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Video Shows Georgia Cops Tried to Tase Ahmaud Arbery in 2017 While He Was Sitting in a Park

Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.Cops in the same Georgia county where Ahmaud Arbery was shot dead tried to tase him in November 2017 while he was sitting in a park, according to a video and police report obtained by the Guardian. The video shows Glynn County police…

Video Shows Georgia Cops Tried to Tase Ahmaud Arbery in 2017 While He Was Sitting in a Park

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Cops in the same Georgia county where Ahmaud Arbery was shot dead tried to tase him in November 2017 while he was sitting in a park, according to a video and police report obtained by the Guardian.

The video shows Glynn County police officer Michael Kanago telling Arbery that he’s in a park with “known drug activity,” to which Arbery responds that he’s just sitting in his car rapping along to instrumentals. When a second officer, David Haney, arrives at the scene and Arbery tells him that he will not let them search his car, the second officer fires a taser at him. The taser doesn’t function correctly, and Haney then orders Arbery down to the ground.

When Kanago tells him that there’s frequent gang activity in the park, Arbery asks, “Is my name tied up in any of that?” and Kanago responds that it isn’t. Eventually, the two cops let Arbery go but tell him he cannot drive his car because his license was suspended. After he walks away, the cops suggest there was a smell of weed coming from his car.

“I’m just so aggravated because I work hard, six days a week,” Arbery, then 22, said at one point during the incident.

Travis McMichael, 34, shot and killed Arbery on Feb. 23 while he was jogging in their suburban neighborhood. Both McMichael and his father, Gregory, claimed that they chased Arbery because he matched the description of someone who had broken into several homes in the area.

The video “appears to be just a glimpse into the kind of scrutiny Ahmaud Arbery faced not only by this police department, but ultimately regular citizens like the McMichaels and their posse, pretending to be police officers,” lawyers for the Arbery family told the Guardian.

While prosecutors initially declined to charge the McMichaels, citing Georgia’s citizens’ arrest statute, the two men were arrested earlier this month and charged with murder and aggravated assault after video of Arbery’s death was leaked online, a leak McMichael himself reportedly played a role in. Over the weekend, it was also revealed that Glynn County police officer Robert Rash had told a local property owner to talk to Gregory McMichael if he had any problems with trespassing.

On Monday, attorneys for the Arbery family called for the arrest of the man who filmed the video, William Bryan, saying he helped the McMichaels to “corral” Arbery.

“We know it’s not only the man who pulled the trigger,” attorney Lee Merritt told the New York Times.

Cover: A woman shouts during a rally at the Glynn County Courthouse to protest the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, Saturday, May 16, 2020, in Brunswick, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

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What will you do when the mob shows up at your front door?

ANALYSIS/OPINION: Over the weekend, so-called protesters in Seattle, Washington, descended on the suburbs, demanding that local residents give up their private property. As the mob continues its efforts to defund the police and violence continues, with a member of Congress even calling for more unrest in the streets, America is clearly in a low-grade civil…

What will you do when the mob shows up at your front door?

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Over the weekend, so-called protesters in Seattle, Washington, descended on the suburbs, demanding that local residents give up their private property. As the mob continues its efforts to defund the police and violence continues, with a member of Congress even calling for more unrest in the streets, America is clearly in a low-grade civil war. 

Or, as Attorney General Bill Barr said recently, far-left groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter are engaging in urban guerrilla warfare. 

Moving out of large cities like New York, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Atlanta, St. Louis and Baltimore, radicals are terrorizing peace-loving Americans in the residential neighborhoods of suburbs and smaller cities and towns like Austin, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins, Nevada City and even Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.  

The worst is yet to come as law enforcement officers are further demoralized — while politicians are often even taking the side of the criminals — and media elites and Democrat leaders ignore, downplay or lie about the violence.   

While some remain skeptical about the threat, each news cycle brings more shocking stories of mayhem and murder like that of a 24-year-old Indiana mother shot dead for telling protesters that all lives matter. Or New York worshippers verbally and physically assaulted after a violent mob surrounded their church. Or a 14-year-old girl in Harlem beaten in broad daylight while police could only stand by and watch after the mob prevented their intervention. Or a Virginia woman told by dispatchers to call City Hall because police weren’t authorized to help when she and her child were trapped in their car by protesters.   

So what are law-abiding citizens to do when caught in the mob’s crosshairs — or our homes and businesses are looted and destroyed by protesters who are also rioters? And what can we do to defend ourselves, our families, neighborhoods and the nation we love? 

To begin, we should admit that we are under attack and this is an emergency situation. And that there are forces among us using fascistic and revolutionary tactics to destabilize America and force onto us their revolutionary ideology.   

Then, we should recall the words of Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Remember World War II? There was a critical point when it became clear that appeasement wouldn’t work and that the good guys had to stand up to the bad guys and stop them. 

America rose to the occasion then, and now we must do so again. But instead of bad guys overseas in faraway lands, they’re here on home soil — marching through our streets and threatening our lives and property.     

