left arm was permanently bent at a 90-degree angle………..The medical examiner called it child torture, according to trial testimony…….“After suffering years, months, days of continuous abuse by her, under her watch, Lazaro inevitably withered and died. And lay in the dirt until his little heart stopped beating,” prosecutor Reid Rubin said in a closing argument. “It was only a matter of time before he wound up dead because of her………”Cardona was twice sentenced to death in previous trials. After her first trial in 1992, Cardona became the first woman in Florida history to be sentenced to capital punishment for killing her own child. But both convictions were overturned by the Florida Supreme Court, leading to this third trial.Circuit Judge Miguel M. de la O immediately sentenced Cardona to a life prison sentence. Prosecutors opted not to seek the death penalty a third time.“There are wild beasts that show more empathy for their offspring than you showed for Lazaro,” the judge said. “Your actions were monstrous.”Trial evidence showed that Cardona had other children she did not abuse………The reason for Lazaro’s suffering, Rubin said, was that his father had been a drug dealer who was slain by rivals — and with his death, Cardona lost a lavish lifestyle she had been enjoying until then………“She became angry and spiteful, and she took it out on an innocent young child who became her personal whipping boy. It escalated, more and more,” the prosecutor said. “Lazaro died because his mother didn’t love him.”Cardona testified in her own defense that her female lover, Olivia Gonzalez, was responsible for Lazaro’s death………..Trial evidence showed that Gonzalez and Cardona fled to central Florida after the boy died, even enjoying a trip to Disney World, before their arrests ……..Defence attorney Steve Yermish said in his closing argument that Cardona was a poor mother and may have taken actions against Lazaro that amounted to child abuse…..But he said she did not kill her son……“I can only assume that you are angry at Ana Cardona. And you have every right to be. Ana was a lousy mother. She failed as a mother. But you can’t decide this case because you or I or anyone is angry at Ana for her failures,” Yermish said. “The charge of aggravated child abuse may have been proven. The charge of murder has not.”Unable to identify him initially, officers called the boy “Baby Lollipops” after the T-shirt he was wearing……..It took more than a month for investigators to learn Lazaro’s identity and track down the two women. Their big break came when a neighbor who had occasionally cared for Lazaro recognized him from police flyers………….Gonzalez testified in previous trials, but not this time. She served 14 years in prison for her role in Lazaro’s mistreatment when living with Cardona. She was never charged with killing him……..Cardona told investigators after her arrest that Lazaro hit his head falling out of bed, and that she hid his body hoping not to lose custody of her other children. This week, she said that was not the truth

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(WASHINGTON) Democrats have an AXE to GRIND and it’s called ‘ Sexual Harassment ‘ and it’s aimed at bringing Trumps presidency to an end it matters not wether any of the allegations are true he only needs to be human and err and he’s easy picking for any one using this ‘ Secret Weapon ‘ called woman #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Dec.14: Editor says before anyone male or female says I’m sexist or have a downer on women this is my reply to that today with a post on our breaking news #Breaking144 – Kentucky state rep. Dan Johnson accused of sexual assault allegations has died of probable suicide the county coroner says – @AceBreakingNews in fact he shot himself and now today this post from WND as Democrats activate powerful new ‘weapon’ to pounce on Trump: it’s called ‘ Sexual Harassment ‘ as was Energised by Judge Roy Moore’s defeat in Alabama’s Senate election amid decades-old allegations of sexual abuse, Democrats are now on a mission to take down President Trump the same way AceNewsDesk reports
President Trump and wife, Melania (Official White House photo by Andrea Hanks)

President Trump and wife, Melania (Official White House photo by Andrea Hanks)

Rep. Bonne Watson Coleman, D-N.J.

Rep. Bonne Watson Coleman, D-N.J.

// WND reports U.S. Rep. Bonne Watson Coleman, D-N.J. – who last month called President Trump “absolutely disgusting” and “an embarrassment as president of the United States of America” who “makes [her] sick to [her] stomach” – is now demanding President Trump be investigated because of claims he sexually harassed women……“The allegations against the president and the fact that he even admitted to some behavior that could be considered sexual harassment needs to be vetted,” Rep. Watson Coleman told WND. “It needs to be investigated by probably more than one agency, but most certainly the Committee on Oversight and Government reform, which does these kinds of investigations. And then the chips will fall will where they may…….“With regard with him being impeached – there are nearly 20 women who have made these allegations; there has to be some fact finding, some investigation that takes place. This will be one of the issues that we would put in for consideration for whether or not the president should continue as the president.”…….A group of 54 female Democratic lawmakers sent a formal letter to the chair of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., Monday, asking for an investigation of the allegations of sexual assault and harassment made against the president during the 2016 presidential election…….“In the time of ‘Me Too,’ women across the country are coming forward with their own harrowing stories of sexual harassment and assault,” the letter from the Democratic Women’s Working Group reads. “Members of Congress have also come under scrutiny and investigation, with some resigning, for improper sexual conduct. We cannot ignore the multitude of women who have come forward with accusations against Mr. Trump. With that said, the president should be allowed to present evidence in his own defense.”……….The Women’s Working Group said 100 Democrats have signed the letter, and more are expected to join the effort……Gowdy replied Tuesday that he would not launch an investigation into sexual allegations against President Trump, explaining that it’s the job of the law enforcement professionals and prosecutors to investigate crimes.

