Author: Liz Macdonell – Community Manager – Clever Plays Studio
This post originally appeared on Xbox Wire
Deputy Jasmine Huff, who her attorneys say is currently out on maternity leave at the precinct, alleges she and other female deputies were handpicked for “undercover operations” with the precinct’s human trafficking unit under the guise of legitimate police work.
She says what began as an idea for “bachelor party” prostitution stings that deputies were told were meant to combat human trafficking turned into a “booze-fueled playground for sexual exploitation” in which the female deputies were subject to “disgusting abuse.”
Houston attorneys Brock and Cordt Akers of The Akers Firm PLLC and Bill Ogden of Farrar & Ball LLP amended a complaint filed last week against Constable Alan Rosen, Chief Chris Gore and Lt. Shane Rigdon to include Deputy Huff as an additional complainant.
Huff’s attorneys say she had to endure the practices of her former partner, Rigdon.
Huff and Rigdon were reportedly involved in a prostitution sting in which a potential target did not trust the pair, and therefore asked them to have sex, according to Huff’s attorneys.
“Lt. Shane Rigdon didn’t have it in his mind that this was an operation, he had it in his mind that this was a party,” said Cordt Akers at a press conference Wednesday.
Huff reportedly froze when the request was made. However, her attorneys allege Rigdon jumped at the opportunity.
Rigdon allegedly pulled Huff into his lap, pulled her dress up, exposing her, and moved her back and forth on his lap, Cordt said.
“Any reasonable person would do exactly what Jasmine Huff did, and that’s freeze, mortified at the possibility that ‘this is going to be required of me as an undercover capacity,’ sanctioned by the county, ordered by her chief deputy,” Cordt said.
Huff says she was told she could never tell anyone about what happened during the sting.
“One would hope and pray and expect that after something like this happens on an operation, that after being forced to endure something like this, that you’d get an apology, that’d you’d get an ‘I’m sorry,'” Cordt said. “Instead, Jasmine got a command. She was told, ‘You can never tell anyone about this.'”
Despite the warning, Huff says she tried to report the incident to her supervisors and chief of staff, but was ignored.
Huff later claims she saw Rosen at an event and tried to talk to him about the incident. She alleges Rosen stuck his hand up when she spoke of the incident and said, “I don’t want to hear it. You have to go through your chain of command,” Cordt said.
Attorneys provided a photo at Wednesday’s press conference that depicted a group of alleged deputies laughing while playing with a sexual object during a sting operation. Attorneys say a female deputy can be seen in the corner of the photo with her head down.
“If that is the policy that Precinct 1 is enacting for these operations, then that policy needs to change now,” Cordt said while holding the photo.
Fellow deputy and accuser Jacquelyn Aluotto stood with Huff and issued a statement on behalf of herself and the other three women in the suit.
The statement read, in part:
“We are here, standing with Jasmine, and we support you and are proud of you. We are standing strong together and we are standing in solidarity. This is very scary, but we are doing this together… We saw the statement that Constable Rosen said, that we are doing this in an effort to impugn the hardworking men and women of Pct. 1. That’s simply not true. That is not what this case is about. Many of those hardworking men and women have reached out to us to show their support and solidarity, and let us know that they are proud of us and they think that we are brave… We have the message that we’ve always had, last week, and will continue to have. We will not be silent. This can never happen again. This never will happen again.”
Hours after the latest accuser went front and center, Constable Rosen stated his office isn’t immediately addressing the new allegations.
“As there is a legal matter pending and laws regarding privacy of personnel matters, we are not at liberty to discuss the facts of this case now, as much as we might want to do so. We believe our system of due process works and remain confident that justice and truth will prevail as facts, in this case, come to light in the proper forum,” said Rosen.
Attorneys originally filed the federal lawsuit on May 24 against Precinct 1, alleging sexual misconduct by male superiors against female deputies.
In a press release sent to ABC13, attorneys said female deputies “were molested and traumatized by their intoxicated male commanding officers for their own sexual gratification during undercover law enforcement operations.” The lawsuit alleged that the female Precinct 1 deputies were chosen for “undercover operations” but they soon turned into a “booze-fueled playground for sexual exploitation.”
Aluotto, who has been deemed the whistleblower, became the voice for the other women who said they were victimized by the very agency they served.
“We want to send a message this can never happen again,” said Aluotto, who used to work in the Human Trafficking Unit at Precinct 1.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys said the unit, led by Gore, would have sting operations.
Attorneys said the stings turned into booze-filled parties where female deputies were encouraged to drink a lot to “loosen up.” From there, they were touched inappropriately.
“These brave women were ordered by their commanding officer that your job in my unit, in an undercover capacity, is to dress in scandalous clothes, to allow me to kiss you, to allow me to fondle you. Essentially, to be molested by their commanding officer,” said Cordt last week.
