Archive for the ‘Law Enforcement’ Category

When Marilyn Mosby made her first public appearance on the Freddie Gray case, she made a huge mistake, saying that she’d “seek justice for Freddie Gray.” That’s a major mistake because ‘Lady Justice’ wears a blindfold. There’s a reason for that. That’s because justice is determined by wherever the facts take investigators.

Ms. Mosby started with the belief that 6 Baltimore police officers were guilty of causing Freddie Gray’s death. Now that the autopsy’s been finished, Ms. Mosby wants to keep the autopsy’s results private:

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby plans to seek a protective order that would block the release of Freddie Gray’s autopsy report and other “sensitive” documents as she prosecutes the six police officers involved in his arrest.

Mosby told The Baltimore Sun that prosecutors “have a duty to ensure a fair and impartial process for all parties involved” and “will not be baited into litigating this case through the media.”

But an attorney for one of the officers said the effort shows that “there is something in that autopsy report that they are trying to hide.” “Mrs. Mosby is the one who did an announcement discussing what she said the evidence was in a nationally televised speech,” said Ivan Bates, who represents Sgt. Alicia White. “Now that it is time to turn over the evidence, to ask for a protective order is beyond disingenuous.

“It’s as if she wants to do everything to make sure our clients do not get a fair trial.”

There’s no questioning whether Ms. Mosby is fighting dirty. She’s made public statements in front of the cameras virtually on a daily basis. It’s astonishing that Ms. Mosby is insisting that the information produced by a public employee shouldn’t be made available to people who are defending the accused. That’s almost Orwellian thinking.

While she’s shot her mouth off, she’s insisting that the defense shut up. That isn’t the pathway to a fair trial. Though I’m not a trial attorney, I can’t imagine what justification a judge might cite in upholding Ms. Mosby’s gag order. In the end, it’s hard to believe that the judge will reject the gag order and order Ms. Mosby to make the autopsy report available to the defense. It wouldn’t surprise me if the judge ruled that the defense had the right to conduct its own independent autopsy.

Finally, it wouldn’t surprise me if Ms. Mosby lost this high profile case. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.

When Marilyn Mosby won an indictment against 6 police officers in the death of Freddie Gray and when Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake watched Baltimore descend into chaos, they became the public face of Baltimore’s political and legal leadership. Now that violence engulfs Baltimore, it’s clear that this disastrous duo deserve the criticism they’re getting.

In most instances, I’d argue that Marilyn Mosby deserves the lion’s share of the blame for Baltimore’s problems. This isn’t like most situations, though. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake first gave the thugs permission to loot stores and destroy buildings. She told police officers to “Let them loot. It’s only property”:

As amazing as that sounds, it’s gotten worse since:

BALTIMORE (AP) — Antoinette Perrine has barricaded her front door since her brother was killed three weeks ago on a basketball court near her home in the Harlem Park neighborhood of West Baltimore. She already has iron bars outside her windows and added metal slabs on the inside to deflect the gunfire.

“I’m afraid to go outside,” said Perrine, 47. “It’s so bad, people are afraid to let their kids outside. People wake up with shots through their windows. Police used to sit on every corner, on the top of the block. These days? They’re nowhere.”

This explains why the officers aren’t there:

Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said last week his officers “are not holding back” from policing tough neighborhoods, but they are encountering dangerous hostility in the Western District. “Our officers tell me that when officers pull up, they have 30 to 50 people surrounding them at any time,” Batts said.

This doesn’t help, either:

At a City Council meeting Wednesday, Batts said officers have expressed concern they could be arrested for making mistakes. “What is happening, there is a lot of levels of confusion in the police organization. There are people who have pain, there are people who are hurt, there are people who are frustrated, there are people who are angry,” Batts said. “There are people, and they’ve said this to me, ‘If I get out of my car and make a stop for a reasonable suspicion that leads to probable cause but I make a mistake on it, will I be arrested?’ They pull up to a scene and another officer has done something that they don’t know, it may be illegal, will they be arrested for it? Those are things they are asking.”

