ex-Philly cop on a mission to expose shootings of black people

On a recent Saturday morning, Terence Jones paced a dead-end street in a public-housing complex in Wilmington as if coaxing answers from the wind whipping by. He dragged a tape measure across the street, noting its dimensions. He stooped to examine each loop of orange spray paint on the pavement. He scrutinized video on his phone from TV news reports on a police shooting of an unarmed Black man, including footage of a Nissan Altima riddled with bullet holes. Then, he videotaped an identical Nissan trying to drive the route that police had described, and finding it physically impossible.

For Jones, the facts all added up to one conclusion: “This shooting of Lymond Moses, it’s a false narrative,”he said. “Lymond Moses was murdered.”

Moses’ fatal shooting by two New Castle County, Del., police officers on Jan. 13 is still under investigation, according to the department. But, the NCCPD’s initial news release summarized the official account: Officers were investigating a “suspicious vehicle” when it “took off and fled down a dead-end road. The vehicle then made a U-turn and drove at a high rate of speed directly at the officers.”

That didn’t ring true to Moses’ family — which is why they called Jones.

A former Philadelphia police officer, Jones is the founder of Total Justice, a nonprofit organizationthat for the moment consists of Jones, operating alone and unfunded.

Despite, or perhaps because of, his own past in law enforcement — a sometimes controversial history — Jones has become a one-man army fighting to expose police shootings of Black men. He handled an independent investigation into the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, alleged a cover-up in the police shooting of Radazz Hearns in Trenton, and organized support for Trent Brewer Jr., one of a string of people attacked by Atlantic City police dogs.

According to Jones and those he has helped, his combination of on-the-ground investigation and in-your-face grandstanding has been effective in getting answers and, in some cases, justice.

The shooting of Moses is his latest case, and one he said follows a familiar pattern of staging the scene to cover up an unwarranted shooting. Jones believes eyewitness accounts tell the true story. One neighbor told Fox 29 she heard a crash, looked out her window to see police ordering Moses out of the stopped car — “but I’m like, how could he get out if all his airbags are deployed?” — and then heard about five gunshots. (She did not respond to messages this week.)

New Castle County’s police chief, Col. Vaughn Bond Jr., declined an interview request, saying the investigation is ongoing.

Lashonnah Nix, Moses’ sister, lives feet from where he was shot, and struggles with the daily pain of seeing those spray-painted crime-scene markers on the street. She said her family wants answers.

“I’ve seen the story of what the police said on the news, but we don’t agree with that. We don’t believe it. It doesn’t make sense.”

‘He shed a whole lot of light’

This corner of Wilmington might seem an odd destination for Jones, who lives in rural southern New Jersey and served 10 years with the Philadelphia Police Department in the 1990s.

He describes himself as a “highly decorated” officer who set records for arrests and who served on demanding elite units. Hesaid he reluctantly left the department because of an on-the-job injury.

He also has firsthand experience with police shootings, having shot two men during his time on the force.

He shot and paralyzed one man, Carlos McLeod, while responding to a convenience-store robbery in 1992. McLeod told investigators he was trying to help the store clerk; Jones told them McLeod had pointed a gun at him. In the end, an internal investigation found Jones acted within departmental guidelines — but McLeod won a civil settlement of $2.2 million.

The other man, 20-year-old Thomas Webb, was killed when Jones, who was off duty, believed Webb was stealing his car in 1998. Then-District Attorney Lynne Abraham declined to file charges, finding the shooting “was unintentional, during a struggle over the [officer’s] gun.”

But Webb’s family saw the outcome as a cruel injustice. And in the years since, Webb’s younger brother, Brenton Webb, has watched Jones’ organizing efforts in the media with a measure of disgust.

“He’s a … hypocrite,” he said. “He did exactly what he’s trying to prosecute. He is that person. Whether it’s money-motivated or out of guilt, I don’t know.”

Jones, 57, noted he was cleared of wrongdoing. He said his past does inform his work, though: He wants all police who shoot civilians to undergo the same scrutiny he did. “They took it to the grand jury. They did a fair and impartial investigation.”

He self-funds his work, which takes him all over the country to investigate questionable shootings. He said all of what he does is as a volunteer — as he puts it, a “concerned citizen.”

He has been pushing for racial justice for more than a decade, taking a vocal approach that has rankled some officials.

That fire was sparked in 2007 and 2008, when he found himself involved in back-to-back court cases. In the first, he was slated to testify against a man who assailed him in a racist road-rage attack. The defendant, previously convicted in a cross-burning incident, pleaded guilty to two counts of bias intimidation.

