Daniel Villarreal

Family called police to help a mentally ill teen -- cops shot him to death after he surrendered

On December 30, 19-year-old teenager Christian Hall experienced a mental health crisis, and his family called the Pennsylvania State Police to help him as he stood on a bridge considering suicide. Instead of helping, they shot the teen as he appeared to raise his hands in the air in a gesture of surrender.

While the incident occurred at 1:30 p.m. local time on December 30, it is more recently coming to light because the young man's family is being represented by Ben Crump, the racial justice attorney who represents George Floyd's family. Crump shared a video of the shooting this last Wednesday.

“He was having a crisis," Crump said, according to Yahoo! News. "There is a suggestion that he was contemplating suicide. He was crying out for help," Crump added. “Christian Hall needed a helping hand, but yet he got bullets while he had his hands up."

Hall died at a hospital, and the police released a statement saying that he had a firearm, a weapon he might have used on himself considering his distraught mental state. Cops told him to drop the weapon, but they said he allegedly became uncooperative, retrieving the gun from the ground and pointing it at officers, which caused them to fire.

But the viral video of his death shows that their version of events may not be true. Hall seems to have had his hands up when police began firing at him anyway.

https://twitter.com/AttorneyCrump/status/1356784689491623936?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1356784689491623936%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fnews.yahoo.com%2Fpennsylvania-teen-had-hands-police-220540745.html

In a statement, the district attorney's office wrote, “No one from Mr. Hall's legal team has reached out to us at all. We weren't told that the attorneys were going to conduct a press conference today. We have not been asked to provide any information relative to this matter. We are still awaiting certain reports and results before we make any final decision."

In the meantime, the officers involved in Hall's slaying are still working while state police and the Monroe County district attorney's office are investigating.

Far-right social network Parler wanted to bribe Trump to join it

While in office, former Donald Trump repeatedly profited off of both the presidency and his businesses. So it isn't really surprising that Trump tried to profit off of the far-right Twitter-copycat Parler too. Spoiler alert: It didn't work.

"The Trump Organization negotiated on behalf of then-president Donald Trump to make Parler his primary social network, but it had a condition: an ownership stake in return for joining," a recent Buzzfeed News report reveals. The talks reportedly began last summer and resumed after Trump lost the 2020 election.

Parler offered the Trump Organization a 40% stake in the company for Trump to join, with the idea that it would eventually challenge both Twitter and Facebook if Trump promised to post his content there four hours before posting it anywhere else. At a June 2020 meeting at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Floria, Parler's now-former CEO John Matze and shareholders Dan Bongino and Jeffrey Wernick met with Trump's former campaign manager, accused grifter and spouse abuser Brad Parscale, as well as Trump campaign lawyer Alex Cannon.

Here's the deal's details:

"Upon completion of that deal, half of that stake would have been given immediately to the Trump Organization, while the other half would have been doled out in tranches over the 24-month period of the agreement.... Parler also asked that Trump link back to Parler when posting to other social media sites or emailing his supporters, and to allow the company to use his email lists to promote its platform. In addition, Parler wanted Trump to make introductions to any potential investors or advertisers."

Surprisingly, "the White House counsel's office soon put a stop to the talks, one person with knowledge of the discussions said, ruling that such a deal while Trump was president would violate ethics rules," Buzzfeed reports.

Then, talks completely disintegrated after the attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. After the attempted coup, Amazon, Apple, and Google all booted Parler from their services because the social network had become a hotbed for right-wingers threatening violence and insurrection.

Parler has remained offline ever since. This week, Matze was booted as its CEO by the company's board and was also stripped of his severance and equity in the company. Matze claims he was booted because he wanted the so-called "free speech" network to introduce content moderation and ban accounts associated with far-right extremists, although the company has said his claim is inaccurate.

In addition to hosting far-right conspiracy theorists and bigots, Parler has also had trouble with child pornography being posted on its network, though the company refutes this as well.

The Trump family and Trump Organization, run by his sons, have both repeatedly made international business deals that benefitted from Trump's standing as president, according to Vox, CBS News, Politico, The Los Angeles Times and other publications.

Watch: Hakeem Jeffries slams GOP rep's hypocritical call for 'unity' after he voted to overturn the election

Democratic New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries figuratively set fire to freshman Republican Utah Representative Burgess Owens in a recent speech that called out Owens for daring to criticize Democrats for not being patriotic while Owens himself voted, one day after the January 6 insurrection, to overturn the results of a fair election in favor of now-former President Donald Trump.

