The Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in a park after Rice displayed a toy gun was reportedly deemed unfit for duty by another police force just two years before the incident.
Officer Tim Loehmann shot Rice in Cleveland on Nov. 22, and the boy died the following day from his injuries. Loehmann told officials that he believed the boy had a real firearm, which is why he fired his own gun. However, Rice's death has set off calls for reformation within the police department and now more is being revealed about Loehmann's time as a police officer, not just with the Cleveland police force but with the department he worked with prior, in Independence.
"His handgun performance was dismal," deputy chief Jim Polak of the Independence, Ohio, police department wrote in an internal memo in 2012. He should also be "released from the employment of the City of Independence," the memo concluded. Loehmann "could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal. … It was clear to Sgt. Tinnirello (Loehmann's trainer) that the recruit was just not mentally prepared to be doing firearm training." more >>
Scott Panetti, a severely mentally ill man who was scheduled to be executed on Wednesday in Texas for the murder of his parents-in-law, was granted a last-minute stay of execution by a federal appeals court. A number of Christian leaders had spoken out about his case, and asked Texas Gov. Rick Perry to show mercy toward the man.
"We stay the execution pending further order of the court to allow us to fully consider the late arriving and complex legal questions at issue in this matter," the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans stated. "An order setting a briefing schedule and oral argument will follow."
Panetti, who has suffered from schizophrenia and a number of other mental illnesses for the past 30 years, was scheduled to be put to death on Wednesday in Huntsville for the 1992 double murder of his in-laws, Joe and Amanda Alvarado of Kerr County. more >>
Both liberal and conservative women aligned to support a case debating the issue of pregnant women's rights in the workplace which was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday.
Lawyers for Peggy Young, a UPS truck driver, argued before the nation's highest court that her employer UPS did not provide work accommodations for pregnant employees who wish to retain their jobs as it does with non-pregnant employees with work limitations. Young's battle has drawn the support of both women's rights groups and pro-life groups, communities which are typically on opposing ends of the abortion issue, for different reasons.
Women's rights organizations rallying behind Young's case believe pregnancy discrimination is another example of gender inequality in the work place and in women's paychecks. more >>
After exceeding their $2.1 million crowdfunding goal earlier this year to make a crime drama about Kermit Gosnell and his West Philadelphia "house of horrors," late-term abortion clinic, starting Wednesday, Indiegogo is allowing the Gosnell movie producers to reopen their campaign indefinitely as part of its "forever funding" program.
By reopening the crowdfunding campaign, producers Ann McElhinney, Phelim McAleer and Magdalena Segieda will continue to offer "thank you" gifts to donors and have set new goals for the crime drama, which includes raising an additional $500,000 to extend filming to four weeks, and securing the best actors they can find for the film. The producers also hope to increase the number of backers from the 26,574 who donated over $2.2 million to over 100,000 backers to show potential distributors that a large number of Americans support the project.
"It's a huge boost to the movie — more donations, means more shooting days, better actors, higher production values, it'll mean a better movie. It will also mean we'll be able to get Gosnell's story out to a wider audience," McElhinney said in a statement shared with The Christian Post on Wednesday. more >>
The American Humanist Association filed a legal complaint Monday against Hall County Schools in Gainesville, Georgia, for allegedly promoting Christianity and prayer during athletic events.
"This action challenges defendants' policy, practice, and custom of authorizing faculty, coaches and other school officials to lead and participate in prayer with students during school-sponsored activities, and their policy, practice, and custom of inserting biblical references into official football team documents and banners," read the complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
"Defendants' policy, practice, and custom of permitting faculty and other school officials to lead and participate in prayer with students during school sponsored activities violates the Establishment Clause. … Defendants' policy, practice, and custom of including religious biblical references in official team documents and banners violates the Establishment Clause," it continues. more >>
Bill Cosby is being sued by a woman who claims she was molested by the TV star when she was 15 years old.
Judy Huth, now 55, was just 15 when she encountered Cosby on an outdoor film set in 1974 and agreed to meet up with him the following week. Huth was with a friend and now claims that Cosby served them alcoholic beverages before taking them to the Playboy Mansion.
"Under the terms of Cosby's game, plaintiff [Huth] was required to consume a beer every time Cosby won a game," the lawsuit states. Both girls had "multiple alcoholic beverages" and Cosby then "led them to another house which turned out to be the Playboy Mansion." more >>