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif.

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif.

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., insisted that his call for President Trump to be investigated for sexual predation has nothing to do with partisanship…..“Sexual harassment is not a partisan issue,” Lieu told WND. “It occurs both in the private sector or public sector, whether you are Democrat or Republican, or whether you are working in media or business; it’s pervasive. I believe the accusers because there are huge disincentives to report and there should be zero tolerance, whether Republican or Democrat.”…….Trump should “absolutely” be investigated, Lieu insisted……..“I happen to sit on the House Judiciary Committee. I think there should be an investigation and hearings,” Lieu continued. “But I would support – like with the other elected officials who are accused as well as anyone in the private sector – that, yes, allegations of sexual harassment be investigated, even if they are decades old.”

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., launched into a tirade about Trump’s accusers during Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s hearing on the Russia probe on Wednesday, describing in detail how Trump allegedly harassed and groped them…….“Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to ask you about sexual assault by the president of the United States of America,” Gutierrez began. “Over the past few days, echoing previous allegations made against the president in the past several years, at least 16 women have come forward to say that the president of the United States felt them up, kissed them without permission, put his hands under their clothing without permission, groped them, touched their genitalia, walked into dressing rooms unannounced to see them naked and made other unwanted sexual advances that, to everyone, are clear violations of the law.”……..He then pressure the second most powerful law enforcement officer in the nation to investigate the allegations against the president……..“Now, I believe the women, and I generally give the women and their word a lot of weight,” Gutierrez continued. “And when the him in question is Donald Trump, there really should be no further discussion, because as everybody – regardless of their political affiliations or partisanship – can clearly see, we have a man in the presidency who has a very difficult relationship with the truth…..“In this case, we have women who were made to feel powerless and insignificant, who, at great personal cost and risk, have come forward. And I believe them.”……Rosenstein declined to address the question, saying it “wouldn’t be appropriate” for him to weigh in on this……..In an interview with WND, Gutierrez doubled down on his demand that Trump be investigated………“There needs to be chief law enforcement,” Gutierrez said. “We had a member that is under investigation by the Ethics Committee, and we have a president – I mean, 50-some members of the House said President Trump should be investigated.”………When asked if Democrats – who have yet to show a crime or produce an impeachable offense concerning allegations of Trump-Russia collusion – are strategizing to use sexual harassment allegations made against Trump to impeach the president, Gutierrez told WND: “I believe the women. I think the women should be heard.”……..He added: “Men should be heard. But the women should be believed.”



Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, also used the Russia probe hearing to force Rosenstein to listen to accusations against President Trump……..“What intentions does the Department of Justice have to allow these women who are accusing the president of sexual misconduct and have never been heard in terms of a public setting?” she asked Rosenstein. “What does the Department of Justice intend to do in light of the fact that the president is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States of America?”……..Rosenstein responded, “If there’s anything that warrants federal investigation, then we would certainly look at it.”…..Lee told WND that Moore didn’t lose just because he’s a sexual “predator,” but the people of Alabama also repudiated him because he’s a racist………“The people of Alabama, in a Southern state with a history of segregation, rejected an individual who wanted to use the negatives of America to separate people and use divisiveness to win and had a history of being a child predator,” she said. “The Alabamans stood up and showed to America and the world a new Alabama. This is an exciting day.”……..She continued: “Judgment Day came for Roy Moore last night. There must be a reformation across America about how we address these issues to provide a safe environment for everyone to work in. That’s an important message that Democrats in the United States Congress are making, because it’s been very difficult for any leadership from Republicans on this issue.”

Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio

Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio

Democrats such as Reps. Gutierrez and Jackson Lee should be ashamed for “making the sexual harassment problem in this country partisan,” Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, told WND……..“It’s shameful,” Stivers said. “I hope [Gutierrez] will look at Rep. Ruben J. Kihuen (D-Nev.), who refuses to resign. I hope he will consider that Al Franken was one of the abusers. The voters of Alabama have already taken care of Judge Moore. This is a problem that we need to face as Americans that none of us should make partisan……Kihuen, Nevada’s first Latino member of the U.S. House, was accused of sexual harassment by a former campaign staffer earlier this month. The campaign staffer who alleges sexual misconduct told BuzzFeed that Kihuen tried to initiate sexual contact on several occasions. She claims Kihuen touched her thighs twice without her permission during his 2016 congressional campaign.

Rep. Ruben J. Kihuen, D-Nev.

Rep. Ruben J. Kihuen, D-Nev.

