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Elijah McClain: Activists call for change one year after death | US & Canada News

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In the year since Elijah McClain died after being stopped by police in suburban Denver on his way home from a store, the number of people calling for justice to be done in his case has grown to millions of people around the world. 

Like his family and activists who have been protesting over the Black man’s death from the beginning, they want the three officers charged with killing McClain.

Three Aurora officers, including one involved in the encounter with McClain, were fired and one resigned in July over photos that mocked the neck hold that was used on McClain on August 24, 2019.

However, the three officers who got into a violent struggle with McClain, a 23-year-old massage therapist, after he questioned why he was being stopped have not faced any discipline for their actions in the encounter itself.

Elijah McClain died after suffering two heart attacks after being put in a police chokehold and injected with ketamine [Family handout] 

Aurora activist Candice Bailey said action, not more dialogue, is what is needed.

“There’s nothing to talk about. We’re at an impasse in the conversation,” she said. 

A district attorney said last year he could not pursue criminal charges because an autopsy did not determine how McClain died, but state Attorney General Phil Weiser is looking at whether criminal charges are warranted in the case.

Governor Jared Polis ordered him to look at the case in June after outrage about McClain’s death grew amid protests against racial injustice following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

It is one of several investigations or reviews taking place related to McClain’s death, including a health department review of paramedics’ use of the sedative ketamine on him.

The Aurora Police Department also announced an independent review of its agency this month on the same day that the McClain family filed a civil rights lawsuit accusing the department of a pattern of racism and brutality.

‘I’m just different’ 

McClain was stopped because someone had called 911 to report that he was wearing a ski mask and waving his hands and seemed “sketchy.” His family said he wore the mask because he had a blood condition that caused him to get cold easily. 

Police body-camera video shows an officer getting out of his car, approaching McClain and saying, “Stop right there. Stop. Stop. … I have a right to stop you because you’re being suspicious.”

In the video, the officer turns around McClain and repeats, “Stop tensing up,” and says, “Relax, or I’m going to have to change this situation.”

Other officers join in to restrain McClain, who tells them that he had stopped his music to listen to them and asks them to let him go. 

McClain police

Three Aurora officers, including one involved in the encounter with McClain, were fired and one resigned in July over photos that mocked the neck hold that was used on McClain [Reuters]

The officers move McClain over the grass in front of an apartment building but what happens next is not clear from the video. Police have said one of the officers applied the neck hold.

All three of the officers’ body cameras eventually came off during the struggle but continued to record audio. An officer says McClain grabbed one of their guns. McClain can be heard trying to explain himself and sometimes crying out.

“I’m just different. I’m just different, that’s all. That’s all I was doing. I’m so sorry. I have no gun. I don’t do that stuff. I don’t do any fighting. Why were you attacking me? I don’t do guns. I don’t even kill flies. I don’t eat meat,” he said, as the officers talk among themselves. 

One officer eventually retrieves his camera, which shows McClain handcuffed and laying on his side as another officer leans on him. The leaning officer says, “Move your camera dude” but the camera doesn’t move and continues to show the scene. 

McClain suffered two heart attacks on the way to a hospital and was taken off life support six days later.

‘Think harder!’

The increased spotlight on the case recently has made it more difficult for McClain’s family to grieve his loss.

McClain’s mother, Sheneen McClain, initially had planned on Sunday to take the same route her son was taking to walk his “spirit home” but later cancelled the event, saying in a Facebook post that the event had gotten out of hand. 

mcclain mother

Sheneen McClain speaks during a rally and march about the death of her 23-year-old son, Elijah McClain, outside the police department in Aurora, Colorado [File: David Zalubowski/The Associated Press]

She was also upset that McClain’s pleading words to police have been invoked by those protesting his death. They have shown up on signs and at protests and were read in an Instagram video by Janelle Monae, Meagan Good, Jonathan Van Ness and others calling on Colorado officials to pursue charges against the officers.

“It’s not okay to repeat my son’s dying words because that’s all you can think to do. Think harder! that hurts me,” Sheneen McClain wrote. She has declined media interviews until the police officers are held accountable. 

Mari Newman, the McClain family’s lawyer, said they welcome support from other people who are sharing the pain and outrage about McClain’s death but do not want to serve as a kind of “masters of ceremony” as they grieve. 

“It’s just a very challenging time for them emotionally,” she said. 



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Another blow as Judge throws out Kiggundu’s lawyer Muwema

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When court sat on Friday to hear the Kiggundu’s application to stop independent audit, he did not have a written application, and Justice Henry Adonyo instead ordered the plaintiff’s lawyer Fred Muwema to go make a written application seeking court to dismiss the audit and return to court on September 30 for a hearing of the application. But this adds more pressure on Kiggundu who is choking with the loans.