Marilyn Mosby’s hostility towards the police has accelerated the mistrust between City Hall, her office and the police officers. The police officers don’t know whether they’ll get arrested for making a mistake because Ms. Mosby and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will take the thugs’ side or the officers’ side.

Two of the things that are fundamental to city governance is public safety and law enforcement. These ladies are failing to produce on either count. Based on their hostility towards police officers, it’s unrealistic to think they’ll suddenly change their policies and start making the streets safe or prosecuting the thugs that are murdering people.

When news broke that Freddie Gray had died in a police van, lots of people assumed it was proof of police brutality. While that’s still a possibility, it’s also possible that something else happened. This Washington Post article suggests that it’s best to wait for what the forensic reports say.

BALTIMORE — A prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray “banging against the walls” of the vehicle and believed that he “was intentionally trying to injure himself,” according to a police document obtained by The Washington Post.

The prisoner, who is currently in jail, was separated from Gray by a metal partition and could not see him. His statement is contained in an application for a search warrant, which is sealed by the court. The Post was given the document under the condition that the prisoner not be named because the person who provided it feared for the inmate’s safety.

The document, written by a Baltimore police investigator, offers the first glimpse of what might have happened inside the van. It is not clear whether any additional evidence backs up the prisoner’s version, which is just one piece of a much larger probe.

While this information is dramatic, it still isn’t indisputable proof of anything. Still, it’s a cautionary reminder that it’s best not to jump to conclusions. It’s a reminder that what isn’t known immediately might have a significant impact on finding out what actually happened.

Ferguson erupted in violence because race hustlers like Al Sharpton jumped to conclusions. While Sharpton didn’t make any incendiary public accusations, Sharpton’s Ferguson accusations set the stage for Baltimore. They essentially said that it’s ok to jump to conclusions. Sharpton’s accusations said that we didn’t need to find out the whole truth.

The best thing to do is to wait for the forensic findings. Forensic reports don’t have a political agenda. They’ll either confirm or dispute the testimony given once this goes to a grand jury. Forensic evidence, not political agendas, should rule the day.

During the riots, stores were looted and people were injured. Worse, black business owners lost their businesses. These despicable things happened because thugs vented rather than find out what actually happened.

That’s the definition of a tragedy.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers called off a union organizing vote in their attempt to unionize Boeing’s South Carolina plant:

The union looking to organize workers at Boeing’s South Carolina plant has put its plans in a holding pattern, claiming workers are so opposed to signing up that they chased labor leaders off their porches at gunpoint.

The union issued this official statement:

“After speaking with Boeing workers who we were previously unable to reach, we’ve determined now is not the right time for an election,” union organizer Mike Evans said in a statement. “An atmosphere of threats, harassment and unprecedented political interference has intimidated workers to the point we don’t believe a free and fair election is possible.”

The union filed an unfair labor practice with the National Labor Relations Board in which it alleged that “two organizers were threatened at gunpoint and others reported hostile and near-violent confrontations,” according to a union press release.

The union’s claims were disputed:

“I can only speak to the union’s claims as a whole,” Doug Alder, a spokesman for Boeing said in a statement to “The IAM’s allegations are frivolous and our team is continuing to focus on building the highest-quality airplanes in the world.”

A Charleston police spokesman said there have been no reports of organizers having guns pulled on them in the city. “We haven’t heard of any such reports,” the spokesman. “If it happened, they didn’t call the police.”

A spokesman for the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office also said there had been no reports of gunpoint threats directed at union workers. “I am unaware of this type of incident occurring in the unincorporated area of Charleston County,” he said.

In other words, it’s likely that the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union knew that they were heading for a demoralizing defeat so they called off the vote, then decided that they’d blame it on corporate thugs threatening physical violence. That BS has been exposed as fraudulent. It’s one thing to have the corporate spokesman deny the allegations.