Kihuen immediately denied the claims, and he refuses to step down……..Moore’s loss in the deep red state of Alabama is not indicative of the GOP’s future electoral prospects, Stivers said…….“You can take a special case of Roy Moore, who was a terrible candidate, and turn that into a wave,” he said. “We have defied history, and we will defy history. … We have a better candidate and we have a better campaign. And candidates and campaigns matter. That’s the lesson of [Tuesday] night.”……..Democrats may be excited that Doug Jones defeated Moore Tuesday night, Stiver said, but the Trump administration and the GOP’s economic platform will secure Republican victories in 2018 and beyond…….“The economy is going to be a secret weapon of ours,” Stiver revealed. “We saw a stagnant economy for 10 years. In 2010, unemployment was going up, and it hit almost 9 percent. Now, unemployment is down to 4.1 percent. The only thing we haven’t seen yet is wage growth. The new jobs numbers were 20 percent above the expected. They expected about 190,000 this month, they got 240,000 – 20 percent higher than projections……..“The only thing that has not happened yet is positive pressure on wages. The tax bill is going to grow jobs even faster and put pressure on wages so the American people are going to see wage growth. They are going to see better job prospects, and they are going to see more money in their pockets as a result of a small tax cut that is in the bill. And we still have infrastructure to get done.”

President Trump (Photo: U.S. Central Command)

President Trump (Photo: U.S. Central Command)

Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C.

Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C.

Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., predicted Trump’s Congress will still pass tax reform and the rest of Trump’s agenda, despite losing the Senate seat to a Democrat……..“I don’t think it will have any effect on tax reform – it will be passed long before the replacement is certified,” Rice told WND……..A Republican would have easily defeated Jones, but Moore was an unusually flawed candidate, he argued……..“Moore lost because [of] these accusations – inappropriate activity with young females, [and] his accusers have every right to be heard. He has every right to defend himself. Outside of that he would have won in a land slide,” Rice said. “Sen. Luther Strange, had he won, he would have won in a landslide. But there is a limit to what voters are going to put up with. [Moore] obviously made people uncomfortable.”………As women accuse men of sexual assault, abuse or harassment continue to take the national stage, Rice warned that America must now “figure out what the rules are.”………“There is heightened sensitivity, and [there’s] a wave of folks who have been abused in the past or have felt they have been abused and have for whatever reason maybe not spoken out. Or if they had spoken out, they weren’t taken seriously,” Rice said. “Why this heightened time of sensitivity? I am not sure. I am glad things are in the public discourse so we can try to explore and make things better………“Times have changed, and people’s attitudes have changed. Being from the South, I was taught all my life to treat ladies special. And it’s very common for me to maybe kiss them on the cheek. You have to figure what the rules are. It’s an unusual time.”………Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh expressed similar concerns during his Tuesday show. He warned that Democrats could begin using sexual harassment allegations as a political tool against their enemies: I’m gonna tell you: If you’re in politics and you’ve ever looked at a woman the wrong way, you can expect a woman, at some point, to go public and say so. In fact, because of the success Democrats had with this, it’s entirely possible that men who haven’t done a single thing in terms of mistreating a woman, abusing her or harassing her are still nevertheless going to be accused of it. It has become a political tactic…….We have now had something that is a genuinely serious thing in its own right, in its own contained universe, sexual harassment. … The use of sexual harassment and the mistreatment of women or others in the workplace is a legitimate [problem]. But it’s now just been corrupted and weaponized and made to look like a political opposition-research weapon. And that’s exactly what’s happened……And so anybody can see. And you can see that when one of these allegations is made, the women are believed, and the men who are accused are not – which means the men have to prove a negative, and the accusers don’t have to prove anything. That is a powerful weapon the Democrats have decided to use. And believe me, as we speak, they are behind closed doors creating further stratagems using this. And they are picking their targets. And you’re gonna see more of it, I predict……

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports & #Brittius says are provided by Sterling Publishing & Media News and all our posts, links can be found at here and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com or you can follow our breaking news posts on AceBreakingNews.WordPress.Com or become a member on Telegram

Investigation: ProPublica Chicago Police Win Big When Appealing Discipline #AceNewsDesk

#AceNewsReport – Dec.14: This is an excellent post and investigation by Propublica on Chicago police departments discipline for officers: #AceNewsDesk reports

Chicago Police Win Big When Appealing Discipline
// Articles and Investigations – ProPublica by Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune, and Jodi S. Cohen, ProPublica
A secretive appeals system has been knocking down the punishments of Chicago police officers no matter how serious their misconduct, undercutting the results of lengthy investigations and layers of review long after the public believes the cases were concluded: In the first examination of its kind, the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois found that 85 percent of disciplinary cases handled through the Chicago Police Department’s grievance process since 2010 led to officers receiving shorter suspensions or, in many cases, having their punishments overturned entirely

A suspension for punching a handcuffed arrestee, all caught on camera? Negotiable.

Discipline for making racially insensitive comments during a traffic stop? Tossed out and expunged from the record.

Punishments for making false statements, an offense for which the department says it has zero tolerance? Those, too, were wiped away as if they never happened.

The result: the weakening of a police accountability system that rarely finds fault with officers’ actions in the first place.

By the time an officer’s misconduct appeal reaches the Police Department’s Management and Labor Affairs Section, where grievances are handled, the officer has already been found at fault in an internal affairs investigation or after an inquiry by the city’s police watchdog agency, whose findings are public. In some cases, the discipline already has been upheld by the Chicago Police Board, whose decisions also are public.

But the department’s labor office operates behind closed doors and according to requirements contained in the police union contract. Victims and complainants were not told when an officer filed a grievance nor were they notified of its outcome.

