Gilbert_Stuart_Williamstown_Portrait_of_George_WashingtonBelow is my column in the Hill Newspaper on the call for the removal of the statue of George Washington in my hometown of Chicago.  This is not the first such call to remove statues of confederate figures or those who supported segregation. The most recent such removal was the removal of the statue of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney due to his authorship of the Dredd Scott decision.  There have been demands that monuments and the names of slave-owning founders be removed.

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Wreckage of U.S.S. Indianapolis Found

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“Payback Time”: “Unite The Right” Organizer Denounces Heather Heyer As “Fat, Disgusting Communist”

14xp-heather-master315An entire country mourned the death of Heather Heyer, a paralegal, who went to Charlottesville to protest the hateful march of neo-Nazis and clansmen — only to be murdered when James A. Fields, 20, allegedly rammed his car into protesters.  Now the organizer of the racist march has sent out a tweet calling her a “fat, disgusting Communist” — a tweet he later blamed on being drugged out of his gourd.  Jason Kessler explained that he has been doing some heavy drugs and drinking lately.

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Pennsylvania Teacher Falls Off Hotel Roof In Mexico After Laughing Too Hard

1503079519729While people often chide the United States for our torts system and personal liability laws, occasional stories from other countries remind us of how important liability can be to influence accident avoidance.  Sharon Regoli Ciferno, 50, a teacher at Charles A. Huston Middle School in western Pennsylvania, was vacationing in Mexico when she fell off a hotel roof that used a deck ledge as a bench.  Ciferno laughed so hard that she lost her balance in throwing her head back and fell off the roof.

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A Picture Frozen In Time: California Man Killed In Spanish Terror Attack

1503110024263Every terrorist attack brings a myriad of tragic stories of lives cut short by extremists who believe that mowing down innocent people will please God and guarantee them a place in paradise.  I had to share this picture on one such tragedy in the death of American Jared Tucker, 42, who took this picture one hour with his wife Heidi Nunes before being murdered in the streets of Barcelona Spain.  They were celebrating their one-year anniversary. Continue reading

Tenth Circuit Strips Qualified Immunity After Sheriff’s Office Raids Home Of Tea Growers

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

There are some cases where probable cause is questioned and there are a few others that leave me shaking my head in disbelief of how ridiculous some officers can be.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals recently handed down a stinging rebuke of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and its deputies some of whom, Plaintiffs claim, lied about a field test of a suspected Marijuana product, finding evidence of marijuana grow derived from purchasing tools at a gardening retailer somehow established probable cause sufficient to send in a SWAT team to execute a search warrant and detain a couple for several hours.

The leafy green vegetable matter in question was not marijuana but tea leaves.

It is a classic example of department officials promising to make a publicity garnering drug sweep and when arrests are not made, someone must be sent to jail at all costs. And as can often be the case with such maligned efforts the end result was a civil rights lawsuit in federal court.

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