Thursday, March 22, 2018

Minneapolis cop who shot dead Australian yoga instructor in her pajamas after answering her 911 call is charged with murder

This is the thing -- a refugee from Africa -- that shot a lovely Australian lady.  He already had multiple complaints against him.  He was still working only because he was black

A Minneapolis cop who shot dead an Australian yoga teacher in her pajamas after he answered her 911 call has been charged with murder.

Officer Mohamed Noor turned himself in Tuesday morning and is being held on murder and manslaughter charges for gunning down 40-year-old Justine Ruszczyk Damond on July 15 while she was engaged to be married.

He shot Damond in the stomach when she approached his squad car minutes after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home.

Damond's family said in a written statement they are pleased that Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman decided to bring charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

They say they hope a strong case will be presented and Noor will be convicted.

Their statement says justice 'demands accountability for those responsible for recklessly killing the fellow citizens they are sworn to protect'.

A statement from the Ruszczyk and her fiance, Don Damond, said: 'While we waited over eight months to come to this point, we are pleased with the way a grand jury and County Attorney Mike Freeman appear to have been diligent and thorough in investigating and ultimately determining that these charges are justified.'

Damond was unarmed and had called 911 caller to alert police to what she believed may have been a rape taking place in the alley behind her home.

Noor told friends he was 'startled' by his victim seconds before he opened fire.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one friend said the officer had opened fire when an unidentified figure emerged from the dark and ran towards the vehicle.

The officer said he was not sure what the person was carrying and momentarily opened fire through his driver-partner's open window.

It was confirmed that Damond's cell phone was found alongside her during the tragedy.

Noor told associates it was dark and the situation was already tense as the caller had been 'panicking' when making the 911 call reporting an assault in the alley beyond where Damond lived with her fiancé and his son.

The squad car, driven by his partner Matthew Harrity traveled hastily down the unlit alley between Washburn and Xerxes avenues south from West 50th Street toward West 51st Street.

Neither officer's body camera was switched on, and there is no video of the shooting.

Crucially, the vehicle did not have its lights on and this may have been so as not to give any suspect notice that police had arrived and buy precious time to apprehend the target. That the car was unlit was disclosed by Harrity to the BCA.

Both Noor and the BCA's version of events agreed on the car's lights being off. 

According to Noor's version when they reached the end of the alley, they came across a waiting, panicking figure.

It was dark, and the figure was moving around and approached their vehicle.

Noor said he did not know whether the figure who rushed towards their vehicle was the 911 caller or even if it was a man or woman.

He his weapon through Harrity's open driver's window hitting his victim once in the abdomen.

Both he and Harrity gave CPR to the victim before help and back up arrived, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

The charge of third-degree murder carries a maximum of of 25 years in prison, although the presumptive sentence is 12 years.

The second-degree manslaughter charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison, and the presumptive sentence is four years.

Noor's bail is set at $500,000, according to jail records.

The 'twin cities' of Minneapolis and St Paul have been rocked in recent years by police shootings, putting the community and law enforcement on edge.


Queensland train drivers earning nearly $200,000

What an aggressive union can get you -- at the expense of the fare-paying public

LOOKING for a new career? The salaries of Queensland’s train drivers have been revealed, and they are truly mind-boggling.

QUEENSLAND’S top-paid train driver took home nearly $76,000 in overtime alone last financial year, nearly an entire full-time Australian salary.

The eye-watering pay packets of Queensland Rail drivers have been revealed by the State Government as it scrambles to fill 200 positions to avoid a repeat of the October 2016 timetable disaster.

In 2016-17, the median base salary for full-time drivers was $95,351.32, with the total pay rising to $130,022.05 including overtime and allowances — nearly 60 per cent higher than the Australian average of $81,531.

Citytrain drivers clocked an average of 6.45 hours of overtime per week, amounting to an extra $511.98, according to the figures released by Transport Minister Mark Bailey in response to a question on notice from the opposition in the Queensland Parliament.

The top-earning driver worked 952.65 hours of overtime last year and was paid a total of $193,507.59. The top five drivers each took home total pay packets of greater than $180,000 for collectively working a total of 4061.34 hours of overtime — more than 169 days between them.

“Queensland Rail’s first priority is safety and all rostering arrangements are in accordance with relevant fatigue management requirements,” Mr Bailey said.

The Strachan Commission of Inquiry into the 2016 fiasco, which resulted in network-wide delays and the cancellation of 167 services over several days following the opening of the Redcliffe Peninsula Line, recommended Queensland Rail hire an additional 200 drivers and 200 guards to ensure a structural surplus of crew to reduce the reliance on overtime.