The decisions that overturn discipline can have little to do with the facts behind the actual misconduct. The system’s notorious inefficiencies end up working in an officer’s favor, with punishments being dismissed because investigations took too long, the Tribune-ProPublica Illinois investigation found.

The Police Department has no system to track cases, so reporters used data and records from the department and its oversight agency to follow more than 300 disciplinary cases, analyzing changes between the original discipline orders and the actual outcomes.

Chicago Police Grievances

CPD Grievances

A Chicago Tribune-ProPublica Illinois investigation tracked more than 300 police disciplinary cases appealed through the department’s labor office, the Management and Labor Affairs Section. We analyzed changes between original discipline orders and what officers actually served.

In 85 percent of cases, appeals led to officers receiving reduced punishment or seeing their punishment overturned.

Explore the Data

The department provided a data set of grievances in response to open records requests, including information that showed which cases were expunged. Reporters then used investigative reports, arbitrator opinions, settlement agreements and other records to examine the cases.

Some of the documents were provided after the Tribune filed a lawsuit a year ago against the Police Department.

The investigation found that, of 314 disciplinary appeals the police union pursued on behalf of officers between February 2010 and February 2017, 266 led to favorable outcomes for officers. Police had their punishments reduced or — in 58 of those cases — had them overturned entirely.

About half of the 314 total grievances were decided by an independent arbitrator selected by the union and the city. In the others, union officials and city lawyers negotiated settlement agreements before arbitration began, typically for officers to receive a reduced punishment in exchange for withdrawing their grievances.

Sharon Fairley, the former chief administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), which investigates officer misconduct, said the frequency with which officers win grievances raises questions about the disciplinary system.

“We should understand why this is happening and try to make sure that the process as it works has some integrity,” she said.

Nearly all the grievances involved suspensions, and the total number of days officers were suspended was collectively cut by half. Officers can appeal punishments up to a yearlong suspension, but appeals of firings are decided by the police board, not through the grievance system.

The department suspends an average of 192 officers a year, from a police force of 12,000 sworn officers. Depending on the year, between 13 percent and 47 percent challenged the punishment, the investigation found.

Police successfully appealed discipline for all kinds of misconduct: neglect of duty, insubordination, drunken driving, domestic violence and excessive force.

Officers were more likely to get their punishment overturned completely when the case went to an arbitrator, while they were more likely to see a reduction in discipline — or some of the findings tossed out — through a settlement.

There is little to risk by seeking the review, and, in fact, 14 officers appealed multiple cases during the period analyzed by reporters. One officer filed four grievances and won three.

“It doesn’t hurt to grieve it. Why wouldn’t I?” said Officer Jeffrey Kriv, who records show has successfully challenged at least two suspensions during his 21 years on the force.

Kevin Graham, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, the union that represents rank-and-file Chicago officers and that is in negotiations with the city over a new contract, said appeals are necessary because oversight investigators and the department sometimes overreach.

“We are only looking to be treated fairly,” Graham said. “I do think that the arbitration system and independent arbitrators are a useful part of getting to the truth and to getting to fair discipline.”

In a written statement, police spokesman Frank Giancamilli said the initial punishments served on officers are “carefully considered” to reflect the seriousness and nature of a case. They remain the department’s official stance, he said, even if they are later overturned or settled.

Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for the city’s Law Department, said city attorneys weigh each case individually, and that decisions to settle cases before arbitration are driven by the likelihood of winning, more than the nature of the misconduct. He said the city “is disappointed in any loss in the arbitration process” and sometimes agrees to settle — including in cases where police were found to have given false statements — when a careful analysis suggests the city might lose at arbitration and establish an unwanted precedent.

“The Law Department,” McCaffrey said, “considers each case individually, and recognizes that some measure of discipline is often more important than letting an alleged infraction go unpunished.”

But at a time when the city has promised greater police accountability, its grievance system potentially undermines that, especially since the punishments often have been agreed on by multiple police officials, said Mark Iris, a Northwestern University political science professor and former executive director of the police board.

“The weaker cases, at this point, already have been filtered out. … These should be, in large part, slam dunks” for the department, said Iris, who studies police discipline. “The fact that officers’ discipline is frequently reduced, especially in serious cases, is very compelling. It basically undercuts the disciplinary process big time.”

Zero Tolerance

By settling cases, the city avoids the cost of arbitration — and the chance it will lose entirely — and usually ensures the officer receives at least some punishment.

During the past seven years, the department has settled 151 cases, the Tribune-ProPublica Illinois analysis shows. More than 75 percent of suspensions from those cases were cut by half or more through negotiations.

In addition, some of the settlements include an agreement to drop one of the most serious findings against an officer: a violation of police Rule 14, making a false oral or written statement. Department officials have said they have zero tolerance for officers who aren’t truthful, and that those who violate the rule will be fired.

But the Tribune-ProPublica Illinois investigation found that, since 2010, the city has negotiated settlements with at least 19 officers that included expunging from their records findings that they had given false statements during an investigation. About half of the violations were tied to excessive force cases or issues during arrests.

The discipline recommendations in these Rule 14 cases were all made prior to the current police administration, and the department said that it now moves to fire officers who violate Rule 14, so they are not able to file a grievance to dispute it.

