The Daily Moth 8-30-2018

August 31, 2018

Uber Driver Fatally Shoots Man in Self Defense; Detroit Public Schools Shut Off Drinking Water After High Levels of Lead, Copper Found; Trump Rails Against “Fake” Google in Inaccurate Video; California Ends Cash Bail System; California Man Arrested For Violent Threats Against Boston Globe; In Lawsuit, Oregon Worker Says He Was Fired For Refusing To Attend Bible Study 

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Thursday, August 30. Ready for news?




Uber Driver Fatally Shoots Man in Self Defense


An Uber driver, Robert Westlake, is claiming self defense after he shot and killed a man who had been trailing him and trying to run his car off the road.


Late Monday night in Dundee, Fl., Jason Boek was out drinking with his girlfriend when they began fighting.


Boek thought he saw his girlfriend get into an Uber and drive away, but she had actually been helping another woman get into the car.


The girlfriend went back in the bar, but Boek was already gone, he decided to chase down the Uber, thinking that his girlfriend was in the Uber.


A dash camera video on the Uber vehicle shows Boek driving erratically and attempting to run him off the road.


Once both vehicles had stopped, Boek got out of his pickup truck and threatened to shoot the Uber driver and his passenger. He did not actually have a gun.


Boek did not know that the Uber driver had a gun with a concealed-weapon permit.


Westlake shot Boek once in the chest, and immediately called 911 to report the incident. Boek passed away at the scene, around 2:20 am Tuesday morning.


Westlake works as an armed security guard, and had just completed his training at a police academy.


Boek had an extensive criminal history. He was on probation until 2021 for a felony battery charge. Police found a glass pipe with meth residue inside the truck.


Florida has the “stand your ground” statute, which allows citizens to defend themselves with deadly force if they believe they are in danger.  


The sheriff claimed that this was a textbook ‘stand your ground’ case, and therefore a justifiable homicide. He said at the end of the day, don’t mess with the Uber driver.




Detroit Public Schools Shut Off Drinking Water After High Levels of Lead, Copper Found


The Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) announced on Tuesday afternoon that they will shut off drinking water at all of its 106 schools. School is due to start next week.


Initial test results for 24 schools found that 16 schools had elevated levels of lead and/or copper, both harmful to the body, in the water. They did not yet have test results for all schools, but the district decided to turn off the water at all schools until further notice. Water bottles and water coolers are already being used at 34 schools.


In 2016 in nearby Flint, more than 100,000 residents were exposed to lead tainted water, so Superintendent Nikolai Vitti ordered independent testing of all water sources including sinks, toilets and water fountains in the district’s schools. That’s how they made their findings.


The school district DPSCD is the largest school district in Michigan. They deal with many other issues such as deteriorating school buildings which need almost $530 million in improvements. Officials think the problem comes from old school water fixtures, and not from the water's external source.


The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), and the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) sent out a letter to the public.


They assured Detroit residents and customers that they were not affected by the lead and copper issues. They said the water at GLWA’s treatment plant is tested hourly and DWSD has no lead service lines connected to any DPSCD building. They said aging school infrastructure (like plumbing) is to blame.




Trump Rails Against “Fake” Google in Inaccurate Video


President Trump on Tuesday made an accusation against Google’s search engine. He said if one searched for news related to Trump, one would see results from news websites that Trump views as fake news media that spewed negative information about him.


He complained that Google and other internet companies are suppressing voices of conservative people  and hiding information.


Yesterday he posted on Twitter a short video with the hashtag, #StopTheBias.


The video shows screenshots of old Google front pages with dates of when previous President Obama gave his State of the Union addresses.


He showed in the video that Google, when Obama would give a speech, promoted it with a link where people could go YouTube to watch it live. (He said look at those examples)


The video then went to show Trump’s speech in 2018, the State of the Union speech in January, (he said see, Google didn’t show a direct link). This was to show an obvious bias against him.


This was released yesterday.


But now Google, several people and websites say Trump’s video is fake, and they showed evidence for it using the “Wayback Machine,” which is a website that scans webpages daily to keep an archive.


Going back, they showed proof that during Trump’s State of the Union speech in January, the Google page promoted a link for people to watch it on YouTube.


They said the actual page had the link, but Trump’s video didn’t have it. The two images were different.


They also showed that Trump’s video used an old Google logo that Google had already updated that year. Trump’s video had an earlier version. It was obvious fake or doctored.


