5 Things That Happened While You Were Out: June 18, 2020

It was a day full of running for the munchkin and me, so, unfortunately, I am also running behind. Therefore, let’s get right to it.

1) In a follow-up to our story yesterday, the two officers charged in Atlanta, Georgia in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks, 27, have turned themselves in today.

According to the attorney for the Brooks’ family, this is only the first step in the long journey to trials and – he hopes – convictions.

Officer Devin Brosnan is facing aggravated assault charges after it was alleged he stood on Brooks’ shoulder as he was lying facedown in a Wendy’s parking lot. Brosnan, who denies any such action, turned himself in first. He was released on a signature bond within an hour of presenting himself for his arrest warrant.

Former Officer Garrett Rolfe took longer to turn himself in, choosing to do so in the afternoon. He has already lost his job, and he faces 11 total charges – including felony murder. The prosecution is alleging that after he shot Brooks in the back, Rolfe kicked Brooks and stated that he had “gotten” him. There was no medical attention given to Brooks for over two minutes.

The department is located in Fulton County, and the leading lawyer for the case of the state is Paul Howard, the county DA.

This all started when the two officers went to the Wendy’s in question after receiving a call that Brooks was asleep in his car in the drive-through. He then failed a sobriety test and appeared to have resisted arrest. He even grabbed Brosnan’s Taser and ran away.

Brosnan is cooperating with the state, but his attorney is quick to point out that his client is not a state witness. She also claims that there was no malice in his intent and that he suffered many injuries in the scuffle with Brooks.

Brosnan was also the one who eventually treated Brooks, giving him CPR, administering an anticoagulant and applying compression bandages. His attorney and Brosnan are unsure why he was charged “so quickly” and say they are disappointed in the system.

The attorney for Rolfe, Lance LoRusso, also denies allegations of wrongdoing by his client. He claims there was no kicking, and questions why DA Howard has not released the tape. LaRusso also claims that Rolfe attempted CPR as well, monitored Brooks’ pulse, and helped with other aid.

The city of Atlanta is now tense and on edge, with a possible call-out going on with the officers and others not responding to calls. The APD claims it has all the personnel necessary on hand.

2) The U.S. Supreme Court dealt another defeat to the Trump administration by ruling that it cannot immediately shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, otherwise known as (DACA).

It was a close 5-4 decision, and the swing vote came from Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote for the majority that the Trump administration had failed to provide sufficient justification to end the federal program.

The justices in agreement with Roberts were the four liberals on the Court: Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor. They joined Roberts in agreeing that the decision to rescind DACA has to be vacated as it was “arbitrary and capricious.”

They went on to say that Trump had acted illegally in 2017 when he sought to fulfill a campaign promise and end DACA as he did not actually address the most crucial parts of the initial policy.

Four of the five also agreed that there was no specific discrimination directed at Latinos behind the decision to end DACA, with only Justice Sotomayor dissenting.

Roberts seemed to say that he joined in with the liberals not because DACA was legal and sound policy, but because the White House had sought to terminate the program incorrectly.

The four dissenting conservatives were Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh, though they did agree with parts of the majority opinion. However, they said that the majority had not resolved anything, simply sending the Trump administration back to the drawing board.

President Trump tweeted his response, and of course, was upset, stating that he was compiling a list of conservative judges that he wants to add to the court when the next vacancies arise.

3) The first large-scale CDB processing/hemp extract plant is going to be opening this week near Binghamton. The new plant is Empire Standard and will be converting bulk hemp extracts into products that can be sold and distributed in the beauty, health, and wellness product businesses.

There are going to be more such business opening throughout the state, including three in the Johnson City region.

Empire Standard partners with Modern Marketing Concepts, and is located in the Binghamton Industrial Park in a 20,000-square-foot building. It will be buying up bulk hemp extracts to turn into consumer-friendly products. The company hopes to end the bottleneck that has been blocking hemp products from entering the markets of the state.

Empire Standard is not going to be selling directly to individuals, but to retailers only – for the moment.

The other projects suggestion for the Southern Tier are:

  • Canadian company Canopy Growth broke ground on a $150 million hemp processing plant in Broome County last July.
  • Southern Tier Hemp announced plans to set up shop in a former Gannett newspaper printing plant in Johnson City.
  • Great Eastern Hemp plans to reconfigure a recent workshop in Johnson City.

4) The Albany Police Department says a series of investigations is underway into a rash of shootings that took place over the past 24 hours.

At around 12:30 a.m., the APD responded to a shooting on Second Street. A 52-year-old man was shot in the shoulder. Later, a 31-year-old reported to Albany Medical Center (AMC) with a gunshot wound to the leg.

Another shooting at around 1:50 a.m. in the area of Albany Street and Broadway. In this case, a 26-year-old man had been found nearby, again with a gunshot to the leg.

Albany Memorial Hospital also reported two more men in their 20s entering their ER with gunshot wounds. AMC said four men – ages 21, 22, 23, and 35 – all with gunshot wounds, claimed they had been shot on Albany Street.

The APD has also reported another shooting, this one at Third Street, near North Lake Avenue and Quail Street. A 34-year-old male died after arriving at AMC.

APD is now investigating this as a homicide.

All are ongoing investigations, and anyone with information is asked to call the APD Detective Division at (518) 462-8039.

5) This weekend, temperatures are expected to reach into the upper 90s. In response, Schenectady County has established cooling stations that can be used during the heatwave.

These stations are open from today to Sunday, June 21, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are located at:

  • Bethesda House, 834 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12307
  • City Mission of Schenectady Welcome Center, 427 Hamilton Street, Schenectady, NY 12305
  • Mount Pleasant Library Branch, 1036 Crane Street, Schenectady, NY 12303

Social distancing and public health protocols will be enforced at all times.

That is all for today. Stay steady, stay strong, stay safe.

Stay woke.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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