20 May, 2024
2 mins read

Body camera video shows fatal shooting of Black airman by Florida deputy in apartment doorway, attorney says

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A Florida sheriff released body camera video Thursday showing a deputy outside an apartment door and firing immediately when it was opened by a Black man carrying a handgun pointed downward, a killing the family denounced as “unjustifiable.”

Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden presented the video hours after the family of US Air Force Senior Airman Roger Fortson and their attorney held a news conference in which they disputed that the deputy acted in self-defense. Aden rejected assertions made by civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Fortson’s family, that the deputy had gone to the wrong apartment, covered the door’s peephole and did not announce himself.

The video shows the deputy arriving at a Fort Walton Beach apartment building on May 3 and speaking to a woman outside who described someone hearing an argument. The deputy then went up an elevator and walked down an outdoor hallway.

Chantimekki Fortson, mother of Roger Fortson, a US Navy airman, holds a photo of her son...
Chantimekki Fortson, mother of Roger Fortson, a US Navy airman, holds a photo of her son during a news conference regarding his death, with Attorney Ben Crump, right, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla. Fortson was shot and killed by police in his apartment on May 3, 2024. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)(AP)

The video shows the deputy banging on the door and stepping aside, apparently out of view of the door. Twice he shouted: “Sheriff’s office! Open the door!”

Fortson opened the door and could be seen holding what appeared to be handgun pointed down toward the floor. The deputy shouted, “Step back!” and fired off shots. He then shouted, “Drop the gun! Drop the gun!”

“It’s over there,” Fortson said.

“Drop the gun!” the deputy shouted back.

“I don’t have it,” Fortson said, lying on the ground.

The deputy then called

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US airman shot, killed in Florida was from Atlanta

11Alive confirmed Wednesday night that Roger Fortson was from Atlanta and graduated from McNair High School in DeKalb County.

ATLANTA — A Black United States Air Force airman shot and killed in Florida by deputies at his off-base apartment complex was from metro Atlanta, according to attorney.

Senior Airman Roger Fortson, a 23-year-old US service member, was fatally shot on May 3 after the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office claimed a deputy responding to a call about a disturbance in progress “reacting in self-defense after he encountered a 23 -year-old man armed with a gun.”

11Alive confirmed Wednesday night from attorney that Fortson was from Atlanta and graduated from McNair High School in DeKalb County. Following graduation, Fortson enlisted in the Air Force, where he was based at the Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field — right near Fort Walton Beach.

Fortson can be seen below on graduation day at McNair High School:

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump said in a statement that Fortson was on a FaceTime call with a woman at the time of the encounter.

According to Crump, the woman, whom Crump didn’t identify, said Fortson was alone in his apartment when he heard a knock at the door. He asked who was there but didn’t get a response. A few minutes later, Fortson heard a louder knock but didn’t see anyone when he looked through the peephole, Crump said, citing the woman’s account.

The woman said Fortson was concerned and went to retrieve his gun, which Crump said was legally owned.

As Fortson walked back through his living room, deputies burst through the door, seeing that Fortson was armed and shot him six times, according to Crump’s statement. The woman said Fortson was on the ground, saying, “I can’t breathe,” after he was shot, Crump said.


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US Attorney Hurwit highlights success of fentanyl distribution prosecution efforts in eastern Idaho – LocalNews8.com

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) – On Friday, US Attorney Josh Hurwit announced the results of six separate distribution of fentanyl cases in eastern Idaho.

“The case results announced today reflect stellar work by our prosecutors and staff in our Pocatello branch office,” US Attorney Hurwit said. “Together with our law enforcement partners in the region, our office is rising to meet the challenge that fentanyl trafficking poses to communities in Eastern Idaho. The partnerships that drive these cases will continue to make all of Idaho a terrible place for drug dealers to do business.”

The first was a Pocatello man sentenced to 121 months for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

25-year-old Donny Ray Moreno was sentenced by Chief US District Judge David C. Nye to 121 months in federal prison for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

According to court records, law enforcement began investigating Moreno for distributing controlled substances in January 2021. The investigation culminated on November 2, 2021, when law enforcement attempted to stop Moreno in Downey, Idaho. Moreno fled from law enforcement in his vehicle at a high rate of speed. During the 45-minute pursuit, Moreno threw 97 grams of fentanyl and a handgun out of his car window. Law enforcement eventually stopped Moreno and later recovered the fentanyl and other items that had been thrown from Moreno’s vehicle.

Judge Nye also ordered Moreno to serve three years of supervised release following his prison sentence. Moreno pleaded guilty to the federal charge in January 2024.

US Attorney Hurwit thanked the Idaho State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the BADGES Task Force for their investigation.

The second was a California man sentenced to 70 months for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

40-year-old Andrew Haney of Torrance, CA, was sentenced by Chief US

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US attorney vows to keep fighting illegal marijuana grows in Maine

The top federal prosecutor in Maine has vowed to keep up the crackdown on illegal marijuana operations in the state.

