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Baldwin Could Face Charges for Fatal Shot

Western Journal

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Actor Alec Baldwin could face charges for discharging a prop gun that resulted in the death of a director of photography on the set of his new movie “Rust,” according to legal experts.

But they cautioned that with key facts around the incident still in doubt, there is more to learn to determine who, if anyone, will face criminal charges.

Halyna Hutchins, 42, who was directing photography for the movie, was killed. Director Joel Souza, 48, was injured in the accident and taken to a nearby hospital.

“There are some circumstances where even a prop gun with a blank can be dangerous if it’s shot within close range,” said Neama Rahmani of the personal injury firm West Coast Trial Lawyers, according to USA Today.

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“Let’s say it was loaded with a blank, but Baldwin himself was criminally negligent and shot it from close range, even though it wasn’t a live round. Then he could be held liable,” she said.

“Assuming it was just incompetence or a colossal mistake, that rises to the level of criminal negligence, which would be sufficient for a manslaughter prosecution,” Rahmani said.

Rachel Fiset, managing partner of Los Angeles firm Zweiback, Fiset & Coleman, said the issue goes beyond Baldwin.

“Proper compliance with safety issues on the set will be a large, general question that will be asked that may have a huge impact on any potential legal matters that may come from this case,” she said, USA Today reported.

“And then on the worst side of the scale, you could have potential criminal issues that would range from criminal negligence to intentional acts that may have caused this tragedy.”

Juan Rios, a public information officer for the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, said Friday that investigators are still trying to determine what the gun contained when it was fired.

“That information is one of the particulars that we’re trying to determine at this point — what kind of projectile was in that firearm,” he said, according to USA Today.

Under the New Mexico law, involuntary manslaughter does not require “specific intent” of wanting someone dead, according to The Wrap. Such a charge would be a fourth-degree felony that could put a guilty person in jail for 18 months and a fine of up to $5,000.

But attorneys said nothing is clear-cut at this point.

“The prosecution would have to show that Mr. Baldwin acted with at least a negligent state of mind when he discharged the prop gun,” criminal defense lawyer Robert J. DeGroot said, according to The Wrap.

“There have been instances of accidents involving prop weapons on sets which have led to deaths or other injuries. Such tragic incidents are foreseeable and should lead crew and cast to follow safety protocols to ensure that any prop gun discharge does not lead to harm.”

Personal injury attorney Miguel Custodio said Baldwin, who was producing “Rust,” faces liability on that score as well as for pulling the trigger, The Wrap reported.

“Liability certainly points to Rust Movie Productions and the prop manager,” Custodio said.

“As the actor, Alec Baldwin has little liability because you’re given something and you’re trusting the prop manager to have checked everything out. Baldwin the producer may bear more responsibility, depending on if he is just an investor or has a more active role in the making of the film, which I suspect he does.”

“It’s also clear that somebody failed her [Hutchins] in the most basic way  — to check whether a gun was safe — and may be criminally negligent,” Custodio said. “It’s likely they’ll go after Baldwin the actor, Baldwin the producer, the film company and the prop manager. And remember, director Joel Souza also was injured, and many others on set also are traumatized and affected by this.”

Richard Kaplan, a criminal defense attorney, said the facts will determine who faces what charges, according to The Wrap

“There’s a lot of scenarios I can run in my mind,” Kaplan said. “We don’t have an answer yet on why it was pointed at these two people. Was Alec reckless or were the prop people reckless? That’s what is being investigated and looked at.”

He said he is certain of one thing — there will be lawsuits.

“The family will pursue the civil side, but the question is how much does the family pursue the criminal side,” Kaplan said.

Attorney Jamie White said a lawsuit is expected, The Wrap reported.

“If Baldwin or another person was negligent, a civil suit is almost a no-brainer at this point — a very high likelihood,” White said.

“But the criminal side is going to be very fact-sensitive. Only if someone was recklessly negligent would there be criminal consequences. We see criminal negligence charges when people leave kids in hot cars, when they are recklessly driving. It’s too early to know that this will happen to Baldwin, but it’s not unheard of.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Wire

State Trooper Came Mere Inches from Losing His Life, Dashcam Caught the Whole Thing

Western Journal

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Every cop knows that death rides with him on every patrol, emerging out of nowhere when a shift may seem routine.

For one Idaho state trooper, that moment almost came on Wednesday along Interstate 84 near the town of Meridian, according to the Idaho Stateman.

Dashcam video of the incident shows that in less time than it takes to read this sentence, the trooper and a motorist he was helping on the shoulder of the highway had to jump over a concrete median as a pickup truck came barreling toward them.

According to an Idaho State Police news release, the trooper had been helping a motorist with a flat tire.

The officer was wearing a yellow safety vest. His patrol car had its emergency lights on and was parked behind the Toyota with the flat tire.

What the dashcam video does not show was described in the release.

“One vehicle began to slow prior to passing the patrol car. That vehicle was hit by another, causing a chain reaction of four eastbound vehicles,” the release said.

But that was not all.

“Two involved pickups were pushed left, sideswiping the parked patrol car and hitting the rear of the Toyota.”

The trooper was taken to a hospital with injuries sustained when he vaulted the concrete barrier, but was sent home with what the release called “minor injuries.”

The owner of the wrecked Toyota was also injured leaping out of the truck’s way, but was not taken to a hospital.