On one of his first days in the chamber, Owens lectured House Democrats on needing to show national unity by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance alongside Republican counterparts. Owens did this even though he himself voted on January 7 to challenge the Electoral College's votes declaring Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 elections, thus attempting to overturn millions of non-white Americans' legal votes and destroy the very notion of Democracy itself.

Owens said, "Tonight [people] will not stand for the flag because they've been taught by their adults not to love our nation. What can we do here as leaders? Guys, let's put aside the partisanship and appreciate the fact we have a body here of every color under the rainbow, every background… I'm gonna follow up with what Congressman Lee (Zeldin) says: 'It's not about words. It is about actions.' Fifteen seconds to show our kids that we are adults, that we can agree to disagree, where we love our country enough to at least stand up and recognize our flag."

In response, Jeffries said, "He sat here lecturing us about patriotism, and I was just going to ask him how he voted after a violent mob
attacked the Capitol, to hunt down members of Congress, to hang Mike Pence, to assassinate Nancy Pelosi, to stop us from undertaking our constitutional responsibilities as part of the peaceful transfer of power. More than 100 officers seriously injured: brain injuries, head trauma. Ine officer lost three fingers. Another officer, because of an assault on him, is likely to be blind. Officers Sisnik died, blood was spilled, two other officers are no longer with us.

"And you want to sit here and lecture us about patriotism?!?" Jeffries continued. "When you voted to object to an election that you know Joe Biden won, and perpetrated the big lie. But the notion of you come in here lecturing us on your first day before this committee… it's not about words, it's about actions. You know what? Explain your actions on January 7 when you supported an insurrection."


Marjorie Taylor Greene said she stopped posting conspiracies after h​er campaign. Surprise, surprise: she lied

In her Thursday floor speech before the House voted to strip her of all her committee assignments, Republican Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene said that since she started running for office, she never voiced support for any of the extremist conspiracy theories that she had previously touted on social media. However, that's a lie.

"I never said once during my entire campaign QAnon," Greene said in her Thursday speech. "I never once said any of the things that I am being accused of today during my campaign. I never said any of these things since I have been elected for Congress. These were words of the past."

To be clear, Greene wasn't "accused" of saying extremist things in the past — she outright said them using her own social media account. It's not an accusation that she advocated for violence against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former President Barack Obama, said that an airplane never hit the Pentagon during the September 11 terrorist attacks, said all school shootings were staged events meant to increase firearm regulations and said that wealthy Jews used a space laser to start the 2020 West Coast wildfires. She said them. Full stop.

But as recently as January 31, Green posted a tweet that basically called anyone who opposed her a pedophile, a dog whistle to her QAnon supporters.

"What would the list of the anti-Trump pedos and associates look like?" her tweet began. "It would likely contain all of the people currently frothing with MTG hate. List though. Isn't that what they do? They put us all on list. After me, they are coming for more Republicans on their list."


Pedos, in this case, isn't merely a gross insult accusing her opponents of child rape, its a thinly veiled reference to QAnon, a conspiracy theory that thinks that Democrats and Hollywood elites are running an international, Satanist cannibalistic child-sex trafficking and torture ring, and it fits in with Greene's past statements in support of QAnon.

In the past, Greene has accused former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of slicing off a child's face and wearing it before drinking the child's blood. She also accused Obama of starting a citizenship program for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children just so he could molest kids and harvest their organs.

While she may not have actually uttered the word "QAnon" since she began her run for office, she doesn't need to. QAnon supporters are great at picking up dog whistles and keywords like "pedos" to identify their enemies and allies. And Greene knows as well as anyone else that when you accuse someone of raping and slaughtering children, you're also calling for violence against that person, whether you outright state it or not.

Trump Organization sought 40% ownership stake in far-right social network Parler while he was president: report

While in office, former Donald Trump repeatedly profited off of both the presidency and his businesses. So it isn't really surprising that Trump tried to profit off of the far-right Twitter-copycat Parler too. Spoiler alert: It didn't work.

"The Trump Organization negotiated on behalf of then-president Donald Trump to make Parler his primary social network, but it had a condition: an ownership stake in return for joining," a recent Buzzfeed News report reveals. The talks reportedly began last summer and resumed after Trump lost the 2020 election.

