MINNEAPOLIS — The St. Anthony City Council, facing “threatened litigation,” voted Tuesday night to pay Diamond Reynolds and her young daughter a $675,000 settlement in connection with the police shooting of Philando Castile.

Reynolds will receive another $125,000 from the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust and the city of Roseville, making the total settlement $800,000.

The settlement resolves Reynolds’ claims of “emotional distress and false arrest,” according to a statement on St. Anthony’s website.

Reynolds, 28, and her daughter, who was 4 at the time, were riding in the car with Castile when he was pulled over by a St. Anthony police officer on July 6, 2016, in Falcon Heights. Castile volunteered that he had a gun, and the officer started shooting, fatally hitting Castile. One bullet passed within inches of Reynolds’ daughter who was in the back seat.

Reynolds began livestreaming on Facebook moments after the shooting. The video has been viewed millions of times.

Neither Reynolds nor her daughter was injured, but Reynolds was detained for a time by Roseville police and questioned by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Those issues figured into the settlement, according to the city’s statement.

The settlement “will resolve all civil litigation” against the city and current and former employees and “opens the door to healing,” Mayor Jerry Faust said.

Once approved by the court, a portion of the settlement will be placed into trust for Reynolds’ daughter and her future educational needs, the city’s statement said.

—Star Tribune (Minneapolis)


Pressure mounts on Rep. Joe Barton to drop 2018 re-election plans

WASHINGTON — Pressure is mounting on Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton to drop his re-election plans.

On Wednesday, state Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville, joined a number of key Republicans in his district calling for Barton to abandon his 18th congressional campaign.

“We must hold public officials to a high standard and recent publicized incidents demonstrate those standards were not met,” Burton, an influential tea party leader, said in a statement.

She said Barton should not seek re-election “so that Tarrant County can move forward in making sure we send a strong conservative to Congress.”

She’s the latest Republican to call for Barton’s exit, following recent revelations that the longtime congressman exchanged sexually explicit messages with women while still married to his former wife.

Barton apologized last week after nude images that he shared with at least one woman were mysteriously posted online. Authorities are now looking into whether he was a victim of a crime under Texas law prohibiting the release of intimate materials without the depicted person’s permission.

This week, Tarrant County GOP chair Tim O’Hare said Barton should retire by year’s end, a move that would spark a special election to fill his vacant seat.

—The Dallas Morning News


Missouri Senate candidate decries ‘floozy attacks’ on ‘legendary patriot’ Roy Moore

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a dramatic video, a U.S. Senate candidate from Missouri called Roy Moore a “legendary patriot who stands up and fights no matter what,” and he implied the reporting of sexual assault allegations against Moore could lead to the destruction of America.

Courtland Sykes — who recently moved to Missouri as he attempts to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat — released a 40-minute “mini-documentary” Tuesday in which he rails against The Washington Post, which reported sex assault allegations against Moore by several women. Sykes gave his “unequivocal support” to Moore, the Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama.

Moore’s accusers said they were pursued or sexually assaulted when they were teens and Moore was in his 30s. Leigh Corfman said she was 14 when a then-32-year-old Moore touched her over her clothing and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear, according to The Post.

Since the initial story, more women have come forward to accuse Moore. His pursuit of teenagers was an open secret in the Alabama community where Moore worked as a prosecutor, according to sources who spoke to The Post.

But Sykes, who linked immigration with violence in his campaign announcement video, vehemently defended Moore while maligning The Post.

“If The Washington Post has its way with Roy Moore in Alabama, then liberals win any election by liberal media lying, and fake news media returns to control politics in America with propaganda, with fake news like the floozy attacks, until conservative America ends or until America itself is finished,” Sykes said in the video. “And we’re not going to let that happen.”

In the mini-documentary, Sykes also lauds President Donald Trump.

“The fake media hate Roy Moore just as much as they hate President Trump,” he said.

—The Kansas City Star


Argentinian soldiers jailed for life for dictatorship crimes

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — An Argentinian court on Wednesday handed life sentences to 29 former soldiers for crimes against humanity committed during the South American country’s 1976-83 military dictatorship.

Those sentenced included former navy captains Alfredo Astiz, known as “The Angel of Death”; Jorge “the Tiger” Acosta; and Ricardo Cavallo alias Serpico.

A total of 52 former soldiers and security agents, as well as two civilians, were defendants in the five-year trial.

The Buenos Aires court heard testimonies from about 800 people on events at the former navy mechanics school ESMA, where alleged government opponents were illegally detained, tortured and killed.

The sentences ranged from eight years to life sentences. Six people were acquitted.

Family members of the victims were in court to listen to the verdicts, while human rights activists watched the court session on a screen outside, applauding every life sentence.

Sixty-eight people had initially been charged, but 14 of them died during the trial.

The court investigated 789 charges related to crimes at the ESMA, where about 5,000 people are estimated to have been killed.

In 2011, the Argentinian judiciary already handed life sentences to 16 former soldiers for crimes against humanity committed at the ESMA.

The dictatorship claimed an estimated 30,000 lives.



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