Justice Dept. ends probe of cops' use of force in drug suspect's arrest; suspect's lawyer calls fed's decision 'unfortunate'

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The Justice Department ended its probe of Florida cops' use of force in a late September arrest of a drug suspect, the Associated Press reported.

James Felte Jr. — the department's criminal section chief — wrote in a letter to Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters that the arrest of Le’Keian Woods doesn't present a prosecutable violation of federal civil rights laws, the AP said.

What's the background?

Woods ran from police after a traffic stop and appeared to resist arrest, even after getting hit with a taser.

A passerby recorded cellphone video of Woods' arrest, which showed numerous officers using force to gain control of him, including slamming his head into the ground; the video also showed Woods' swollen face after he was handcuffed.

Jacksonville police release report, booking photo of man accusing officers of brutality youtu.be

Woods' attorney called for a federal investigation and accused Waters of a cover-up, the AP said in a previous story. But Waters ripped critics during a news conference during which bodycam video of the arrest was shown:

"So, it's pretty unbelievable, disheartening, to have to announce that social media is not reality. Its content is not fact-checked by any entity. Because of this misinformation campaign by the anti-police fringe, our agency has come under fire, and individual detectives' lives have been threatened. This intentionally misguiding manipulation of facts is wrong and dangerous, and I will not remain silent while the truth is buried to advance a particular agenda. The truth is Woods sustained facial injuries when he fled from police and was tased [and] fell face-first onto the concrete. Detectives struggled with him, and as I stated before, they used strikes to ... gain control, but he continued to resist arrest. The outcome of Woods' apprehension contrast[s] with that of his friends in the truck who immediately complied with police and suffered no physical injury. Force looks ugly, as I stated before, because all force is ugly, not because the detectives engaged in misconduct. And based on the currently available information, the agency believes that the involved detectives acted appropriately with respect to the law and [sheriff's office] policy."

Here's the video of the news conference. Bodycam video showing the traffic stop, chase, and Woods' arrest begins at the 7:49 mark:

— (@)

Waters and Mike Shell, his assistant chief for public accountability, said officers knew Woods had been accused of murder at one time, was on probation for armed robbery, and had been connected to firearms and drug trafficking when they chased him after the traffic stop, the AP reported.

Woods has been on probation after pleading no contest to a 2017 Tallahassee robbery in which he and his roommate tried to rob a marijuana dealer at gunpoint, the AP noted, citing court records.

The dealer pulled his own gun and fatally shot the roommate as Woods fled, the outlet also said, adding that Woods originally was charged with second-degree murder over his roommate’s death, but a plea bargain was reached last year that released him without prison time.

Woods was charged in this latest encounter with resisting arrest with violence, armed trafficking in cocaine and methamphetamine, and other felonies, the AP noted.

'Unfortunate'

Woods' attorney Harry Daniels told the AP in a statement that "while it is unfortunate that the DOJ’s Special Litigation Section has chosen to close its review so quickly despite the clear evidence before them, it is not surprising. At the end of the day, that’s why we have the civil courts where a jury will ultimately decide justice.”

The outlet, citing his attorneys, said Woods suffered a ruptured kidney, vomiting, and migraine headaches following the confrontation.

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Arizona sheriff condemns shipping container wall along southern border: 'This whole project is illegal'

Arizona sheriff condemns shipping container wall along southern border: 'This whole project is illegal'

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One Arizona sheriff has threatened action against those contractors helping Governor Doug Ducey (R) to build a wall along the state's southern border with Mexico.

For over four months, Ducey has facilitated the construction of a makeshift border wall by using shipping containers to fill in gaps in the wall constructed under former President Donald Trump. The shipping container project has largely been successful. The areas around Yuma in the southwestern region of the state, which has long been a hot spot for illegal immigrants and drug smugglers crossing into the United States, were fortified back in August. Now, during Ducey's final days in office, the project continues apace through Cochise County, which is located in the southeastern corner of Arizona.

However, one sheriff in charge of a border county in between the two has threatened those who want to place those shipping containers in his jurisdiction. Sheriff David Hathaway of Santa Cruz County calls the entire project "illegal."

"This whole project is illegal," he recently stated. "It’s illegal on the federal level, the state level, and the local level."

From Hathaway's perspective, those who participate in building the shipping container wall are not much different from those committing violent crimes, such as murder and grand theft auto.

"It's not state land, it's not private land, and the federal government has said this [is] illegal activity," Hathaway said, echoing talking points of the Biden administration. "So just the way if I saw somebody doing an assault or a homicide or a vehicle theft on public land within my county, I would charge that person with a crime."

Not only is the makeshift wall illegal, Hathaway said, but those constructing it are committing other crimes that endanger his community. Hathaway claimed that many of the truck drivers transporting materials to construct the wall elsewhere are "barreling through town," ignoring stop signs, and "flying past children," the Intercept reports.

"I’ve advised my deputies to especially scrutinize that area looking for speed violations, reckless endangerment, reckless driving," Hathaway added.

Sheriff Hathaway has even aligned himself with activists in his community who are attempting to thwart progress on the wall. A handful of protestors, who insist that the shipping containers threaten human and environmental safety, have attempted to disrupt further construction. Hathaway expressed admiration and support for their efforts, which he called "very valiant" and which he compared to "a Tiananmen Square-type situation."



Thus far, the shipping containers have not encroached on Santa Cruz County, so there's little that Hathaway can do as sheriff. However, the wall inches ever closer to his jurisdiction. There are shipping containers placed in Cochise County within six miles of its border with Santa Cruz County.

