Home |   About Us  Submit a Legal Question to Unequal Justice News Find a Black Attorney | Submit a News Story |   Contact Us  

Austin Scott files lawsuit against Penn State
Oct-20-2009 2439 0


A former Parkland High School star football player removed from Penn State's team two years ago amid rape allegations has filed a federal lawsuit against the college, prosecutors and his accuser alleging they destroyed his chances for an NFL career.

Austin Scott's lawsuit claims authorities should not have filed the charges, which were eventually dropped, because they knew his accuser, Desiree Minder of Pottsville, had previously made false rape allegations against a student at Moravian College.

South Whitehall attorney John P. Karoly Jr. filed the multimillion-dollar lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Williamsport, and it was posted to the court's online database this morning.

Karoly, who has succeeded in winning multimillion-dollar awards against Lehigh Valley police departments for excessive force claims, promised two years ago he would file a suit on Scott's behalf. At that time, Karoly compared the investigators to "lynch mobs." Scott is black and his accuser and the prosecutors are white.

Just as Karoly has attacked the inner workings of police departments, the lawsuit raises questions about the motives of the prosecutors and Penn State University Police Force investigators and questions the abilities of their supervisors.

The case was ready to go to trial and a jury had been selected in October 2008. But the prosecutors dropped the charges when the judge decided evidence could be presented showing the woman had a pattern of making such allegations. Four years earlier, she had accused a Moravian College student of rape. A Northampton County jury acquitted him.

In the lawsuit, Karoly says the accuser told Centre County authorities "within the first two minutes" of a conversation that she had been raped before. The lawsuit claims authorities and the accuser all conspired maliciously to go forward with the prosecution, violating Scott's civil rights.

Karoly claims the main prosecutor in Scott's case, Centre County Assistant District Lance Marshall, pursued the case to "to curry favor" with Scott's accuser.

The suit further claims Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira knew of Marshall's "proclivities prior to the unlawful arrest and prosecution of Austin Scott."

Marshall resigned from his job in December amid allegations he made inappropriate sexual advances toward a victim of domestic violence, and Madeira is seeking re-election, according to the Centre Daily Times.

Marshall and Madeira, as well as seven members of Penn State University's police force involved in the investigation, are named individually as defendants.

The lawsuit says they all conspired in the October 2007 arrest of the then 22-year-old Scott and, as a result, diminished his potential "earning capacity" in the NFL.

The lawsuit claims Scott was slated to be a third- or fourth-round draft pick for the National Football League prior to the false allegations and false arrest, which prompted his removal from Penn State's team.

Scott was one of the greatest high school football players in the Lehigh Valley's history, leading Parkland to a state championship in 2002. His career at Penn State was mixed, partly because of injuries, and is remembered mostly for fumbling in the red zone in a game against Michigan. He was removed from the team after the female student accused him of raping her in his campus apartment Oct. 5, 2007. Scott said the sex had been consensual just as the man at Moravian College had four years earlier.

Scott has not played a full football season since.

Last year, Scott was invited to attend the Cleveland Browns training camp and played in the preseason games. But he was cut from the roster before the NFL's regular season.

Scott, 24, of East Stroudsburg, remains an unsigned free agent.

His attorney, meanwhile, is on trial for money laundering and mail fraud charges in federal court in Allentown.

The case revolves around allegations that Karoly tried to avoid paying taxes by creating a nonprofit organization.

Karoly pleaded guilty in July to willfully filing false tax returns and not paying income taxes on $5.2 million.

Related Stories
Ricky O'Donnell Jul-26-2016 29 0
Former Southern Miss forward Jonathan Mills was the victim of senseless gun violence in his hometown of Chicago on Monday afternoon. The 26-year-old was killed in the North Lawndale neighborhood where he was raised and rose to prominence on the basketball court, according to police.

Mills played two seasons for Southern Miss from 2011-2013. Despite being listed at only 6'5, Mills was one of the most ferocious rebounders in Conference-USA. The Golden Eagles reached the NCAA Tournament under coach Larry Eustachy in his first season. As a senior, Mills averaged 9.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game for the Golden Eagles.

Mills was a high school standout at North Lawndale, where he helped lead his team to a state championship in 2008 and a Chicago Public League championship in 2009. He was also a staple on the Chicago Pro-Am scene in recent years.

