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Police Trooper Suspended For Kicking, Dragging Black Man Who Died In Custody

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A Louisiana State Police trooper has been suspended without pay for kicking and dragging a handcuffed Black man whose in-custody death remains unexplained and the subject of a federal civil rights investigation.

Body camera footage shows Master Trooper Kory York dragging Ronald Greene “on his stomach by the leg shackles” following a violent arrest and high-speed pursuit, according to internal State Police records obtained by The Associated Press.

The records are the first public acknowledgement by State Police that Greene was mistreated, and they confirm details provided last year by an attorney for Greene’s family who viewed graphic body camera footage of the May 2019 arrest and likened it the police killing of George Floyd. The video shows troopers choking and beating the man, repeatedly jolting him with stun guns and dragging him face-down across the pavement, the attorney told AP.

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State Police have repeatedly refused to publicly release the body camera footage. The agency has been tight lipped about Greene’s death and initially blamed the man’s fatal injuries on a car crash outside Monroe, La.

York, who turned his own body camera off on his way to the scene, is seen on other body-cam footage yanking Greene’s shackles and repeatedly using profanity toward Greene before he died in custody.

You’re gonna lay on your f(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) belly like I told you!” the trooper says at one point, according to the police records.

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York was suspended without pay for 50 hours following an internal investigation that also led to the termination of another trooper, Chris Hollingsworth, who died in a single-car crash after learning he had been fired over his role in the incident. The AP last year published a 27-second audio clip from Hollingsworth’s body camera in which he can be heard telling a colleague, “I beat the ever-living f— out of” Greene before he “all of a sudden he just went limp.”

“It is now undisputed that Trooper York participated in the brutal assault that took Ronald Greene’s life,” said Mark Maguire, a Philadelphia civil rights attorney who represents Greene’s family. “This suspension is a start but it does not come close to the full transparency and accountability the family continues to seek.”

Col. Lamar Davis, who took over as State Police superintendent last year, wrote York that his suspension had been decided by his predecessor, Kevin Reeves, adding he “would have imposed more severe discipline” had it been up to him. Reeves made the decision during his last week in office, before stepping down amid a series of scandals, but York was not notified of the reasons for his suspension until Dec. 29.

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York’s attorney did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

York told investigators he turned his own body-worn camera off because it was beeping loudly and that his “mind was on other things” after arriving at the scene.

“I didn’t think about it,” he said.

The trooper who initially chased Greene, Dakota DeMoss, was recently arrested in connection with a separate police pursuit last year in which he and two other troopers allegedly used excessive force while handcuffing a motorist. Those charges followed a monthslong internal investigation into use-of-force incidents involving troopers in the northern part of the state.

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It’s not clear whether DeMoss has been disciplined in Greene’s arrest.

(AP)

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Man, 38 Escapes Assassination Attempt In Benin

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Innocent Omoruyi

By Omokha Andrew

A 38-year-old activist, Innocent Omoruyi, narrowly escaped assassination in the early hours of Wednesday, July 19, 2023 as his residence at Obe Community,Sapele Road in Benin city was attacked by yet to be identified gun men.

The attack which eye witnesses say was viciously executed on Wednesday, July 19, 2023 bore the markings of a dreaded cult group terrorizing Benin City, the state capital.

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The Obe, Sapale Road incident, it was learnt, happened soon after Omoruyi left the house to attend to matters of interest some few metres away from his home.

The assailants were said to have shot sporadically in their frustration as residents scampered for safety.

However, Omoruyi escaped unharmed.

One of the eye witnesses who craved anonymity said: “The felons apparently went for the kill, weilding guns and other dangerous weapons. “We are shocked that they didn’t see Innocent Omoruyi who was just some few metres away from home when they arrived”.

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“How that happened, only God knows and it was obvious that it wasn’t his time to die yet and just before that not long ago his business place on Lagos Street, Benin City was burnt down in the middle of the night by unknown arsonists.

“This sequence of events is not ordinary. We know it’s politically motivated due to the role he played in the last general elections. He has been advised to go into hiding at the moment for his personal safety”, he concluded.

When contacted, the police Public Relations Officer Chidi Nwabuzor said he was yet to get any information as regards the latest incident. He promised to feed our correspondent with relevant details as soon as they become handy.

Our information source however revealed that the matter has already been incidented at the Love World Police station on Sapele Road, Benin city.

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Nigeria To Earn Over $4bn Revenue As FEC Okays Concession Of Abuja, Kano Airports

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Nigeria will earn over $4 billion in nominal revenue as the Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday okayed the concession of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, and Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano, to the Corporacion American Airport Consortium, a Luxembourg-based company.

James Odaudu, the Special Assistant on Public Affairs to the Minister of Aviation, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

According to him, the Council also approved that the Federal Ministry of Aviation would be renamed the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace.

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The statement noted that the company would make combined upfront payments of $8.5 million for the concession of NAIA and MAKIA.

He added that the development would spur evidential growth within the Nigerian aviation industry.

In alignment with the Aviation Roadmap, approved by Mr President on 18th October 2016, the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace is delighted to inform all stakeholders, both local and international, and the media, that the concession of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, and Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano has been approved by the Federal Executive Council,” the statement said.

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In December 2022 and January 2023, Corporacion American Airport Consortium was announced as the preferred bidder for the airport’s concession after scaling through a series of evaluations of technical and financial bids.

Nominal revenues mean income not adjusted for inflation and decreasing purchasing power.

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Russia Expelled From Council Of Europe Amid War With Ukraine

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The Council of Europe says it has expelled Russia with immediate effect after 26 years of membership because of the Ukraine war.

The Committee of Ministers took the decision in a special session, the rights body announced in the French city of Strasbourg on Wednesday.

Earlier, Russia had already declared its withdrawal from the Council of Europe after it had taken steps to exclude it.

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On Tuesday evening, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted unanimously in favour of Russia’s exclusion.

Russia joined the Council of Europe on Feb. 28, 1996.

Together with the formal notification of the withdrawal, the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe also received information from the Russian Federation on Tuesday about its intention to denounce the European Convention on Human Rights.

In a statement on Tuesday evening, the leaders of the Council of Europe once again condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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They expressed their solidarity with the Russian people, who continue to belong to the European family and share its values.

The body said it would continue to stand by Ukraine in the fight against the aggressor.

The Council of Europe monitors the observance of human rights in its 46 member states and is not part of the European Union.

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The body reacted to the Russian invasion of Ukraine two weeks ago by suspending Russia’s membership, this decision was considered historic.

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