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Orlando prosecutor not seeking bail from the poor

The state attorney who angered Governor Rick Scott when she said she would not pursue death penalty cases in Orange and Osceola counties, has decided that being jailed for minor crimes is unfair to the poor.

Aramis Ayala’s office issued a statement that her attorneys would not generally seek bail for people arrested for offenses like possession of a small amount of cannabis or drug paraphernalia, driving with a suspended license or without a license, driving an unregistered vehicle, loitering, panhandling and disorderly conduct or intoxication.

“Florida Statues make it clear that bail is reserved for two instances-- when public safety is jeopardized, and when there is a risk of flight,” she noted.

Ayala pointed out that the law states that bail is not necessary in other cases.

However, people with a record of skipping court or a record of committing violent crimes would not get such treatment from her office.

Organize Florida said it is celebrating the decision.  It’s members believe that police, prisons and jails do not create real safety, but, instead “these institutions uphold structural racism.”


 

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Tupac Shakur -- no, not the one you think -- was arrested Saturday in Tennessee after authorities allege he pulled a knife on a police officer. Shakur, 40, of Elizabethtown, shares the name, down to the middle name of Amaru, with the 25-year-old rapper slain in 1996. Unlike the rapper, this Tupac Shakur is white. Shakur is charged with aggravated assault, resisting arrest, simple possession of methamphetamine and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. >> Read more trending news  Johnson City police officials said in a news release that Shakur was arrested Saturday evening after officers went to a home seeking him on warrants out of Carter County. As they arrived, they spotted Shakur in the passenger seat of a vehicle leaving the property. The officers found the car about a half-mile away and made contact with Shakur, who they said pulled away and reached toward his waistband. “Mr. Shakur then attempted to turn towards officers with a knife in his hand before being taken to the ground,” the news release said. “After a brief struggle, Mr. Shakur was placed in custody. “Mr. Shakur was in possession of a syringe and multiple baggies of methamphetamine.” Shakur was taken to the Washington County Detention Center, where he was booked on the charges. According to the news release, he is being held in lieu of $18,000 bail. He was scheduled to appear in court Monday afternoon. It was not immediately known if Shakur was given his name at birth or if he changed it as an adult. His birth predates the career of the slain rapper with whom he shares the name. The rapper Tupac Shakur, who had survived a shooting in 1994, was gunned down Sept. 7, 1996, in Las Vegas after seeing a Mike Tyson boxing match at the MGM Grand. Shakur was in the passenger seat of a BMW driven by rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight, chairman of Death Row Records, later that night as they pulled up to an intersection near the Vegas Strip on their way to a nightclub. A white Cadillac pulled up alongside the vehicle and fired more than a dozen shots into the BMW, striking Shakur four times, according to news reports at the time, including MTV News. As part of a series of three operations, surgeons removed the rapper’s right lung in an unsuccessful effort to stop his internal bleeding. Shakur, who was put on a ventilator and heavily sedated, died Sept. 13, 1996, six days after being shot. His mother, Afeni Shakur, was at his side. Afeni Shakur, who named her son Lesane Parish Crooks when he was born in 1971, changed his name to Tupac Amaru, after an 18th-century Peruvian revolutionary, after she joined the Black Panther Party, according to Biography.com. Tupac’s last name was taken from the surname of his sister’s father. The homicide of the man BET named the most influential rapper of all time remains unsolved, though there have been multiple theories over the years, including one conspiracy theory that Shakur, tired of fame, faked his death. One of the most prevalent theories has been that the killing was part of a feud between East and West Coast rappers. The theory involved rapper Biggie Smalls, also known as the Notorious B.I.G., with whom Shakur had an ongoing feud related to their rival record labels, the Los Angeles-based Death Row Records for Shakur and the New York-based Bad Boy Records for Smalls. Smalls, whose birth name was Christopher Wallace, was killed six months after Shakur’s death, in a March 1997 drive-by shooting very similar to the one that killed Shakur. Like Shakur, Wallace was killed as he sat in the passenger seat of a vehicle while leaving a music industry party in L.A. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which reviewed FBI files in 2011 regarding the Biggie Smalls shooting, federal agents investigated the possibility that Wallace’s slaying was committed in retaliation for Shakur’s death. See the FBI's redacted files on the death of Biggie Smalls here.  The files indicate that the FBI became involved as part of a probe of corruption and civil rights violations in the Los Angeles Police Department. The Review-Journal reported that the focus of the investigation was whether corrupt Los Angeles police officers were involved in Wallace’s killing. Federal investigators ultimately concluded that there was not enough evidence to bring charges against the officers suspected of involvement, the newspaper reported. Like that of Shakur, his killing remains unsolved.
  • News 96.5 WDBO’s sister station Star 94.5 is hosting a special health fair this weekend in Kissimmee. The 17th annual Tom Joyner’s Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day is Saturday at the Kissimmee Civic Center. News 96.5 WDBO spoke with Star’s news and community affairs director Monica May about the event. “We’re bringing in free screenings for the simple things, blood pressure, glucose and BMI, but those are things that people don’t always check and those are things that lead to high cholesterol.  They can lead to heart disease,” said May. “We also have screenings for vision and dental.  We’ll be giving flu shots that day, prostate exams and mammograms,” said May. For more information on the event click HERE.