The Southern Miss and Chicago basketball communities mourned the loss of Mills as news of his death spread on Monday:
Mbt Schuhe Online Shop Think about the occasion that you make the purchase. Choose them in accordance with the occasion that you are going to put them on.
Jessica Schladebeck Jul-24-2016 181 0
A Georgia news anchor died the day before her 25th birthday after she fell off the top of a North Carolina waterfall Thursday.

Taylor Terrell, who grew up in Atlanta and served as a news anchor for 41NBC News in Macon, was visiting Rainbow Falls, a 150-foot waterfall, with a friend to celebrate her Friday birthday when she slipped and was swept over the falls, according to the Macon Telegraph.

“It’s a real dangerous spot,” Transylvania County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Eddie Gunter told the news outlet. “We usually have about two to three waterfall deaths up there every year ... that is the seventh (waterfall-related death) we’ve had in our county this year.”

An investigation will be helmed by the U.S. Forest Services, forest public affairs officer Cathy Dowd told the Telegraph.

Terrell “was wading in the river near the top of the falls (when) she lost her footing and fell in the water where the current swept her up and over the falls,” Dowd said. “Her body was recovered at the base of the falls.”
Mbt Schuhe Online Shop Think about the occasion that you make the purchase. Choose them in accordance with the occasion that you are going to put them on.
Jul-21-2016 123 0
A black therapist who was trying to calm an autistic patient in the middle of the street says he was shot by police even though he had his hands in the air and repeatedly told them that no one was armed.

The moments before the shooting were recorded on cellphone video and show Charles Kinsey lying on the ground with his arms raised, talking to his patient and police throughout the standoff with officers, who appeared to have them surrounded.

"As long as I've got my hands up, they're not going to shoot me. This is what I'm thinking. They're not going to shoot me," he told WSVN-TV from his hospital bed, where he was recovering from a gunshot wound to his leg. "Wow, was I wrong."

The shooting comes amid weeks of violence involving police. Five officers were killed in Dallas two weeks ago and three law enforcement officers were gunned down Sunday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Before those shootings, a black man, Alton Sterling, 37, was fatally shot during a scuffle with two white officers at a convenience store. In Minnesota, 32-year-old Philando Castile, who was also black, was shot to death during a traffic stop. Cellphone videos captured Sterling's killing and aftermath of Castile's shooting, prompting nationwide protests over the treatment of blacks by police.

At a news conference Thursday, North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene said the investigation had been turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the office of the state's attorney. He called it a "very sensitive matter" and promised a transparent and thorough investigation, but he refused to identify the officer or answer reporters' questions.

"I realize there are many questions about what happened on Monday night. You have questions, the community has questions, we as a city, we as a member of this police department and I also have questions," he said. "I assure you we will get all the answers."

The chief said officers responded following reports of a man with a gun threatening to kill himself, and the officers arrived "with that threat in mind" — but no gun was recovered from the scene.

Kinsey, 47, said he was trying to coax his 27-year-old patient back to a facility from which he had wandered. Police ordered Kinsey and the patient, who was sitting in the street playing with a toy truck, to lie on the ground.

"Lay down on your stomach," Kinsey says to his patient in the video, which was shot from a distance and provided to the Miami Herald (http://hrld.us/2ahReMa) on Wednesday. "Shut up!" responds the patient, who is sitting cross-legged in the road, playing with his toy.

"He has a toy truck in his hand! A toy truck!" Kinsey says to officers who have their guns drawn. Kinsey said he was more worried about his patient than himself.

An officer then fired three times, striking Kinsey in the leg, assistant police chief Neal Cuevas told the newspaper. The video posted on websites does not include the moment of the shooting.

"I'm telling them again, 'Sir, there is no need for firearms. I'm unarmed, he's an autistic guy. He got a toy truck in his hand," Kinsey said.

"When he shot me, it was so surprising ... It was like a mosquito bite, and when it hit me, I'm like, I still got my hands in the air, and I said, 'No, I just got shot,'" Kinsey said.

After the shooting, Kinsey said he asked an officer why he was shot and he said "'I don't know.'"

The officer has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard.

Kinsey's attorney, Hilton Napoleon, provided the cellphone video to the Herald.
Mbt Schuhe Online Shop Think about the occasion that you make the purchase. Choose them in accordance with the occasion that you are going to put them on.
Tobias Salinger Jul-21-2016 100 0
Austin, Tex., police officers face an investigation after disturbing videos showed a violent arrest and comments afterward by one officer saying blacks have “violent tendencies.”

A dashcam video published Thursday by the Austin American-Statesman showed Officer Bryan Richter, who is white, slamming Breaion King, who is black, to the ground twice during the June 2015 speeding stop. Separate footage that also surfaced Thursday revealed the conversation about race between King and another white officer, Patrick Spradlin.

