National Roundup

Court rules wounded police officer can’t sue gun seller

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that a wounded police officer can’t sue a sporting goods store that sold a handgun that was later used to wound him.

The Indianapolis Star reports the court on Monday dismissed Indianapolis Officer Dwayne Runnels’ lawsuit claiming damages against Indianapolis-based KS&E Sports and the store’s owner. Indiana law gives gun sellers significant immunity.

The lawsuit was filed after Runnels was wounded in a 2011 shootout during which Demetrious Martin was killed. The lawsuit argues KS&E Sports improperly sold the gun to a man who then illegally sold it to Martin, who as a convicted felon is barred from possessing firearms.

The state appeals court had sided last year with Runnels’ argument that the store didn’t exercise reasonable care in selling the gun.

Police: Wife’s Fitbit logs steps after husband says she died

ELLINGTON, Conn. (AP) —Police in Connecticut have cited Fitbit records in an arrest warrant for a 40-year-old man charged with killing his wife in 2015.

Richard Dabate faces murder, tampering with evidence and making a false statement charges in the fatal shooting of 39-year-old Connie Dabate on Dec. 23, 2015.

Authorities say the 40-year-old Dabate told them a masked man had entered their home, shot his wife and tied him up before he burned the intruder with a torch. But the New York Daily News reports Connecticut State Police wrote in an arrest warrant that Connie Dabate’s Fitbit was logging steps after the time Richard Dabate told them she was killed.

Dabate’s bail was set at $1 million last week.

Prosecutor says no water led to dehydration death in jail

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Prosecutors say Milwaukee County Jail officers cut off an inmate’s water for seven consecutive days before the man died of dehydration.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Assistant District Attorney Kurt Bentley told jurors at an inquest Monday that Terrill Thomas was mentally unstable and unable to ask for help before he died in his cell in April 2016.

Thomas had been placed in solitary confinement after he used a mattress to flood his cell in another jail unit.

The jury will issue a verdict on whether criminal charges are warranted in Thomas’ death. The jury’s recommendation is advisory.

Separately, Thomas’ children have filed a federal civil suit, saying their father’s treatment by Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and his staff amounts to torture.

New York
Lawsuit claims ex-Fox News host was harassed online by Fox

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros said in a lawsuit Monday she believes network operatives used bogus social media accounts to torture her after she complained about sexual harassment.

She also said she believes someone hacked her computer and phone.

Tantaros’ attorney, Judd Burstein, filed the suit in Manhattan federal court. The lawsuit doesn’t offer hard evidence that Fox was behind harassing tweets.

It says an analysis revealed surveillance software on her computer, but not who put it there, and it hopes to use the court’s power to reveal who was behind the harassment. The lawsuit claims Tantaros was viewed as a threat by Fox executives after she declined an offer of more than $1 million to remain silent.

The lawsuit says Tantaros suspected her emails and telephone conversations were being monitored after she revealed personal information in calls or emails that were then referenced by others in cruel social media posts.

A law firm, Dechert LLP, representing Fox, said in a statement that the network and its executives “flatly deny that they conducted any electronic surveillance” and have no knowledge of the harassing tweets.

Last August, Tantaros sued the network, its ousted chairman, and other top executives, claiming they retaliated after she detailed unwanted sexual advances made by her onetime boss, Roger Ailes. Burstein argued that it should be argued in open court, but a Manhattan state judge ruled in February it should be resolved in a closed-door arbitration.

Tantaros worked as a host and political analyst for Fox News from 2011 to 2016.

New York
Former NY police, lawyer arrested in gun licensing probe

NEW YORK (AP) — A former New York City police lieutenant, two former police officers and a lawyer who once worked as a prosecutor were arrested in a federal gun licensing probe Tuesday as authorities described a scam in which police employees traded speedy handling of gun permits for paid vacations, jewelry, catered parties, cash and visits to strip clubs.

According to court papers, the trading of gun licenses for bribes stretched from at least 2010 to 2016. Authorities said members of the NYPD License Division solicited and accepted bribes from individuals who charged customers fees to secure gun licenses.

Among those charged was Paul Dean, a police lieutenant and the second-highest ranking member of the License Division when he retired in January 2016. He supervised about 40 uniformed police employees and had ultimate authority to approve or reject licenses and upgrade requests, authorities said.

A criminal complaint filed in Manhattan federal court said Dean sought and obtained from gun license applicants free restaurant meals, free liquor, free car repairs and free entertainment, including trips to strip clubs.

It was not immediately clear who would represent Dean at an afternoon court appearance.

Also charged was John Chambers, an attorney who worked from 1983 to 1985 as an assistant district attorney in the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.

According to a criminal complaint, Chambers marketed himself to potential clients as the “Top Firearms Licensing Attorney in NY.”

The complaint said he gave members of the NYPD License Division tickets to Broadway shows and sporting events; sports memorabilia; an $8,000 watch; and cash hidden in magazines.

Attorney Barry Slotnick, representing Chambers, said Chambers will plead not guilty to the charges, which include conspiracy.