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NYC police department outlines punishments for misconduct | USA News

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When the New York Police Department fired an officer last year for putting Eric Garner in a deadly chokehold, the officer’s union argued that there was little, if any, precedent within the department’s internal disciplinary system for such a penalty.

Now, the nation’s largest police department is spelling out potential ramifications for officer misconduct, unveiling on Monday a draft of a discipline matrix that will guide punishment decisions similarly to how sentencing guidelines are used in criminal cases. It will be adopted after a 30-day public comment period.

“We wanted to make it very, very clear that if you do certain things there are certain consequences,” said Assistant Chief Matthew Pontillo, who helped develop the disciplinary policies with the help from department officials and outside agencies.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called it a “big step forward for transparency and accountability”.

Police reform advocates were not as enthused, arguing the NYPD still has too much power policing its own and that it rarely enforces top penalties, with just 12 officers fired for misconduct since the mid-1980s.

The head of the city’s largest police union blasted the guidelines for different reasons, painting them as a way for elected officials “to manipulate NYPD discipline to further their radical political goals”.

“Apparently, mandatory minimums and sentencing guidelines are unfair to criminals, but perfectly fine for cops,” said Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, suggesting the guidelines would be subject to change “based on headlines and poll numbers, rather than any objective sense of justice or fairness”.

The NYPD is shifting to formal disciplinary guidelines at a time when law enforcement agencies around the world are being pressed to be more transparent about discipline in the wake of protests against the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd in May.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, who will still have the final say on discipline, said it was important to have a “road map” so the public and officers know what to expect. Development of the matrix was well under way when the city council passed a law in June mandating its use. The law also requires that the public be informed how often Shea deviates from it.

Around the same time, state legislators sought to shed more light by repealing a decades-old law that had kept police disciplinary files secret. Police unions suing to block their release are appealing after a judge ruled last week that they should be made public.

A 48-page draft report lists presumptive penalties for dozens of forms of misconduct, including termination for using deadly physical force without justification, engaging in hate speech and making a false statement.

Among the other items covered in the matrix: If an officer forgets to turn on his or her body camera while responding to an incident, he or she can be suspended or docked three days, but if it is done intentionally, it’s a 20-day punishment.

The discipline matrix outlines grounds for suspension or firing for a number of offences, such as failing to turn a body camera on, or using a prohibited chokehold [File: John Minchillo/AP Photo]

Accessing confidential information can be punished with a 10-day suspension or loss of vacation days, while leaking confidential information to the news media can be punished with a 20-day suspension or loss of vacation days.

Chokeholds resulting in death and the intentional use of a chokehold are also grounds for firing. The NYPD has long banned chokeholds and legislators recently passed laws explicitly outlawing the tactic. One was named for Garner, who died in 2014 after then-Officer Daniel Pantaleo put him in a chokehold.

In developing a discipline matrix, the NYPD is fulfilling one of the last remaining recommendations from a panel of criminal justice experts that examined the disciplinary process on its behalf two years ago.

While the experts found that the disciplinary process generally worked well, they said a set of guidelines would help eliminate perceptions of favouritism or bias in officer punishment. They also called for stiffer penalties for officers making false statements and committing domestic violence.

The department revised its domestic violence punishment guidelines last year, Pontillo said. An officer can be fired for an incident that results in serious physical injuries, violates a restraining order or is part of a pattern of abuse.

Pontillo’s group spend more than a year shaping the new guidelines. They looked at five years of case outcomes to get a sense of penalties that had been applied and studied how other police departments – including Los Angeles, Denver and New Orleans – built their guidelines. They also solicited input from the watchdog agency, the Civilian Complaint Review Board, and the Commission to Combat Police Corruption.

Misconduct complaints are investigated by the CCRB and the NYPD’s internal affairs bureau. If departmental charges are filed, an officer can either agree to a penalty or take the case to trial before an administrative judge. The judge sends any punishment recommendations to First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker, who passes his recommendation to Shea.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

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Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe

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A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.



Source – observer.ug

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

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Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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