"Why are so many people afraid of black people?" Spradlin asked King.

“That’s what I want to figure out because I’m not a bad black person,” she replied.

“I can give you a really good idea why it might be that way: violent tendencies," Spradlin said.

Prosecutors cleared King, a 26-year-old elementary teacher, of a resisting arrest charge after viewing the video of the June 15, 2015 arrest. The 112-pound woman told the local newspaper she has hired lawyers as she considers a suit against the department.

“I’ve become fearful to live my life,” King said. “I would rather stay home. I’ve become afraid of the people who are supposed to protect me and take care of me.”

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo announced Thursday that he has removed both Richter and Spradlin from the streets as the department conducts an internal review. The probe will include both a criminal investigation and an administrative review into how Richter's supervisors arrived at the decision to give him the lowest level of discipline: counseling and training.

The chief said he didn't know of Spradlin's comments, which he called racist, until local media began inquiring about it. He said at a press conference that he wants to apologize to King, who didn't file a formal complaint with the department after the arrest.

“After reviewing both videos, I and our leadership team were highly disturbed and disappointed in both the way Ms. King was approached and handled and in the mindset that we saw on display in those videos,” Acevedo told the Statesman. “But there is another piece, which has caused concerns as to our review process and the systems we have in place.”

The video of the arrest in a parking lot started with Richter asking King to get back inside her white Nissan Versa. He told her he had pulled her over for speeding.

"You were about to go inside without a wallet, so I know you were only coming over here because you knew I was going to pull you over," Richter said. "I can absolutely stop you if you’ve already parked, yes."

The encounter escalated when Richter asked her to get out of the car. When she didn't immediately get out, he began pulling her out of the car.

"No, why are you touching me?" King yelled. "Oh my God! Oh my God!"

"Stop resisting!" Richter yelled. "Get out of the car!" The car's horn honked as they struggled for a moment.

"I’m getting out, let me get out," King said. "Do not touch me."

Richter then pulled her out and flung her to the pavement, yelling at her to put her hands behind her back as she cried out in pain. He told her he was "about to Tase you."

"Oh God, why are you doing this to me?" she asked. She put her hands behind her back then struggled to her feet.

Richter kicked her legs out from under her, picked her up and threw her down again. He finally handcuffed her as another officer showed up to the parking lot.

The second video picked up with King handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser as she spoke with Spradlin. She asked him if he thinks racism still exists.

“Let me ask you this: Do you believe it goes both ways?” he asked. She said that she does think racism cuts both ways but thinks white people have more rights than African-Americans.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time, when you hear about stuff like that, it is the black community that is being violent," Spradlin said. "That’s why a lot of the white people are afraid, and I don’t blame them. There are some guys I look at, and I know it is my job to deal with them, and I know it might go ugly, but that’s the way it goes.

He continued, “But yeah, some of them, because of their appearance and whatnot, some of them are very intimidating."

King paid a $165 ticket and court costs after Richter said he had clocked her driving at 50 mph in a 35 mph zone on Riverside Drive that day, the newspaper reported. Her attorney Erica Grigg told the Statesman she was disturbed by the footage.

"When I looked at this video, I was heartbroken because I thought, 'That would never happen to me because I’m white," Grigg said.
Mbt Schuhe Online Shop Think about the occasion that you make the purchase. Choose them in accordance with the occasion that you are going to put them on.
Larry Brown Jul-21-2016 105 0
Four men are being charged with beating up and robbing Moses Malone Jr. last month outside a strip club for criticizing James Harden on social media.

Malone Jr. wrote a Facebook post in June in which he criticized the cost of Harden’s basketball camp.

The son of the late NBA legend was then robbed at gunpoint and beaten up outside V Live strip club in Houston a few days later. He told police that one of the men who robbed him said he had “disrespected” Harden and needed to be punished for that. Harden is said to be a prominent customer at V Live.

Malone had a $15,000 piece of jewelry stolen. Four men — Darian Blount, Kavon Boutte, Oscar Wattell, and Deavion Lewis — have been charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. Blount, known to Malone as “Blunt,” works as a bouncer at the strip club.
Mbt Schuhe Online Shop Think about the occasion that you make the purchase. Choose them in accordance with the occasion that you are going to put them on.
CBS News Jul-21-2016 129 0
Authorities say a Florida police officer shot and wounded an autistic man's caretaker following reports of a man threatening to shoot himself.