It’s quite another when the sheriff’s office contradicts the union’s allegations. If I’m left to pick between trusting the union or the sheriff’s office, I’ll trust the sheriff’s office every time.

When I first read David French’s article, my first reaction was that John T. Chisholm, the Milwaukee County District Attorney, should be disbarred, then tried and convicted, then thrown into prison for a very long time. Chisholm is a progressive political hack with a mission to destroy the conservative movement in Wisconsin:

Cindy Archer, one of the lead architects of Wisconsin’s Act 10 — also called the “Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill,” it limited public-employee benefits and altered collective-bargaining rules for public-employee unions — was jolted awake by yelling, loud pounding at the door, and her dogs’ frantic barking. The entire house — the windows and walls — was shaking. She looked outside to see up to a dozen police officers, yelling to open the door. They were carrying a battering ram.

She wasn’t dressed, but she started to run toward the door, her body in full view of the police. Some yelled at her to grab some clothes, others yelled for her to open the door. “I was so afraid,” she says. “I did not know what to do.” She grabbed some clothes, opened the door, and dressed right in front of the police. The dogs were still frantic. “I begged and begged, ‘Please don’t shoot my dogs, please don’t shoot my dogs, just don’t shoot my dogs.’ I couldn’t get them to stop barking, and I couldn’t get them outside quick enough. I saw a gun and barking dogs. I was scared and knew this was a bad mix.”

She got the dogs safely out of the house, just as multiple armed agents rushed inside. Some even barged into the bathroom, where her partner was in the shower. The officer or agent in charge demanded that Cindy sit on the couch, but she wanted to get up and get a cup of coffee. “I told him this was my house and I could do what I wanted.” Wrong thing to say. “This made the agent in charge furious. He towered over me with his finger in my face and yelled like a drill sergeant that I either do it his way or he would handcuff me.”

Last night, Megyn Kelly interviewed David French. Here’s the video of the interview:

Here’s the most chilling exchange of the interview:

MEGYN: Who was the judge that signed off on these subpoenas?
DAVID FRENCH: The judge’s name is Barbara Kluka, I believe is how you pronounce her name. She signed off on hundreds of pages of subpoenas in literally one afternoon of work. It was a rubberstamp process. It was not true judicial oversight and the result has been catastrophic to citizens’ rights.

French’s statement might be the understatement of the year. The things that are alleged, if they’re proven in a court of law, should be grounds for termination of the police officers and the disbarment of the judge and the district attorney.

The policeman (policemen?) who ordered Ms. Archer that she couldn’t speak with a lawyer and that she couldn’t speak about the police officers’ actions violated Ms. Archer’s constitutional right to an attorney. Saying that she couldn’t speak about the raid essentially amounts to putting a gag order on Ms. Archer. I’m no lawyer but aren’t gag orders meant to preserve the right to a fair trial?

In this instance, the purpose of the gag order was to protect these thugs’ secrecy. The only people that benefited were the thugs with badges.

This isn’t just about prosecutorial or judicial misconduct. It’s about how the Democratic Party weaponized the district attorney’s office and the Milwaukee police force to intimidate conservatives from speaking about the issues that matter most to them. That’s the heart of the First Amendment’s protections.

Finally, this is the face of pure evil. These Democrats should be destroyed politically. They should all spend years in prison doing hard time. Silencing people who just wanted to support a political issue is despicable.

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While he didn’t call out President Obama and Al Sharpton by name, he still let both Democrats have it in this interview:

Here’s a partial transcript of what Giuliani said:

FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI: We’ve had four months of propaganda starting with the president, that everybody should hate the police, I don’t care how you want to describe it, and that is what those protests are all about. The protests are being embraced. The protests are being encouraged. The protests — even the ones that don’t lead to violence — and a lot of them lead to violence, all lead to a conclusion: the police are bad, the police are racist. Actually, the people who do the most for the black community in America are the police. New York City and elsewhere. They are the ones, not Al Sharpton, who are putting their lives on the line to save black children.

