A very bad week for Alex Jones. DOJ charges 4 Louisville police officers in Breonna Taylor’s killing. Destabilizing and dangerous fallout from Pelosi’s Taiwan visit.
Alex Jones must pay Sandy Hook victim’s parents $4m; phone to be handed to Jan. 6 committee ‘immediately’
This has not been Alex Jones’ week. The far-right conspiracy political pundit has lost a defamation case brought by the parents of Jesse Lewis, who was 6-years-old when he and 19 other children and six adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. Attorneys for Jesse’s parents believe Jones made millions of dollars in ad revenue from videos portraying the shooting as a hoax. Meanwhile, Jesse’s parents have endured a decade of misery, which they say were a result of Jones’ false claims. They received death threats from Jones’ followers, who accused them of being “crisis actors” participating in the Sandy Hook hoax. At one point, someone shot up their home and vehicles.
Though Jones, at last, admitted under oath that he believed the Sandy Hook tragedy really happened, his InfoWars blog has continued to make outlandish claims slandering and mocking the judge and jury. Plus, Jones continually made an ass of himself in court. None of this impressed the jury, who yesterday ordered Jones to pay $4 million in compensatory damages to Jesse’s parents. Next, the jury will deliberate on possible further punitive damages.
Prosecutors, Jan. 6 committee to receive copy of Jones’ phone
But there was even more bad news for Jones. On Wednesday, as Jones was testifying on the stand, an attorney for Jesse’s parents informed Jones that his lawyers had “messed up” and sent his team a copy of Jones’ phone. The data contained at least two years’ worth of text messages and emails. Those communications will be of great interest to the Department of Justice and the Jan. 6 committee, who are investigating what role Jones played in stoking the violence at the Capitol.
Jesse’s parents’ attorney says he has already received requests for the data from “several law enforcement agencies” as well as the Jan. 6 committee. The attorney says he intends to hand the data over to them “immediately”.
DOJ charges 4 Louisville police officers in Breonna Taylor’s killing
Yesterday, the Department of Justice announced charges against two current Louisville, KY, police officers and two former police officers for the March 2020 killing of Breonna Taylor. Taylor, a black woman, was then 26 and an emergency medical technician.
The four under indictment are former Louisville officers Brett Hankinson and Joshua Jaynes and current officers Kelly Hanna Goodlett and Kyle Meany. The DOJ has charged them with violating Taylor’s civil rights through unlawful conspiracy, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction.
It’s also come to light that Meany, Jaynes and Goodlett conspired to file a false affidavit to obtain a “no-knock” search warrant for Taylor’s home, then filed false reports to cover their tracks. While executing the warrant, Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker took the plainclothes officers for intruders and fired on them, injuring one in the leg. Officers then fired dozens of bullets, killing Ms. Taylor.
Since April 2021, the DOJ has been conducting a broader probe of the Louisville Police Department investigating misconduct.
Destabilizing and dangerous fallout from Pelosi’s Taiwan visit
Earlier this week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made a controversial stop in Taiwan during her whirlwind Asian tour. The day after her departure, China began conducting large-scale military exercises around the island, including unprecedented live-missile tests. Air and sea traffic to and from the island has ceased, with Taiwan’s government complaining the Chinese drills amount to a “blockade”.
Despite this angry show of force, it’s unlikely that Beijing has immediate plans for a full-scale invasion. A major Communist Party conference soon to take place, at which President Xi Jinping will make the case for extending his tenure. Under the circumstances, a destabilizing event like an invasion would not be preferable.
Nevertheless, Beijing has made good on its promise of “severe consequences” in the event Pelosi visited Taiwan. Chinese leadership views Taiwan as a breakaway state that they hope to one day politically reunify with the Mainland. But the increasingly close ties political ties between the US and Taiwan may force their hand. A perceived threat to China’s sovereignty from the west could persuade them to proceed with a military solution to the Taiwan problem, as they’ve threatened.
Now, China has suspended all diplomatic cooperation with the US on climate change policy and military matters, a possible sign of things to come.
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