CNN Crime News Video: Interview With Angel and Jennifer Mendez, Who Have Been Awarded Almost $4 Million In Excessive Force Lawsuit Against Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office

The following CNN crime news video contains an interview with Angel and Jennifer Mendez. 3 years ago, they were shot by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies. Jennifer was pregnant at the time. They have now been awarded millions after filing a suit that accused the cops and the department of excessive force and violating their 4th Amendment rights. This video was added to the CNN website on August 18, 2013. KTLA is the original source.

Watching this video does not definitely answer the question of whether police used excessive force in this case. What is clear is that there was a BB gun that looked like it could be a real gun. What is not clear from this story is whether Angel brandished the gun in a manner that would have caused the cops to reasonably fear for their lives.

According to the New York Daily News, a federal judge awarded $3.8 million to the Mendez couple, based on violations of their 4th Amendment rights. This refers to their right against unreasonable searches and seizures. It apparently comes from the fact that the police barged in on the Mendez couple’s shack without any warning whatsoever. So it seems that there is misleading reporting here. The award of almost $4 million is not for being shot. It is for violating the 4th Amendment.

CNN Video Showing Interview With Angel And Jennifer Mendez, Who Have Been Awarded Almost $4 Million In Lawsuit Against Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office

New York Daily News

CNN News Video: Interview With Putnam County, New York District Attorney, Adam Levy (Judge Judy’s Son), About His Defamation Suit Against Sheriff Don Smith

The following CNN legal news video contains an interview with Adam Levy, who is Judge Judy’s son. Levy is the district attorney of Putnam County, New York. He has filed a $5 million lawsuit against Don Smith, the sheriff of Putnam County. This video was added to the CNN website on August 16, 2013. It aired on the New Day TV show.

This is a long interview. I will summarize the controversy surrounding the defamation suit.

A man named Alexandru Hossu was being investigated for child sexual assault. As it turns out, it is a family friend of Adam Levy. And it was also discovered that the accused is an illegal alien. Levy says he had no idea that the man was an illegal alien. He had a driver’s license and was even married to an American woman. But I guess he had not changed his visa in time and overstayed the visa he did have.

According to Levy, Sheriff Don Smith accused him of harboring an illegal alien – the same man described above, who was being investigated for child rape.

Levy says it’s simply not true. In fact, he immediately recused himself from the case and contacted the Westchester County district attorney to assist in the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office’s investigation. It is standard to recuse yourself from working on a case when the subject of the investigation is a friend.

What is not clear from this Adam Levy interview is exactly what Sheriff Don Smith said. So we can’t really analyze whether he is liable for defamation until we see a word-for-word quote of exactly what he said.

Levy says he will give any money won in the lawsuit to an organization that supports women victims.

CNN Legal Video With Interview Of Adam Levy (Judge Judy’s Son), About His Defamation Suit Against Sheriff Don Smith

NBC Today Show Video: Cocke County, Tennessee: Judge (Magistrate) Lu Ann Ballew Forcibly Changes Jaleesa Martin’s Baby’s Name From “Messiah” To “Martin” (August 12, 2013)

The following Today show video is about a name-change case in Cocke County, Tennessee. A judge (magistrate) named Lu Ann Ballew has taken the odd and drastic step of legally changing the name of a baby from Messiah to Martin. The mother involved is Jaleesa Martin. The father’s name was not mentioned in reports that I have seen on this legal story. This video aired on the August 12, 2013 episode of Today.

The case wasn’t even about the first name. The parents were only disagreeing on the last name. Ballew did probably the right thing by giving the baby the last names of both the father and mother. That is a fair and just way of resolving the dispute over the last name. But then Ballew seemingly way overstepped her bounds by changing the baby’s first name.

For starters, Ballew’s decision, which she claimed was made because she thinks “Messiah” is a title that has only been earned by Jesus Christ, most likely violates the First Amendment. It essentially forces the parents to observe a religious belief. And no American is required to do that unless it is related to a secular law that is not based on a religious belief. But Ballew’s decision clearly rested on her Christian beliefs.

Second, and I am not sure about Tennessee law, but there is also the issue of a judge acting where there is no case or controversy. Neither parent petitioned for a change of the baby’s first name. So the courts have to decide whether the judge even had the right to make such a decision in the first place.

Third, parents have a federal constitutional right to make decisions related to their child. There must be clear and convincing evidence of abuse or neglect of a child before a court can intervene. I don’t see any clear and convincing evidence of wrongdoing. Ballew just has some phantom belief that Christians will give the baby a hard time for being named “Messiah.” There is no proof of this whatsoever. I have never even heard such a belief about this name.

There are so many bad things about this decision, that it is likely to get overturned one way or another. And one has to wonder if Lu Ann Ballew can be trusted as a magistrate to follow the law instead of pushing her personal Christian agenda.