A violation of police Rule 14 is problematic not only for the officer, but also for the department and the city. Lawyers have ammunition to challenge an officer’s credibility in court, and the officer might be viewed as dishonest in other aspects of the job, making it difficult to keep him on the street.

The department considers it so serious that before investigators interview officers they warn them that “failure to provide a complete and accurate statement” could result in “disciplinary action up to and including separation.”

When the city settles grievances with officers, including those that result in Rule 14 violations being dropped, the agreements provide no explanation for why a punishment is reduced or a charge eliminated. Fairley, the former COPA chief administrator, said the city and department “have to be careful” when they decide which cases to settle.

“Our view is that a Rule 14 should never be settled,” Fairley said in an interview before she left COPA in October to run for Illinois attorney general.

The department said it settled Rule 14 cases that it felt might not hold up if taken to arbitration, including because some cases were old or witnesses were no longer available. It said it also tries to gauge its odds of success by looking at whether similar cases were overturned in arbitration.

But the settling of 19 cases is even more significant in context; few officers were found to have violated Rule 14 in the first place.

“Enforcement in this area is rarely taken seriously and is largely ignored,” a U.S. Department of Justice investigation released early this year found.

The Justice Department investigation found 98 Rule 14 violations were sustained during the past five years, and questioned whether the number was low because officers were rarely held accountable for being untruthful.

As part of the settlements, the city agreed to keep the public from knowing about the Rule 14 violations. The department redacted the officer’s name, case number and all references to the Rule 14 finding from the settlement agreements, explaining to reporters requesting the information under the Freedom of Information Act that it had been stricken because an expungement is like it “never existed.”

That’s why Officer Vincent Torres’ disciplinary record won’t show that police officials years ago concluded he provided a false statement about his conduct to the Independent Police Review Authority, COPA’s predecessor.

Torres and his partner had stopped some teens in 2009 because they suspected the teens had just defaced a garage with graffiti and were driving the wrong way down a one-way street.

Witness Ed Zotti said he heard a commotion while working in his Lakeview home and looked out to see Torres kick the teen in the head while he was lying facedown in the street. The kick was so strong, Zotti said, that the teen’s head snapped back.

Disturbed by what he saw, Zotti, editor of the Straight Dope column in the Chicago Reader, wrote a letter to then-Superintendent Jody Weis saying, “I hope you will make clear to your officers that this kind of thing will not be tolerated.” He was interviewed by IPRA.

The last he heard, several years ago, his complaint had been upheld.

It was, not only by IPRA but also on appeal to the police board.

Ed Zotti, of Chicago, told police officials he saw an officer kick a handcuffed teen in the head. The officer was originally given a 30-day suspension but it was reduced to 15 days and the finding that he made a false statement was expunged after he grieved the punishment and the city settled the case. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune)

IPRA and the police board found Torres violated Rule 14 when he said he hadn’t kicked the teenager because both the teen and Zotti — who never spoke with each other — gave consistent accounts of what happened.

Torres was given a 30-day suspension for kicking a handcuffed teenager and denying it to investigators.

He filed a grievance in 2014. The case was headed to arbitration earlier this year when the city agreed to cut the suspension in half and drop the Rule 14 violation, and Torres agreed to drop his grievance, according to records from the department and IPRA. Torres could not be reached for comment.

Settlements are subject to open records requests but otherwise are not posted or shared with the public. Victims are not informed of the agreements.

Zotti, 66, said in a recent interview that he couldn’t understand how the city could drop the Rule 14 charge but uphold the excessive force.

“Either he did it or didn’t do it,” Zotti said. “It is not like he half did it.”

Wins and Losses

Cases that the city and union don’t agree to settle go to an arbitrator, whose decisions are binding and become the final word. Of the 147 suspension cases over the past seven years decided by an arbitrator, officers won 112, or about 76 percent of the time, records show.

Officer Matthew O’Brien faced a misconduct investigation after he stopped a car of five young black men, most of them out-of-town college students here for the Taste of Chicago during the July Fourth weekend in 2009.

He handcuffed the men together, wrist to wrist, searched their car, mocked their objections that they had done nothing wrong and made what investigative records called “racial comments.” Records show that O’Brien allegedly told them: “Johnnie Cochran is dead and Barack Obama can’t save you.”

Police wrote tickets for tinted windows and not having a city sticker, then let them go.

The men, two of whom had studied criminal justice in college, were so upset about how O’Brien treated them that they immediately lodged a complaint with IPRA and filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, which the city later settled for $9,500.

Jontavious Pruitt, who was 26 and from Tallahassee, Fla., remembers feeling humiliated as O’Brien searched the trunk of the car, took bottles of unopened liquor from a bag and smashed them on the ground.

“I don’t know if it was for laughs and giggles or jokes. I do know that’s not the way a police officer, someone who is supposed to be protecting us, should treat us,” said Pruitt, an information technology manager for the Atlanta Aviation Department.

O’Brien, IPRA determined, deserved a 10-day suspension for verbal abuse and a search of the car without justification, though the police superintendent disagreed.

O’Brien took the case to the police board. He argued that he was alone in an unsafe neighborhood on the city’s South Side and acted because the car’s windows were tinted. He denied making any racially charged comments.