Aloutto got word of what was happening and said she reached out to Constable Rosen himself but said nothing changed.
“We expect our deputies to be able to go to work, especially with a complex crime like human trafficking, and to be able to do their job,” said Aloutto. “And to not be able to do their job, because you’re being exploited and oppressed at your workplace, can never happen again.”
Aluotto is nationally known as a human-trafficking advocate, who in 2020, received an award from the United Nations for her work. According to the lawsuit, Aluotto was hired by Constable Rosen’s office and “vigorously complained” about the harassment, sexual assault, retaliation and bullying in Precinct 1’s Human Trafficking Unit.
But when she called out the alleged misconduct and abuse, she was fired, court documents say. The lawsuit also accuses Rosen and Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg of knowing about the abuse but not taking any action.
In response, the Harris County District Attorney’s office said that when they receive such allegations, they connect the officer with appropriate investigative entities. Read their full statement below:
“Anytime we receive an allegation from an officer accusing a fellow officer of impropriety, we connect them with appropriate investigative entities. We are not the investigative agency for such allegations, be them administrative, civil or criminal. In this matter, our Sex Crimes Division quickly asked Constable Pct. 1 Internal Affairs to investigate whether there was evidence of a crime and Ms. Aluotto has represented she contacted the Texas Rangers. Nothing has been presented to prosecutors by either agency.”
ABC13 reached out to the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s office last week, who shared the following statement:
“When we were made aware of a concern by a third party several months ago, I proactively instructed our Internal Affairs Division to conduct an investigation. We did this even though no one made a formal complaint. This is consistent with our ongoing commitment to protecting victims and our personnel. My sensitivity toward victims remains our highest priority. To this day, not one of these plaintiffs has ever made a formal complaint. Each employee interviewed was given the opportunity, in a safe environment, to express any concerns. Their own interview statements contradict many of the allegations in the lawsuit.
Upon conclusion of our internal investigation, our Administrative Disciplinary Committee found no violations of law or policy. When we began our proactive internal investigation, we immediately transferred leadership of the Human Trafficking Unit to another supervisor who still maintains oversight of that unit today.
Victim’s voices matter. I have a zero-tolerance stance against sexual assault and sexual harassment and would never allow a hostile work environment as alleged. This lawsuit is an effort to impugn the good reputation of the hard-working men and women of the Precinct One Constable’s Office. I believe our system of due process works and that justice and truth will prevail as facts, in this case, come to light. We will have no further comment today on this matter.”
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.
Author: Steven Romo
This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed
The incident took place in the city’s Herschelstrasse district.
Police have cordoned off the area and there are reports of traffic delays in the city centre.
The victims body is lying in the street and being guarded by armed police.
German newspaper Hannoversche Allgemeine reports two vehicles, with bullet holes in their windshields, can be seen at the crime scene.
One is a white Mercedes with licence plates from Bavaria whilst the other is a Porsche Cayenne, registered to Hanover.
Police are searching for several suspects in connection with the incident.
They are currently unable to provide any details about the victim’s identity.
Officers have blocked off an intersection in the centre of Hanover as they conduct their search.
MORE TO FOLLOW…
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed
Glasgow: Protestors surround immigration enforcement van
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “At around 9.55am this morning, police were called to support colleagues at the UK Border Agency at an address in Kenmure Street, Pollokshields, Glasgow.
“A number of protesters are now at the location.
“Officers are at the scene and inquiries are continuing.”
The stand-off is happening in the Pollakshields area of the city
Nicola Sturgeon has also voiced her opinion
The 54-year-old said: “We’re here against the hostile environment created by the Tories and the British state.
“The same people who run from the British and American bombs put at the back of the van right now. And they are about to be deported.
“And it’s on Eid you know… the guys are not even allowed to pray. How do you do that in a democratic society? It’s a sad day.”
Police surround the van
Sabir Zazai, chief executive of the Scottish Refugee Council, wrote on Twitter: “Not close to the details on this but this is shocking, disgraceful and racist if people are raided by enforcement officers amidst the pandemic on the day of #Eid.”
Scotland’s First Minister is furious at the timing of the Home Office action, lashing out at the Westminster Government in a series of tweets.
She said: “Today’s events were entirely down to UK Home Office actions. Police Scotland were in an invidious position – they do not assist in the removal of asylum seekers but do have a duty to protect public safety. They act independently of ministers, but I support this decision.
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Protesters make their point in support of those about to be deported
An estimated 200 protesters were reported to be at the scene
Police and protesters in Pollakshields
“Both as MSP and as FM, I will be demanding assurances from the UK Government that they will never again create, through their actions, such a dangerous situation. No assurances were given – and frankly no empathy shown – when I managed to speak to a junior minister earlier.”