In a Friday statement, US Attorney Darcie N. McElwee said that more than 40 illegal marijuana operations have been shut down in recent months, while approximately 100 more may continue to be operating in Maine.

“We expect this law enforcement action to continue until the individuals operating the illegal grows come to understand that Maine is not a safe or hospitable place for such activity,” McElwee said.

Since the beginning of the new year, police have been active in busting these large operations, which have been found all over rural Maine, from Guilford and Sangerville in Piscataquis County, to Corinna, Eddington and Passadumkeag in Penobscot County, to Turner in Androscoggin County , to Cornville, Harmony, Madison, Mercer, Norridgewock, Ripley and Skowhegan in Somerset County, to Jay in Franklin County, to Belgrade, China and Chelsea in Kennebec County, to Jefferson and Whitefield in Lincoln County, to Belmont in Waldo County.

These operations received greater scrutiny after the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office found an illegal marijuana grow house in Carmel, where police seized 3,400 plants and 111 pounds of processed marijuana in late June. As 2023 dragged on, police uncovered other large illegal marijuana operations in Dexter, Wilton, Machias and other communities.

A leaked federal government memo, first obtained by the conservative Daily Caller and published last August, estimated Maine has 270 large-scale illegal marijuana grows connected to organized crime groups in China. The memo’s authors noted that the money may be used to further crime in the US or be sent back to China. These operations generate an estimated $4.37 billion in revenue.

“The possibility that organized criminal enterprises with alleged ties to China are using Maine properties to profit from

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GOP AGs put a major US bank on notice for alleged ‘de-banking’ of conservatives

Over a dozen Republican attorneys general are warning a major US bank allegedly against practices of “de-banking” certain customers because of their religious or political views.

In a letter obtained exclusively by Fox News Digital, Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, along with 14 of his Republican colleagues told Bank of America CEO Brian T. Moynihan that the company “appears to be conditioning access to its services on customers having the bank’s preferred religious or political views.”

“Your discriminatory behavior is a serious threat to free speech and religious freedom, is potentially illegal, and is causing political and regulatory backlash,” the letter sent Monday stated. “Your banking needs to be transparent with and assure us, its shareholders, and others that it will not continue to de-bank customers for their speech or religious exercise,” the AGs wrote.

Media relations representative, Bill Halldin, denied the claim in a statement saying, “Religious beliefs are not a factor in any account-closing decision.”


A Bank of America store front

“We are proud to provide banking services to non-profit organizations affiliated with diverse faith communities throughout the United States,” a Bank of America representative told Fox News Digital. (AP2013)

“We are proud to provide banking services to non-profit organizations affiliated with diverse faith communities throughout the United States,” he said.

The AGs claim that Bank of America has previously denied services to gun manufacturers, distributors, and sellers, fossil-fuel producers, contractors for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and private prisons and related services.


The letter cites recent news reports that the bank cooperated with the FBI and US Treasury to profile conservative and religious Americans as potential domestic terrorists.

“Bank of America’s practice of canceling the bank accounts of conservatives

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Utah attorney general GOP candidates vow to crack down on immigration, federal overreach

OREM — Utah’s candidates for attorney general share similar opinions on abortion, illegal immigration and “federal overreach” in land use and education, but they express differences in how they hope to serve.

That was the focal point Wednesday during a debate hosted by the Utah Eagle Forum at the SCERA Center for the Arts in Orem, as the candidates spoke to a crowd of about 300 Republican state delegates.

The field of candidates for Utah’s attorney general includes former lawmaker, legislative chief of staff and chairman of the Utah GOP Derek Brown, former assistant attorney general Frank Mylar, Utah Division of Risk Management director Rachel Terry and former Zions Bank vice president and current chief of staff and general counsel for OmniTeq Trent Christensen.

Approaches to office

All candidates conveyed strong anti-abortion sentiments, the desire to crack down on illegal immigration and disdain for “federal overreach” in land use and education. They also said they see election integrity as a serious battle to be fought if they win the office, all expressing support for in-person voting with identification required. Christensen and Terry were vocal about supporting the reelection of former President Donald Trump, while Brown praised his Supreme Court nominations.

“If there’s three things that Biden can’t undo that Trump did, it’s (Justice Neil) Gorsuch, (Justice Brett) Kavanaugh, and (Justice Amy Coney) Barrett,” said Brown, who previously served as Utah Sen. Mike Lee’s former deputy chief of staff.

Brown was chairman of the Utah Republican Party from 2019 to 2021 and served four years in the Utah House of Representatives. He was the first to declare his candidacy for attorney general and was the only one to seek a nomination using both the signature gathering process and the convention process.

As far as the office goes, each of the candidates

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US Attorney for Montana, FBI comes to Great Falls to discuss preventing hate crime

A prestigious panel of federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement officials will gather at the Great Falls Public Library on Tuesday to participate in a public discussion on preventing hate crimes in our community.

The United Against Hate event will be led by Jesse Laslovich, US Attorney for the District of Montana and will include representatives from the FBI, the Cascade County Attorney’s Office, and the Great Falls Police Department.