In the second case, Jones was the defendant, accused by Woolwich Township police of filing a false report, after he said an officer racially profiled him, tailed him for five miles, pulled him over without cause, and illegally searched his car without a warrant. But he was acquitted, and a judge called the case “chilling,” adding that it was the police officer, not Jones, who ought to have been investigated. He ended up suing the department and settling out of court.

After that, he decided: “I’m going to spend the rest of my life fighting for justice so that no other Black man would go through what I went through.”

Since then, Jones has conducted numerous independent investigations, assisting various law firms, as well as chapters of the NAACP, at the request of shooting victims or their families.

“I only get involved in cases if someone gives me a call,” he said.

His goal is to create a force to be reckoned with in Total Justice, which is based in Delaware, where he sees grave concerns about police shootings of unarmed Black people. By his count, there have been close to 60 shootings by police since 2005, and no officer has ever been criminally charged.

In 2019, he assisted the family of Yahim Harris, a teen who was shot by police four times as they chased him in connection with a carjacking in Wilmington. Harris survived, and faced criminal charges.

“Terence came and did an investigation and found out that there was lot covered up in his shooting,” Harris’ mother, Jonda Brown, said. “He found out what actually took place that day.”

After it was revealed that the officer who shot Harris had secretly exchanged the barrel of his service weapon, prosecutors dropped charges against Harris, the Delaware News Journal reported. The Delaware Department of Justice — which had found that the police response was appropriate — now has an open investigation into the officer, who is no longer with the department, a spokesperson said.

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, through his deputy chief of staff, John Rago, said in a statement that the officers’ response to the violent carjacking was “reasonable and justified.” Now that Harris has filed a civil lawsuit, Rago added, “we look forward to fully refuting the baseless allegations as this matter proceeds to court, and look forward to setting the record straight.”

Jones is also advocating for another Delaware man, Jabri Hunter, 22, who was passed out in a parked car on the roadside in Wilmington until police surrounded the car and ended up shooting him on April 12, 2020. Hunter, too, survived. He remains incarcerated on drug and gun charges — which Jones calls “the usual how you do a Black man when you want to cover up a shooting.”

In his investigation, Jones got a neighbor to turn over doorbell camera footage — but according to Jones, there was a 12-minute gap at the time of the shooting. Jones believes police tampered with the video and crime scene.

Jabri’s mother, Classy Hunter, has been frustrated by the official silence, as her son has remained in jail, where he caught COVID-19. “It’s been a year since my son was shot and I have no answers as to what happened, why he was shot. I’m just left with this blank.” For her, Jones has been a crucial resource. “He shed a whole lot of light” on the situation, she said.

Wilmington and Delaware Department of Justice representatives declined to comment because the investigation into Hunter’s shooting is open.

For the NAACP in Delaware, Jones’ assistance has empowered it to challenge the official narrative.



“Terence is an amazing investigator. When we take this to legislators, to the police, we need to have that investigation and that research,“ said Coby Owens, a Delaware civil rights organizer. “Black people are being killed at an astonishing rate. We need for police to view us as civilians.”

As Owens spoke, a surveillance drone buzzed overhead, an armored truck rumbled by, and a half-dozen police SUVs, lights flashing, stood sentry at the New Castle County Police headquarters.

It was a few weeks after Moses’ death, and Jones had organized a small protest outside the building, about 40 minutes southwest of Philadelphia.

The protest was designed to pressure the department to shed light on the incident. Moses’ wife, parents, and sisters gathered with NAACP leadership. A niece carried a plaintive sign reading, “Why y’all kill him?”

For Jones, this is part of a multipronged initiative that includes pursuing his independent investigation and helping the family request information including, in order of urgency, the names of the officers who shot Moses, their body camera footage, the recording of the 911 call that prompted police to investigate, and the full autopsy report. After a few weeks, they succeeded in getting Moses’ death certificate, which confirmed he was fatally shot in the head.

Jones believes his investigation shows another case where police tampered with the crime scene and falsified a story about aggressive driving to justify a needless killing.

“This is something I never would have expected, them killing my son,” said Rozzlie Moses. Though her son had drug convictions in his past, his family said he had recently held restaurant and construction jobs. “He harmed no one,” his mother said.

