Police Shot This Unarmed 19-Year-Old Dead. What They’re Doing Now Is Causing Outrage

Despite media and family requests, South Carolina is keeping under wraps the police dashcam videos that show the killing of a 19-year-old unarmed man last month. The video could also determine the truth of a claim by the family that police officers desecrated the victim’s body.

The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) last week rejected a media request for the Seneca Police Department video of the July 26th shooting of Zachary Hammond because the investigation is still active, and no arrests have been made. The importance of the video is made clear in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey.

“… the officer who opened Zachary’s door and pulled his dead body from the vehicle then went ‘to the trunk of his police car and pulled (SIC) something out,” the letter quoted a witness to the shooting as saying. “The officer walked back over to the man on the ground rolled him over to his side, put something underneath his body, and then rolled him back.’”

The letter further states: “…a police officer with a neighboring police force has confirmed to SLED that the Seneca Police Department celebrated the killing of Zachary by desecrating his corpse. After Zachary had been shot and killed, member(s) of the Seneca Police Department lifted his dead hand and ‘high fived’ Zachary Hammond.”

Although the Justice Department has now opened a civil rights inquiry into the case, his family fears that because the victim was white, there will not be the kind of outcry that accompanied other police shootings.

“It’s sad, but I think the reason is, unfortunately, the media and our government officials have treated the death of an unarmed white teenager differently than they would have if this were a death of an unarmed black teen,” family attorney Eric Bland said.

“The hypocrisy that has been shown toward this is really disconcerting,” Bland added. “They’re called the civil rights organizations, they’re not called the black rights organizations. The color of his skin should not matter. White-on-white crime does not get the same impact as white-on-black crime.”

Hammond was shot twice inside his vehicle at a Hardee’s parking lot. His family-arranged autopsy showed he was shot in the back. The officer who fired the bullets has maintained he was acting in self-defense and said Hammond was accelerating toward him. Police have said a small amount of marijuana was found on a woman with whom Hammond was on a date at the time of the shooting.

h/t: TheBlaze

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

The Betrayal Of Law Enforcement By Eric Holder

On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed 18 year old, 6’4”, 290 male, was shot and killed by Ferguson Missouri Police Officer Darren Wilson. Immediately prior to the shooting, Brown committed a strong-arm robbery at a local convenience store. These facts are not in dispute.

Soon after the incident, there were accusations that Michael Brown had attempted to surrender to Officer Wilson and had his hands up, pleading, “don’t shoot.” Riots ensued; and through the lenses of aggressive media outlets, all eyes were on Ferguson, Missouri. The president called Michael Brown’s parents to offer his condolences and assure the nation that the Department of Justice would conduct an investigation.

On November 25, 2014, a St. Louis grand jury, after hearing all the evidence, chose not to indict Officer Wilson. All of the above listed facts are not in dispute.

On March 4, 2015, the Department of Justice released their report on the shooting. What happens next should make anyone who carries a firearm, from police officers to concealed carriers, extremely nervous. Rather than follow the facts within the report, then-Attorney General Eric Holder chose “Social Justice” over “True Justice”. A.G. Holder stated the following at the press conference:

This morning, the Justice Department announced the conclusion of our investigation and released a comprehensive, 87-page report documenting our findings and conclusions that the facts do not support the filing of criminal charges against Officer Darren Wilson in this case. Michael Brown’s death, though a tragedy, did not involve prosecutable conduct on the part of Officer Wilson.

Now to many, that may not sound so bad. But anyone who took the time to read the report quickly learned that the shooting of Michael Brown was justified and completely exonerated Officer Darren Wilson. Numerous African American witnesses supported Officer Wilson’s actions that day. One witness stated:

Wilson did not fire his gun as Brown ran from him. Brown then turned around and “for a second” began to raise his hands as though he may have considered surrendering, but then quickly “balled up in fists” in a running position and “charged” at Wilson. Witness 104 described it as a “tackle run,” explaining that Brown “wasn’t going to stop.” Wilson fired his gun only as Brown charged at him, backing up as Brown came toward him. Witness 104 explained that there were three separate volleys of shots. Each time, Brown ran toward Wilson, Wilson fired, Brown paused, Wilson stopped firing, and then Brown charged again. The pattern continued until Brown fell to the ground, “smashing” his face upon impact. Wilson did not fire while Brown momentarily had his hands up. Witness 104 explained that it took some time for Wilson to fire, adding that she “would have fired sooner.”