The board upheld the suspension in October 2014 in a unanimous 6-0 ruling that concluded O’Brien’s “demeaning and unprofessional comments and his unauthorized search of the trunk are serious offenses.”

O’Brien filed a grievance that December. The case was heard by George Roumell, who has ruled on more Chicago police grievances than any of the other nine arbitrators who have decided cases since 2010.

Roumell sided with O’Brien. In a 15-page opinion issued last year, he said that taking five years to complete the investigation and serve the officer with a suspension “violated all concepts of fairness and all concepts of correction.”

With those words, the suspension was thrown out. O’Brien was promoted to sergeant this year.

Roumell and other arbitrators regularly overturned punishments because of the length of time it took to investigate the misconduct — a persistent problem for the Police Department and the city’s police oversight agencies.

The IPRA investigator who examined O’Brien’s case interviewed witnesses and the officer within a year but didn’t issue her report until two years after that, Roumell wrote. He mentioned another case in which he threw out an officer’s 45-day suspension on similar grounds.

“It’s like a slap in our face now,” said Xavier Hopkins, the driver of the car, now a call center manager and musician in Milwaukee. “Even if you try to do the right thing, you try to do it the right way by filing a complaint, there’s still no accountability.”

Xavier Hopkins was driving a car full of friends when they were stopped by a Chicago police officer, handcuffed together and later let go. The men filed a complaint. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune)

Another one of the men, Donya Jackson, then 23, said his desire to become a Chicago police officer ended that night. He now lives in Washington, D.C., and works in law enforcement for a federal agency.

“It was about the principle. About not allowing him to get away with it,” Jackson said. “But clearly, he got away with it.”

Roumell, who at 89 has been arbitrating cases for decades, declined to comment. A lawyer in Detroit and a former president of the State Bar of Michigan, he has ruled on at least 75 cases since 2010, siding with the officer 79 percent of the time. In 17 cases, he erased the punishment completely.

A ‘House of Cards’

While the grievance process is opaque, arbitrators’ written rulings offer some insight into the process and show that their rulings often are about more than officers’ conduct.

In labor arbitrations, the Police Department and other government employers must prove there was “just cause” to discipline the officer. The department has to show the officer was afforded due process during disciplinary proceedings, that the evidence proved the misconduct and that the punishment was warranted.

Arbitrator Daniel Nielsen, who has sided with officers in 22 of 26 cases he has decided since 2010, said officers succeed so often because the union backs only the strongest grievances. And, in fact, the union filed an additional 100 grievances since 2010 only to later withdraw them, the Tribune-ProPublica Illinois analysis found.

The losing party pays the arbitrator’s fees.

“You have to be very careful when you are looking at win-loss percentages because these cases aren’t randomly selected,” Nielsen said. “They are carefully screened. Nobody is going to pay thousands of dollars to take a dead loser in front of an arbitrator. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

The union, for instance, took the case of an officer suspended five days for a minor paperwork blunder. The officer had written a parking ticket to an off-duty police sergeant but missed an additional paperwork step and the sergeant filed a complaint against him.

The union argued that the penalty was “very heavy-handed.” Arbitrator Jacalyn Zimmerman agreed and threw out the suspension. “To discipline this officer in this manner for a technical violation is, quite simply, unconscionable,” Zimmerman wrote in her decision last year.

Robert Perkovich, a DePaul University professor, has served as an arbitrator in Chicago police cases for the past two decades. He has decided nine cases in recent years, ruling in favor of the officer in four of them. (Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune)

An arbitrator’s decision can be subjective, said Robert Perkovich, a DePaul University business professor who for 20 years has served as an arbitrator in Chicago police cases.

“The arbitrator is ultimately deciding what he or she believes is the just result,” Perkovich said. “It is a lot like beauty. It lies in the eye of the beholder.”

He likened a disciplinary case to a “house of cards” that can fall apart anytime depending on the evidence, even when the misconduct is not in dispute.

When Officer Hugo Thurmond’s grievance came before arbitrator Zimmerman, the facts were set: Thurmond had shot a man while off-duty and then fled without securing the scene or witnesses or even reporting it. So Zimmerman was deciding whether Thurmond’s failure to follow protocol warranted his 10-day suspension.

Thurmond and a woman he told investigators he had offered a ride to were parked in the Garfield Park neighborhood at 5:30 a.m. in June 2009, when a man tried to force the pair out of the car. Thurmond shot the man and drove off, leaving the man wounded and letting the woman out a few blocks away without getting her name or a statement.

The man crawled through a vacant lot and an alley, looking for help. A homeowner saw him and called 911. Thurmond waited a half-hour to report the shooting.

The Police Department argued before Zimmerman that Thurmond “should have been well aware of the importance of preserving the crime scene and rendering aid.”

The union argued he made a reasonable decision to flee because he was “in fear for his life.”

Zimmerman agreed with the union. In her decision, she cited the chaotic nature of the situation in concluding that Thurmond did not deserve a suspension.

Securing the crime scene “would, of course, have been optimum,” she ruled, “but it was not worth the grievant’s life.”

Zimmerman, a former chair of the Illinois Labor Relations Board who is married to arbitrator Nielsen, declined to comment. Thurmond could not be reached for comment.