Moses’ family described him as a devoted father, son, and brother, who routinely stopped by to visit his mother and sister when he had free time. He was shot just outside their apartment. They don’t believe that he was doing anything suspicious, or illegal. He had a habit of sitting in his car watching YouTube videos; they figure he fell asleep doing so, exhausted from caring for his 3-month-old baby.

Lakeisha Nix, one of Moses’ sisters, said talking through what happened with his children has been devastating. “They are all so sad like, ‘Why did they have to kill my dad?’”

Her nephew, who is 8, volunteered to help with the Islamic burial rituals, including helping dig a grave. “He was very courageous, doing stuff we know his dad would want him to do.”

By: Samantha Melamed

Source: https://www.inquirer.com/news/terence-jones-total-justice-police-officer-shootings-killings-race-black-lives-matter-20210217.html

[Third Stimulus UPDATE] Biden fights to keep the $1400 Stimulus

Joe Biden, making his first official trip as president, said Monday that he was not interested in reducing the size of his $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill, which includes $1,400 direct payments to Americans.

“The vast majority of the serious people say bigger is better now, not spending less,” Biden said at a CNN town hall in Wisconsin, one of the states that backed Donald Trump in 2016 but flipped in 2020 to the Democrat.

Biden rejected a proposal by 10 Senate Republicans to reduce the size of the package by more than two-thirds, and is willing to enact the measure with only Democratic votes.

A study by S&P Global found that the $1.9 trillion package would restore the U.S. economy to pre-pandemic levels by the second quarter of this year while the Brookings Institution, a Washington research organization, said it would bring back the economy to pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter.

“There is consensus among economists, left, right snd center, that overwhelming consensus is in order to grow the economy, we cant spent too much,” Biden said. “Now is the time we should be spending. Now is the time to go big.”

– photo shows blank checks on an idle press at the Philadelphia Regional Financial Center, which disburses payments on behalf of federal agencies, in Philadelphia.AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File Matt Rourke AP

He spoke about his efforts in 2009 to negotiate a stimulus bill in response to the Great Recession and scaled back spending to attract Republican support. But the limited spending resulted in a more tepid recovery.

Biden acknowledged that small business owners had a legitimate concern with his proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, but said it could be phased in very slowly as to not have a major impact on their bottom line. New Jersey will have a $15 an hour minimum wage in 2026 except for restaurant workers.

“It’s about doing it gradually,” Biden said “No one who works 40 hours a week should live in poverty.”

And he said that there was $60 billion in the stimulus bill earmarked to help small businesses get through the pandemic.

The legislation now is before the House Budget Committee, which will combine the different sections of the bill into a single measure expected to pass the House before the end of the month.

The stimulus bill includes $1,400 checks for individuals earning up to $75,000 and $2,800 for couples earning up to $150,000. The payments would end for individuals earning more than $100,000 and couples making more than $200,000.

The budget committee is involved because the Democratic-controlled Congress is considering the stimulus legislation under a procedure known as reconciliation, which will allow it to pass by a simple majority rather than need 60 votes to overcome a Senate filibuster.

That’s the same procedure used by Republicans when they controlled Congress in 2017 to cut taxes and fall just one vote short of repealing the Affordable Care Act over unanimous Democratic objections.

This time around, GOP lawmakers are the ones deriding the effort to approve legislation through reconciliation, on Monday introduced a resolution to delay passage of the latest stimulus bill.

“It would be irresponsible to pass trillions more in spending when Congress does not even have a thorough and accurate accounting of the trillions of dollars already approved,” said Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri, the top Republican on the House Budget Committee.

Still, strong majorities of Americans support the legislation even if congressional Republicans do not.

In a Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this month, 68% of Americans, including 37% of self-described Republicans, backed the stimulus package while only 24% opposed it. The $1,400 checks were favored by 78% to 18%, including 64% of Republicans.

“The vast majority of the American people like what they see in this package,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at her daily press briefing Monday. “And that should be an indication, or should be noted by members of Congress as they consider whether they’re going to vote for it or not.”

3 Dead in Snow Shoveling Dispute that lead to a double homicide and suicide.

WARNING: Graphical Content

PLAINS, Pa. (AP) — A northeastern Pennsylvania shooting stemming from an argument between neighbors over snow disposal during Monday’s storm left two people dead, and the suspect was later found dead at his home, authorities said.

Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said a husband and wife were shot to death in the street outside their Plains Township home just before 9 a.m. Monday. The suspect was found dead in his home of a self-inflicted wound. The county coroner pronounced all three dead just before 11:30 a.m. Monday.