North Miami Assistant Police Chief Neal Cuevas told The Miami Herald that officers responded to the scene Monday to find 47-year-old Charles Kinsey, a therapist who works with people with disabilities, according to WSVN-TV, trying to get his 27-year-old patient back to a facility from where he wandered.

Cuevas says police ordered Kinsey and the patient, who was sitting in the street playing with a toy truck, to lie on the ground. Kinsey lies down and puts his hands up while trying to get his patient to comply. An officer then fired three times, striking Kinsey in the leg, Cuevas said. No weapon was found.

Kinsey's attorney, Hilton Napoleon, provided a cellphone video to the Herald on Wednesday taken moments before the shooting. It shows Kinsey lying in the middle of the street with his hands up, asking the officers not to shoot him, while the autistic man sits next to him, yelling at him to "shut up."

"Sir, there's no need for firearms," Kinsey said he told police before he was shot, according to the station. "It was so surprising. It was like a mosquito bite."

Kinsey is black. Police haven't released the name or race of the officer who shot him.

The Miami Harold posted video of the encounter on their website.

Circle of Brotherhood, a group of men who work together to perform acts of community service and crime prevention, are demanding answers after Kinsey, who is one their members, was shot.

The group had plans to gather Wednesday evening in front of the police department's headquarters to raise concerns about the shooting, CBS Miami reported.

"We found out bits and pieces and we're still finding things out," said friend Lyle Muhammad. "So we'd just like to go see him."

The Circle of Brotherhood said the North Miami Police Department is just the latest law enforcement agency to be called to task for the shooting of an unarmed black man.

They want answers and want the officer who shot Kinsey to be held accountable for criminal negligence.
Mbt Schuhe Online Shop Think about the occasion that you make the purchase. Choose them in accordance with the occasion that you are going to put them on.
donna owens Jul-18-2016 165 0
Baltimore prosecutors on Monday failed for the fourth time to secure a conviction against a city police officer for the death of black detainee Freddie Gray, as a lieutenant was cleared of all charges.

The acquittal of Lieutenant Brian Rice renews questions about the prospects for the remaining cases stemming from the death of Gray, who suffered a fatal neck injury in April 2015 after he was bundled into the back of a police transport van.

Police union officials have called on prosecutors to drop the charges against three officers still awaiting trial in the case, which triggered protests and rioting in the mainly black city and stoked a national debate about how police treat minorities.

Tensions flared anew this month with the deaths of African-American men at the hands of police in Minnesota and Louisiana. The controversy took a tragic turn when eight police officers were shot dead in apparent reprisal attacks staged by lone black gunmen in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Rice, 42, the highest-ranking officer charged in the Gray case, was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct on Monday following a bench trial.

Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams, who oversaw a non-jury trial at Rice's request, said prosecutors did not prove that Gray died as a result of Rice's failure to secure him with a seat belt.

In a statement, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake asked the community to respect the judicial process during "a very difficult time for our city."

Rice was the fourth of six officers to stand trial in the case. Williams previously acquitted Officers Edward Nero and Caesar Goodson Jr., both of whom were in court on Monday. Goodson, the driver of the van, had faced the most serious counts, including a second-degree murder charge.

Officer William Porter faces a September retrial after a jury deadlocked.

In addition to Porter's retrial, Officer Garrett Miller is scheduled for trial later this month, while Sergeant Alicia White's trial is set for October. Porter and White face manslaughter among their charges, while Miller is charged with assault and other crimes.

Warren Alperstein, a Baltimore defense attorney who attended the trial as a spectator, said he was "not surprised by the verdict whatsoever."

"At the end of the day, the state may have to say we're cutting our losses and moving on," he said.

But Doug Colbert, a law professor at the University of Maryland who has followed the cases, said there is still value in having brought the prosecutions, even if they are unsuccessful.

"The police departments are now on notice that the legal community stands ready to prosecute in these types of cases," he said. "Hopefully this will be the last time anyone suffers the kind of fate that Freddie Gray did."

Prosecutors and defense lawyers in the case are barred from commenting by a gag order from Williams.

Rice, who is white, ordered two officers on bicycle to chase Gray, 25, when he fled unprovoked in a high-crime area.

Prosecutors said Rice acted negligently by failing to secure Gray with a seat belt in the van.

But defense lawyers said Rice made a reasonable split-second decision while Gray was being combative and a hostile crowd looked on, they said.

Williams said prosecutors failed to show the lieutenant was aware of a departmental policy requiring seat belts for prisoners during transport.