  • A road construction worker was killed and three others were hurt after being hit by a suspected drunken driver near Concord Mills Mall in North Carolina early Saturday, police said. >> Read more trending news  Danyel Middleton was charged with felony death by a motor vehicle, and police said she could face more charges. She spent her 22nd birthday in jail and will face a judge Monday. Socorro Martinez, 50, was confirmed dead at the scene. The three other victims were taken to a nearby hospital. Two were being treated for serious injuries, and the third was treated and released from the hospital. The crash happened around 1:45 a.m. on Concord Mills Boulevard near Entry A to Concord Mills Mall. Police said the four crewmen were working on road improvements when Middleton plowed into them. According to authorities, the crew had appropriate signs and lighting indicating the work zone. 'They're just trying to make a living, and they can't come to work and be safe,' a Concord community member told WSOC's DaShawn Brown.  Officials said the four who were struck were workers with Cruz Brothers Concrete. The company, based near Burlington, North Carolina, is said to have over 75 years of experience and family-owned.  For community members, news of the crash was unsettling enough, but even more so close to home.  'You know, sometimes if I want to go out and drive at night, it makes me a lot more nervous knowing something like this could've happened,' Nate Seedorf said. 'Not only is the driver going to live with that for the rest of her life, but the family of the victims are also going to be dealing with this forever,' another community member told WSOC-TV. Middleton is being held at the Cabarrus County Jail with bail set at $1 million.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) charged two men with what they call “ the state’s largest seizure of turtles in recent history.” Officers say a tip back in February 2018 started the investigation into what they call a turtle trafficking ring that involved thousands of animals and thousands of dollars.  On October 18 wildlife officers arrested Michael Boesenberg, 39, and Michael Clemons, 23, both of Fort Myers, Fl. and charged them with poaching and selling the turtles on the black market.  Most went to large-scale reptile dealers and illegal distributors, who would then ship them overseas on the black market with a majority of the animals ending up in Asia,  according to a press release. The turtles would fetch between $300 and $10,000 dollars each. Officers estimate one month of turtles would net approximately $60,000. The FWC documented more than 4,000 turtles illegally taken and sold over a 6-month period in the release,  including Florida box turtles, Eastern box turtles, striped mud turtles, Florida mud turtles, chicken turtles, Florida softshell turtles, Gulf Coast spiny softshell turtles, spotted turtles and diamondback terrapins. When investigators arrived with a search warrant they say they found the poachers in possession of hundreds of turtles, along with the skull and shell of a protected Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle.  Biologists evaluated all of the animals for health and species identification and were able to return more than 600 of them back into the wild.
  • Friday was a tough night for residents in Polk County where a EF-2 tornado touched down causing damage to homes and churches and left thousands without power.  But it was especially hard for the Pelham family who told Bay News 9 they had only moments to get into a closet before the tornado struck.  After the storm passed, they discovered their pitbull, Tuffy, and his dog house were gone.  The family told reporters they immediately began searching the area and discovered the dog house 100 yards away. It was severely damaged.  Still, there were no signs of their big dog.  Miraculously, 18-hours after the search began a neighbor found the pooch hiding in a ditch about a half-mile away.  He was scared but otherwise seemed to be OK.  Tuffy’s reunion was shared on twitter by reporter Trevor Pettiford Sunday.  One person commented, “They don’t call him Tuffy for nothin!” App users click here to see the video.   

Washington Insider

  • Former Housing Secretary Julian Castro said Monday that he needs to raise at least $800,000 over the next ten days in order to keep his long shot bid going for the White House. In a fundraising email to supporters, and on social media, Castro bluntly said he needs more money to stay in the race. 'If I can’t raise $800,000 by the end of this month -- I will have no choice but to end my race for President,' Castro said. The appeal for money was much like one from Cory Booker a few weeks ago. While Booker hit his target -like Castro - he remains far back in the race for the Democratic nomination. Not only is Castro running into money troubles, but he is not expected to do well enough in the polls to qualify for the next Democratic debate, which will be held next month in Georgia. At this point, eight Democrats have hit the qualifying numbers both in terms of campaign donors, and polls - Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris, Buttigieg, Steyer, Booker, and Yang. But a lack of strength in the polls means that Castro may not make the November debate, as he still needs four solid polls to get on the debate stage. Weak poll numbers also could keep out Tulsi Gabbard and Beto O'Rourke, as they both need three more qualifying polls. Amy Klobuchar needs two more. Castro's efforts to move up in the Democratic race have not worked; he used two debates to sternly attack former Vice President Joe Biden - but, while the efforts gained attention, it did not lead to a bump in the polls.