Mr Bailey said since October 2016, 69 drivers had been added with another 77 in training, while 168 guards had been added and a further 51 were in training.

“Queensland Rail is working hard to recruit additional train crew and has already reduced the level of overtime for train crew,” he said. “In addition, Queensland Rail has opened train crew recruitment to external applicants, which is critical to boosting train crew numbers and increasing Queensland Rail’s services.”

Mr Bailey said more drivers would commence training this year alone, than under the entire term of the previous LNP government.

“Train drivers and guards are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of up to 1000 customers at any one time,” he said.

“They are required to work weekends, public holidays and shift work and are remunerated accordingly for this time away from family, when most people are at home or enjoying time off.

“There is an expectation that they are resilient and adaptive, with the ability to problem solve during unplanned disruptions, critical incidents and emergency situations, however it is not mandatory to work overtime.”

Opposition MP Steve Minnikin told the ABC the figures were unacceptable. “Whilst commuters are cramming into packed trains or being left stranded on the platform, Queensland Rail drivers are counting their cash,” he said.

“Some drivers are earning more than $65,000 a year in overtime alone with their total remuneration almost reaching $200,000 a year. Labor’s train driver shortage means more overtime for union drivers, paid for by taxpayers.”

Earlier this month, the Queensland government was left red-faced after it emerged that it may have to pull $4 billion worth of new trains off the tracks because they were basically illegal.

The Canadian-designed, Indian-built fleet of New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) trains failed to meet minimum legal standards, with multiple problems including failing air conditioning, issues with braking and disabled toilets inaccessible by wheelchair.

At the time they were ordered, the former LNP government boasted that the trains were about half the price of similar designs.

The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads said “some compliance issues have been identified” with the trains. TMR said the fix would take 18 to 24 months and would involve removing toilets from some trains, adding extra toilets to others and rearranging the seats.


Green/Left governments want us to use public transport

But that puts us in the hands of bureaucrats who don't give a sh*t about us.  The story below is from the Australian city of Brisbane.  The Brisbane train system is actually one of the best in Australia's capital cities.  Sydney commuters have it much worse.  So it is interesting to see what counts as a good system below.  Nobody gives a sh*t in Brisbane either

SCHEDULED maintenance has caused public transport chaos on the night of Ed Sheeran’s first concert at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Passengers leaving from the city on the Caboolture/Sunshine and Redcliffe lines were being moved on to buses at Northgate station and being told to expect delays of up to an hour on their journey.

Buses replaced trains between Northgate and Petrie stations for the remainder of the evening.

As reported by The Courier-Mail, TransLink announced the works – maintenance on overhead powerlines – two months ago, warning commuters that buses would be used from 9.30pm onwards, before tracks reopened in the morning. That particular maintenance work was only scheduled for last night and will not impact tonight’s show.

Concert goer Katherine Lameree didn’t arrive home at Dakabin until after 1am due to the maintenance work. The gig finished at 10.30pm. Ms Lameree said it took her 30 minutes to reach the station.

Ms Lameree and her partner got off the train at Northgate where they were forced to join the que to the waiting bus.

“The lines were up the ramp for the overpass to get to the busses,” she said. “There was one waiting and they couldn’t keep up with the demand.”

Ms Lameree ended up calling a friend from the station and instead got a lift home, but was left disappointed that the maintenance went ahead despite the event.

“They knew the event was on, they were partnered with it offering free transport. Surely it could’ve waited until Thursday or be done in off peak during the day,” she said.

“A lot of people voiced it (frustration) on the train… but we all were like do we expect any better from Queensland Rail.”

A TransLink spokesman last week told The Courier-Mail last week of the track closure from Northgate to Petrie affecting the Redcliffe Peninsula and Sunshine Coast lines, encouraging Ed Sheeran fans to plan ahead. They did not give a reason as to why the closure was scheduled for that particular night.

Despite the warning many Ed Sheeran fans were angry TransLink chose the night of a major Brisbane event to conduct the maintenance.

In a Facebook comment, concert goer Ashley Darrenkamp called Queensland Rail “utterly ridiculous” for scheduling maintenance on the same night as the the 52,000-capacity sellout gig.

“They really messed up! I had to end up finding another way home, costing heaps of money!,” she wrote.

“Having to wait for buses to then stop at every station then to catch another train... very upset. I was fully aware and expecting delays due to high volumes but this was unacceptable.”

Another fan, Jessica Hopwood, said she too was also caught off guard by the maintenance.

“Traffic to Roma street station from the concert took 40 minutes then been told at the platform to get off the train at Northgate, then waiting in line for 20 minutes for a bus,” she said.