For good to triumph, however, it takes more than just good guys taking a stand. It’s only when good guys get good training — and then take their stand — that they win. 

So how do patriotic Americans get the good training that we need to protect our families and neighborhoods? 

First, we have to get educated and know what the U.S. Constitution says about our right to defend ourselves and our communities. Then, we have to get physically trained to know how to exercise our rights and properly assess and handle threats — including firearms training. Finally, we have to get the legal protection we will need in the likely event we face criminal and civil action — even when we do everything correctly.   

Some may think this is about taking the law into our own hands, but we’re not talking about vigilantism. Rather, this is about doing exactly what our Founding Fathers intended in dealing with existential threats. The Second Amendment isn’t about hunting deer and pheasants; it reflects the Founders’ belief that self-defense is the first law of nature. 

While there are many qualified experts teaching gun training and self-defense today, the critical component missing from most courses is the intellectual ammunition and philosophical framework established in the U.S. Constitution. Here, we clearly see our moral duty and responsibility to defend ourselves, families and communities against violent agitators. And it’s here that we more fully understand and learn to exercise our cherished rights. 

Sadly, recent events show that many elected officials prefer to appease and mollify the mob. And we watch as police officials are too often told to “stand down,” instead of stand up to the bullies, all while the media rarely report on events accurately.  

This means it’s up to us — liberty-loving Americans from sea to shining sea — to become well-trained men and women bravely standing up to evil while exercising our God-given right to self-protection.  

A wise man once said, “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions, a simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences” (Proverbs 22:3, NLT). Let’s not be fools, but instead be prepared when the mob comes marching.    

• Rick Green is founder of Constitution Coach, a Texas-based nonprofit that provides free access to emergency citizen defense training and equips Americans to understand their legal, moral and physical defense rights.

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New document shows FBI totally debunked New York Times Trump-Russia story

One of the most glaringly bogus Trump-Russia stories by the New York Times in 2017 was picked apart inside the FBI at the time as containing over a dozen major inaccuracies, a newly disclosed document shows. Declassified by the Justice Department, the document contains the Times story that reported there were extensive contacts between the…

New document shows FBI totally debunked New York Times Trump-Russia story

One of the most glaringly bogus Trump-Russia stories by the New York Times in 2017 was picked apart inside the FBI at the time as containing over a dozen major inaccuracies, a newly disclosed document shows.

Declassified by the Justice Department, the document contains the Times story that reported there were extensive contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence. The document also contains a typewritten critique in the margins by FBI Agent Peter Strzok, who totally rejected the Times’ claim.

“Again, we are unaware of ANY Trump advisors engaging in conversations with Russian intelligence officials,” Mr. Strzok wrote.

Since fired by the bureau, Mr. Strzok then led the Crossfire Hurricane unit investigating the Trump campaign.

On Feb. 14, 2017, at the height of conspiracy theories about President Trump and the Kremlin, the New York Times published a three-byline sensation: “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts with Russian Intelligence,” the headline proclaimed.

The first paragraph, “Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.”

The story stood as proof of Trump-Russia collusion except for the fact it was flat wrong. There were no such year’s worth of intercepts or phone records.

Then-FBI Director James Comey read the story and quickly, and privately, alerted congressional leaders about the falsity. In June 2017, after being fired by Mr. Trump and testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee, Mr. Comey told the world the story was false.

On Friday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, released the Strzok document.

The Times story was a one-two punch at the White House. It came a month after BuzzFeed published the notorious Democratic-funded dossier widely accepted by the press. It erroneously said Mr. Trump was in a far-reaching election conspiracy with Moscow.

“The comments of Peter Strzok regarding the February 14 New York Times article are devastating in that they are an admission that there was no reliable evidence that anyone from the Trump Campaign was working with Russian Intelligence Agencies in any form,” Mr. Graham said.

The senator added, “The statements by Mr. Strzok question the entire premise of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump Campaign and make it even more outrageous that the Mueller team continued this investigation for almost two and a half years. Moreover, the statements by Strzok raise troubling questions as to whether the FBI was impermissibly unmasking and analyzing intelligence gathered on U.S. persons.”

Appointed in May 2017, special counsel Robert Mueller filed a report in March 2019 that said his team found no Trump-Russia election conspiracy.

Mr. Strzok, who was fired for his ant-Trump text messages, wrote 15 Times story comments, including:

On the lead paragraph, “This statement is misleading and inaccurate as written. We have not seen evidence of any individuals affiliated with the Trump team in contact with IOs [intelligence officers].”
On the second paragraph which said U.S. intelligence began collecting Trump-Russia intercepts in the spring, “We do not know nor can we figure out what this means or where it might be coming from (i.e. something we can identify as a source of misunderstanding.)”
[Note: Conservatives say the story came from Democratic loyalists trying to sabotage the new president.]

On the paragraph that said former campaign manager Paul Manafort was picked up on calls to Russian intelligence, “We are unaware of any calls with any Russian government official in which Manafort was a party.”
On story saying FBI has banking records, “We do not yet have detailed banking records.”
On story saying in subsequent paragraphs there were lots of contacts, “Again, we are unaware of ANY Trump advisors engaging in conversations with Russian intelligence officials.”
On New York Times assertion that the National Security Agency intercepted Russian-Trump aides calls, “If they did we are not aware of those communications.”
[Note: Mr. Comey checked with NSA after he read the story and was told there were no such intercepts.]

On story assertions that Trump adviser Roger Stone was under investigation at the time, “We have not investigated Roger Stone.”
On the story’s assertion that Christopher Steele, creator of the anti-Trump dossier, was reliable, “Recent interviews and investigation, however, reveal Steele may not be in a position to judge the reliability of his sub-source network.”
[Note: By then, the FBI had interviewed Mr. Steele’s main source, who said he fed Kremlin gossip to the former British spy and had no idea he was writing a report.]

Two post scripts to the New York Times story.

As told by then-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe approached him and volunteered that the just-published New York Times story was bunk.

Mr. Priebus asked if he could say that publicly. Later, the FBI told him he could not. The next thing Mr. Priebus knew, CNN was reporting he some how intervened with the FBI to get it to say something that was false. This never happened, he said. He always wondered if the bureau set him up.

Mr. McCabe three months later opened a counter-intelligence probe into Mr. Trump after he fired Mr. Comey. The Justice Department fired Mr. McCabe for lying under oath to internal investigators on another matter.

Secondly, in 2018 the New York Times won a coveted George Polk Award for 12 Trump-Russia stories. The Washington Times first reported that one of the stories it submitted was the bogus Feb. 14, 2017 piece.

The Times has never corrected or retracted the story or assigned an editor’s note. It was not one of the stories listed for its Pulitzer Prize for Trump-Russia.

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Poll shows Joe Biden leading in Pa., but finds widespread suspicion of ‘secret’ Donald Trump voters

A majority of voters in Pennsylvania believe there are “secret” Trump voters in their communities who support the president but keep it to themselves, according to a new Monmouth University poll released on Wednesday. The survey of registered voters found Democrat Joseph R. Biden holding a 13-point lead over President Trump, 53% to 40%. Pollsters…

Poll shows Joe Biden leading in Pa., but finds widespread suspicion of ‘secret’ Donald Trump voters

A majority of voters in Pennsylvania believe there are “secret” Trump voters in their communities who support the president but keep it to themselves, according to a new Monmouth University poll released on Wednesday.

The survey of registered voters found Democrat Joseph R. Biden holding a 13-point lead over President Trump, 53% to 40%. Pollsters said the Democrat’s lead among likely voters ranges from 7 to 10 points, depending on the expected turnout level.

But many Pennsylvania residents remember that polls in 2016 also showed Mr. Trump losing in the state that he ended up winning by a narrow margin over Hillary Clinton. And the new poll shows about half of voters believe Mr. Trump could again benefit from what his campaign advisers call “hidden” Trump voters.

In the survey, 57% of registered voters “believe there are a number of so-called secret voters in their communities who support Trump but won’t tell anyone about it,” the pollster said. Less than half that number, 27%, believe there are secret voters for Mr. Biden.

“The media consistently reports that Biden is in the lead, but voters remember what happened in 2016,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “The specter of a secret Trump vote looms large in 2020.”

Despite the former vice president’s lead, Monmouth said, “voters are evenly divided on who they think will win the Keystone State’s electoral votes this year as a majority believe that their communities hold a number of ‘secret Trump voters.’ “

Trump campaign officials have said that in 2016, voters who didn’t necessarily like Mr. Trump but voted for him anyway accounted for as much as 20% of the president’s support in some states.

The president said on Tuesday that his “silent majority” is with him again this year.

“I think that the enthusiasm now is greater — and maybe far greater — than it was in 2016,” Mr. Trump said when asked about his trailing Mr. Biden in polls. “I think a lot of people don’t want to talk about it. I think they’re not going to say, ‘Hey, I’m for Trump. I’m for Trump.’ They don’t want to go through the process. And I fully understand that, because the process is not fair. The media doesn’t treat us fairly. They never have, and perhaps they never will.”

The Monmouth survey found that suspicion of secret Trump voters is slightly higher in swing counties (62%) and counties won by Mrs. Clinton in 2016 (61%) than in Trump counties (51%).

The belief in a secret Biden vote is somewhat more prevalent in Trump counties (32%) than Clinton counties (23%) and swing counties (23%), Monmouth said.

Mr. Biden is performing strongest in the state’s 10 “swing” counties, according to the survey.

“The good news for Biden is that he hits the magic 50% mark in all the turnout models and far fewer voters are considering a third-party candidate than four years ago,” Mr. Murray said. “This suggests somewhat more stability in the numbers, but there are also signs that Biden has not pulled clearly ahead of Trump on some key metrics.”

Mr. Biden has the advantage among voters under 50 years old (60% to 29%), as well as voters age 65 and older (52% to 42%). Mr. Trump has an edge among voters between 50 and 64 years old (56% to 43%), the survey found.

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