NATIONAL NEWS

Charges against alleged white supremacists are tossed by a California judge for the second time

Feb 21, 2024, 4:25 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — For the second time in five years, federal charges against alleged members of a violent white supremacist group accused of inciting violence at California political rallies were dismissed by a federal judge who found they were selectively prosecuted.

Federal prosecutors said members of the Rise Above Movement conspired to riot by using the internet to coordinate traveling to political rallies and attacking demonstrators at gatherings in Huntington Beach, Berkeley and San Bernardino in 2018. The group also posted videos to celebrate violence and recruit members.

U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney first tossed the charges against Robert Rundo and Robert Boman in June 2019. The two were charged with conspiracy to violate the Anti-Riot Act and rioting.

On Wednesday, Carney again granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss, agreeing that Rundo and Boman were being selectively prosecuted while “far-left extremist groups” were not.

In his decision, Carney wrote “there seems to be little doubt” that Rundo and Boman, or members of their group, engaged in criminal violence. “But they cannot be selected for prosecution because of their repugnant speech and beliefs over those who committed the same violence with the goal of disrupting political events,” Carney wrote.

Boman was already free on bond, while Rundo was still being detained. Prosecutors requested that Rundo remain in custody pending appeal, but Carney denied it and set him free. Soon after the ruling, prosecutors filed a notice that they would appeal, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Outside the courtroom, Boman became emotional and said he was ashamed of his “old antics,” the Times said.

In his 2019 ruling, Carney said the Anti-Riot Act of 1968 was unconstitutional in part because it criminalized advocating violence when no riot or crime was imminent.

National News

Associated Press

Arizona judge declares mistrial in the case of a rancher accused of fatally shooting a migrant

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona judge declared a mistrial Monday in the case of a rancher accused of fatally shooting a Mexican man on his property near the U.S.-Mexico border. The decision came after jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision after more than two full days of deliberation in trial of George Alan Kelly, […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Trial opens for former Virginia hospital medical director accused of sexual abuse of ex-patients

NEW KENT, Va. (AP) — The former longtime medical director of a Virginia hospital that serves vulnerable children used physical examinations as a “ruse” to sexually abuse two teenage patients, a prosecutor said Monday, while the physician’s attorney “adamantly” denied any inappropriate conduct. The trial of Daniel N. Davidow of Richmond, who for decades served […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

US House Judiciary Committee chair seeks details from ATF on airport director shooting

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The chair of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Monday asked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to provide documents and information about its raid at the home last month of the Little Rock airport director who died after a shootout with agents serving a search warrant. Rep. […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Minnesota state senator arrested on suspicion of burglary

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A state senator and former broadcast meteorologist was arrested on suspicion of burglary early Monday in the northwestern Minnesota city of Detroit Lakes, police said. Democratic Sen. Nicole Mitchell, 49, of Woodbury, was being held in the Becker County Jail on suspicion of first-degree burglary. Formal charges were still pending Monday afternoon, […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

William Strickland, a longtime civil rights activist, scholar and friend of Malcom X, has died

BOSTON (AP) — William Strickland, a longtime civil rights activist and supporter of the Black Power movement who worked with Malcom X and other prominent leaders in the 1960s, has died. He was 87. Strickland, whose death April 10 was confirmed by a relative, first became active in civil rights as a high schooler in […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Insider Q&A: Trust and safety exec talks about AI and content moderation

Alex Popken was a longtime trust and safety executive at Twitter focusing on content moderation before leaving in 2023. She was the first employee there dedicated to moderating Twitter’s advertising business when she started in 2013. Now, she’s vice president of trust and safety at WebPurify, a content moderation service provider that works with businesses […]

6 hours ago

Charges against alleged white supremacists are tossed by a California judge for the second time