Today Video About Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew’s Decision To Change Jaleesa Martin’s Baby’s Name From “Messiah” To “Martin”

Sources:

Slate Article On This Messiah Baby Story

WBIR Video And Article On This Name-Change Controversy

CNN News Video: Houston, Texas: Bradley Jones Sues Fred Fincher Motors After Being Shocked With Taser By Co-Workers Multiple Times

The following CNN news video comes out of Houston, Texas. The clip was provided by KHOU. Bradley Jones worked for years at Fred Fincher Motors. While there, he was shocked by fellow employees with a Taser, reportedly multiple times. Jones is now suing Fred Fincher Motors. This video was added to the CNN website on August 8, 2013.

Bradley Jones is interviewed for this story. He says he was humiliated by being Tasered in front of co-workers and employees. Of course, it doesn’t need to be said that it was painful.

From what I can tell, one weakness in his case is that he kept going back to work even after this had already happened. Also, there’s about a 99.9 percent chance that I would file criminal charges against anyone who did this to me. It absolutely is a crime unless Jones somehow consented to the activity. I presume this is the co-workers’ defense – that they were just engaging in some kind of consensual horseplay. It’s a pretty weak defense unless there was a history of such harsh horseplay going on before Jones was first shocked.

Despite going back to work after this happened repeatedly, that does not mean Bradley is not a victim. Even if it could be argued that he was not a victim the 3rd or 4th time or whatever, the odds are that he was a victim that first time.

As to the Fred Fincher Motors’ liability, they might claim that the Taser incidents were possibly criminal behavior that was outside the scope of the employees’ duties. This seems like an exceedingly weak defense, however. If that is true, then why weren’t those employees immediately fired for committing crimes at work? Also, the employer allowed it to continue. So they might also be liable under a theory that they allowed such a situation to continue on their premises.

In the end, a jury would be hard-pressed to conclude that a man, either expressly or impliedly, consented to such a violent act, unless there is specific evidence of such consent. Despite some weaknesses that may reduce Jones’s damages, he seems to have a pretty strong case.

CNN Video About Bradley Jones’s Lawsuit Against Fred Fincher Motors, For Being Tasered At Work

CNN Legal News Video: UC-San Diego Student, Daniel Chong, Gets Over $4 Million In Settlement With DEA, Over Being Left In Detention Cell For 5 Days

The following CNN legal news video comes out of San Diego, California. A student from UC-San Diego, has settled a lawsuit with the DEA, for over $4 million. Chong will receive $4.1 million for being left in a holding cell for 5 days. It isn’t clear why no one checked on him for all that time. This video was added to the CNN website on July 31, 2013.

Chong has never been charged with anything. He was apparently visiting a friend’s house one day that got raided. So Chong was arrested along with everyone else. Once placed in the cell, he was either completely forgotten or completely neglected. Most likely, they just forgot him. But the mystery is that, despite saying he was screaming and yelling, no one ever opened the door to check on him for the whole 5 days.

Chong reportedly had resigned himself to the fact that he was going to die. But he did try to survive by drinking his own urine. Chong also reportedly carved “Sorry Mom” into his own arm as some kind of farewell message.

This was rank incompetence on the part of the DEA. But to be honest, sign me up if this gig pays $4 million. I’ll probably never earn that in my whole life. Add a couple more days and give me 5 million. This was hell for 5 days. But then he won the lottery. Again, where do I sign up?

CNN Video About UC-San Diego Student, Daniel Chong, Setting Case With DEA For Over $4 Million

CNN Jeanne Moos Legal News Video: Shelburne, Vermont: Rod Maciver Fights Red-Light Ticket And Wins

The following CNN legal news video comes out of Shelburne, Vermont. It is a Jeanne Moos report. This video was added to the CNN website on July 29, 2013.

Rod Maciver was hopping mad over getting a ticket for running a red light. He insists that he did not run the red light. Despite the police officer having dash-cam footage that would have shown one way or another if Maciver ran the red light, the cop ticketed him. Oddly enough, the cop apparently followed Maciver about two miles down the road before pulling him over.

Before the judge made a decision, Maciver made several requests and even paid a fee of about $40 to get the dash-cam footage. That’s when he got his proof that he did not run a red light. It was yellow when his pickup crossed the intersection.

The judge dismissed the ticket. But Maciver wasn’t done. He then want to small-claims court and sued for $2000. The cops didn’t even show up to contest the case. It wasn’t stated in the video exactly how the judge decided that case.

CNN Video – Shelburne, Vermont – Rod Maciver Contests Ticket For Running Red Light And Has It Dismissed

CNN News Video: Piers Morgan TV Show: Howard Samuels Debates “Marijuana Mom,” Cheryl Shuman

The following CNN news video comes from Piers Morgan’s TV show. Morgan Spurlock is the guest host for this segment. Two guests are debating the benefits and risks of marijuana use. This video was added to the CNN website on July 29 2013.

The pro-pot guest is Cheryl Shuman, who has been identified on this video as “Marijuana Mom.” The anti-pot guest is Howard Samuels, who is the founder and CEO of The Hills Treatment Center.

Shuman says no one overdoses or dies from marijuana and never has. She seems to admit that some people may get an addiction to pot, but she says those are people who get addicted to other things, as well. This is pretty much the weakest part of her debate and the strongest part for Samuels.

Samuels does admit that truly sick people, such as those with cancer, could benefit from medicinal marijuana. But he says the California system is a big sham. People who aren’t really sick are getting pot.

I’m not sure exactly what these people are debating. If it is strictly a legality debate, then Shuman makes strong arguments for legality of cannabis. But if it’s a lifestyle debate, then Samuels has many good points. For example, people with addictive personalities should be getting addicted to life, not drugs.

CNN Video With Marijuana Debate Between Howard Samuels And Cheryl Shuman

CNN Crime News Video: Vancouver, Washington: Jeffery Barton Arrested For Firing Shotgun; Claims He Was Following Joe Biden’s Advice

The following CNN crime news video comes out of Vancouver, Washington. It is about Jeffery Barton, who was arrested and charged with illegal discharge of a shotgun. Barton claims that he was following Vice President Joe Biden’s advice. This video was added to the CNN website on July 17, 2013. It was provided by KOIN.

Barton will not successfully be able to use the “Biden told me to do it” defense. He will have to rely on some other justification. In this case, the facts seem murky. Barton says people were breaking into his car. The police say there is no evidence of vehicle looters. But it seems Barton must have seen something since he did fire his weapon (apparently just a warning shot).

First of all, Biden is not the king and has nothing to do with Washington state law. So that is simply not a defense. Second, why would you take the advice of any politician when it comes to self-defense. By their nature, politicians make statements for selfish reasons. Who knows why Joe Biden talked about firing warning shots in the air if you have a problem. But he was probably talking about actual self-defense. And the problem for Jeffery is that seeing people looting your car, even if true, does not give rise to self-defense.

Barton interpreted Biden’s use of the word “problem” to mean any crime-related problem. But Biden wasn’t talking about just any problem, so it seems. He was talking about if your life is threatened. That wasn’t happening in this case. In any event, citing a president or vice president or your grandfather or the Pope’s advice is not a defense in criminal law, anyway.

CNN Video About Jeffery Barton Being Arrested For Supposedly Following Joe Biden’s Shotgun Self-Defense Advice

NBC Today Show Video: Skechers Shoe Company To Pay $40 Million Settlement For Allegedly False Health Claims (July 17, 2013)

Disclaimer: I don’t know if Skechers broke the law. A settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing, as a general rule. It is typically just an agreement to pay money and cease doing anything illegal in the future.

At any rate, Skechers has agreed to pay out $40 million to settle a lawsuit related to allegedly false health claims made in its shoe advertisements. If federal regulators’ claims are true, then any lawyer worth a darn surely would have told them not to claim that a shoe can help you tone muscles and lose weight.

You can’t just go around making health claims without hard scientific proof to back it up. That does not and never will fall under free speech or anything like that. You can lie all you want in general. But you can’t make false or misleading statements when trying to get people to fork over their hard-earned money to buy your product. Again, I’m not saying that Skechers made false claims. That is not for me to decide on such limited facts. But as a general rule, a shoe company has no business making such broad health claims.

The Today video talking about this Skechers shoe settlement aired on the July 17, 2013 episode.

CNN Legal News Video: Jason Patric’s Sperm-Donor Controversy Against Danielle Schreiber And Fight For His Son

The following CNN legal news video is about actor Jason Patric, his biological son, and ex-girlfriend, Danielle Schreiber. This video was added to the CNN website on July 16, 2013. It aired on the New Day TV show.

Patric “donated” sperm to Schreiber so that she could have a baby. Although Patric is appealing and trying to get a new law passed in California, he lost his court case against Schreiber. It seems that Patric is saying that he was not a donor at all because he was in a relationship with Schreiber at the time the sperm was given. It seems hard to believe that position without explaining why you wouldn’t just do it the old-fashioned way. Without a good explanation, this seems like a sperm donation. And under California law, a sperm donor has no parental rights unless he has a specific agreement for such rights. With no agreement, parental or custody rights never exist in the first place.

On Katie’s show, Patric says his son was stolen, and he is trying to get him back. This kind of language is probably not helpful and should be toned down. He did not do an interview for this New Day piece.

Schreiber is likely correct in terms of the legal case. But this situation seems to have gotten out of hand and should have been dealt with out of court. There are so many hypocrites in this area of the law. They moan when a father doesn’t want to be in a child’s life. Then, when they think it’s in their own best interest, they shut the father out.

CNN Video About Jason Patric, Sperm Donors And Their Legal Rights, And Danielle Schreiber