The written decisions also offer a window into why arbitrators would rule in favor of an officer even when there’s clear evidence of wrongdoing. They may find that the misconduct warranted punishment but the discipline process was unfair.

That’s how Officer Jeffrey Kriv got a lesser punishment than he otherwise would have.

Kriv was charged with misconduct for a 2008 incident caught on video in which he reached into the rear of his squad car and punched a man detained on suspicion of drunken driving. The man had spit on him.

Kriv said he punched the man in self-defense after the man tried to kick him. But an IPRA investigator concluded that the video did not show that. Kriv, the investigator said, could have instead shut the door and asked for help.

IPRA recommended a five-day suspension in 2014, nearly six years after the incident, and Kriv filed a grievance.

The police superintendent agreed with IPRA that Kriv should be suspended, telling the arbitrator that Kriv “could simply have closed the door.” The union argued that Kriv used “reasonable force” to defend himself. It also pointed out that the man, who pleaded guilty to drunken driving, declined to cooperate with the IPRA investigation.

Zimmerman agreed that Kriv was guilty of mistreating the detainee. But she decided five days was “excessive,” citing how much time had passed between the incident and when the officer was served with the penalty.

“At this point, any corrective purpose has long expired,” she wrote in the January 2016 opinion. “This sort of conduct is still, however, sufficiently serious to warrant time off.”

She gave him two days without pay. It wasn’t Kriv’s only discipline, or his only successful grievance. In 2004, in a settlement agreement, he had a different five-day suspension reduced to a reprimand, records show.

“I was pissed I got suspended at all, to be honest with you,” Kriv said in an interview. “He starts spitting on me. It is disgusting. … What are my options? I am not going to duck and weave. I went in the back and clocked him. You are damn right I did. It got him to stop.

“He could have spat all night. What am I supposed to do, wait until he runs out of spit?”

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports & #Brittius says are provided by Sterling Publishing & Media News and all our posts, links can be found at here and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com or you can follow our breaking news posts on AceBreakingNews.WordPress.Com or become a member on Telegram

#Brittius says deficiencies when people try to be human, rather than doing their job…….We were trained that your service weapon was three times more likely to kill a member of your family than kill a perpetrator, and twice as likely to kill yourself than kill a perpetrator #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Dec.14: This is another News & Views by #Brittius our Ace US reporter of a breaking news post on Wednesday here:

#Brittius says deficiencies when people try to be human, rather than doing their job…….We were trained that your service weapon was three times more likely to kill a member of your family than kill a perpetrator, and twice as likely to kill yourself than kill a perpetrator…….Anytime, the is incidence with an Emotionally Disturbed Person, or possibility of a romantic or passion charged incident, ALWAYS, separate the person from any weapon, gun or otherwise…….Always watch their hands…….Always be aware of indicators in behavior or body language that will hint of a dangerous action, attack, or being violently charged physically, by the person……

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports & #Brittius says are provided by Sterling Publishing & Media News and all our posts, links can be found at here and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com or you can follow our breaking news posts on AceBreakingNews.WordPress.Com or become a member on Telegram

(JACKSONVILLE) #JSO is searching for a missing 2-year-old boy: JSO investigators say they are concerned for his safety he disappeared on Wednesday from daycare #AceNewsDesk says PLEASE SHARE

#AceNewsReport – Dec.14: Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office searching for missing child: Legend Jones was picked up from daycare by Keith Martin, a family friend, at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday #AceNewsDesk reports

JSOCrimeTips. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000, call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports & #Brittius says are provided by Sterling Publishing & Media News and all our posts, links can be found at here and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com or you can follow our breaking news posts on AceBreakingNews.WordPress.Com or become a member on Telegram

(NEW YORK) CNN Desperate to Overthrow the US Government: Fake News comes in all shapes and sizes none more than CNN & main stream media who have claimed for years they can be trusted to provide the #Truth but as we know its stranger than fiction and cannot all be relied on to be the real truth #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Dec.14: Editor says this a really great article and reveals what many have been saying about Clinton & Rothschild media organisation for years as today’s story by Armstrong Economics reports: CNN Desperate to Overthrow the US Government: #AceNewsDesk reports

// Armstrong Economics reports CNN, who claims to be Most Trusted Name in News™, has demonstrated that they are by no means to be trusted nor are they ever impartial. They are never reporting the news, they try so desperately to make the news…….CNN, along with MSNBC and CBS, have shown the entire world that the American Mainstream Media is nothing by ranting propaganda. The spectacle before the entire world came last Friday. CNN devoted 12 straight minutes to declare they had the exclusive bombshell that would get rid of Trump. They reported that they had an email which proved that WikiLeaks had secretly offered the Trump campaign, even to Donald Trump himself, special access to the Democratic National Committee emails BEFORE they were published on the internet. CNN reported that this would prove conspiracy between the Trump family and WikiLeaks. Of course, they have also declared that WikiLeaks was an “arm of Russian intelligence,” and therefore Trump had a direct personal link to Putin…….They based everything on an email sent by someone named “Michael J. Erickson” who nobody had heard of. CNN was not able to even identify who this person was. The email was addressed to Donald Trump Jr., which had offered a decryption key and access to DNC emails that WikiLeaks had “uploaded.”……CNN was so excited out of its mind for they would get rid of Trump for Hillary. They told the world the email was dated September 4, which was 10 days BEFORE WikiLeaks began promoting access to the emails online. They declared this was the smoking-gun clearly established that the Trump was being offered special advanced access to the DNC archive which they said was really from the Kremlin via Wikileaks…….CNN claimed it had “multiple sources” on this smoking-gun. They refuse to say who or how did they so stupidly take an email that was dated September 14th from a nobody and reported that it was dated September 4th. Hours after CNN had broadcast its story that would topple the Trump presidency and see him dragged from the White House in chains by his hair, Washington Post reported that CNN got the key fact of the story completely wrong. Their headline read: Email pointed Trump campaign to WikiLeaks documents that were already public……..So now, CNN, the Most Trusted Name in News™, has proven they are so biased, they read the email to be something they are so desperately trying to accomplish – the overthrow of the United States government……..

