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Prison Guard ‘Beat Up’ Squad Accused of Killing Inmate: Why Prison Abuse Is So Common and Overlooked

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Terrell Jermaine Starr | AlterNet | September 4, 2015

Samuel Harrell’s death at the hands of a group of correctional officers at the Fishkill Correctional Facility in Beacon N.Y. known as the “beat-up squad” is a tragic, but all too common instance of abuse taking place in America’s correctional facilities.

According to an investigation by the New York Times, Harrell, who has bipolar disorder, got into an argument with correctional officers on April 21, after packing his bags and saying he was headed home. He had several more years to serve on his sentence but Harrell was known to behave erratically.

More than 12 witnesses claim that at least 20 correctional officers joined in kicking and punching Harrell after he was thrown to the floor. One inmate told the Times that correctional officers jumped on Harrell as if he were “a trampoline.” An ambulance was called, but correctional officers didn’t mention a physical altercation. They claimed Harrell had likely overdosed on K2, a synthetic marijuana.

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White House Calls Jailing of Kentucky Clerk ‘Appropriate’

On Top Magazine | September 4, 2015

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Thursday that he would not second-guess a judge’s decision to jail a Kentucky clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was found in contempt of court for refusing to issue such licenses on religious grounds.

(Related: KY clerk Kim Davis ordered jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.)

“I would not from this vantage point second-guess those decisions,” Earnest told reporters.

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Rally held after Santa Clara County jail inmate’s death

HAVEN DALEY and KRISTIN J. BENDER | Associated Press | Yahoo News | September 4, 2015

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — About 50 people marched Friday in protest at Santa Clara County Main Jail to demand inmates be protected from abuse after an inmate was beaten to death last week under the watch of three deputies now facing possible murder charges.

Three jail guards were arrested Thursday, a week after an inmate, later identified as 31-year-old Michael James Pipkin Tyree, was found dead in his cell of multiple blunt trauma, internal bleeding and lacerations, authorities said.

Santa Clara County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. James Jensen has identified the deputies as Rafael Rodriguez, 27, Jereh Lubrin, 28, and Matthew Farris, 27.

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Kim Davis will be jailed on contempt charges until she agrees to issue same-sex marriage licenses




 | Raw Story | September 3, 2015

Kim Davis, the defiant Kentucky county clerk, was found in contempt of court and taken into federal custody — and she will be spending the night in jail.

U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning ordered Davis, the Rowan County clerk, to be jailed on the contempt charges until she agrees to comply with multiple court orders to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“The court cannot condone the willful disobedience of its lawfully issued order,” Bunning said. “If you give people the opportunity to choose which orders they follow, that’s what potentially causes problems.”

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Pentagon looks for sites in US where to transfer Gitmo detainees.


RT America | September 3, 2015

Defense Department officials are surveying the Consolidated Naval Brig in Charleston, S.C to find out if the located is suitable to hold detainees from Gitmo when the prison closes. Simone Del Rosario reports from Pentagon.
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Federal judge supports ending mass surveillance


RT America | September 3, 2015

US District Judge Richard Leon is fighting back against the National Security Agency and supports cases against the agency’s bulk snooping. The federal judge will schedule another hearing as early as next week, before the bulk collection program expires on November 29.

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Sandra Bland Activists Maintain Jail Vigil Despite Dimming Media Spotlight

Protesters pray at rally outside the Waller County Courthouse after a march from the Waller County Jail in July. (photo: Melissa Phillip/AP)
Protesters pray at rally outside the Waller County Courthouse after a march from the Waller County Jail in July. (photo: Melissa Phillip/AP)


Tom Dart | Guardian UK | Reader Supported News | September 3, 2015


Activists make regular trips Waller County facility to celebrate Bland’s life and ‘ask the questions in person that her family and friends are asking’


he hourlong drive from Houston to the Waller County jail has become a regular commute for Hannah Bonner.

Since the death of Sandra Bland on 13 July, the United Methodist reverend has kept vigil outside the building almost every day, joined by others who are determined to honour Bland’s life and promote her legacy, long after the national gaze moved elsewhere and despite an ongoing investigation with few if any answers.

No one could deny that Bland’s death has prompted visible change at the jail. New barriers were erected in front of the building, eliminating the ability to sit or stand by the wall where protesters tended to gather because the overhanging roof made it the best place to find shade.

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