Salavantis said the preliminary investigation indicates that there was an ongoing dispute but “this morning, the dispute was exacerbated by a disagreement over snow disposal.” Chief Dale Binker of the township police department, however, said police had no record of the neighbors fighting, but there may have been a previous dispute that also concerned “placement of snow in somebody’s yard.”

James Goy, 50, and Lisa Goy, 48, argued with Jeffrey Spaide, 47, who lived across the street, and Spaide went into his house, came out with a handgun and fired at the couple until the weapon was empty, Binker said. He then went inside, came out with an AR-15-type rifle, and fired twice more at each victim with that weapon, he said.

Arriving officers tried to aid the couple, and they were knocking on the suspect’s door to arrest him when they heard a single shot, finding him dead after they entered, Binker said. A total of 15 to 20 shots were fired, he said.

The Goys had a 15-year-old son with autism who is now staying with his grandparents, Binker said.

Biden says 3rd Stimulus will be $1400 period. Updates Here …

President Joe Biden on Friday said he would not reduce the proposed $1,400 direct payments as final House passage of a budget resolution meant lawmakers could start drafting the $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus legislation.

Speaking at the White House, Biden said the new checks, combined with the $600 payments approved in December. would give most Americans the $2,000 he promised. A group of 10 House Republicans proposed reducing the latest round of checks to $1,000.

“I’m not cutting the size of the checks,” Biden said. “They’re going to be $1,400. Period. That’s what the American people were promised.”

Biden spoke after the House approved a budget resolution mostly along party lines, 219-209, allowing whatever bill Congress produces to be passed by majority vote, without the threat of a filibuster.

While no Republican in either the House or Senate voted for the resolution, several GOP or bipartisan amendments were included. Biden said he was willing to negotiate with the Republicans for their support, but wanted quick approval of the bill. The goal is to pass it by mid-March, when the current extended unemployment insurance benefits expire.

“I’ve told both Republicans and Democrats that’s my preference: to work together,” Biden said. “But if I have to choose between getting help right now to Americans who are hurting so badly and getting bogged down in a lengthy negotiation or compromising on a bill that’s up to the crisis, that’s an easy choice. I’m going to help the American people who are hurting now.”

Adding a sense of urgency Friday was a U.S. Labor Department report showing that the economy added just 49,000 jobs last month after losing 227,000 jobs in December.



“It’s clear that there’s a need for urgent and sustained action for the duration of this crisis,” said Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

In its recent report, Moody’s Analytics said Biden’s plan “would provide a large boost to the economy if passed into law” and help create 7.5 million jobs this year and another 2.5 million next year, fully recovering all the jobs lost since the pandemic hit.

While Biden has refused to break apart the package, a bipartisan group of more moderate lawmakers recommended Friday that he do just that. The Problem Solvers Caucus, co-chaired by New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer, called for quick approval of $160 billion for vaccines, while the discussions continued on rest of the bill.

“We simply cannot afford to wait weeks upon weeks to get more vaccines out the door,” said Gottheimer, D-5th Dist.

Gov. Phil Murphy, meanwhile, joined New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in laying claim to a portion of the proposal’s $350 billion in state and local aid commensurate with the fact that both states were among the ones hardest hit by the coronavirus when it first came to this country.

“We were clobbered,” Murphy said.

Cuomo said that when a disaster strikes, the areas most damaged get the most aid. That should happen here, he said.

“When a state gets hit by a hurricane, that state gets relief,” Cuomo said. “It’s not that every state gets relief. Our state and our region paid the highest price.”

Democratic U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez will be one of the senators helping to write the formula for distributing federal COVID assistance to state and local governments.

“The governors were absolutely right that we should be treating COVID aid like federal disaster assistance after a hurricane in which you target resources to the hardest-hit areas,” Menendez said. “New Jersey has been one of the hardest-hit states and we need the federal government to step up in a big way.”

SOURCE: Jonathan D. Salant AT https://www.nj.com/coronavirus/2021/02/third-stimulus-check-update-biden-says-payments-will-be-1400-period-now-congress-will-draft-legislation-heres-the-latest.html

3rd Stimulus Check UPDATE!

The U.S. Senate early Friday morning approved a budget resolution that will allow passage of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus stimulus bill and also agreed that it would restrict high-income taxpayers from claiming the $1,400 direct payments.

Lawmakers worked through the night on a bevy of amendments to the resolution, which will trigger a procedure known as reconciliation and Democrats to pass a $1.9 trillion package by majority vote without the threat of a filibuster. The final vote was cast just after 5:30 a.m.