Witness after witness supported the shooting as reasonable and justified. The witnesses’ accounts detailed exactly what happened that day and matched up with the details provided by Officer Wilson and the forensic evidence. All the witnesses agreed that Michael Brown never had his hands up to surrender and, after attacking Officer Wilson in the patrol car, getting shot in the hand and running away, turned back around and charged Officer Wilson in a rage. Another witness stated:

According to Witness 102, he saw Brown standing on the driver’s side of the SUV, bent over with his body through the driver’s window from the waist up. Witness 102 explained that Brown was “wrestling” through the window, but he was unable to see what Wilson was doing. After a few seconds, Witness 102 heard a gunshot. Immediately, Brown took off running in the opposite direction from where Witness 102 was standing. Witness 102 heard something metallic hit the ground. Witness 102 thought that he had just witnessed the murder of a police officer because a few seconds passed before Wilson emerged from the SUV. Wilson then chased Brown with his gun drawn, but not pointed at Brown, until Brown abruptly turned around at a nearby driveway. Witness 102 explained that it made no sense to him why Brown turned around. Brown did not get on the ground or put his hands up in surrender. In fact, Witness 102 told investigators that he knew “for sure that [Brown’s] hands were not above his head.” Rather, Brown made some type of movement similar to pulling his pants up or a shoulder shrug, and then “charged” at Wilson. It was only then that Wilson fired five or six shots at Brown. Brown paused and appeared to flinch, and Wilson stopped firing. However, Brown charged at Wilson again, and again Wilson fired about three or four rounds until Brown finally collapsed on the ground. Witness 102 was in disbelief that Wilson seemingly kept missing because Brown kept advancing forward. Witness 102 described Brown as a “threat,” moving at a “full charge.” Witness 102 stated that Wilson only fired shots when Brown was coming toward Wilson. It appeared to Witness 102 that Wilson’s life was in jeopardy.

What A.G. Holder should have done that day is admit the facts:

  • Michael Brown committed a strong-arm robbery.
  • Michael Brown attacked a police officer when contacted on the streets.
  • Michael Brown, while beating the officer in his patrol car, was shot in the hand.
  • Michael Brown never had his hands up and never said “don’t shoot.”
  • The shooting of Michael Brown was completely justified, and Officer Darren Wilson is exonerated.

But that didn’t happen. The facts from DOJ’s own report support everything I just listed, but somehow that didn’t get relayed to the nation. Instead, A.G. Holder then went into a new DOJ report detailing the ticketing practices of the Ferguson Police department and how it significantly impacted the black community. I don’t have a problem with anyone presenting evidence of poor enforcement practices by the Ferguson Police Department if changes need to be made, but what got skipped over here was the fact that the shooting of Michael Brown was justified.

This should matter to every citizen who carries a gun because it means it doesn’t matter if the shooting was lawful or justified. The important thing is “social justice”; and if you get run over on the road to “social justice,” so be it. A.G. Holder had an obligation to every person sworn to uphold the laws of this fine nation. As the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the United States Government, A.G. Holder had an obligation to present the facts to the American people. He failed every person across the country that wears a badge; and did an injustice to us all by not clearing Officer Wilson’s good name.

DOJ Report on Michael Brown Shooting

Eric Holder Press Conference on Michael Brown Shootings

John Risenhoover is a Marine Corp veteran who served 26 years with ATF as a Senior Special Agent, Branch Chief and National Coordinator. While at ATF, he developed the DOJ and ATF National Strategy to combat actual gun violence without infringing on Americans’ 2nd Amendment Rights. He carries a Glock 27 in an Alien Gear 3.0 Cloak Tuck holster.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Report: The True Reason For The FBI Probe Into Hillary’s Emails Is Not What Clinton Camp Claims

As much as Hillary Clinton and her presidential campaign try to spin the just-announced FBI probe into the former secretary of state’s email practices as not that big a deal and just a fact-finding exercise, the true nature of the Bureau’s inquiry is much more serious. So says a bombshell report in the New York Post that definitively labels the FBI’s action as a “criminal probe.”

The feds are investigating to what extent Clinton relied on her home server and other private devices to send and store classified documents, according to a federal source with knowledge of the inquiry.

“It’s definitely a criminal probe,” said the [Post’s unidentified] source. “I’m not sure why they’re not calling it a criminal probe.”

As Western Journalism reported late last month — when two inspectors general asked the Justice Department to open an investigation into Hillary’s use of a private email account maintained on a personal server — The New York Times was persuaded by the Clinton campaign to change its original story.

The first report published by the Times said the request was for Justice to launch a “criminal” probe. After complaints from Hillary’s image-protection team, the “criminal” description was eliminated in favor of less provocative, more neutral language.

Now, however, another New York-based publication, the Post, has thrown the eyebrow-raising “c” word back into the mix and once again raised the specter of Hillary’s Clinton’s extreme jeopardy, not only with regard to her presidential aspirations, but to her being charged with a serious crime.

If it is proved that Clinton knowingly sent, received or stored classified information in an unauthorized location, she risks prosecution under the same misdemeanor federal security statute used to prosecute former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus, said former federal prosecutor Bradley Simon.

The statute — which was also used to prosecute Bill Clinton’s national security adviser, Sandy Berger, in 2005 — is rarely used and would be subject to the discretion of the attorney general.

The report in the New York Post quotes a former chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and one-time official in the Department of Justice, who explains what the FBI’s “criminal” investigation is most likely looking at:

“My guess is they’re looking to see if there’s been either any breach of that data that’s gone into the wrong hands [in Clinton’s case], through their counter-intelligence group, or they are looking to see if a crime has been committed,” said Makin Delrahim, former chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, who served as a deputy assistant secretary in the Bush DOJ.