University of Sydney debating club determined to discriminate on race, class and sex

One would have thought that the best way to stop discrimination would be to stop discriminating

The politics of race and gender have arrived at the University of Sydney’s oldest debating club, which this year will field teams of debaters comprised mainly of “non-cis-males, wom*n, and persons marginalised by white ­supremacy” as opposed to the best debaters they can find.

The University of Sydney Union, which describes itself as “one of the best debating ­institutions in the world”, says its affirmative action policy will ­ensure that teams heading to the Australian Easter Debating Championships (or “Easters”) for novices next month will include more “persons of colour” and others from “minority ethno-cultural background” as well as born-women, and others who don’t identity as “cis-male”.

(A cis-gender person identifies as the sex they were assigned at birth. Wom*n is used to include females, trans women and anyone who identifies as a woman).

There are quotas for people from non-elite public schools too, who get in on the grounds that they are “disadvantaged in debating ­opportunities”.

The union, which boasts of being an equal world record ­holder when it comes to making the finals at the world debating championships, will also employ “equity officers” to attend the tournament to assist those who find debating “intensely competitive and stressful”.

“This can intentionally or ­unintentionally lead to people feeling victimised,” the union says. But the equity officers will ­provide “safe avenues” to voice concern.

Sydney University student Nina Dillon Britton praised the ­initiative, saying affirmative ­action policies had fostered a ­diverse and inclusive environment. “I’m a female debater and it created a culture where more women were able to put themselves forward,” she said. “We have to recognise sub­conscious bias and stereotypes, which mean women and people of colour are disadvantaged when they speak.

“We shouldn’t just be happy with only allowing privileged ­people; we should be encouraging as much diversity as possible in ­debating.”

However, Sydney University Liberal Club president Joshua Crawford criticised the quotas, saying they were “an affront to fairness and merit”.

Mr Crawford said it was a ­“disgrace” that some students, “who have worked tirelessly to ­become some of the university’s top debaters” would be prevented from being on the team because of their gender.

“It is equally abhorrent that there will be female debaters, who have every right to be on the ­debating team by their own ­merits, who will now have the legitimacy of their position ­questioned.”

Media personality and former Sydney University debater Adam Spencer said that if the community overwhelmingly wanted the changes, “then good luck to them”. But he argued that the ­selection for the world debating championships should continue to be merit-based.

“You should send your very best team at any given time to the world championships, which is the jewel in the crown of debating,” he said.

Spencer won the world’s best speaker award in the 1996 world championships.

No union officer was available to comment on the diversity requirements when contacted by The Australian yesterday.

The Australasian Intervarsity Debating Association, or AIDA, which this year chose the University of Sydney as host for the Australian Easter Debating Championships, was not available to comment either.

AIDA president Stephanie White said the conveners of the Easter tournament — that is, the University of Sydney’s Easters 2018 team — were best placed to answer questions “and they will be in touch”, but they were not.

The affirmative action guidelines are complex, and may prove difficult to implement in some circumstances.

For example, the proportion of debaters who identify as non-cis-male across all teams attending Easters must be no less than 50 per cent. One third of tournament adjudicators must also identify as non-cis-male.

In addition, each of the top three teams must also have “at least one debater who identifies as being a person of colour, from a minority ethno-cultural background, or marginalised by white supremacy”.

Teams must also include ­debaters who attended “a school meeting the criteria listed in section 5.6.8 of the regulations” which basically means a disadvantaged public school, as ­opposed to a private school.

The University of Sydney Union expects to send 11 teams of three speakers each, and 11 ­adjudicators.

The union pays the fees, which are as much as $380 per person, but the union will fund only those teams where the “proportion of non-cis-male, wom*n-identifying people” reaches 50 per cent.

“At least four non-cis-male women-identifying people must be selected in the top three teams,” the guidelines say.

There must be “one non-cis-male women-identifying person in each funded team.”

At least one third of ­adjudicators must be “women-identifying”.

It requires some juggling because the various rules must also be applied in a way “that does not disadvantage” those people who have already been included on the basis of gender, racial and socio-economic discrimination.

“The proportion of people who identify as being a person of colour, from a minority ethno-cultural background, or marginalised by white supremacy … must be at least 25 per cent,” the guidelines say.

“At least one person who identifies as belonging to one or more of the aforementioned groups must be selected in the top three teams.

“At least half the quota (must) be filled with people identified as non-cis-male (rounding up).”

Teams must also include ­students from “high schools that are recognised as being disadvantaged in terms of debating opportunities” and 15 per cent of places must be from a reserved for student from a comprehensive school.

In addition, “the minimum number of non-cis-male identifying adjudicators sent shall be equal to the number of adjudicators sent divided by three”.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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