LAPD Domestic Violence Whistle Blower Serves Time in Prison
A criminal defense consultant recently completed a 45-day federal prison sentence for exposing a pattern of domestic violence and cover-up by officers in the Los Angeles Police Department. Bob Mullally was officially charged with contempt of court for violating a 1997 civil court order by leaking 79 confidential files that detailed domestic violence complaints filed against LAPD officers to a California reporter. Mullally had discovered in the files evidence that "[k]ids were being beaten. Women were being beaten and raped. Their organs were ruptured. Bones were broken. It was hard cold-fisted brutality by police officers, and nothing was being done to protect their family members," he told LA Weekly.
"It was clear there was a double standard. Civilians were being prosecuted but not police officers," said Gregory Yates, an attorney who hired Mullally to look into domestic violence in the LAPD for a case he was working on, according to LA Weekly. "The LAPD was covering up and whitewashing cases involving domestic abuse by their officers." Mullally was charged with contempt of court in 2001 by US District Judge William Keller and sentenced to 60 days in jail. Mullally appealed, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals asked Keller to reconsider the jail sentence. Keller reduced it to 45 days.
Following Mullally's whistle-blowing, the Feminist Majority Foundation and its National Center for Women and Policing pushed for and won an investigation of LAPD practices involving police officers guilty of domestic abuse. The review of 227 domestic violence cases involving LAPD officers confirmed that these cases were being severely mishandled, according to the LAPD Inspector-General. In more than 75 percent of confirmed cases, the personnel file omitted or downplayed the domestic abuse. Of those accused of domestic violence, 29 percent were later promoted and 30 percent were repeat offenders. The review and the revelation led to significant reforms in the LAPD's handling on police officer-involved domestic violence.
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .