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The Factor has learned there is a protest scheduled this Sunday ‘outside the home’ of the Texas State Trooper who arrested Sandra Bland. 

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#SandraBland #SANDYSPEAKS

That protest is being spearheaded by activist Quanell X. 

I spoke with him this morning and he says the public is invited.

Quanell X says he plans to march with students and community folk!

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A limited number of autopsy photos showing injuries (neck, arm, and back)  to Sandra Bland will likely be released Wednesday.  Officials with Waller County have received a preliminary autopsy report from the Harris County Medical Examiner.  However, as you can see below the completed version is not done or hasn’t been released to the public just yet.

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You might as well call it a death sentence if you’re an elected official who is labeled a racist in this day and age.  That’s unless the people who vote for you at the polls don’t really have an issue with someone who has a soiled past wrapped in a Confederate flag.

That’s the problem Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith is facing.

Smith runs the jail where 28 year old Sandra Bland was found dead on July 13th.  Investigators and the Harris County Medical Examiner say it was a suicide while some in the public insist it was murder behind bars.

Sheriff Smith at earlier press conference with media where he said he was not a racist

That controversial death has made Smith public enemy number one and with that title comes the usual.  The Factor has learned Sheriff Smith has received several death threats since Bland’s story gained national attention.

Reliable sources say those promises of death to the Sheriff started rolling in after the Prairie View graduate and Chicago native’s death became a rallying call on social media.

Sandra Bland after being booked into Waller County jail

The threats could also explain why Sheriff Smith allowed Captain Brian Cantrell to conduct one of the most important press conferences Monday since the story first broke last week.  Captain Cantrell was tasked with answering questions from the news media after he released the video of Bland’s last few hours alive in the Waller County jail.  Visibly absent at the press briefing was Sheriff Smith.

Smith has been a controversial figure since being fired from the Hempstead Police Department back in March 2008.  Back then the city council accused Smith of targeting Blacks in the community and shoddy police work.  Then Mayor Michael Wolfe told the Factor by phone there was no one specific reason why he was fired but several and they gave Smith the chance to resign but he refused.

In the meantime, we have learned some residents of Waller County will attend the Commissioner’s Court meeting Wednesday and ask for Sheriff Smith to resign.

LaVaughn Moseley in yellow shirt will ask for Sheriff Glenn Smith to resign Wednesday

LaVaughn Mosley, a good friend of Sandra Bland, says it’s time the Sheriff Smith steps down.

Moseley says he will make his call for a resignation public at the 9:00 a.m. session that’s open to the public.

There’s no word if Sheriff Smith will attend.

Note: A request for information on the death threats against Smith has not been answered as of yet by the Waller County Sheriff’s Office!

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Jasmine Bonner, 27, a former officer with the Houston Police Department (HPD), has been convicted of aiding and abetting possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

Bonner is the final of eight defendants now convicted on charges stemming from a seven-count narcotics conspiracy indictment returned in 2014.

Bonner admitted today that while employed as an HPD officer, she aided Derryck Collins, who had been identified during a federal investigation as a major source of supply for narcotics in the Huntsville area. At the time of the offense, Collins was Bonner’s boyfriend.

A confidential source had been working with officers and negotiated an arrangement to provide cocaine to Collins. He, in turn, informed the source that his girlfriend would meet them during the transaction and she would transport the narcotics.

During the operation, the confidential source entered Bonner’s car and sat in the front passenger seat. Bonner sat in the driver’s seat, while Collins sat in the back seat immediately behind Bonner.  The source withdrew a kilogram of cocaine from a bag he carried with him and passed it to the backseat to Collins. Shortly after the transaction, Collins and Bonner left the parking lot driving in tandem and were subsequently arrested.

U.S. District Judge Nancy F. Atlas, who accepted the guilty plea, has set sentencing for Oct. 6, 2015. At that time, she faces a minimum of five and up to 40 years in federal prison and a possible $5 million fine. Bonner will remain in custody pending her sentencing.

Others convicted and also awaiting sentencing in the case include:
Collins, 34, of Huntsville, David Choate, 52, Michael Kelly, 24, and Roddrick Collins, 30, all of Huntsville; and Jarvis Lovelady, 34, Javier Gomez Aguirre, 39, and Carlos Montemayor, 39, all of Houston.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Huntsville Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the Walker County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Jocher and Bryan Best are prosecuting the case.

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You have really got to watch people when there is a major tragedy and lots of cameras around.

A group called members of the news media to say #SandraBland’s family was going to be speaking at a  press conference in Waller County.

When we arrived there was no family…

In fact the family was not in attendance and never had any plans on coming to the briefing. 

Someone wanted to be on tv really bad. 

Don’t use a tragedy like this!

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Lisa Castaneda

It comes down to who do you believe in this case.

Members of the Metro Police force took to social media over the weekend angry at one of their superiors.

The union that represents the cops posted on Facebook Metro board member and Harris County Toll Road Authority’s Deputy Director Lisa Castaneda became so upset after being issued a warning on the North Freeway that she had the HOT/HOV lane shut down.

Officers say this is when Castaneda was told she entered the high occupancy vehicle lane after it was closed to single occupant drivers for the day.

Union officials wrote once Castaneda was given the ticket (warning) she immediately called higher ups and a captain on duty ordered a review of several tickets including Castaneda’s. 

Metro has a different take on the issue saying Castaneda didn’t break any rules or exert her influence during the incident last week.