Hathaway is also optimistic that the shipping container wall will end once Ducey leaves office. Democrat Katie Hobbs was declared Ducey's successor in the election last month, and Hathaway stated that he has already been in touch with members of her team.

Hathaway also posted to Twitter images of two different meetings he had with Hobbs in August while she was on the campaign trail.

\u201cSheriff David Hathaway giving Governor candidate Katie Hobbs a tour of the beautiful ranchlands of Santa Cruz County.\u201d
— Sheriff David Hathaway, Santa Cruz County, AZ (@Sheriff David Hathaway, Santa Cruz County, AZ) 1661885256
\u201cGovernor candidate Katie Hobbs comes by to visit Sheriff Hathaway at the Hathaway Ranch in Nogales.\u201d
— Sheriff David Hathaway, Santa Cruz County, AZ (@Sheriff David Hathaway, Santa Cruz County, AZ) 1659817907


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The video is from the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office in Oklahoma

Lawsuit: Indiana corrections officer sold male inmates keys to women's facility, stood by during 'night of terror' that included rape resulting in miscarriage



Nearly 30 current and former inmates in the women's detention facility in Clark County, Indiana, have sued a local sheriff, a corrections officer, and several other "unknown jail officers," alleging that they either actively or passively permitted male inmates to access the female housing pod and inflict a "night of terror" on female detainees.

According to a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in New Albany, Indiana, 28 women allege that David Lowe, a corrections officer at the Clark County Jail, sold male inmates the keys to the women's facility for $1,000. Then late in the evening of October 23, 2021, the men entered the women's facility and attacked female residents for hours, while Lowe and other guards stood by and did nothing.

"This federal civil rights action arises from a night of terror at the Clark County Jail ... On the night of October 23, and into the early morning hours of October 24, 2021, numerous male detainees used the keys obtained from LOWE to enter Pods 4(E) and 4(F) where they raped, assaulted, harassed, threatened and intimidated the Plaintiffs in this lawsuit, and other women, for several hours, resulting in significant physical and emotional injuries."

According to the lawsuit, at least two women were raped during the attack, and one of the victims became pregnant as a result of the assault and later miscarried.

"Since she had been in custody for numerous months, there is no chance she was pregnant before she entered the Clark County Jail," said William McCall, an attorney representing 20 of the women in the lawsuit. "My client had a miscarriage in December 2021."

Not only were the women brutalized, the lawsuit alleges, but they were subsequently subjected to harsh treatment from jail officials. After the attack, which was captured on jail surveillance, officers revoked the women's "dark" or "lights out" privileges at night, placed the residents in lockdown, and confiscated some of their personal belongings, including hygiene items.

Sheriff Jamey Noel is also named in the lawsuit.

"This was a complete and utter breakdown of the one thing that you should be relying, that you should be able to rely upon jails to provide and that's security. The response should be immediate. There are cameras in those pods specifically for that reason," said attorney Bart Betteau, who represents one of the women. "And when this happens, in the night, men crashing through the door and you have zero control from that moment on, maybe you can start to understand the damages these women went through."

Lowe was arrested within days of the incident and faces felony charges of escape, official misconduct, and trafficking with an inmate. His hearing is scheduled for November 2022. He has pled not guilty and told the Washington Post that the inmates stole the keys and that he had been "coerced and assaulted into making a false confession."

Lawsuit: Indiana corrections officer sold male inmates keys to women's facility, stood by during 'night of terror' that included rape resulting in miscarriage



Nearly 30 current and former inmates in the women's detention facility in Clark County, Indiana, have sued a local sheriff, a corrections officer, and several other "unknown jail officers," alleging that they either actively or passively permitted male inmates to access the female housing pod and inflict a "night of terror" on female detainees.

According to a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in New Albany, Indiana, 28 women allege that David Lowe, a corrections officer at the Clark County Jail, sold male inmates the keys to the women's facility for $1,000. Then late in the evening of October 23, 2021, the men entered the women's facility and attacked female residents for hours, while Lowe and other guards stood by and did nothing.

"This federal civil rights action arises from a night of terror at the Clark County Jail ... On the night of October 23, and into the early morning hours of October 24, 2021, numerous male detainees used the keys obtained from LOWE to enter Pods 4(E) and 4(F) where they raped, assaulted, harassed, threatened and intimidated the Plaintiffs in this lawsuit, and other women, for several hours, resulting in significant physical and emotional injuries."

According to the lawsuit, at least two women were raped during the attack, and one of the victims became pregnant as a result of the assault and later miscarried.

"Since she had been in custody for numerous months, there is no chance she was pregnant before she entered the Clark County Jail," said William McCall, an attorney representing 20 of the women in the lawsuit. "My client had a miscarriage in December 2021."

Not only were the women brutalized, the lawsuit alleges, but they were subsequently subjected to harsh treatment from jail officials. After the attack, which was captured on jail surveillance, officers revoked the women's "dark" or "lights out" privileges at night, placed the residents in lockdown, and confiscated some of their personal belongings, including hygiene items.

Sheriff Jamey Noel is also named in the lawsuit.

"This was a complete and utter breakdown of the one thing that you should be relying, that you should be able to rely upon jails to provide and that's security. The response should be immediate. There are cameras in those pods specifically for that reason," said attorney Bart Betteau, who represents one of the women. "And when this happens, in the night, men crashing through the door and you have zero control from that moment on, maybe you can start to understand the damages these women went through."

Lowe was arrested within days of the incident and faces felony charges of escape, official misconduct, and trafficking with an inmate. His hearing is scheduled for November 2022. He has pled not guilty and told the Washington Post that the inmates stole the keys and that he had been "coerced and assaulted into making a false confession."

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