On 31 August, the judge ordered the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) to carry out and independent audit into the accounts of the businessman and financial statements exchanged between the two parties, and present a report to court.

When asked by journalists why he has filed for an application seeking dismissal of the audit, Fred Muwema had this to say. “We are saying that let the validity and legality of those credit facilities (loans) be decided first before you can audit” He said.

The ruling on the application of the main suit to determine whether the businessman owes loan arrears to the bank is set for 5th October 2020, after which a date for hearing of the case will be set.

Background

Hamis Kiggundu through his companies Ham enterprises and Kiggs International (U) ltd sued DTB branches in Kenya and Uganda for deducting money from his accounts something which the bank contends and said they only acted as per the loan agreement of deducting 30% from Kiggundu’s accounts to recover the credit facilities rendered to him between February 2011 and September 2016

But Court documents filed by the bank in their defense shows that Kiggundu, between February 2011 and September 2016, was granted various credit facilities by the said DTB Banks.

First, via Ham Enterprises Limited, Kiggundu obtained a loan of $6,663,453 and another Sh2.5bn from the DTB (U) to finance his projects in the real estate business.

Later, according to New Vision, he got a facility worth $4.5m through Kiggs International (U) Limited from DTB (K) and mortgaged his properties, which include Plot 328 located at Kawuku on Block 248 Kyadondo, three plots that include 36, 37 and 38 on Folio 1533 Victoria Crescent II situated in Kyadondo and land on Makerere Hill Road on LRV 3716 Folio 10 Plot 923 Block 9.

Documents show that as of January 21, 2020, Kiggundu was in default on payment obligations of $6.298m on the loan facility of $6.663m, as well as sh2.885b on the demand overdraft facility of sh1.5b and the temporary demand overdraft facility of sh1b.

The banks say that Kiggundu was in default on the payment of another $3.662m out of a total loan facility of $4m and another $458,604 on a loan facility of $500,000, as of January 21, 2020.

The DTB consequently served him with a demand notice to either pay up or lose the assets that he submitted as collateral security. The bank threatened to attach a plot on Makerere Hill Road and other prime commercial properties.

Analysts says that Kiggundu’s lawyer is playing delaying tactics aimed at stopping the independent audit as ordered by the court earlier. Kiggundu had wanted court to believe his own audit of loan transactions, but that would amount to injustice to the banks that gave him money-DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya.

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Minister Rukutana charged with attempted murder, remanded

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The state minister for Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana has been remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district.

Rukutana appeared before Ntungamo Grade One magistrate Nazifah Namayanja this afternoon from where he was charged with seven offences related to attempted murder, assault, malicious damage, and threatening violence.

Rukutana was captured in a video that went viral on social media showing him grabbing a gun from one of his bodyguards and started shooting at a vehicle belonging to supporters of his political rival Naome Kabasharira. At the time of the incident, Rukutana had just lost the Rushenyi country NRM flag to Kabasharira.

The prosecution alleges that on September 5, 2020, at Kagugu village in Ntungamo district, Rukutana and others still at large assaulted Julius Niwamanya and threatened to kill or injure him together with three others. The others are Stuart Kamukama, Dan Rwibirungi, and Moses Kamukama. 

It is also alleged that Rukutana also willfully and unlawfully damaged a motor vehicle registration number UAR 840X Toyota Rav 4 type which belongs to Moses Muhumuza.

According to the Judiciary public relations officer, Jameson Karemani, Rukutana has not taken a plea of these charges against him since they can only be tried by the chief magistrate who was not in court today.

As a result, the magistrate decided to send him to Kyamugorani, awaiting his return to court on Tuesday.      





Source – observer.ug

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Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19

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Lira district headquarters have been closed after one staff tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 

On Monday morning, district staff were blocked at the gate with only the deputy chief administrative officer, his secretary and the receptionist allowed access to their offices. 

Paul Samuel Mbiiwa, the deputy chief administrative officer says that only heads of department will be allowed at the headquarters while the rest will work from home. He adds that the restriction will help to curb the spread of the virus.

“You see corona is not a joke. We have taken a step at fighting it and that is why you are seeing the staff outside. Even in my office here I do not want people to come if there is anything we can discuss on the phone.”

Francis Okello Olwa, a senior community development officer who doubles as the district spokesperson says that the entire district offices will be fumigated and closed for two days.

Health authorities in the district are planning to take samples from all the staff because they could have interacted with the one who tested positive. Currently, there are 19 COVID-19 patients under treatment at Lira regional referral hospital.     

On Sunday four health workers at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19. Dr Patrick Odongo, a senior medical officer at the hospital also succumbed to the virus.  





Source – observer.ug

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