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Protests Erupt in Omaha After Police Fatally Shoot Black Man During Traffic Stop

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Courtesy of KETV.com

In Omaha, Nebraska, protests erupted throughout the city on Friday and Saturday after police fatally killed 35-year-old Kenneth Jones Thursday night during a traffic stop.

What We Know:

  • On Thursday, police spotted a vehicle with four people inside and stopped in the middle of the road with no hazard lights.
  • The officers involved were Dan Faulkner and Richard Martier. In statements given on Friday and Saturday from police officers, they instructed all of the people inside the vehicle to put their hands up. Three of the passengers complied with their command, but allegedly Jones did not. This leads the officers to break the window nearest to Jones to open the door.
  • Although video footage from the police body cameras has not been released, police said the video shows there was a struggle to remove Jones from the car. Police claim Jones had a gun on him during the struggle, and officers shot at him four times. Police allegedly found a gun “directly underneath” Jones after he was shot.
  • It is unclear which one of the officers fired the shot that killed Jones, but they said they would be providing more information in a news conference. After shots were fired, Jones was taken to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
  • ProBLAC, a progressive group that advocates for racial justice, took to Twitter on Friday to react to the shooting and provide information.

  • People began to gather on Friday and Saturday outside police headquarters to protest. Peyton Zyla, a ProBlac organizer, stated, “until (police) prove that they didn’t murder a Black man, we’re not shutting up — not one bit.”
  • According to NBC News, police found the protest to be “unlawful assemblies,” and an arrest was made on Friday after a protester “assaulted” an officer. Police made similar arrests on Saturday for “assault.” Protesters also told the World-Herald they were taken to the hospital after being “maced” and struck by officers with either a “baton or projectile.”
  • Police Chief Todd Schmaderer addressed the Jones friends and family, ensuring them an investigation is underway.

“We would like to express our condolences to the family and friends of Kenneth Jones and the rest of the community that are affected by this incident,” Schmaderer said. “We are committed to conducting a thorough investigation and providing the public with complete details.”

In a press conference on Friday, Mayor Jean Stohert stated a grand jury would be investigating the shooting, and both officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.

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Prosecutors Seek to Modify Kyle Rittenhouse’s Bond Agreement

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Kenosha County prosecutors have requested to modify Kyle Rittenhouse’s bond after he was spotted at a bar last week.

What We Know:

  • Just hours after his arraignment on January 5th, Kyle Rittenhouse was seen at a bar in Wisconsin with his mother. The 18-year-old gunman released on bail was seen drinking beer at Pudgy’s Pub in Mount Pleasant wearing a T-shirt that read “Free as F–k.” The prosecution states that Rittenhouse was posing with others while flashing the “OK” sign, a known gesture used among white supremacists.  Five adult males at the bar allegedly serenaded Rittenhouse with the Proud Boys anthem, ‘Proud of Your Boy.’
  • Although it is legal in Wisconsin for someone under the age of 21 to possess and consume alcohol if a parent is present, prosecutors are asking the Kenosha County Circuit Court to modify the bond conditions to “prohibit the defendant from publicly displaying symbols and gestures that are associated with violent white supremacist groups and from associating with known members of those groups, particularly the Proud Boys.” They believe Rittenhouse’s actions could result in potential witness intimidation. 
  • According to CNN, the Rittenhouse is out on a $2 million bail after being arrested in connection with a fatal shooting on August 23rd, 2020 in the midst of Black Lives Matter protests that had broken out in the Wisconsin city over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
  • Rittenhouse opened fire on protestors and is facing two felony charges of homicide in the deaths of two men and a felony attempted homicide charge in the wounding of another man. His attorneys have maintained that he acted in self-defense. 

A bond modification hearing has not been scheduled yet. For now, Rittenhouse is expected to appear back in court on March 10th.

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Riot Coverage: Banks Drop Trump, FBI has received over 70,000 tips, Twitter closes over 70,000 accounts

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One week following the violent ambush by pro-Trump rioters at the U.S. Capitol, many actions against the President and his supporters have been taken by Trump’s banks, the FBI, and social media companies.

What We Know:

  • According to Bloomberg, tensions between Trump and the financial industry began late Monday when Deutsche Bank AG decided to cut ties with the President and his family as they waited for him to pay off roughly $300 million in loans in the upcoming years News.
  • This was the first bank to remove Trump as a client, quickly followed by the Manhattan-based Signature Bank, which announced it’s closing Trump accounts holding about $5.3 million. The following day, Professional Bank, which once allowed the President an $11 million mortgage, announced it would cut business with the Trump Organization and “will be winding down the relationship effective immediately.”
  • Additionally, on Monday, the FBI announced that it had received more than 70,000 tips and other information as it seeks to arrest those who participated in the violent ambush at the U.S. Capitol last week. The agency claims to have received tips, including photos and videos. They also announced that photos had been released of the individual(s) responsible for placing suspected pipe bombs around D.C. and are even offering a $50,000 reward for their identification.
  • NBC News reports that more than 90 arrests of people allegedly connected to Wednesday’s events in the capital had been made as of Sunday.
  • On the same Monday, Trump’s supporters and culprits of the Capitol attack were banned from Twitter, the social media giant confirmed in a blog post. Over 70,000 accounts that share content concerning the QAnon conspiracy theory were banned from the site last week, last week “to protect the conversation on our service from attempts to incite violence, organize attacks, and share deliberately misleading information about the election outcome.”
  • Aside from permanently suspending the President’s own account, Twitter also permanently suspended accounts of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell and former 8kun administrator Ron Watkins.

Consequences from the Capitol riots have seemed to damage Trump’s presidency and those affiliated with him in his final days as President. Days which may contain even harsher punishments as the House prepares to impeach.

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Lisa Montgomery Executed, The First Woman Put to Death By U.S. Government Since 1953

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Lisa Montgomery pictured in a police mug shot after her arrest.

A Kansas woman was executed Wednesday for killing an expectant mother in Missouri and cutting the baby from her womb. For the first time in about seven decades, the U.S. government has put to death a female inmate.

What We Know:

  • Lisa Montgomery, 52, was declared dead at 1:31 a.m. after receiving a lethal injection in the federal prison complex located at Terre Haute, Indiana.
  • Since July, she was the 11th prisoner killed at the facility when President Donald Trump, a passionate advocate of capital punishment, resumed federal executions following 17 years without one.
  • As the curtain was lifted in the execution chamber, Montgomery seemed momentarily confused as she looked at journalists looking at her from behind thick glass. A woman standing over her shoulder reached over and asked if she had any last words. “No,” Montgomery replied. She said nothing else.
  • As the lethal injection initiated, Montgomery kept licking her lips and gasped briefly as pentobarbital, the lethal drug, entered her body via IVs on both arms. A few minutes later, her midsection palpitated for a moment but immediately stopped.

“The craven bloodlust of a failed administration was on full display tonight,” Kelley Henry, Montgomery’s attorney, expressed in a statement. “Everyone who participated in the execution of Lisa Montgomery should feel shame.”

  • It came after hours of legal arguing before the Supreme Court cleared the way for the execution to move forward.
  • In 2004, Montgomery killed 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in the northwest Missouri town of Skidmore. She used a rope to choke Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant at the time, then cut out the baby girl from the womb with a kitchen knife. Montgomery took the child with her and tried to pass the baby girl off as her own.

Montgomery was the first of three federal prisoners programmed to die before next week’s installation of President-elect Joe Biden, who is expected to terminate federal executions.

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