Family Hires High-Profile Civil-Rights Lawyer after Roadside Shooting of Black Church Musician by Officer in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Corey Jones, a drummer who played in his church and in a band, finished a gig when his car broke down on the freeway exit ramp. Mr. Huntsberger, a fellow band member went to meet him, and when the two were unable to start the car, Mr. Jones called roadside assistance. Mr. Huntsberger departed and Mr. Jones waited for roadside assistance to arrive. Officer Nouman Raja was on duty, working in plainclothes and driving an unmarked vehicle, and stopped to investigate. A confrontation took place, where Raja discharged his firearm, resulting in the death of Mr. Jones. On Tuesday, the family announced it had hired Benjamin Crump, a civil rights lawyer who has worked on numerous highly publicized cases, including representing the family of Trayvon Martin.

Las Vegas Police Face Civil Rights Lawsuit over Marijuana Arrests

Courtney Roglaksi claims she and a guest were falsely imprisoned in 2013 after police searched her home and illegally confiscated her supply of medical marijuana. Ms. Rogalski claims that at the time of her arrest, she held a valid medical marijuana card and had a valid medical marijuana waiver which allowed her to have 15 ounces of usable marijuana and 49 marijuana plants. Without a waiver, Nevada limits medical marijuana cardholders to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and 12 plants. According to the lawsuit, Ms. Rogalski did not exceed the limits of her waiver, and police illegally confiscated her growing equipment, marijuana, and destroyed her property.

Ben Carson Compares Abortion Rights to Slavery

During an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Ben Carson compared abortion to slavery, suggesting that a woman’s right to make choices about her body is equivalent to slave owners doing “whatever they wanted to that slave.” He claimed that situations in which abortion is necessarily to save the life of the mother are “extraordinarily rare,” and although he said he might be willing to discuss an exception in those circumstances, he refused to say it should be allowed. He adamantly opposed abortions in cases of race or incest. Yet, a 2012 CNN poll found that 88% of Americans believe abortion should be legal when the mother’s life is endangered, and 83% believe it should be legal when in cases of rape or incest.

ACLU Calls for Federal Probe After a Man Died in Jail for Traffic Tickets

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has called for a federal investigation following the death of David Stojcevski in prison. Stojcevski had been sentenced to 30 days in jail for $773 in unpaid traffic fines. The ACLU asserts that Judge Joseph Boedeker may have violated the law by imprisoning him without first assessing his ability to pay, as required by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bearden v. Georgia. Transcripts from the sentencing hearing show that Judge Boedeker made no inquiries as to Stojcevski’s finances or his ability to pay his fines. Cameras capture Stojcevski lying on the floor naked and writing in his final years, and the ACLU has charged Macomb County Jail with allowing Stojcevski to die. Stojcevski’s death is also the subject of an inquiry by the FBI, in response to a lawsuit filed by his family, alleging that the medical staff failed to respond to Stojcevski’s drug addictions (he had a prescription for methadone and was also using Xanax and Klonopin). By the time he died, 16 days after his incarceration, he had lost at least 45 pounds, and an autopsy attributed his death to acute withdrawal.

Women’s Civil Rights Groups Urging the U.S. Department of Education to Adopt New Guidelines for Anonymous Social Media Threats

Katz, Marshall & Banks filed a Title IX complaint against the University of Mary Washington in May, alleging that members of the Feminists United club on campus were threatened with rape and death and cyberstalked, after speaking out against Greek life and an explicit chant by the UMW rugby club, entitled “Never Fuck a Whore.” The U.S. Department of Education launched a civil rights investigation into the University of Mary Washington after a member of the feminist group was murdered.  After filing the lawsuit, the firm followed up with a letter to the U.S. Department of education, urging federal guidelines for dealing with anonymous social media threats on campuses nationwide. The letter asserts that online harassment disproportionately affects women and people of color, making its use a Title IX and Title VII Civil Rights Act issue. Suggested guidelines included: investigating all reports of online harassment, even those that are anonymous, initiating campus disciplinary proceedings against individuals engaged in online harassment, banning anonymous social media applications used to threaten and intimidate students, providing counseling for targets, etc.

 

 

Written by

Meghan is a 2L at HLS. She is interested in criminal justice, women's rights, and the effects of modern technology on civil liberties. Prior to law school, Meghan completed a Masters in Politics and Communication at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and worked in communications in New York City on behalf of nonprofits and advocacy groups to raise the local minimum wage, pass education reform, and institute prison reforms regarding the use of solitary confinement.

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