Coerced by police into a murder confession as a teenager, Brooklyn man David McCallum was finally released today after serving 29 years behind bars.
McCallum sobbed in court when his murder conviction was vacated on Wednesday, his head down on the Brooklyn Supreme Court defense table, according to New York Daily News.
“I’m very, very happy but also very sad…My life kind of starts from this day on,” 45-year-old McCallum told reporters.
McCallum’s innocence was the theme of a documentary that was released last year, titled ‘David and Me.’ Overturning his conviction even became the dying wish of famed boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, who was also wrongfully convicted for a triple murder and served 19 years in jail.
We’ve written about this problem in the past. The White House press pool relies on an antiquated system of allowing the Press Secretary to distribute pool reports to a list of journals. Increasingly, the Obama administration has taken to censoring pool report, and now journalists are fighting back by developing their own pool distribution system that bypasses the White House’s censorship.
A small group of reporters initiated an online forum this month in which they shared “pool” information among themselves, without White House involvement. The forum was set up by the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA), which negotiates with the White House’s press staff over access for journalists.
Pool reports — those summaries of the president’s public appearances that go to the news media at large and are used in countless news stories — are filed by a rotating group of journalists whose work is intended to be free of content changes by the White House.
The pool journalists, however, must submit their reports to the White House press office, which distributes them via e-mail to hundreds of news organizations and others. The White House maintains the list of recipients.
Reporters have complained that the Obama White House exploits its role as distributor to demand changes in pool reports and that the press office has delayed or refused to distribute some reports until they are amended to officials’ satisfaction.
But now, some journalists are sharing their White House reporting using Google Groups — the digital service that allows registered users to receive and send information within a closed circle. In an early test of the supplemental system, journalists shared pool information about President Obama’s trip to Chicago this month. The system has been used for “advisories,” such as where the pool is assembling, when another pool report will be issued or whether a correction is in the works.
Nearly 90 journalists, all working for print media, are part of the Google Groups distribution — a small fraction of the estimated 8,000 people, agencies and organizations that receive the “official” pool reports sent out by the White House.
Despite the Obama administration’s ridiculous claim to be the “most transparent in history,” the reality is that they’ve clamped down on press freedom more than virtually any presidency in American history. Real journalists know how dangerous this is, and it’s good to see a few good reporters out there are fighting back.
BREAKING: Malala Yousafzai Wins Nobel Peace Prize
Malala, now 17, was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman two years ago in her home country of Pakistan after coming to prominence for her campaigning for education for girls.
She won for what the Nobel committee called her “heroic struggle” for girls’ right to an education.
She is the youngest ever winner of the prize. (x)
A string of recent complaints filed by alleged victims of wrongful arrest are bringing question to NYPD practices of arresting men in public restrooms. There are currently undercover cops posted up in public restrooms across New York City, waiting to catch sexual predators in the act.
However, according to dozens of alleged victims, average men are becoming entrapped by these undercover agents, when they have done nothing wrong. Many of the victims have claimed that after urinating, “shaking off” and zipping up their pants, they were accused of “simulating masturbation” in view of the police officer.
The New York Times recently reported that police have been standing in public restrooms and staring down everyone who passes through, while they use the urinals. If the person makes any movements that the officer does not approve of, they can be arrested for “lewdness” with no evidence aside from the testimony of the officer. Since police have been stationed in public bathrooms, lewdness arrests have increased 7-fold. In the past year alone, over 60 people were arrested in one bus terminal restroom, many of them for alleged “lewdness” in the bathroom stall.
Dozens of the people who have been arrested in this trap have sought legal representation from The Legal Aid Society and other independent sources. Many of these people reported that the police made them feel uncomfortable by staring at them while they used the restroom, and it seems that if anyone is guilty of lewdness it was actually the undercover officer.
It is not clear why undercover agents have been placed in these bathrooms to begin with, even Capt. John Fitzpatrick, the Port Authority police commander who oversees the bus terminal, admits that complaints of lewdness in public bathrooms are “few and far in between”.
Although, Fitzpatrick is still standing by the actions of his officers, claiming that the dozens of men who have now filed complaints were in fact being lewd in the restroom, otherwise, he says, they would not have been arrested.
“They are not sidling up to somebody, trying to sneak a peek and misrepresenting what the person is doing, there is no mistaking their behavior,” he said.
One man, accused of “simulating masturbation” says that he was simply “shaking off”, a near instinctual act that is not at all lewd or uncommon.
“I wasn’t committing a lewd act, I was peeing in the beginning, but I was shaking off when the guy stepped back and looked at me,” Mr. Holden, a 28-year-old baker, said of his police encounter.
After Holden walked out of the bathroom he was arrested by police and taken to jail. When Holden was being processed in the jail he overheard one of the other cops refer to his arresting officer as “the gay whisperer”. This was a fairly offensive comment for Holden, consider the fact that he is a gay man, and feels that may be the reason why he got arrested.
“I wore a leather jacket, fitted clothes. I guess that fits the description of a homosexual male, I was like, O.K., although I’m gay, I wasn’t doing anything,” he said.
Holden’s story is just one of dozens, and although there may be a few perverts in the bunch, it is safe to say that a vast majority of these people are innocent.