There is a third thing — they showed evidence that on the day Obama gave one of his speeches, there was a “Google Doodle” design. You know, when Google creates a different logo as they sometimes do to honor a person or mark a special occasion.


When Obama gave a speech, there was a Google Doodle, but on his video, there was none. There is a difference.


Many people are accusing Trump of lying about Google and of making up fake evidence to “prove” his lie.


Trump’s video had over 3.6 million views.




California Ends Cash Bail System


On Tuesday, California Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed the California Money Bail Reform Act into law.


Governor Brown has been waiting almost 40 years to change the state’s cash bail system.


Back in 1979, he argued that the bail system allowed the wealthy to pay for their freedom out of jail, that the system punished the poor by putting them in jail until trial, even if they were innocent, unless they could post bond. This was considered unfair.


The new law says suspects are to be evaluated by the court on the risk to public safety and if they are likely to appear in court, not on their ability to pay certain bail amounts. They will be viewed in a different way “Innocent until proven guilty.”


Several other states have also changed their cash bail system, but California is the first to remove it.


Beginning October 2019, those arrested and charged with a crime won’t need to pay money to stay out of jail while awaiting trial.


In most non-violent misdemeanor cases, defendants will be released within 12 hours.


In other cases, local courts will evaluate the defendant to decide if they have to stay in custody. Some people could be released with conditions, like monitoring with GPS or regular check-ins with an officer.


The new law has a lot of support, but it also has criticism. Some legislators said the state was moving too fast on a complicated issue.


The California branch of the ACLU originally co-sponsored the bill, but now opposes it. An advocate for them says that the bill gives too much power to the courts, and does not give enough protection against racial bias.


Another opposition is from the president of the Golden State Bail Agents Association — he says the law makes taxpayers responsible for paying 100% of all pretrial release programs, and would lead to detentions for people who could have just posted bail.




California Man Arrested For Violent Threats Against Boston Globe


A California man was arrested yesterday (Thursday) for making violent threats against employees at the Boston Globe.


The man, Robert Chain (68) from Los Angeles, allegedly made a total of 14 threats via phone calls to the Globe between August 10 and 22, saying he would shoot employees in the head.


Robert owns several firearms, including a 9mm Carbine rifle he bought in May.


Officials said Robert was angry with the newspaper for leading a campaign where over 300 newspapers wrote editorials (opinions) against President Trump’s attacks on the media.


In one phone call, Robert said his threats would continue as long as the newspaper keeps on attacking the President, and called the newspaper the “enemy of the people,” the same phrase Trump often uses to criticize the media.


Robert told the newspaper to call Mueller because maybe he could help out. He said, “what are you going to do, trace my call?”


His call was traced, he was arrested without incident, with federal agents searching his home.


Officials said everyone has a right to express their opinion, but threatening to kill people takes it over the line, that making threats is a federal crime.


Robert is expected to appear in a courtroom in Los Angeles, then be transferred to Boston. He faces up to 5 years in prison if convicted.


The Boston Globe said they are grateful for the investigation and arrest. They said while it was unsettling for them to be threatened, nobody let it get in the way of their important work.


This reminds us that there was a shooting at a newspaper building in Annapolis, Maryland in June 29 that killed 5 employees. The gunman had previously lost a defamation lawsuit against the newspaper.




In Lawsuit, Oregon Worker Says He Was Fired For Refusing To Attend Bible Study


An Oregon man, Ryan Coleman, is suing an owner of a construction company he used to work at, for firing him because he refused to attend a weekly Bible study.


The construction company, owned by Joel Dahl, requires all employees to go to a Bible study session led by a Christian pastor. The studies are during work hours, and the employees are paid.


Ryan said he told the owner that it was illegal to require him to go, but that Dahl refused to change his mind.


Ryan said he went to the Bible studies for about six months to keep his job, but later told Dahl it was not his thing, that he had different religious beliefs.


Ryan said Dahl told him that he would have to be replaced, that he couldn’t tell him how to run his company.


Ryan said Dahl couldn’t tell him what god to pray to. Now he is suing Dahl for $800,000, saying he was fired because of religious discrimination.


Ryan’s lawyer said only religious organizations can require employees to participate in religious activities.


Dahl’s lawyer said the Bible study requirement is legal because the employees are paid to attend.




That is all for today! See you tomorrow and stay with the light!


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