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Sheriff Who Deployed Tank in Drug Raids, Indicted in Use of Restraint Chair Seeks Dismissal

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Suspended Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill, who used a tank in drug raids and was indicted on charges of using excessive force while holding people in a restraint chair, sought to have all federal charges dismissed in court Monday.

Hill was indicted in April by a federal grand jury, accused of violating the civil rights of four people at the county jail, the Associated Press reported. Another person was added after another indictment was filed in July.

On Monday, Hill’s lawyer said the use of the restraint chair does not equal excessive force under any law, thus the federal charges against him should be dismissed. Hill’s lawyers have also argued that these charges are a first for the U.S. Department of Justice, as similar actions to what’s alleged have never been brought under indictment. The attorneys said prosecutors only went for Hill due to his past.

“If his name weren’t Victor Hill, your honor, we wouldn’t be here,” defense attorney Lynsey Barron said in a hearing on a defense request to dismiss the indictment.

A federal prosecutor said there was excessive force due to the restraint chair, as it was used as punishment with no other reason given.

Restraint chairs can be used to prevent injury or property damage if other methods are proven ineffective when interacting with an uncontrollable and violent person in a sheriff’s office policy that Hill approved, the indictment says. However, the policy also says usage of the restraint chair “will never be authorized as a form of punishment.”

Barron said jails regularly use restraint chairs. He said there is no clear case law that shows “when restraint crosses over the line into the area of force.”

Barron said that prosecutors are requesting the judge to “chart an area that hasn’t been charted yet.” That should be done in a civil court, Barron said.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

A lawyer for suspended Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill argued that the sheriff’s use of a restraint chair doesn’t amount to excessive force under any clearly established law and federal charges against him should be dismissed. In this photo taken Aug. 16, 2012, Hill speaks at a candidates forum in Rex, Georgia.
Kent D. Johnson/Atlanta Journal Constitution via AP

The indictment alleges that the men were improperly held in a restraint chair for hours even though they had complied with deputies and posed no threat. They suffered pain and bodily injury as a result, prosecutors have said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bret Hobson argued that courts have clearly established that when law enforcement officers continue to use force against someone in their custody who has stopped resisting, that force is considered excessive. In the examples provided in the indictment, he said, the people were not resisting to begin with so any use of force was unconstitutional.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher Bly did not immediately rule on the defense motion to dismiss but said the arguments made by both sides were “exceedingly helpful.”

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp in June suspended Hill until the charges against him are resolved or until his term of office is over, whichever comes first.

Hill has attracted controversy since he first became sheriff in Clayton County, just south of Atlanta.

He fired 27 deputies on his first day in office in 2005 and used a tank owned by the sheriff’s office during drug raids as part of a tough-on-crime stance adopted in his first term.

He failed to win re-election in 2008, but voters returned him to office in 2012 despite the fact that he faced more than two dozen criminal charges in a corruption case. A jury later acquitted him of all 27 charges, clearing the way for him to continue as sheriff.

Hill pleaded no contest to a reckless conduct charge in August 2016 after shooting and wounding a woman in a Gwinnett County model home in May 2015. Hill and the woman said it was an accident that happened while they were practicing police tactics.

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Major crypto exchange mulls Russia expansion despite looming ban

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Major crypto exchange mulls Russia expansion despite looming ban

 

 

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, wants to expand to Russia despite a proposed crypto ban in the country.

 

According to Binance Eastern European Director Gleb Kostarev, expansion to Russia is strategically important for the growth of the crypto exchange.

 

Our goal is to obtain a license and conduct legal business where the regulation allows,” Kostarev told Reuters, noting that Binance is expecting to see a progressive regulatory approach from Russia that could also set a precedent for similar regulations in neighboring states.

 

Russia has been eager to regulate its growing crypto market.

 

According to the central bank, the country’s annual volume of cryptocurrency transactions is near $5 billion.

 

The regulator, which has been increasingly critical of cryptocurrencies for the past several years, recently proposed a complete ban on crypto trading and mining in the country.

 

ALSO READ: Russia set for complete ban on cryptocurrencies

 

 

The proposal, however, has been met with opposition from both the public and other government ministries; who called for a more moderate approach, and regulation instead of prohibition.

 

The Ministry of Finance said this week that regulations of this kind are already in the works; noting that crypto technologies “should get a chance to develop.

 

Kostarev called the ban proposal “harsh,” but noted that “for now, we consider this as an invitation to dialogue with the regulator.

 

He also said that the course Russia takes in regulating crypto may impact its neighbors.

 

In Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan they are more loyal to cryptocurrencies and are taking steps towards liberalization, rather than restriction. But local regulators are taking these steps with an eye on Russia.”

 

Cryptocurrencies are for now largely allowed in Russia and can be used for financial transactions; but their use for purchasing goods or services is prohibited.

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Policemen taking bribes from ‘Yahoo boys’ will die – Ibiyeomie

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Pastor David Ibiyeomie has said any policeman that takes a bribe from internet fraudsters popularly known as Yahoo Yahoo boys will die.

Ibiyeomie, while speaking at a recent service in his church, said the activities of Yahoo boys have led to the death of many.

He said: “Let me tell us these Yahoo boys. Stop! I am a man of God. You kill people every day. When you Yahoo somebody, it is stealing. Don’t quote it anyhow. It is stealing. Most people, all their retirement benefits, you take it and people die. I curse you in the name of Jesus.

“It is a demonic, satanic way of getting money. Which kind of money is that? You are a thief. No matter how you colorise it, you are a thief. You love stealing! I curse the root of it. Do you know how many people you have killed? Scam kills people. Some people, the whole of their retirement benefit. You scam them and say you are buying car. What nonsense? You will get an accident with that car!”

On policemen who take bribes from fraudsters, the clergyman said: “To the police, all the Yahoo boys, jail them, arrest them. If you take a bribe from Yahoo boys, that money kill you! That blood money that you take will kill you. You know why? They stole from somebody who died. You now collect money and release them. You and your family die with it. Police stop taking that kind of money.”

The clergyman also lashed out at traditional rulers who bestow chieftaincy titles on internet fraudsters.

He said such persons should be regarded as armed robbers.

Watch the trending video of Ibiyeomie below:

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Anambra NUJ gets new Excos

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From Obinna Odogwu, Awka

The Editor (South East) of The Authority Newspapers, Dr Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, has won the 2022 election of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Anambra State Council.

Odogwu, who is also a lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, defeated his two rivals to win the poll.

He polled 110 votes out of the 213 votes cast in the keenly contested election which was held at the Godwin Ezeemo International Press Centre, Awka on Friday.

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Odogwu’s rivals, Mr Abuchi Onwumelu, a reporter with FIDES Newspaper polled 103 votes, while the immediate past state secretary of the union, Mr Emma Udeagha, who also contested for the chairmanship position got zero vote.

Also, an editor with the Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), Mrs Ngozi Obileri, emerged as the Vice Chairman of the council after polling 142 votes. She defeated her rival, Mrs Betty Onuchukwu, who polled 71 votes.

Other officers of the council elected are: Mr Aloy Ofordile (Secretary), Mr Ogemdi Ozoemena (Treasurer), Mrs Ifeyinwa Iloanya ( Auditor), John Ndu (Financial Secretary) and Mr Okechukwu Onuegbu (Assistant Secretary).

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