"A mere error in judgment is not enough to show corruption," the judge said.
Mbt Schuhe Online Shop Think about the occasion that you make the purchase. Choose them in accordance with the occasion that you are going to put them on.
CBS News Jul-17-2016 149 0
Court records show a white former Atlanta police officer who fatally shot a black motorist has been arrested.

Fulton County jail records show James R. Burns was arrested Saturday on charges including felony murder in the June 22 shooting of Devaris Caine Rogers.

Burns told investigators he shot a car that was "trying to run me over and kill me."

But a police internal affairs investigation found that evidence contradicted Burns' version of what happened. It showed that Burns shot into a vehicle not knowing whether 22-year-old Rogers was the person he'd been called to investigate at a northeast Atlanta apartment complex.

Burns also faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and violation of violation of his oath of office. No bond has been set.

Last week, Atlanta Police Chief George Turner defended firing Burns just nine days after the incident.

"Our communities are not going to allow us to spend six, eight, 10, 12 months before a grand jury determines if they are going to indict on an issue when there is clear evidence that suggests that the officer violated our standard operating procedures," Turner told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an interview last week.
Mbt Schuhe Online Shop Think about the occasion that you make the purchase. Choose them in accordance with the occasion that you are going to put them on.
Jul-17-2016 188 0
At least two police officers were killed and several officers wounded in a shootout in Baton Rouge, reports CBS affiliate WAFB.

Police responded to a report of officers shot at a location on Airline Highway near Old Hammond Highway around 9 a.m., WAFB reports.

Baton Rouge police are still processing the situation, which has apparently ended. Few details have been released.

Earlier Sunday, Sgt. Don Coppola with the Baton Rouge Police Department confirmed to WAFB that "multiple officers (were) struck by gunfire."

The shooting happened near the B Quick store on Airline Highway. Coppola said that authorities believe the "scene is contained," meaning that a shooter was unlikely on the loose.

"I do not have the extent of the injuries," Sgt. Coppola told WAFB. "We're hearing that it may also include some deputies [with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office], but that's preliminary information and I'm waiting on confirmation."

Authorities talk to the driver of a car near an area where several officers were shot while on duty less than a mile from police headquarters, Sunday, July 17, 2016, in Baton Rouge, La.© AP Photo/Mike Kunzelman Authorities talk to the driver of a car near an area where several officers were shot while on duty less than a mile from police headquarters, Sunday, July 17, 2016, in Baton Rouge, La.
Baton Rouge has been filled with tension since the July 5 shooting of a black man pinned to the ground by white police officers.

At a three-hour service Friday, mourners paid their respects to 37-year-old Alton Sterling, whose shooting outside a convenience store began a tumultuous week in race relations in America.

Last week, police arrested and identified three young people who they say plotted to kill Baton Rouge cops using guns stolen from a pawn shop. Law enforcement said at a conference they believe it to be a substantial and credible threat on police officers in the Baton Rouge area.

On Friday, grieving residents of Baton Rouge honored an appeal at the funeral of Sterling to celebrate his life rather than demonstrate about his death.

"If you want to protest, please leave now," Gary Chambers, master of ceremonies for the funeral, said at the beginning that the event at Southern University.

A steady stream of mourners filed past Sterling's casket, which was adorned with music notes and a smiling photo of the man. Sterling was selling CDs outside the Triple S Food Mart store, as he had done for years, when he was killed by police responding to a call of a man threatening someone with a gun. Police have said they found a gun in Sterling's pocket.

Sterling's death was captured on cellphone video and circulated widely on the internet. His death, along with another fatal police shooting in Minnesota last week, sparked widespread protests. Then the fatal shooting of five police officers in Dallas by a black sniper heightened tensions even more.

Sterling's death heightened tensions in Baton Rouge, where about 200 protesters were arrested over the weekend. East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore said his office reviewed initial police reports on 185 arrests between July 8-11 and determined it will not prosecute roughly 100 of those cases.

Moore said they involve protesters who were arrested only on misdemeanor charges of obstruction of a roadway or public passage. DeRay Mckesson, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist, was among them. Moore said his office is reviewing the rest of the arrests, which include allegations such as resisting arrest, carrying guns or some "act of violence."
Mbt Schuhe Online Shop Think about the occasion that you make the purchase. Choose them in accordance with the occasion that you are going to put them on.
>>--More Black Legal News
   
     

All Content ?2008-2013 Black Legal Issues  unless otherwise stated.