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Soldier's Grieving Mother in Insurance Battle With Army
Jan-13-2011 1130 1


The mother of a North Texas soldier killed in Afghanistan says the U.S. government is giving her grief over his life insurance.

Pvt. Devon Harris from Mesquite was killed in action Nov. 27 at the age of 24.

His mother, Sorainya Harris, said the Army is denying coverage that she said her son arranged.

"I'd rather have him," she said. "I really would rather have him. If he was still with me, it would make me happy. But I know he will never come back."

Sorainya Harris said her life insurance form completed two weeks before her son deployed to Afghanistan indicates that he was increasing his coverage.

Documents that she said came from her son's Army file show that he submitted a form requesting $100,000 coverage on Dec. 29, 2009. Another form that appears to request $400,000 in coverage is dated Sept. 27, 2010.

"My conclusion is that, when he filled out the second one, he wanted his policy to be increased," Sorainya Harris said. "He's being deployed. He filled this out two weeks before he left."

She said Army officials were rude and disrespectful to her when she inquired about the issue.

"Devon did everything that was asked of him -- everything," she said. "He went, and he fought, and he died in the war. He made one request, and they denied it."

A spokesman at the U.S. Army Public Affairs Office at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. said the Army does not comment on matters concerning a soldier's confidential personnel file.

Sorainya Harris wrote to U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the family’s congressman in Washington.

Hensarling spokesman George Rasley said the congressman's office is looking into the matter.




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“I’m lucky to be living,” Dent told reporters Wednesday about what was a simple traffic stop. “I think they were trying to kill me, especially when they choked me. I was on my last breath. I told them, ‘Officer please, I can’t breathe.’”

“I can’t breathe” became a national catchphrase for police brutality after Staten Island man Eric Garner died after being placed in a chokehold during a July 17 NYPD arrest gone wrong.

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State police told Dent’s attorney this week they were investigating the incident.

William Melendez, the Inkster, Mich., officer who placed Dent in the chokehold, was accused of misconduct as a Detroit police officer in 2004 as part of a group of cops acquitted in a federal trial for civil rights abuses, the Detroit Free Press reported.

A judge dismissed all but the drug charge against Dent, who faces an April 1 court date. He refused a plea deal for probation, his attorney said.


A judge dismissed all but the drug charge against Floyd Dent, who faces an April 1 court date. He refused a plea deal for probation, his attorney said.
Click on Detroit/Local 4 News

A judge dismissed all but the drug charge against Floyd Dent, who faces an April 1 court date. He refused a plea deal for probation, his attorney said.

“I get tears thinking about it,” Dent told reporters. “I don’t want to watch the tape of them beating me because I get upset.”

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AP Mar-26-2015 146 0
The Rev. Jesse Jackson says his son, former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., has been released from an Alabama prison after serving a year and a half for illegally spending $750,000 in cpaign funds.

Rev. Jackson confirmed around 5:30 a.m. Thursday that his son has been released from the Montgomery, Alabama, facility, calling it a "joyous reunion." He says his son is doing "very well."

The 50-year-old Jackson will serve the remainder of his sentence at a Washington, D.C., halfway house. Jackson began his 2 1/2-year sentence in 2013. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons lists his release date as Sept. 20, 2015.

The Illinois Democrat pleaded guilty to misspending the money on items including furs and vacations.

Jackson's wife must serve a related, year-long term after her husband completes his sentence.

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Christian Boone Mar-25-2015 165 0
When she came to collect her son’s belongings from the Chamblee apartment where, a day earlier, he was fatally shot by a DeKalb County police officer, Carolyn Baylor-Giummo received a much-needed hug.

“He was my friend,” a little girl, and neighbor, told Baylor-Giummo.

Anthony Hill made a lot of friends in his 27 years, his mother said. His funeral, held last week in Moncks Corner, S.C., had to be moved to the a high school auditorium to accommodate all the The Air Force veteran was buried in his uniform, his coffin draped in the American flag. Hill survived Afghanistan, where he loaded bombs onto carriers, but but came home with bipolar disorder, his mother said. His struggle to find the proper medication would play a significant role in his death.

DeKalb police officer Robert Olsen was dispatched to The Heights apartment complex on March 9 on a report of a person acting strangely. Hill had climbed down from his second floor apartment, nude, knocking on neighbor’s doors but threatening no one, said Christopher Chestnut, the attorney for Hill’s family.

Hill was still nude, and obviously unarmed, when Olsen, a seven-year veteran of the DeKalb force, arrived on the scene. Witnesses said Hill was walking briskly towards the officer, who ordered him to stop. Hill continued to approach the officer but his gait slowed, Chestnut said, his arms either outstretched or over his head.

Olsen, according to DeKalb Public Safety Director Cedric Alexander, interpreted a threat and shot Hill twice in the chest. His death has been the subject of headlines nationwide and protests locally. The GBI is investigating.

“I’m a Christian. I pray for (Olsen),” Hill’s grandmother, Theola Baylor, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The question is why. We still don’t understand why (Hill was shot).”

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GINGER ADAMS OTIS Mar-24-2015 199 0
George Zimmerman spoke out for the first time Monday since being cleared of violating Trayvon Martin’s civil rights and his message was simple: it’s all Obama’s fault.

Zimmerman, 31, staring directly at the camera, talked for 13 minutes in a faux interview conducted by his Tampa divorce lawyer, Howard Iken.

Asked by Iken who he blamed for inflaming racial tensions around his case, Zimmerman didn’t hesitate to name names.

“By far, the President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama,” Zimmerman said in the March 8 video.

The President’s bias was evident during a Rose Garden press conference when he said, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon,” according to Zimmerman.

“To me that was clearly a dereliction of duty, pitting Americans against each other solely based on race,” Zimmerman said.


“For (Obama) to make incendiary comments as he did and direct the Department of Justice to pursue a baseless prosecution, he by far overstretched, overreached, even broke the law in certain aspects,” the vigilante argued.

The President committed the ultimate sin of trying to prosecute “an innocent American,” Zimmerman insisted.

The President should have said “Let’s not rush to judgment,” he added.

Zimmerman was a Neighborhood Watch volunteer in February 2012 when he shot and killed unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.

Trayvon’s death sparked national outrage and prompted waves of civil rights protests, plus a debate about Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” laws.

Zimmerman was acquitted of manslaughter in 2013 — and he says that ruling helped him keep his faith that justice can prevail.

“I believe that the American judicial system failed in the sense that I should not even (have) gone to trial, but I do believe that the jury process succeeded,” he said in the video.

Asked if he had a clear conscience, Zimmerman nodded.

“If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon,” the President had said during a press conference around the time of the February 2012 shooting.

“Yes, sir,” he said.

“In all fairness, you cannot as a human feel guilty for living, for surviving,” he said, when asked if he wished the encounter with Trayvon turned out differently.

The former wannabe cop was cleared of violating Trayvon’s civil rights by the U.S. Department of Justice last month.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said his office found “insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges.”

The 31-year-old’s life has unraveled since his deadly run-in with 17-year-old Trayvon.

Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie, filed for divorce two months after his acquittal for the 2012 killing.

He’s been largely unemployed since and gotten into numerous scrapes with the law, most of which have resulted in arrests but no charges.

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