The wreckage from the chain reaction crash blocked the highway for about 90 minutes.

“Traffic stops are very high risk. They’re necessary to keep people safe on the road and to help those stranded, but we need motorists’ help so we can all go home at night,” Idaho State Police Sgt. Brandalyn Crapo said.

“Slowing down and moving over for emergency vehicles and workers isn’t just a courtesy, it’s the law. Drivers need to be alert to emergency lights and vehicles and always alert to what’s happening around them. That keeps all of us safe.”

Idaho law requires drivers to slow down, change lanes or both when passing police and other emergency vehicles that are stopped on the roadway.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Every cop knows that death rides with him on every patrol, emerging out of nowhere when a shift may seem routine. For one Idaho state trooper, that moment almost came on Wednesday along Interstate 84 near the town of Meridian, according to the Idaho Stateman. Dashcam video of the incident shows that in less time than it takes to read this sentence, the trooper and a motorist he was helping on the shoulder of the highway had to jump over a concrete median as a pickup truck came barreling toward them. Idaho State Trooper injured while helping man on the freeway. Notice how quickly the trooper jumped in front of the man. pic.twitter.com/2TuCTIYGdE — Yoshi The Patriot (@rinohuntah) December 3, 2021 According to an Idaho State Police news release, the trooper had been helping a motorist with a flat tire. The officer was wearing a yellow safety vest. His patrol car had its emergency lights on and was parked behind the Toyota with the flat tire. What the dashcam video does not show was described in the release. “One vehicle began to slow prior to passing the patrol car. That vehicle was hit by another, causing a chain reaction of four eastbound vehicles,” the release said. But that was not all. “Two involved pickups were pushed left, sideswiping the parked patrol car and hitting the rear of the Toyota.” The trooper was taken to a hospital with injuries sustained when he vaulted the concrete barrier, but was sent home with what the release called “minor injuries.” The owner of the wrecked Toyota was also injured leaping out of the truck’s way, but was not taken to a hospital. The wreckage from the chain reaction crash blocked the highway for about 90 minutes. “Traffic stops are very high risk. They’re necessary…

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Store Apologizes After Employee Sign with Instructions on How to Deal with Africans Goes Public

Western Journal

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An Australian store has been forced to apologize for a sign that warned staff to sound an alert if an African customer entered the store.

An IGA store in Melbourne was pilloried on social media because of a sign behind the counter that read, “If an African customer comes to the bottle shop, presses [sic] the button for assistant immediately! Minimum two staffs in front while we serve Africans,” the sign read, according to Australia’s News.com.au.

In its reporting on the sign, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. said the sign had been in place for three years before it was noticed by anyone and became a social media furor.

“Sure they’re independently owned but the African community should be allowed to feel safe and comfortable at their local supermarket,” a TikTok comment read.

The ABC report quoted the store manager, who it did not name, as offering apologies for any offense.

“We don’t really mean for this, we apologize for what we’ve done. I’m sorry it will never happen again like that,” he said. “I’ve done the wrong thing for the public, we should not do like this.”

The manager said he should have told employees to hit the button if they saw a group of strangers in the store.

“It is my mistake. Big mistake,” he said.

A poster using the name Jack he on Twitter said he was the store manager and offered an explanation.

“Im store manager iGA sunshine west, we got robbed by 5 African men, one of the staff had a gun put to our head, we were scared, Im sorry for that i done,i told the ABC news all the reason behind this, But i don’t see any main point been reported, this is unfair, unfair news,” he tweeted.

ABC reported that a spokesperson for wholesaler Metcash, which operates the IGAs, said the company had the offending sign removed.

“This type of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in any IGA store across the country,” a spokesman said.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to supporting local communities across Australia, we will ensure ALL IGA employees continue to create a shopping environment where all are welcome and equal,” the spokesman said.

The store now has a new note.

“We would like to apologies [sic] to anyone that got offended by the note we had … it was not our intention to offend,” the note says.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

An Australian store has been forced to apologize for a sign that warned staff to sound an alert if an African customer entered the store. An IGA store in Melbourne was pilloried on social media because of a sign behind the counter that read, “If an African customer comes to the bottle shop, presses [sic] the button for assistant immediately! Minimum two staffs in front while we serve Africans,” the sign read, according to Australia’s News.com.au. In its reporting on the sign, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. said the sign had been in place for three years before it was noticed by anyone and became a social media furor. “Sure they’re independently owned but the African community should be allowed to feel safe and comfortable at their local supermarket,” a TikTok comment read. ‘Completely unacceptable’: IGA supermarket under fire for sign racially profiling African customers https://t.co/83nMJg7SgU — Natalie Spencer (@natscloset) December 2, 2021 The ABC report quoted the store manager, who it did not name, as offering apologies for any offense. “We don’t really mean for this, we apologize for what we’ve done. I’m sorry it will never happen again like that,” he said. “I’ve done the wrong thing for the public, we should not do like this.” The manager said he should have told employees to hit the button if they saw a group of strangers in the store. “It is my mistake. Big mistake,” he said. A poster using the name Jack he on Twitter said he was the store manager and offered an explanation. “Im store manager iGA sunshine west, we got robbed by 5 African men, one of the staff had a gun put to our head, we were scared, Im sorry for that i done,i told the ABC news all the reason behind this, But i don’t see any…

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