Here’s the full statement from Metro:

First, let us be very clear that METRO Board member Lisa Castañeda did nothing wrong.  She entered the HOT/HOV/ lane prior to the cut off time for single occupant vehicles.  She reached out to METRO to inform management that something was wrong since she knew she had entered the lane prior to that cut off window, yet she was issued a warning for violating the HOV occupancy requirement.

After Ms. Castañeda notified management, METRO Police instructed officers to turn over the tickets that were issued during that time frame for review, and then the officers returned to patrol the lanes.  The review revealed that drivers of three vehicles were issued occupancy violation warnings that should not have been issued. 

This is an unfortunate mistake and we apologize to Ms. Castañeda and the other drivers. We are also reviewing procedures to make sure that the signage and enforcement efforts are all in sync.          

Chief Vera Bumpers

METRO Police Department

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A 21-year-old female resident of Houston has been ordered to federal prison for a total of 204 months following her convictions of production, distribution and possession of child pornography involving a toddler, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Julia Michelle Morris pleaded guilty to the charges on April 27, 2015, admitting she exploited a 19-month-old child to produce pornography for an unidentified third party for financial gain.

Just moments ago, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore handed Morris the sentence taking into consideration all the facts and circumstances, specifically that Morris committed the crime for financial gain and sexually exploited the child even though there is no indication Morris is a sexual predator. Morris will also have to serve 10 years of supervised release following completion of that prison term. In handing down the sentence, Judge Gilmore noted that her sentence took into consideration that Morris will be incarcerated past the victim’s 18th birthday.

Morris came to the attention of law enforcement after her boyfriend discovered her activities. He had been looking through her cell phone and saw child pornography images and messages in a social media application. He was so horrified by what he saw that he contacted law enforcement and turned her phone over to them. Authorities then obtained and executed a federal search warrant on the device.

In the images, Morris is seen holding the child while spreading the child’s legs to expose her genitalia in a lewd and lascivious manner. Another image depicts Morris with her face in between the child’s legs appearing to be performing oral sex on the child.

Morris admitted to victimizing a child under the age of two and sending the images to an unknown third party. She expected to receive $8,000 for the images but was unable to collect the money since the phone was intercepted by her boyfriend. 

The charges against Morris are the result of an investigation conducted by members of the Innocent Images Unit of the Houston FBI, including members of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, which focuses its attention on investigating offenses involving the exploitation of children via the Internet.

This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Zack, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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Again the African Methodist Episcopal Church grieves the death of one its members in a manner that sounds more alarms and raises more questions. The Council of Bishops and our connectional church extend our sympathy to the family of Sandra Bland, and lift them in prayer in their very great and painful loss. We also assure them of our support and commitment to seeking truth and justice in the loss of their loved one.

The African Methodist Episcopal Church demands an independent and thorough investigation into the arrest and death of Sandra Bland. To begin with there are questions which must be answered about the arrest and treatment of Ms. Bland. Second, there are many questions and few answers about how Ms. Bland died. Let us be clear, we are not satisfied with the explanation that she committed suicide. A young woman having just received a job at her alma mater, Prairie View University, something she was excited about and looked forward to, is not the attitude that would suggest suicide. Waller County, Texas has a questionable history when it comes to matters of race. This incident only increases that questionable history.

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While the AME Church continues to mourn the loss of the Emanuel Nine in Charleston, South Carolina, we remain committed to ensuring that all Americans, regardless of race, are treated fairly and that justice prevails. Additionally, we remain determined to end the prejudicial manner in which many Blacks are treated by some in law enforcement. We wholeheartedly support good and unbiased law enforcement, but vehemently and determinedly oppose and seek to end biased law enforcement and all forms of discrimination.

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The death of Sandra Bland, 28 years old, with a new job and promising future demands and requires that her treatment by police and the cause of her death be made known. We will remain vigilant and supportive of her family as they seek the same.

For further inquiries and Call to Action, contact “Jackie” Dupont- Walker, Director of Social Action Commission at 213-494-9493 or jdupontw@aol.com.

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Again the African Methodist Episcopal Church grieves the death of one its members in a manner that sounds more alarms and raises more questions. The Council of Bishops and our connectional church extend our sympathy to the family of Sandra Bland, and lift them in prayer in their very great and painful loss. We also assure them of our support and commitment to seeking truth and justice in the loss of their loved one.

The African Methodist Episcopal Church demands an independent and thorough investigation into the arrest and death of Sandra Bland. To begin with there are questions which must be answered about the arrest and treatment of Ms. Bland. Second, there are many questions and few answers about how Ms. Bland died. Let us be clear, we are not satisfied with the explanation that she committed suicide. A young woman having just received a job at her alma mater, Prairie View University, something she was excited about and looked forward to, is not the attitude that would suggest suicide. Waller County, Texas has a questionable history when it comes to matters of race. This incident only increases that questionable history.

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While the AME Church continues to mourn the loss of the Emanuel Nine in Charleston, South Carolina, we remain committed to ensuring that all Americans, regardless of race, are treated fairly and that justice prevails. Additionally, we remain determined to end the prejudicial manner in which many Blacks are treated by some in law enforcement. We wholeheartedly support good and unbiased law enforcement, but vehemently and determinedly oppose and seek to end biased law enforcement and all forms of discrimination.

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The death of Sandra Bland, 28 years old, with a new job and promising future demands and requires that her treatment by police and the cause of her death be made known. We will remain vigilant and supportive of her family as they seek the same.

For further inquiries and Call to Action, contact “Jackie” Dupont- Walker, Director of Social Action Commission at 213-494-9493 or jdupontw@aol.com.