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports & #Brittius says are provided by Sterling Publishing & Media News and all our posts, links can be found at here and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com or you can follow our breaking news posts on AceBreakingNews.WordPress.Com or become a member on Telegram

#Editor says #NHS becomes first healthcare system in the world to publish numbers of avoidable deaths according to GOV.UK: But in house does not mean the #Truth and personal experiences & undercover reports leaves me waiting with baited breath #AceNewsDesk reports

Editors News & Views On #NHS Story to Publish Numbers of Unavoidable Deaths
#AceNewsReport – Dec.14: Editor says when my mother died l was asked to take part in a survey over this subject ….I agreed until l saw the proforma questions geared to obtaining only certain answers and then refused, I based this on exactly this scenario and of course when this type of story emanates from the Government saying the NHS will become the first healthcare organisation in the world to publish estimates of how many patients may have died because of problems in their care: Personally l have dealt with this organisation CQC and my experiences from my reporter undercover was none too pleasing on the outcome. But they say the publication follows a promise by the health secretary after a 2016 Care Quality Commission report found that the #NHS was missing opportunities to learn from patient deaths, and that too many families were not being included or listened to when an investigation happened…….Of course l wait and see and will provide an updated reported: Anyone with similar experiences can leave a comment or contact email l will not reveal names or email addresses if requested and l will check out and publish once approved #AceNewsDesk reports

Here is what // GOV.UK published today: The data will be published each quarter by individual trusts. 171 of the 223 trusts in England have already released or are releasing their first estimates by the end of December……..Each trust will make its own assessment of the number of deaths due to problems in care…….The data will not be comparable and will not be collated centrally. This will allow trusts to focus on learning from mistakes and sharing lessons across their organisations and their local healthcare systems…….Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: Every death resulting from a failing in care is an absolute tragedy, and despite the NHS being ranked as the world’s safest healthcare system for a second time, we still have a long way to go…….Too often I have heard from families saying that after mistakes happen they feel like a wall has gone up in the NHS, but publishing this data will help give grieving families the openness and answers they deserve. It marks a significant milestone in ensuring the NHS learns from every tragic case, sharing lessons across the whole system to prevent mistakes recurring and ultimately delivering safer care for all patients in the future………The programme is likely to cover between 1,250 and 9,000 deaths, which research suggests is the number of deaths each year that may be down to problems in care – a fraction of the 19.7 million treatments and procedures carried out by the NHS in 2016 to 2017…….These deaths range from rare but high-profile failings in care, to those which involve terminally ill patients who die earlier than expected. These deaths may make up a large number of those caused by problems in care, showing the need to continue to focus on improving all care, including end of life care……..By collecting this data and taking action in response to failings in care, NHS trusts and foundation trusts will be able to give grieving families an open and honest account of the circumstances that led to a death……….This work is already happening in some parts of the NHS, for example at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which recently held its first memorial service for those who have died in its care…….The data will allow trusts to learn from every failing in care, and then share lessons across the NHS to better protect patients in the future. For example, the Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, which as part of the Greater Manchester Partnership is working across Greater Manchester on mortality reviews, so that lessons learned are shared with other providers for the good of patients across the area…….Prof Ted Baker, chief inspector of hospitals at the Care Quality Commission, said: The NHS is the first healthcare system to commit to reporting and publishing information on the number of avoidable deaths in its hospitals and the work that is being done by individual NHS trusts to learn from those deaths……..This new level of transparency will be central to improving care and ensuring the safety of the NHS services we all rely on. We will use this information alongside the findings of our inspections to identify where providers must make improvements and to share good practice where we find hospitals that are doing it well……….We can be proud of the progress made over the past year, but the challenge now is to deliver the full vision of a safer learning culture………Executive Medical Director of NHS Improvement Dr Kathy McLean said:NHS trusts are undergoing a culture change in how they learn from deaths. Trusts across the country are improving how they engage and support bereaved families, how they ensure they learn from mistakes and share good practice…….We have been clear that the change required of trust boards is one of culture and leadership, rather than one of process and counting……

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports & #Brittius says are provided by Sterling Publishing & Media News and all our posts, links can be found at here and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com or you can follow our breaking news posts on AceBreakingNews.WordPress.Com or become a member on Telegram