Tom, a neighbour who joined the protest, compared the immigration operation on Eid to a police raid on Christmas Day.
The 31-year-old, who did not want to give his surname, said: “The solidarity shown today shows the community will not stand for their neighbours being dragged from their homes.
“I’d ask Christians to reflect on what it would feel like to have your house raided on Christmas Day.”
He said the police presence was “increasing fairly rapidly”, with 10 vans at the scene at around midday.
Humza Yousaf has asked to speak to Home Secretary Priti Patel
I am deeply concerned by this action by the Home Office
“My office is making urgent enquiries and stands ready to offer any necessary assistance to those detained.”
She subsequently added: “The UK Home Office action today is creating a dangerous and unacceptable situation in Pollokshields.
“As local MSP, I am also seeking urgent answers from them – they must resolve this situation ASAP.”
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar was also voiced his concern
Scotland’s Justice Secretary and MSP for Glasgow Pollok Humza Yousaf has asked to speak to Mrs Patel about the scenes in Glasgow.
He tweeted: “This UK Border Force Operation, in Polloksheilds, the heart of the Muslim community, on Eid is a demonstration of the UK Govt’s hostile environment.
Anas Sarwar’s tweet
He subsquently added: “I am disappointed that out of 8 Home Office Ministers none of them could make themselves available to speak to me.
“Having spoken to the DG for Home Office in Scotland I have urged him to abandon the forced removal.
“He will consider next steps & I have requested an update.”
Glasgow: Protesters surround van to stop immigration removal
He tweeted: “It is particularly unacceptable that this is happening during a pandemic, in an area that has a spike in cases and on the day of Eid.”
Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross has yet to comment.
Express.co.uk has contacted the Home Office for comment.
(More to follow)
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed
The original call was for a handful of people overboard but as rescuers arrived in boats and jet skis they quickly realized “it was going to be a bigger situation with more people,” said San Diego Lifeguard Services Lt. Rick Romero.”There are people in the water, drowning, getting sucked out the rip current there,” he said.
When officials arrived on scene near the Cabrillo National Monument there was a “large debris field” of broken wood and other items in the choppy waters. The wreckage of the vessel slowly disintegrated in the ocean after hitting a reef.
Seven people were found in the water, including three who had drowned, said Romero. One person was rescued from a cliff and the others managed to make it to shore on their own, he said.
Officials initially said 30 people were found, but the Coast Guard later said a total of 29 people were accounted for, including one person in critical condition and the four deceased individuals.The Coast Guard said crews were still searching for more, since there was no official record of how many people were actually on the boat.
Twenty-five people were transported to hospitals with “a wide variety of injuries” including hypothermia, Romero said. Most of the victims were able to walk themselves to ambulances, he said.
Officials said the vessel is larger than the typical open-top wooden panga-style boats often used by smugglers to bring people illegally to the U.S. from Mexico.
WATCH: Officials give update after boat capsizes off San Diego
“Every indication from our perspective was this was a smuggling vessel. We haven’t confirmed their nationality,” said Jeff Stephenson, a supervising agent with U.S. Border Patrol.
A man believed to be the operator of the 40-foot vessel was taken into custody as a “suspected smuggler.”It is not clear where the boat was headed, and no word on what caused the boat to overturn.
This happened in federal water jurisdiction, so federal officials will handle the investigation. San Diego is assisting federal authorities.
On Thursday, border officials intercepted a panga-type vessel traveling without navigation lights 11 miles off the coast of Point Loma with 21 people on board. The crew took all 15 men and six women into custody. Agents determined all were Mexican citizens with no legal status to enter the U.S., according to a statement released by Customs and Border Protection. Two of the people on the boat, the suspected smugglers, will face charges, it said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.
This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed
Liz Macdonell, Community Manager, Clever Plays Studio
This article originally appeared on Xbox Wire
She said: “Hi everybody, I just want to say thank you so much for your messages of support after my operation.”
Jacquie went on to tell her followers that she is recovering after the surgery, but is still swollen on one part of her body.
She continued: “I am on the mend now, I have got a sarcoma, which is – I thought an Italian cocktail – but it’s a very unattractive swelling of bodily fluids after an operation to remove lymph nodes.
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The presenter went on to give her followers a glimpse of her under-arm swelling, before jokingly comparing it to a citrus fruit.
Jacquie said: “It feels like I’m carrying an orange under my arm.”
However, much to her fans’ relief, the TV host confirmed that viewers could expect to see her back on their screens tomorrow.
“It’s a grade three stage four, which means I will probably be dealing with this for all of my life.”
Taking to social media last month, the mother-of-three said she was preparing for an operation on her lymph nodes.
Speaking in a video, she said: “So here I am, operation clear out your lymph nodes.