Parler offered the Trump Organization a 40% stake in the company for Trump to join, with the idea that it would eventually challenge both Twitter and Facebook if Trump promised to post his content there four hours before posting it anywhere else. At a June 2020 meeting at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Floria, Parler's now-former CEO John Matze and shareholders Dan Bongino and Jeffrey Wernick met with Trump's former campaign manager, accused grifter and spouse abuser Brad Parscale, as well as Trump campaign lawyer Alex Cannon.

Here's the deal's details:

"Upon completion of that deal, half of that stake would have been given immediately to the Trump Organization, while the other half would have been doled out in tranches over the 24-month period of the agreement…. Parler also asked that Trump link back to Parler when posting to other social media sites or emailing his supporters, and to allow the company to use his email lists to promote its platform. In addition, Parler wanted Trump to make introductions to any potential investors or advertisers."

Surprisingly, "the White House counsel's office soon put a stop to the talks, one person with knowledge of the discussions said, ruling that such a deal while Trump was president would violate ethics rules," Buzzfeed reports.

Then, talks completely disintegrated after the attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. After the attempted coup, Amazon, Apple, and Google all booted Parler from their services because the social network had become a hotbed for right-wingers threatening violence and insurrection.

Parler has remained offline ever since. This week, Matze was booted as its CEO by the company's board and was also stripped of his severance and equity in the company. Matze claims he was booted because he wanted the so-called "free speech" network to introduce content moderation and ban accounts associated with far-right extremists, although the company has said his claim is inaccurate.

In addition to hosting far-right conspiracy theorists and bigots, Parler has also had trouble with child pornography being posted on its network, though the company refutes this as well.

The Trump family and Trump Organization, run by his sons, have both repeatedly made international business deals that benefitted from Trump's standing as president, according to Vox, CBS News, Politico, The Los Angeles Times and other publications.

These GOP reps want to make Donald Trump’s birthday an official holiday

Republican Ohio State Representatives Jon Cross and Reggie Stoltzfus want to make former President Donald Trump's June 14 birthday a holiday called "Donald J. Trump Day" in order to "celebrate one of the greatest presidents in American history." But June 14 is already Flag Day, a national holiday commemorating the adoption of the U.S. flag by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777, and Trump was a horrible president.

This wouldn't be the first time a modern president was given a state-level holiday, according to Fox News. Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan also have state-level holidays. Forty states recognize Ronald Reagan Day and Illinois celebrates former President Barack Obama's birthday on August 4.

However, considering that Trump is currently facing an impeachment trial for inciting an attempted coup that sought to overturn millions of Black and brown people's votes based on a repeatedly disproven lie about widespread election fraud, perhaps now isn't the best time to celebrate his birth… or ever.

GOP leader Kevin McCarthy says 'everyone' is to blame for Capitol riot

While Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California has previously said that he thinks former President Donald Trump bears some responsibility for the January 6 coup attempt in which his supporters ransacked the Capitol to overturn the election that he and Republicans baselessly claimed was stolen, McCarthy added in a Thursday interview, "I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility [for the coup attempt.]"

McCarthy then said that anti-Trump Democrats, rude social media users, unprepared law enforcement authorities were all responsible too, even though Trump literally told his followers on the morning of January 6 to march to the Capitol and fight to stop legislators from approving the election victory of now-President Joe Biden.

"I think this is what we have to get to the bottom of, and when you start talking about who has responsibilities," McCarthy said. "I think there's going to be a lot more questions, a lot more answers we have to have in the coming future."

It's especially telling that his Senate counterpart, now-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has directly blamed Trump for the riots.

"The mob was fed lies," McConnell said Wednesday. "They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like."

After months of making baseless claims that a national conspiracy of widespread voter fraud stole the election from him, a claim laughed out of courts 60 times over for lack of evidence by judges that Trump himself appointed, Trump held a "Stop the Steal" rally on the morning of January 6 in which he said, that he won the election "by a landslide" and encouraged his followers to "stop the steal" by going to the Capitol. If people don't "fight like hell," Trump said, "you're not going to have a country anymore."