United Against Hate is an initiative launched by the US Department of Justice focused on improving the prevention of hate crimes and hate incidents. The programs seek to build relationships at the local level and strengthen partnerships among law enforcement, community leaders, and residents. This meeting is one in a series of meetings the US Attorney’s Office is holding throughout Montana.

The event will be an opportunity for the local community to engage with federal agencies and local law enforcement to increase their understanding of the process for reporting hate crimes. Attendees of Tuesday’s event are welcome to ask questions or give comments, as well.

The United Against Hate event begins at 3 pm on Tuesday, February 20. It will be held in the Cordingley Room at the Great Falls Public Library, located at 301 2nd Ave. N in Great Falls. For more information contact Jake Sorich at [email protected] or 406-453-0349 ex. 220.

This article originally appeared on Great Falls Tribune: US Attorney for Montana to lead Great Falls discussion on hate crimes

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Grand Jury to Hear Evidence in Times Square Assault on Police Officers

As he prepares to present evidence to a grand jury on Tuesday against a group of men charged with assaulting police officers in Times Square, the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, is under pressure over his handling of the case.

In all, seven men were arrested following the Jan. 27 assault, in which an officer and a lieutenant sustained minor injuries. All of them were migrants, according to a law enforcement official.

Prosecutors decided not to ask the judge to hold most of the men on bail, and after they were released from prison last week, four of them fled the city, according to the official.

Mr Bragg quickly became the subject of unusual public criticism from the police. In response, he expressed concern that all the perpetrators might not have been correctly identified.

In an announcement on Saturday that a grand jury would hear evidence in their case, he described a normal procedure in the criminal justice system. But in publicizing the move in a joint statement with the police commissioner, Mr. Bragg appeared to be trying to convey the seriousness with which his office was taking the case, and to show that he was working with the Police Department.

Last week, the department’s chief of patrol, John Chell, lashed out over prosecutors’ decision not to ask for bail for the men charged in the attack, saying, “They should be sitting in Rikers right now, on bail.” He added, “You want to know why our cops are getting assaulted? There are no consequences.”

A law enforcement official said that the men were migrants who had been in the country less than a year and lived in shelters, and that four fled the city after arraignment, using bus tickets purchased with help from a church group. The official, who

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Biden Plans to Nominate Chicago’s First Female US Attorney

President Joe Biden will nominate GE Healthcare attorney April Perry to serve as Chicago’s US attorney, teeing up the first woman to serve as the district’s top law enforcement official.

If confirmed by the Senate, Perry, who was previously a line prosecutor at the Chicago office from 2004 to 2016, would be the first US attorney installed by the current administration in a region that’s fought to combat violent crime. President Joe Biden initially opted to keep a Trump appointee in the post, John Lausch, who stepped down in March.

Perry’s selection process has drawn outsized attention in the Chicago legal community for several reasons. Biden was expected to use the opportunity to pick the first non-White male US attorney in the office’s 165-year history. Plus, the next chief prosecutor in Chicago inherits one of the most significant public corruption trials in the city’s history, and will face calls to reconsider law enforcement‘s approach to gun violence.

Just last weekend, Chicago police reported 29 shootings, eight of which were fatal.

Although US attorney nominees typically experience a bipartisan, expedited path to Senate confirmation, Perry’s approval could get stalled after Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) threatened to place a hold on all DOJ nominees in retaliation for the Justice Department’s indictment of former President Donald Trump.

Perry began last year as GE Healthcare’s senior counsel for global investigations and fraud and abuse prevention. Previously she was general counsel at Ubiety Technologies and chief deputy at the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

During her prior tenure at the Northern District of Illinois, she was the civil rights and hate crimes coordinator.

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Consulate, nonprofits to provide legal aid to immigrants

Wage theft and run-ins with law enforcement are top concerns for families ‘living in the shadows’

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – It’s seven simple yet powerful words: “You have the right to remain silent.”

But that’s a phrase that many migrants who come to Melissa Lopez’s office have never heard of before. If they had, they would not be seeking help to avoid deportation or crushing another major legal problem.

“State law requires that a person show identification. But the migrants we see don’t know they have the right not to talk to the police; they think they are required to disclose all of their information,” said Lopez, the executive director of El Paso’s Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services. “Most of the time, Immigration doesn’t have the information they need to deport you, but if you talk and give them that information, then they will.”

Lopez and DMRS are partners with the Mexican Consulate in El Paso in a weeklong crusade to educate the immigrant community here about their legal rights in the United States. Such rights apply regardless of immigration status.

The second annual External Legal Advice Week begins Monday, June 5, online and in person at the consulate on 910 E. San Antonio St. The talks will address information about fighting deportation, retaining custody of a child, filing domestic violence complaints, and your rights as a victim or a defendant in a criminal case.

“The goal is to inform the Mexican community and workers in El Paso of their legal rights and provide referrals to legal services outside the consulate,” said Consul General Mauricio Ibarra Ponce de Leon. “This is the second (year) of the program and will take place in 50 American cities where we have

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