Saturday, July 04, 2015

6 decades of empty graves, and families with no answers, is finally coming to an end.


The gravestone next to his mother has been waiting for him for more than 60 years. On Saturday, the remains of Army Pvt. Leonard Kittle of Caney, Kan., finally will be placed beneath it.

The shift of a glacier in Alaska two years ago released the remains of a C-124A Globemaster cargo plane that crashed on a mountain near Anchorage in 1952, killing Kittle and 51 other military personnel. DNA testing in April confirmed Kittle’s identity.

Surviving family members said they have been through an emotional cycle, churning from surprise and joy that the plane was found through a new round of grief, followed by a sense of relief that DNA testing ultimately identified him, and finally happiness that he is home and they can get some closure.

“We can put him to rest beside his mother,” said Kittle’s wife, Sandra Kozak, 79, who lives in East Troy, Wis. “She never believed he got on that plane. She thought he had amnesia and was living in Canada. She believed that till the day she died. There was no body, and she just couldn’t accept that.”


This summer is the fourth that U.S. troops and civilians have combed Colony Glacier in Alaska to recover wreckage and identify 52 service members aboard a C-124 Globemaster II that crashed in 1952.

The mission was launched after the plane's wreckage was rediscovered in 2012. Every summer since then, military members and civilians have returned to the crash site to remove debris and human remains.

The glacier moves between 200 and 300 meters each year, and as it recedes, more of the wreckage becomes exposed, Cocker told Air Force Times on July 1. There's no way to tell how long it will take for all the wreckage to become unearthed.

Service members recovered between 4 and 5 tons of debris during this year's operation, which lasted from June 8-25, Cocker said. Up to nine service members were tasked with collecting aircraft debris on the glacier, another 12 service members collected human remains and personnel effects, and dozens of others from the Army National Guard helped transport teams to the glacier and back.

The mission is about more than cleaning up a crash site, Cocker told Air Force Times. The operation's purpose is to provide resolution to the relatives of those who had been on board the C-124. So far, 17 of the 52 service members aboard have been identified and returned home.

"The main effort is to be able to identify and provide to the family members of the deceased whatever personal effects we can send to them, and just the knowledge that, yes, your loved one was found," Cocker said. "A lot of the guys on the aircraft maybe have brothers or sisters or even kids or grandkids that for the past 60 years don't really know what happened to their family member. Now we're providing them some of those answers."


http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/2015/07/04/alaska-crash-recovery-mission/29586319/

http://www.kansas.com/news/article1146658.html

truckers keep America going, this one's for you!

WW1 ambulance in the annual Boom Box Parade in Willimantic, CT

I can't tell what caused the problem, but I doubt this is going to fix it

Baltimore Police Dept van... used to transport arrested but not convicted, people.


http://abcnews.go.com/US/enjoy-ride-cuz-sign-baltimore-police-transport-van/story?id=32214404

The department was put in the national spotlight after six officers were charged in the death of Gray, who was fatally injured in police custody in April.

Baltimore police have admitted that Gray was not secured in the van by a seatbelt, against department policy, and that he requested medical attention while being transported in the van but was denied.

An autopsy report leaked to the Baltimore Sun said that Gray died of a high-impact injury as a result of not being secured properly during transport that took 40 minutes and made a previously undisclosed fourth stop while en route to the police station, police revealed on Thursday. Previously, police had said the van made three stops, including one to put him in leg irons and another to pick up different prisoner. So, clearly, the cops were not operating by procedure, policy, and professional conduct, then lied about it to cover up their gross misconduct.

The sign's authenticity has been confirmed by the city's police, which told ABC News in a statement that the department has launched an internal investigation.

"The nature and the posting of wording in one of our transport vehicles is both concerning and unacceptable," Baltimore Police Department Ret. Rashawn Strong said. "We have recently become aware of the wording and have begun an internal investigation to determine all the circumstances surrounding its placement

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-32546201

The six police officers involved in Gray’s arrest have been indicted by a grand jury. All six face charges of reckless endangerment, defined in Maryland law as “engaging in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another” and punishable by five years in prison.

Caesar Goodson, driver of the van, faces a charge of second-degree murder. Four of the officers are charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The van carrying Gray had a surveillance camera, according to Rawlings-Blake. The camera was not working at the time of Gray’s injury.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/03/baltimore-police-vans-sign-freddie-gray

On the third stop, Goodson merely eyeballed the back of the van from the outside, taking no further action. A few minutes later, he made the fourth stop, during which he again checked Gray. This time, he called for assistance. It arrived in the form of Officer Porter. Though he is charged with homicide, this marks Porter’s first appearance in the case: He had no involvement in the arrest, and did not participate in the positioning of Gray prior to Gray’s injury. The prisoner was apparently lying on the floor, complaining about difficulty breathing and moving. He asked for a doctor, but Porter instead helped him up and seated him on the rear compartment’s bench, enabling Goodson to continue the ride.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/420274/freddy-gray-autopsy-report-deals-blow-murder-charges-andrew-c-mccarthy

the knife found on Gray when he was arrested  has been a point of contention between the state's attorney's office and attorneys representing the officers, with Mosby maintaining that the knife is legal under city and state law, and the defense insisting that the knife is an illegal switchblade.

In the weeks following, the U.S. Justice Department launched a civil rights investigation into the Baltimore Police Department to determine whether it participates in discriminatory policing practices that include excessive force and unwarranted arrests.

http://www.lawofficer.com/articles/2015/06/trove-of-evidence-turned-over-in-case-of-freddie-gray-death.html