Russians in 38 cities brave freezing temperatures to protests against Putin jailing his biggest opponent

Russian citizens in 38 cities are protesting the country's sham elections in which Russian President Vladimir Putin has felt so threatened by the opposition candidate, anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, that he has had him imprisoned and poisoned in an attempt to silence his voice and kill his movement.

The Russian presidential elections are a complete sham used to legitimate Putin's power. In the last election, Putin "won" nearly 77 percent of the vote amid claims of ballot stuffing, the Kremlin choosing which candidates get to run, police arresting any anti-Putin protesters and pro-Putin candidates receiving far more financial backing than his opponents.

Navalny himself, a popular anti-corruption campaigner who is one of Putin's most outspoken critics, according to The Week, has previously been barred from running due to a trumped-up and controversial fraud conviction allegedly masterminded by Putin. In August 2020, Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent called Novichok and survived his hospitalization. Navalny has said he got a Russian federal agent to reveal how he was poisoned, though the Kremlin has denied any involvement.

Three days ago, Navalny was jailed once more for allegedly violating his parole. He now inhabits Matrosskaya Tishina or Sailor's Silence, a jail in Moscow's north-east region that has housed high-ranking prisoners that authorities have wanted to cut off from the outside world since the Soviet era, according to Reuters. The jail is notoriously deadly.

Russian citizens across the nation have seemingly had enough and have begun protesting his imprisonment, as the videos below attest. Hundreds have been arrested as police fight to maintain control.

The U.S. Embassy in Russia has weighed in by saying, "We're watching reports of protests in 38 Russian cities, arrests of 350+ peaceful protesters and journalists. The U.S. supports the right of all people to peaceful protest, freedom of expression. Steps being taken by Russian authorities are suppressing those rights."






















Watch: Police officer describes Trump's loyal band of insurrectionists wanting to kill him with his own gun

In a recent interview, Capitol police officer Michael Fanone shared a frightening moment when Trump's mob of insurrectionists began tearing apart his uniform and took his radio and gun and one shouted "Kill him with his own gun!"

Fanone says he only escaped with his life because he began shouting that he had kids to try and appeal to the rioters' humanity. Eventually, some of the rioters surrounded him, forming a protective shield until his partner was able to pull him to safety.

Still, his entire two-minute interview below is worth listening to. Here's a transcript:

I try to fight as best I could. I remember like guys were stripping me of my gear. These rioters pulling my badge off my chest. They ripped my radio off my vest, started pulling like ammunition magazines of my belt from thir holder on my belt. And then some guy started getting a hold of my gun, and they were screaming out, You know, "Kill him with his own gun."

At that point you know it was just like self-preservation. You know, how do I survive this situation? And I thought about, you know, using deadly force. I thought about shooting people. And then I just came to the conclusion that, you know, if I was to do that, I might get a few but I'm not gonna take everybody, and they'll probably take my gun away from me and that would definitely give them the justification that they were looking for to kill me, if they already hadn't have made that up in their minds.

So, the other option I followed was you try to appeal to somebody's humanity. And I, I just remember yelling out that I have kids. And it seemed to work. Some people in the crowd started to encircle me, and try to offer me some level of protection. And that provided me with like enough time for other officers, specifically my partner Jimmy Albright enough time to get to me and get me the hell out of there and back into the west front of the capital.

A lot of people have asked me you know my thoughts on the individuals in the crowd that helped me or to tried to offer some assistance. And I think kind of the conclusion I've come to is like, "Thank you, but fuck you for being there."


GOP lawmaker says Black people are glad their ancestors were brought to US as slaves

Terry Jones, a Republican lawmaker in North Dakota, has submitted a bill that would require state forms to list "American" as a racial choice option because he's "disgusted" with how race is used by bad actors to divide the country, he says.

In trying to explain how his bill would unite Americans by focusing "on commonalities rather than differences," he told the press that "citizens of all backgrounds are proud to be American," adding that Black Americans are "glad their ancestors were brought here as slaves."

InForum reports: "Jones said he believes in this sentiment because he read a Reader's Digest article from the 1980s in which a Black doctor visited an African country during a period of civil conflict and made remarks about being grateful that his ancestors had been taken to America. Forum News Service's attempts to find the article were unsuccessful.

Jones' ignorant comment are just part of a long history of racist lawmakers saying that people of color should be grateful for their ill-treatment in this country just because it's better than living in poorer nations — hardly an endorsement of great living under the American system.

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