As of this writing, neither the Hillary Clinton campaign nor anyone from the FBI has confirmed the claim in the Post story.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

BREAKING: Hillary’s Hopes For The Presidency May Now Lie With Obama’s New Attorney General

The scandal surrounding emailgate — then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account managed on a personal server — has just been escalated to a higher level that could prove extremely damaging to Mrs. Clinton’s hopes for the White House.

The New York Times reports that the Justice Department has been asked to open “a criminal investigation into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state, senior government officials said Thursday.”

And it’s not a Republican politician or a conservative watchdog group that’s requesting the criminal probe of Mrs. Clinton’s email practices. It’s two inspectors general working for the federal government who have reportedly asked for the inquiry into whether Hillary included classified information — sensitive government secrets — in the emails she sent. Mrs. Clinton has denied that she ever included any classified material in her many thousands of official emails when she was the country’s top diplomat.

However, as The Times article points out, when Mrs. Clinton turned over to the State Department the digital communications she had held and controlled on her private server, the review of those emails raised serious and troubling questions.

In the course of the email review, State Department officials determined that some information in the messages should be retroactively classified. In the 3,000 pages that were released, for example, portions of two dozen emails were redacted because they were upgraded to “classified status.” But none of those were marked as classified at the time Mrs. Clinton handled them.

So now, President Obama’s new Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, will have a huge say in whether a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s controversial email practices will be undertaken. Such a criminal probe would almost certainly further damage Mrs. Clinton’s already shaky image for being an honest and trustworthy person.

Just a couple of days ago, Western Journalism reported on a new poll from Quinnipiac that showed Mrs. Clinton losing serious ground to potential Republican challengers in three key swing states. The survey confirmed what other polls have found in recent weeks — the frontrunner for the 2016 Democrat nomination for president is not seen as particularly honest and trustworthy.

Mrs. Clinton recently drew a fair share of snickers and snide comments when she boasted to a CNN interviewer, “People should and do trust me.” Should Obama’s attorney general decide that a criminal probe is warranted into Hillary’s emails and their possibly classified content, even the presidential candidate herself would be hard-pressed to make that statement again with a straight face.

Should a criminal investigation be launched over Hillary Clinton’s controversial email practices? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Confirmed: Obama Is About To Go To A Federal Prison, And The Inmates Will Love To See Him Coming

President Barack Obama announced Monday that he has commuted the sentences of 46 federal prisoners. He has now commuted 89 prisoners’ sentences, surpassing the total of presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush combined.

Obama plans to visit El Reno federal prison in Oklahoma on Thursday to help highlight the plight of prisoners whose incarceration time he believes does not fit the crime. His trip will mark the first time a sitting president visited a federal prison.

Obama is slated to do an interview with VICE News to highlight his criminal justice reform agenda. VICE is shooting a documentary set to air on HBO in the fall about the topic, which the filmmaker said has become “a major…civil rights” issue. The nation’s Chief Executive also plans to address the topic at the annual NAACP conference in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

As reported by the New York Times, the president intends to commute the sentences of more prisoners during the upcoming months. Over 35,000 inmates took up the Obama administration’s offer to apply for a commutation of their sentences. A commutation reduces the prison sentence time; however, it does not erase the criminal record as a presidential pardon does.

According to the Justice Department, Obama has granted 64 pardons since taking office, which is low by historic standards: Reagan granted 393 (over 2 terms); H.W. Bush, 74; Clinton, 396 (2 terms); and W. Bush, 189 (2 terms).

In a video posted on the White House Facebook page Monday, President Obama said that the 46 sentences he commuted were for people who committed drug-related offenses. He noted that, under current sentencing guidelines, nearly all of the prisoners he ordered released would have already served their time.

“These men and women were not hardened criminals,” he said. “But the overwhelming majority had to be sentenced to at least 20 years.” He added: “…I believe that at its heart, America’s a nation of second chances. And I believe these folks deserve their second chance.”

The New York Times reports: “The Center for American Progress, a liberal advocacy organization with close ties to the White House and Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, has teamed up with Koch Industries, the conglomerate owned by the conservative brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch, who finance Republican candidates, to press for reducing prison populations and overhauling sentencing.” Libertarian-minded GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has indicated he supports reform in these areas, as well.

The Washington Post notes that the Obama administration is working with the Clemency Project 2014, a consortium of four groups that is supplying lawyers to work pro-bono to review all the tens of thousands of applicants. For those deemed deserving, petitions will be prepared by the lawyers and sent to the Department of Justice for review, which will then refer those it deems worthy to White House counsel, who will make the final recommendations to the president.

Each of the inmates whose sentence has been reduced receives a letter from the president. In it, Obama indicates only a “small fraction” of the applicants were granted the opportunity they are receiving, encouraging them to use it wisely. He writes:

I am granting your application because you have demonstrated the potential to turn your life around. Now it is up to you to make the most of this opportunity. It will not be easy, and you will confront many who doubt people with criminal records can change. Perhaps even you are unsure of how you will adjust to your new circumstances.

But remember that you have the capacity to make good choices…I believe in your ability to prove the doubters wrong, so good luck and Godspeed.

Do you agree with President Obama’s plan to release these prisoners? Please leave your comments below. 

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth