Ex-Owner in $146 Million Elder Care Default Is Charged in Ponzi Case

A Chicago-area rabbi, who formerly owned a nursing home chain at the heart of the biggest default in the history of a federal mortgage-guarantee program, has been indicted by federal authorities on charges he bilked millions of dollars from investors.

The indictment against Zvi Feiner and a business partner, Erez Baver, is the latest chapter in the yearslong saga involving the Rosewood Care Centers chain of nursing homes, which are mainly in the Chicago suburbs.

The $146 million default in 2018 was the worst ever for a program that insures mortgages on roughly 15 percent of the nation’s nursing homes. In the aftermath, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which administers the mortgage guarantee program, tightened some of its underwriting and review processes.

The Rosewood chain — which has been renamed by the new owners — was part of a network of nursing homes that Mr. Feiner, 50, and Mr. Baver bought after raising money from investors in the Orthodox Jewish communities around Chicago and New York.

Federal authorities said the two men had misled investors about the financial health of the nursing homes and had run them as a Ponzi scheme, using money from new investors to pay earlier ones and skim cash for themselves. The accusations are similar to those in a fraud lawsuit filed last year by the Securities and Exchange Commission and in investor lawsuits previously reported by The New York Times.

In addition to the wire fraud charges, federal authorities seek to recoup $13.56 million from Mr. Feiner and $3.76 million from Mr. Baver.

Mr. Feiner was arrested by the F.B.I. on last Tuesday, but the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois did not announce the indictment until late Monday. Mr. Feiner has pleaded not guilty and was released after posting $4,500 bail. Mr. Baver was scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.

Lawyers for the men were not available for comment.

Mr. Feiner paid a $1 million penalty to HUD last year for failing to file several years of audited financial reports required by the mortgage insurance program. He has also reached an agreement in principle with the S.E.C. in its lawsuit.

The problems at Rosewood were so bad that the federal government went to court in 2019 to have a receiver appointed to run its dozen nursing homes and one assisted-living center.

After the receiver was appointed, HUD had to shell out $30 million in fees to pay for upkeep. Greystone, a nursing home lender and operator, bought the Rosewood facilities for $81 million in January.

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California officer charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Black man at Walmart

On April 18, 2020, in the late afternoon, San Leandro Police Officer Jason Fletcher responded to a call from a Walmart store of a shoplifter holding a bat, threatening people. Steven Taylor had reportedly walked into the store, grabbed an aluminum bat and a tent and then attempted to exit the store without paying. Security officers had stopped him and called the police. According to reports and the DA, customers attempted to give Taylor money in order to purchase the items, but he politely refused.

An important note here: Officer Fletcher arrived by foot, as he was in the vicinity when the 911 call was made. Upon arriving at the store, Fletcher saw his backup, Officer Everton, parking his squad car.

Fletcher arrived at the store and after briefly conferring with a store security guard, confronted Steven Taylor. Fletcher attempted to take the bat from Taylor, at which point Taylor became agitated and pushed away from the officer, about 17 feet. Fletcher told Taylor to drop the bat and then deployed his Taser, hitting Taylor. In the video you can see Taylor react to the taser, his arms coming down and squeezing against his sides as he very visibly attempts to stay upright.

At this point, the bat Taylor is holding is directed toward the floor, as Taylor is semi-hunched over. The Alameda County District Attorney’s office says that, Mr. Taylor posed no threat of imminent deadly force or serious bodily injury to defendant Fletcher or anyone else in the store.” Just as backup Officer Overton arrives, Fletcher shoots his service firearm, and a single bullet hits Taylor in the chest. Taylor staggers back, turns and drops the bat, and then falls face-forward onto the floor. It is at this point that backup Officer Overton deploys his taster into a man who is lying facedown, possibly already deceased.

It is clear from the video that Taylor isn’t doing anything right. He isn’t listening to the officer and he is openly agitated. But it is also clear that something terrible is going on with him, and everyone around him, everyone in the store (besides Officer Fletcher) seems to realize that and understand a level of patience is needed. 

Officer Fletcher arrived on the scene, walked up to a suspected shoplifter who was holding a bat, and 40 seconds later he had shot Steven Taylor with both a taser and a firearm, killing him. 

CBS News Bay Area reporter Andrea Nakano reported that Taylor’s grandmother, who spoke to Nakano by phone, reacted to the charges against Officer Fletcher by saying, “I know you cannot see me, but can you hear me smiling,” telling Nakano that she was happy and relieved the charges were filed in the shooting death of her grandson.

Warning: This video below is very graphic.

Warning: This video below is very graphic.

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Cop Who Charged Black Senator With ‘Injuring’ Confederate Statues Nurtured A Long Grudge

A Portsmouth, Virginia, police sergeant ― who charged a Black state senator, local civil rights leaders and city public defenders with crimes under his theory they participated in a conspiracy to “injure” statues glorifying Confederate soldiers who fought for slavery ― was the subject of an internal investigation for an email he sent to city officials that blasted the rhetoric and actions of those he would later accuse of committing felonies, HuffPost has learned.

Sgt. Kevin McGee, according to several sources, was also a prominent opponent of former Portsmouth Police Chief Tonya Chapman. Chapman, Virginia’s first Black female police chief, was forced out last year, which she said was a result of her confronting “racial tensions” from within the majority Black city’s mostly white police force and facing down a police union she said didn’t like her because she wasn’t a white man.

Current Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene, also a Black woman, has gathered support from a predominately white group of Portsmouth residents, particularly after her department took advantage of Virginia’s magistrate system and bypassed Portsmouth’s Black elected prosecutor to charge Sen. Louise Lucas (D), local NAACP leaders and Portsmouth public defenders with taking part in a conspiracy to cause “injury to” a Confederate monument. The little-known “injury” law previously referred to the Civil War as the “War Between the States,” a preferred term of Confederate sympathizers.

Sen. Lucas was on the scene of a daytime demonstration at Portsmouth’s Confederate monument in June, but, like many other defendants charged with conspiracy, wasn’t actually on the scene later that night when protesters beheaded four Confederate statues and caused one to fall, severely injuring another demonstrator.

The Portsmouth police stayed back from the scene at the time, only intervening once the man was injured. Lucas, citing the police chief’s poor handling of the incident, called on Greene to resign. Some officers on the force believe that Portsmouth police could have stopped the protester from being injured if they intervened earlier.

McGee disagreed. In his letter to Portsmouth officials the day after the statues were destroyed in June, McGee cited his prior experience as a firefighter and said sitting back was the right thing to do because the statues were “a lost cause” and the outcome would have been worse if officers intervened. “Occasionally you have to let a house burn in order to save the ones on either side or because collapse is imminent,” he wrote. He also slammed Lucas, saying her calls for his boss’s resignation were “repulsive” and “absolutely disgusting and offensive.”

“Chief Greene deserves nothing less than the highest praise and she should be given the resources to continue to rebuild this Police Department,” McGee wrote. “If Senator Lucas wants to place blame on anyone for this incident, she should start by looking in the mirror.”

Two months later, McGee went to a Virginia magistrate, a low-level judicial officer, to obtain felony charges against Lucas and 13 others. He then stood behind Greene during the press conference announcing the unusual felony charges.

McGee’s letter also attacked Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales, the first Black woman elected as Portsmouth’s top prosecutor, who previously prosecuted a white Portsmouth officer for killing an unarmed Black teenager. McGee ― who wrote in his letter that he was “afraid of … persecution and prosecution for doing my job” ― claimed he’d heard protesters say that Morales wouldn’t prosecute them.

Texts obtained by HuffPost through a public records request indicated that, after Morales told Greene that McGee’s comments speculating about her approach to protester cases were “incorrect and unprofessional at best,” Chief Greene said she’d “definitely have a conversation with” McGee. Chief Greene also told Morales that she referred Greene’s letter to Portsmouth’s Professional Standards Unit.

A Portsmouth Police Department representative told HuffPost on Monday that they were withholding records about a Professional Standards Unit investigation into McGee’s letter, citing public records exemptions for personnel information and records on administration investigations relating to allegations of wrongdoing.

Greene, through the spokesperson, did not respond to HuffPost’s question on why she allowed McGee to work on the case and bring the charges despite initiating an investigation into his letter. But observers both inside and outside the Portsmouth Police Department believe that Chapman is working to appease a vocal group of white officers, including McGee, who helped bring down the first Black female police chief in a former slave state.

The Portsmouth Police Department spokeswoman also confirmed to HuffPost on Monday that five additional defendants were more recently charged, bringing the total to 19 defendants. An image of one of the new arrest warrants posted by a local television station also listed McGee’s name.

McGee, in his probable cause statement against Lucas, said that she told police officers “y’all can’t arrest them.” She had no formal role in the Portsmouth government, meaning legally speaking her speech was no different from any other member of the public. While other people spray painted the monument while she was on the scene, she left hours before most of the destruction took place. McGee slapped her with felonies anyway.

The investigation into McGee’s letter wasn’t the first time he came under scrutiny. Sources told HuffPost that McGee faced multiple internal investigations for his conduct on the force. McGee did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Chapman, after her dismissal, told a local news station that she’d been told that the department had reversed the disciplinary actions she brought against officers, which may have benefited McGee by eliminating prior disciplinary action.

McGee, sources said, was also upset that Chapman wouldn’t promote him and moved him out of a narcotics unit. McGee is now a member of Portsmouth’s property crimes unit, which isn’t considered a highly desirable post. 

McGee’s history helps explain why he was such an opponent of the former chief. Sources said McGee wanted the local Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) to take a vote of no confidence in Chapman, with one describing McGee as one of Chapman’s “most vocal” detractors.

Chapman said after she was forced out that the FOP “did not want to take direction from me because I’m not a white male.” The local FOP did not respond to a message from HuffPost.

After McGee brought the charges against Lucas, a white Portsmouth resident used Virginia’s magistrate system to bring misdemeanor charges against Lucas’ daughter, Portsmouth Vice Mayor Lisa Lucas-Burke, for calling for Greene’s resignation.

Moves like that cause Black leaders in Portsmouth to see the charges against Black political leaders as falling into a broader pattern of white Portsmouth officials using the criminal system to maintain power, as previously reported by The Virginian-Pilot. At one point, the city’s former white sheriff brought a camera crew along as he chased the city’s former Black mayor over an expired inspection sticker, then charged him with a felony. (The charges were later dismissed.)

Racial incidents within the police department have publicly flared up in the past. In 2018, according to The Virginian-Pilot, the white president of the local FOP was accused of calling a Black officer a “trunk monkey,” evidently referencing a series of television commercials from the early 2000s.

Observers both inside and outside the Portsmouth Police Department say the department needs change. When Chapman pushed to increase diversity on the police force, some white officers complained that the department was lowering its standards. Chapman’s attempts to implement the recommendations of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing faced opposition from some white officers, which some Black officers believed was simply because the blueprint emerged from the Obama administration. Officers say there are credible allegations of their colleagues using racial slurs, and described a department with a small contingent of officers who were very resistant to change, where racism always seems to be lingering just below the surface.

“Are there folks in my department, where if I went into their house, would I expect to see a grand wizard freakin’ robe and a Confederate flag in their garage? Absolutely,” one officer said. “But guess what, until I actually see it, I don’t want to go so far as to say that person is one.”

Don Scott, a Virginia state delegate who is representing Lucas, said he believes may of the problems stem from officers’ lack of investment in the communities where they work. 

“The majority of those officers don’t live in Portsmouth. The chief doesn’t even live in Portsmouth, which is amazing. So nobody is invested in the well-being of our community, they come here for a check,” Scott told HuffPost. “We’re being controlled by a hostile force.”

Lucas and other leaders have previously asked for a federal investigation into the Portsmouth Police Department, but the Justice Department has all but ended those probes under the Trump administration.

The FBI did begin an investigation into allegations of systemic racism in the Portsmouth Police Department, but Greene instructed officers not to contact the FBI directly and said that officers should be accompanied by a city official if the feds wanted an interview.

Online, mostly white opponents of Lucas and supporters of Greene and the Portsmouth Police Department have denied racism motivates their movement, even as moderates have asked supporters to refrain from using racist or offensive language. Supporters have traded in racial stereotypes of Black Americans.

“Why does (sic) every time a black person breaks the law they blame white people?” one Facebook commenter wrote. “Stop using the race card!”

“Personal responsibility is lacking in so many people,” wrote another, using another familiar political trope frequently deployed against Black Americans. (White city officials in Ferguson, Missouri, frequently claimed Black residents lacked “personal responsibility” even as they condoned “a striking lack of personal responsibility among themselves and their friends” by eliminating fines, fees and citations, according to a 2015 Justice Department investigation.)

Even though the city ― after a yearslong effort ― has finally removed the memorial to soldiers who fought and died in support of the institution of slavery, Portsmouth will be dealing with the repercussions of the June protests for a long time.

The trials will be complicated. With many Portsmouth public defenders facing charges themselves, that office wouldn’t be available to help other indigent defendants. With so many defendants, there may not be enough lawyers on the court-appointed attorneys list to take on all the cases. Judges from the outside will likely have to be brought in, and they may not want to sit on the case because of Lucas’ position in the state government. They might have to bring in a retired judge instead. Throw the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on top, and you’re looking at what one person described as “a fucking mess.”

Observers of the situation unfolding in Portsmouth see it as yet another example of the criminal system being used as a weapon against Black leadership. 

“The history of police in America is, at the same time, one of extreme lawlessness and brutality and one of the enforcing some laws against some people in some places some of the time in service of white supremacy and people who own things,” said Alec Karakatsanis, the executive director of the group Civil Rights Corps, who has litigated against systems of incarceration across the United States.

After Chapman was forced out, Black leaders in Portsmouth said it was time to confront racism within the Portsmouth government. Portsmouth Mayor John Rowe, a white man who is not seeking reelection this year, said after Chapman’s firing that he hadn’t seen a “deep, perpetual racial divide in Portsmouth.” The city official who fired Chapman, City Manager Lydia Pettis Patton, is a Black woman who Black leaders ― including Sen. Lucas ― accused of acting as a “puppet” for other interests. 

“We believe there’s a deep-seated system of racism there, and we’re hell-bent on destroying it,” James Boyd of the NAACP said at the time.

A little over a year later, Boyd is among those facing felony charges.

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Former Green Beret charged with spying for Russia

A former U.S. Army Green Beret conspired with Russia’s foreign intelligence arm, the GRU, providing them with national defense information from 1996 to 2011, federal prosecutors said Friday in an indictment.

Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins, of Gainesville, Virginia, faces a single count of conspiracy to gather or deliver defense information to aid a foreign government. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.

Debbins first visited Russia when was 19 years old, according to the federal indictment. His mother was born in the Soviet Union, and he met his wife in Chelyabinsk, Russia, where the couple later married. His father-in-law was a former an officer in the Russian military.

Debbins, 45, was born in Minnesota. It was unclear Friday whether he has an attorney.

According to the indictment, Debbins was slowly groomed and indoctrinated into the Russian intelligence apparatus starting in December 1996 when Debbins traveled to Chelyabinsk as part of an independent study program, according to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia.

He was assigned a code name by Russian intelligence agents and signed a document saying he wanted to serve Russia, the Department of Justice said.

Debbins allegedly shared classified information about his time in the Special Forces, including names and information on his former team members that Russian agents could evaluate and possibly approach those people to see if they would cooperate.

“When service members collude to provide classified information to our foreign adversaries, they betray the oaths they swore to their country and their fellow service members,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “As this indictment reflects, we will be steadfast and dogged in holding such individuals accountable.”

The investigation was conducted with the help of the FBI, Army Counterintelligence, the U.K.’s Metropolitan Police and their internal security apparatus, MI5.

According to prosecutors, a member of the Russian intelligence service contacted Debbins and later set up a meeting in 1996. Debbins was taught tradecraft and was given an assignment to get the names of four nuns at a Catholic church that Debbins visited, a task he accomplished at the behest of a Russian intelligence officer.

When Debbins graduated from the University of Minnesota in September 1997, he returned to Russia and again met with Russian intelligence, which gave him the code name “Ikar Lesnikov.” and signed a statement saying he wished to serve Russia.

Debbins joined the U.S. Army in July 1998, and before he left Russia, he was given a telephone number to use with his code name to contact the GRU.

Then, in 1999, when Debbins was on leave from a tour in South Korea, he returned to Russia and reached out to one of his Russian intelligence handlers. At that meeting, he apparently provided information about his platoon, the unit’s assignment and its mission.

Debbins told the Russian he wanted to leave the Army, but his handler encouraged him to stay, according to charging documents.

The Russians questioned him and asked if he was actually a spy for the U.S., which Debbins apparently denied, saying he loved and was committed to Russia.

He allegedly told the Russians that the U.S. was too dominant in the world and needed to be cut down to size.

— NBC News’ Alicia Victoria Lozano contributed.

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Infowars Correspondent Charged With Robbery Has Fans Convinced Of Deep State Conspiracy

An Infowars correspondent who was arrested for the alleged robbery of her own mother has more than $170,000 waiting for her from supporters who believe her arrest to be a conspiracy.

Millie Weaver, 29, was arrested Friday at her Ohio home on multiple charges related to the alleged robbery and abuse of her mother, Felecia McCarron. According to an indictment filed by the Portage County Sheriff’s Office and obtained by Right Wing Watch, Weaver was charged with three felony charges of robbery, tampering with evidence, and obstruction of justice. She was also arrested for a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence.

“Guys, I’m literally about to break huge breaking news right now,” Weaver said on a livestream the moment of her arrest. “I’m being arrested​, and I have no idea why.”

Now, supporters of Weaver have raised more than $170,000 for the accused criminal on a GoFundMe set up by Ezra Levant, the head of conservative Canadian outlet Rebel News.

“All proceeds will be transferred to Millie or her designate as soon as she’s out of custody,” the page reads. 

Those who have donated claim Weaver’s arrest was unlawful, and instead a deep state conspiracy meant to silence her supposed activism. Her charging documents say otherwise.

Police said the charges stemmed from an April 25 incident with Weaver and her mother, McCarron. Police said Weaver, her husband Gavin Wince, and her brother Charles Weaver allegedly “wrestled Felicia to the ground” in an attempt to stop her recording an argument among the four on her phone.

“Chuck grabbed Felicia’s arm as Gavin grabbed the other,” the report said. “Millie joined in and they all threw Felicia to the ground and held her down.”

The trio then took McCarron’s phone, leading to the robbery charge. Charles Weaver and Wince face the same charges as Millie Weaver. The three suspects allegedly attempted to lie to police about the confrontation.

More from The Daily Beast:

The trio’s alleged attempts to lie to officers were so obvious to authorities that they were described as absurd. At one point, Weaver’s brother Chuck told an officer that he had run behind the house to check out a flooding issue, not to hide the phone. When the officer pointed out that there were no footprints in the mud to show that Weaver had gone behind the house, Chuck countered that he had “jogged” — which supposedly wouldn’t have left footprints. 

“I commented on the absurdity of their explanation,” one deputy’s account of the interview reads. 

Millie Weaver, who joined Alex Jones’ conspiracy network Infowars in 2012, helped produce a factually baseless video that alleged a deep state government conspiracy to carry out a coup against President Donald Trump. Her supporters, including Jones himself, have falsely claimed the arrest was tied to the video and that Millie Weaver was actually arrested for stealing important government documents. 

Millie Weaver and her cohorts were arraigned Monday morning.

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Below Deck Med’s Peter Hunziker Apologizes for Racially Charged Post

Too little too late? Nearly six weeks after Bravo announced that it was cutting ties with Below Deck Mediterraneans Peter Hunziker, the reality star has spoken out.

“A little over 3 months ago, someone sent me a meme on social media and I thoughtlessly reposted it,” the deckhand posted via Instagram on Monday, July 27. “I now realize how painful the imagery and symbolism is and, upon deeper consideration, I realize that the implicit bias that exists in the brief text written in the meme is offensive.”

Below Deck Mediterranean’s Peter Hunziker. Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo

He continued: “To all those I have hurt and offended, please know that I am genuinely sorry. I have always supported equal rights and equal opportunities for ALL people. Be safe, stay well, and always think before you post. With love, Pete.”

The network announced its decision to fire Hunziker, who joined the show in season 5, on June 17, posting the news via Instagram after he shared an offensive meme that featured a Black woman in shackles.

“Peter Hunziker of Below Deck Mediterranean has been terminated for his racist post,” Bravo wrote at the time. “Bravo and 51 Minds are editing the show to minimize his appearance for subsequent episodes.”

On July 18, the reality star spoke out during an interview with Bravo Confessionals. “It affected me personally. It affected my emotions and I’m learning a lot,” he said about being cut from the show. “In life, you get hit sometimes [and] you’ve gotta get back up. … I will make a comeback and it’s going to be bigger and better.”

Hunziker was one of many reality stars fired over the last few months due to racially charged comments. Bravo cut ties with Vanderpump Rules‘ Stassi SchroederKristen DouteMax Boyens and Brett Caprioni due to their comments. Additionally, MTV fired Dee Nyguen from The Challenge, Taylor Selfridge from Teen Mom OG and Alex Kompothecras from Siesta Key.

The cast of Vanderpump Rules have since apologized, as have Nyguen and Selfridge.

Listen to Watch With Us to hear more about your favorite shows and for the latest TV news!

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Four People Charged In Rapper’s Shooting Death

Two men and two teenagers have been charged with shooting and killing rapper Pop Smoke during a home invasion in Los Angeles in February.

Pop Smoke, whose real name is Bashar Jackson, died at age 20. His track “Welcome to the Party” was one of last summer’s biggest songs.

Corey Walker, 20, and Keandre Rodgers, 18, were charged Monday by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for murder during a robbery, which is a charge eligible for the death penalty.

Prosecutors said in a statement that “a decision on whether to seek capital punishment will be made at a later date.”

The complaint against Walker and Rodgers also lists gun charges and that investigators believe the robbery was gang-related.

Two teenage boys who were not identified — one 15, the other 17 — were also charged in juvenile court with one count of murder and robbery.

Pop Smoke, who grew up in Canarsie, southeast Brooklyn, died on Feb. 19 around 4 a.m. during a home invasion in the Hollywood Hills. The LAPD said the attackers got the address from photos the rapper posted on social media.

The house was reportedly a rental owned by John Mellencamp’s daughter, Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave, who stars on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

The Los Angeles Police Department reported at the time that a “number of suspects in masks” entered the residence and shot Jackson.

The day before his death, Pop Smoke had landed in the Top 10 of the Billboard charts for the first time with his mixtape Meet the Woo 2.

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Four charged with murder of Brooklyn-born rapper Pop Smoke

Two men and two teens have been charged with killing Brooklyn-born rapper Pop Smoke during a home-invasion robbery in Los Angeles in February, officials announced Monday.

Corey Walker, 19, and Keandre Rodgers, 18, were hit with one count each of murder and robbery for the Feb. 19 slaying of the artist, whose real name was Bashar Jackson.

The pair, who are expected to be arraigned later Monday, could face the death penalty if convicted, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Two boys, 17 and 15, whose names were not released due to their ages, were also charged with one count each of murder and robbery in juvenile court, authorities said.

The four suspects, wearing masks and hooded sweatshirts, allegedly burst into the Hollywood Hills home where Jackson was staying, and shot him to death, according to law enforcement.

The crime is connected to gang activity, prosecutors allege.

The rapper’s social media posts may have led his killers to his home, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The 20-year-old, who hailed from Canarsie, skyrocketed to fame with the release of his 2019 album “Meet the Woo.”

His latest album, “Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon,” was posthumously released last earlier this month, and just debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

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Charges dropped in Virginia against black pastor who was assaulted; now 5 people are charged with hate crimes

Leon McCray Sr. was arrested and charged with brandishing a firearm during a June 1 incident in the town of Edinburg in Shenandoah County, a news release from the Shenandoah County sheriff said.

When he confronted them and asked them to leave they “got irate” with him before leaving and then returned with three more people who began to threaten him and use “all types of racial slurs,” McCray told WHSV.

He told the station the group began using “racial epithets and the n-word,” saying, “your Black life, your M-F Black life don’t make, it doesn’t make a difference in this country, it doesn’t make a difference to me, and we will kill you.”

McCray pulled out his weapon after the group surrounded him and one man began headbutting him, he told WHSV.

“It got to the point where this is really getting really, really bad,” he told the affiliate. “I couldn’t leave, I couldn’t do anything, and with the threats, I felt to save my life, I had to draw my gun.”

However, when deputies arrived they arrested McCray and no one else.

Two supervisors in the sheriff’s office have been placed on unpaid administrative leave and an administrative review has been launched into their handling of the incident, Sheriff Timothy Carter said in a video message.
Carter met with McCray on June 3 to discuss the incident. Following the meeting, Carter met with the Shenandoah Commonwealth’s Attorney, who agreed that the charge against McCray was unwarranted and dropped it.

“After talking with him about the incident, it was apparent to me that the charge of brandishing was certainly not appropriate,” Carter said. “If I were faced with similar circumstances, I would have probably done the same thing.”

“I want the people of Shenandoah County to know I and the Sheriff’s Office staff appreciate and care about the minority communities, and especially our black community, in Shenandoah County,” he said. “Also, I continue to support and recognize the importance of your Constitutional rights, especially your 2nd Amendment right to protect yourself and your family.”

All five people accused in the attack were arrested Thursday and face a variety of charges related to the attack, including hate crime charges, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

Donny Salyers, 43, and Dennis Salyers, 26, were charged with felony abduction, assault-hate crime, assault by mob, and assault and battery. Farrah Salyers, 42, was charged with felony abduction, assault-hate crime, and assault by mob. Christopher Sharp, 57, was charged with felony abduction, assault-hate crime, assault by mob, and trespassing. Amanda Salyers, 26, was charged with assault-hate crime, assault by mob, and trespassing.

The Salyerses and Sharp are being held without bond and the investigation is ongoing, the sheriff said.

CNN has not been able to determine whether any of those charged have legal representation.

CNN’s Patrick Cornell contributed to this report.

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Atlanta Police officer charged in tasing of college students was named in prior excessive force lawsuit

Details of the 2016 incident are spelled out in two separate and related federal complaints, the first a civil rights lawsuit filed by the victim’s mother and a second from the Fulton County District Attorney seeking documents related to the raid.

According to the DA complaint, on August 5, 2016, Jamarion Rashad Robinson was killed after a federal task force went to serve an arrest warrant at Parkside Camp Creek apartments in Atlanta. That complaint says the task force was made up of 14 law enforcement officers from eight Atlanta-area police departments, and at least one U.S. marshal.

Robinson was shot at least 59 times, according to the complaint, which adds, “the officers fired over 90 rounds into or inside the apartment,” with 9 mm and .40 mm submachine guns and .40 mm Glock pistols.

“At the conclusion of the shooting, a firearm was located, which the officers claimed that Mr. Robinson fired at them three times. However, when the firearm was recovered, it was damaged and inoperable.” The complaint does not name the officers who fired, reading “one or more defendants began ‘spraying’ bullets.”

In January 2018, Robinson’s mother filed a civil rights lawsuit against several officers, the City of Atlanta, and surrounding municipalities for excessive force, wrongful death, battery, and violating Robinson’s rights under the Fourth Amendment, among other charges.

The suit also alleges Robinson was diagnosed as schizophrenic and that the officers involved in the shooting were not trained to execute arrest warrants for people with psychiatric conditions.

The court eventually ordered the City of Atlanta, the City of East Point, and Fulton and Clayton counties to be dismissed as defendants. In September 2019, the judge in the case ordered limited discovery to determine which officers named as defendants discharged weapons. Discovery is still underway.

One of the officers named as a defendant in the complaint filed by Robinson’s mother is Atlanta Police Officer William Sauls.

Both lawsuits are ongoing. The Fulton County DA’s investigation into the incident remains open. The U.S. Department of Justice, representing Sauls in the civil suit, declined to comment on the case.

Sauls charged in tasing case

Sauls was charged with aggravated assault and property damage resulting from an incident in late May involving the tasing of a Morehouse student and a Spelman student.

Taniyah Pilgrim and Messiah Young were in downtown Atlanta on May 30 picking up food when they got caught in traffic caused by the protests over the killing of George Floyd. Bodycam video from that night shows Atlanta Police officers yanking a woman out of the car and tasing a man. The two victims were later identified as Pilgrim and Young. Sauls is one of six officers who have been charged.

Vince Champion, the southeast regional director of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers who is representing Sauls in the Pilgrim and Young case, told CNN while he understands there may be questions about Officer Sauls’ performance in past cases that might indicate some kind of pattern, “it’s two totally different incidents.”

“You can’t compare those now, today, because we haven’t had investigation on the second one to even know if they’re related in any way,” Champion said.

Of the six officers charged in the incident, four have been terminated: Ivory Streeter, Mark Gardner, Armon Jones and Sgt. Lonnie Hood, according to police.

Streeter and Gardner have filed a civil lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields demanding their jobs back.

CNN’s Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.

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