Hello, and welcome to another gloomy Monday, CivMixers.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and a Happy Mother’s Day!! This is the week of reckoning when some things begin to re-open in some parts of the state. The news that drive-in theaters are going to be allowed to resume operations has definitely generated a lot of excitement. 

I mean, most of us have binged and watched more television than usual – even getting access to previously unreleased movies on some streaming platforms.

By now, I think it’s safe to say that many of us are, in fact, movied and televisioned out. But somehow the thought of watching movies somewhere other than in the four walls of our own homes is exhilarating.

Let’s see what else happened in the US and around NY today, shall we?

1) The eyes of the nation will again be focused on Florida, Mark O’Mara and the controversial “stand your ground” law, in a case that is eerily similar to the 2012 Trayvon Martin incident that drew attention to the deep divide in this country over racial injustice and the Second Amendment. 

Unlike in the Martin case, O’Mara has been hired by the family of the 17-year-old victim who was shot by a homeowner, alleging he was attempting to break into one of his vehicles. Adrein Green was shot in the back and killed sometime before 2 a.m. on Tuesday in Sanford, FL, which is the same community where the Martin case occurred.

The shots were captured on a 911 call. The homeowner called to report an alleged possible home burglary, and then fired two shots while on the line.

When police arrived on the scene in the gated community, they found Green unresponsive on the side of the road close to the alleged incident. Though they attempted to revive hin, Green was pronounced dead when he arrived at the hospital.

There is evidence that corroborates the homeowner’s claim that Green was attempting to break into a car, according to the Sanford Chief of Police Cecil Smith.

According to the Assistant State Attorney for the 18th Judicial Circuit Dan Faggard, there was no arrest because the homeowner was justified to use deadly force upon Green when he engaged in what is defined as a “forcible felony” under the state’s stand your ground law.

O’Mara is arguing that the homeowner gave up the right to claim the use of the stand your ground law when he claimed on the 911 call that he was going to fire his gun to “scare” the perpetrator off of his property.

“They weren’t shooting in fear of personal safety. In this case, it’s pretty clear, in my opinion, you aren’t allowed to shoot someone because they are breaking into your car.”
– Mark O’Mara, lawyer for the Green family

An investigation into the case is ongoing.

2) Another day, another story about a violent incident erupting over a person being told they had to wear a mask in a store. This time it was a woman, in Alabama, at a Walmart – and involved a full body check.

There were three cell phone videos of the incident posted on social media over the weekend. In the videos, the woman involved can be seen arguing as an officer tries to detain her after she insisted on shopping without face mask in violation of store policy. The officer was an off-duty cop moonlighting as a security guard.

The videos show a short struggle took place before the guard lifted the woman and dropped her to the ground. She faces the possibility of multiple charges.

According to the early investigation, a Walmart employee told the woman she had to put on a mask before she could enter the store. The woman resisted, becoming disorderly. The officer responded when he heard the woman yelling obscenities at both customers and employees. The report states she was told to leave the store but refused, and then resisted the officer’s attempt to remove her. That was when the officer performed the take-down.

The woman was unharmed, according to the police, and all the videos seem to support that claim. So far, she has been charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, third-degree criminal trespassing, possession of marijuana, and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

3) Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a new dashboard today that will show how each region of New York is meeting the seven requirements his administration has laid out in order to re-open regional economies.

Former top Cuomo aide Jim Malatras, who is technically now president of SUNY Empire College but has returned to assist with the pandemic management and recovery effort, said the dashboard will be updated every 24 hours. The current “PAUSE” ends this Friday, May 15. Once regions meet the seven requirements, the re-opening will begin in phases. This does not apply to schools, which will remain closed for the rest of the academic year.

4) On Saturday night, at approximately 10:18 p.m., New York State Police arrived on a scene to assist the Stillwater Police Department with an investigation of an infant – a 15-month-old – that was unresponsive.

The infant was taken by ambulance to Saratoga Hospital, where it was declared dead. The name and sex of the infant have not been made public.

A 17-year-old has been charged with a class B violent felony of first-degree manslaughter. The name of this person is also being withheld as he or she is a minor. Unknown as of now also is the relationship between infant and teen.

A conviction of this type of felony is punishable with up to 25 years in prison. The investigation continues, and updates will be released as necessary.

5) In Albany County, the Colonie Police Department has arrested the same man for the eighth time in a year. 

Robert J. Wadsworth, 21, was arrested yesterday when the CPD responded to the Central Avenue Speedway in Albany. There, a woman alleged that Wadsworth had threatened her while in possession of a handgun. The Colonie Police caught and arrested Wadsworth after locating him in a vehicle in the Lisha Kill Reformed Church parking lot.

The gun was found to be reported stolen in 2007 from the state of Alabama. It was a .380 semi-automatic.

His other seven arrests have happened over the past 12 months. They have consisted of 12 misdemeanors and five felonies – including but not limited to, burglary charges, drug charges, assault, and resisting arrest.

Wadsworth was sent to the Albany County Correctional Facility, and though expected to be arraigned today, there has been no update as of yet.

That is all for today, CivMixers. I hope that the weather will not pan out as gloomy as it seems to be looking this week, and here is to a phased re-opening being better than nothing at all.

Same time, same place tomorrow all. Have a good night.

Photo credit: George Fazio.