Adopting several amendments proposed by Republicans would allow President Joe Biden to claim that the stimulus package was bipartisan even if every GOP senator eventually votes no.

On one bipartisan proposal, senators voted, 99-1, in favor of provision that could exclude wealthier households from any payments. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., cast the only no vote.

The amendment does not define “upper income” but in the first stimulus bill, individuals earning $75,000 or less and married couples earning $150,000 or less received the full $1,200, while individuals making up to $99,000 and married couples making up to $198,000 received a smaller check based on income.

“I don’t think a single person on this floor would disagree to target the relief to our neighbors who are struggling,” said U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. “There are other families who have not missed a single paycheck as a result of this pandemic. It does not make sense to send a check to those individuals.”

The amendment was proposed by many of the same senators, including Manchin and Maine Republican Susan Collins, who worked together on a stimulus bill that led to the $900 billion measure that became law last December.



“The question before us is quite simple,” Collins said. “Do we want stimulus checks to go to households with family incomes of $300,000? Or do we want to target the assistance to struggling families who need the help and provide a boost for the economy?”

Collins also was part of a group of 10 Senate Republicans who proposed a $618 billion stimulus bill that President Joe Biden rejected as too small. That measure included $1,000 payments that would cut off at $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for married couples filing jointly.

Senators also passed an amendment offered by U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., to ban unauthorized immigrants from getting stimulus checks by a vote of 58-42. Both of New Jersey’s U.S. senators, Cory Booker and Robert Menendez, voted no.

One proposal that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said would not fly would be to substantially reduce the cost of the bill.

“If there are good-faith amendments from the other side, we look forward to them,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor Thursday. “What we cannot do, however, is think small in the face of big problems. We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past. We cannot do too little. We cannot lock our country into a long and slow recovery.”

Once the Senate completes its work, the House would vote on the amended resolution, and has made plans to do so later Friday. That will allow lawmakers in both houses to begin drafting and debating the $1.9 trillion bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday that the price tag was right.

“We want to save lives and save livelihoods; it’s going to cost some money to do so,” she said. “It is a reasonable plan. It meets the needs. It is not excessive. It is coronavirus‑centric, it is in a timely fashion, and that’s where we have to go.”

But Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who used the same parliamentary procedure in 2017 to pass a tax law that the Congressional Budget Office said would increase the deficit by the same $1.9 billion, objected to the size of the stimulus bill.

“There is no doubt that some families are still struggling,” McConnell said Thursday on the Senate floor. “This isn’t finished. But experts agree the remaining damage to our economy does not require another multi trillion-dollar, non-targeted Band-Aid.”

However, S&P Global reported that a $1.9 trillion stimulus “would have the strongest impact on the economy this year,” and the Brookings Institution, a Washington research organization, said a package that high would restore the economy to pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter of the year.

SOURCE By: Jonathan D. Salant | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

BigJohn releases a new music video for Do You Even Lift Bro

Hip hop artist John Anthony Ziegler who goes by the stage name Big John presents an engaging new number alongside a captivating music video ‘Do You Even Lift Bro’. The song is from his new album, ‘Neva Too Late’ which establishes him as one of the forerunners of new age music. Working under the home label, BigJohn Entertainment, his scope of musical and lyrical understanding takes him towards the depth of his genre. This particular song creates a stream of contemporary techniques and utilizes electronic modulations to pave the way for a musically enriched verse. This video by Musical Artist BigJohn also reminds the audience of a homegrown production that is simplistic and relatable. Well, the charming artist Big John has created a lot of fan frenzy with his latest track. The swagger in the track from the music video ‘Do You Even Lift Bro’ has lifted the spirits of the fans. Back in the year 2010, he started to write the content of his tracks and was heaped with praises from all corners. The lyricism in his music has struck a chord with the audience.

HipHop Artist BigJohn hails from Columbus, Ohio and his new song is creating waves of audience engagement. He stands out in terms of his lyrical exposure that allows him to incorporate any verse in his songs. ‘Do You Even Lift Bro’ stands as a milestone in his career that will lead him towards more opportunities. The music video of the song also comprises a humorous angle that again captivates the creative attention of the audience. To be a part of this newfound hip hop saga, subscribe to his YouTube channel or follow 863BigJohn on Instagram. He is also available on Facebook and Twitter!

 Video link: https://youtu.be/lkmW2hZAvtY

Website link: https://www.bigjohn863.com/

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