President Obama, Mayor de Blasio and Al Sharpton haven’t shown any leadership. They’ve thrown white gas on a difficult situation. As a result of their political pandering and spinelessness, 2 NYPD police officers were assassinated this weekend.

Thank God for Rudy Giuliani’s post-mayoral leadership. Rudy’s never been afraid to speak out against injustice. He’s never hesitated to do what’s right in terms of public safety. In fact, I’d love seeing de Blasio recalled and Rudy elected to fix de Blasio’s disaster.

Al Sharpton is trying his best to distance himself from the protests he incited:

Similarly, the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has called for peaceful protests, condemned “eye-for-an-eye” violence and called it absurd to blame protesters or politicians for the officers’ deaths.

“We are now under intense threat from those who are misguided — from those who are trying to blame everyone from civil rights leaders to the mayor rather than deal with an ugly spirit that all of us need to fight,” he said. Sharpton added: “There are those of us committed to nonviolence and making the system work. And there are those committed to anarchy and recklessness who could care less about the families of police or the families who have raised questions about police accountability.”

That’s an outright lie. Al Sharpton led a protest where protesters cut loose with this chant:

What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want them? Now.

It’s disgustingly dishonest that Sharpton would insist that he’s “committed to nonviolence and making the system work”, especially after participating in a protest that called for the assassination of police officers. Participating in a protest where killing police officers is encouraged isn’t the first step in showing your commitment to peaceful protests.

It’s how you incite the violence that got 2 NYPD police officers shot.

It’s time to usher Bill de Blasio and Al Sharpton off the political stage. They incite their followers, then pretend that they’re committed to nonviolence.

Here’s more on the subject:

Sharpton, De Blasio scrambling
Obama, MSNBC silent while NYC burns
Al Sharpton, racist provocateur

Stan Hubbard’s response to the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists’ denunciation of KSTP highlights Mr. Hubbard’s substantive criticism of MNSPJ. First, here’s the reason behind Mr. Hubbard’s response:

On November 19, 2014, the Minnesota SPJ asked KSTP-TV to “disavow” its reporting, saying that our story was “fundamentally flawed and based on a faulty premise.” This, because you decided the image in the report showed Mayor Hodges making what the Chapter called a “silly gesture.” KSTP-TV reported that gesture as a known gang sign. We were informed of that fact by several law enforcement agencies. You even went so far as to suggest that we would try to mislead. To suggest that KSTP-TV would ever deliberately distort any fact in any story is totally out of line. We have never done so and we never will do so.

Thanks to Mr. Hubbard’s response, the SPJ has exposed itself as a leading voice of the Agenda Media:

Perhaps most disappointing of all is the fact that most, if not all, serious news organizations that addressed our coverage, including the board of the Minnesota SPJ, simply “followed the herd” and tracked the trend on Twitter in their derision of our coverage. Rather than responsibly questioning law enforcement’s motivation in bringing this story forward, and digging deep into whether it truly represented a public safety issue, they instead chose to simply ignore that which was reported, and go with the much easier and much more popular “silly gesture” angle.

Twittersphere journalism isn’t journalism. It’s shortcut journalism, which isn’t real journalism. The question that SPJ hasn’t answered is the question that SPJ won’t answer. Why didn’t SPJ’s news organizations do the research that KSTP did? Why didn’t SPJ member organizations check into law enforcement’s claims that Mayor Hodges’ actions presented a public safety issue?

Clearly it is disturbing to many that otherwise playful gestures presumably innocently made by a public official can have a totally unintended meaning in a different context. Nonetheless, that is exactly what our reporters were told by numerous law enforcement sources. Namely, that while a “gun” gesture may be funny and innocent in many contexts, it is neither funny nor innocent in a neighborhood plagued by gun violence and a “foothold of area gangs.” The recent announcement by federal officials that the indictment of 11 high profile individuals from two warring gangs, allegedly involved in the North Minneapolis drug and weapon trade, underscores the seriousness of the current gang situation.

Why isn’t SPJ interested in this? Is it because they aren’t interested in the seriousness of the issue? Or is it that this information doesn’t fit their script? Whatever the reason for their disdain, their willingness to ignore the seriousness of gun and gang violence is disturbing at minimum. This is something that’s troubling, too:

Public records reflect that Mr. Gordon had been arrested for aggravated armed robbery on August 2, 2014, two months before the picture in question was taken.

That’s disturbing on steroids. Why would Mayor Hodges campaign with a thug facing charges for aggravated armed robbery? Further, why is the DFL reaching out to criminals in their campaigns? Why aren’t SPJ organizations interested in this story angle? Finally, why didn’t SPJ admit that a mayor campaigning with a thug who’s been arrested on aggravated armed robbery charges is a big deal?

Simply put, the SPJ’s disinterest in these substantive angles verifies the fact that the SPJ isn’t that interested in substantive reporting. It verifies that they’re more interested in pushing the progressives’ agenda.

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This article shows that progressives’ definition of justice isn’t predicated on verifiable facts. It’s proof that Democrats’ definition of justice is mostly about perceptions and allegations.

The trouble is that the United States, for far longer than it has been a “nation of laws”, has been a nation of injustice. And in the absence of basic justice such laws can amount to little more than codified tyranny. When a white cop, Darren Wilson, shoots an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, dead and then is not indicted, the contradiction is glaring. For a world where it is not only legal for people to shoot you dead while you walk down the street, but where they can do so in the name of the law, is one in which some feel they have nothing to lose.

It’s offensive that this liberal idiot would attempt to portray Brown as “walk[ing] down the street.” Forensic evidence shows that Brown a) robbed a convenience store, b) beat up the store manager and c) attacked Officer Wilson in Wilson’s patrol car.

Saying that that’s the equivalent of walking down the street is insulting in its dishonesty.

It is through this chasm, between the official claim to an impartial legal system and the reality of endemic racial injustice, that Wilson made his escape, with the flames of Ferguson in hot pursuit. For Wilson was not exonerated. The grand jury decided there was not even “probable cause” to put him on trial. As the website FiveThirtyEight points out, this is very rare. The Bureau of Justice reveals that in 2010 US attorneys prosecuted 162,000 federal cases, and grand juries declined to return an indictment in just 11.

What isn’t said is that these types of cases rarely get to a grand jury. In most instances, the officer would’ve been cleared because Michael Brown attacked Officer Wilson. Forensic evidence showed Brown’s fingerprints and DNA on Officer Wilson’s gun. The only time that could’ve happened was when Brown attempted to attack Officer Wilson in Officer Wilson’s patrol car.

It’s time for progressives to stop throwing accusations around so recklessly.

Part I of this series highlighted a timeline of events that led to the termination of Todd Hoffner, the head football coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Part II highlighted some of President Davenport’s rationalizations for terminating Coach Hoffner. This post will highlight the substantive complaints from Coach Hoffner’s attorneys. This paragraph is particularly noteworthy:

Second, in that same section, the OLA report devotes an entire paragraph to President Davenport’s justification for his reaction to the charges against Coach Hoffner and, specifically, the description of the Pennsylvania State University sex scandal. No comparable explanation from Coach Hoffner is included, nor is the fundamental distinguishing fact that the alleged conduct that MSU Mankato investigated had nothing to do with sexual abuse or similar conduct with respect to MSU Mankato students.

Comparing the Hoffner situation with what happened at Penn State is foolish. According to a footnote in the OLA’s report, Penn State’s high-level administrators, including Penn State’s president at the time, “were indicted for endangering the welfare of children, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury. They are awaiting trial.” In Coach Hoffner’s case, he didn’t exercise good judgment. Still, the Blue Earth County judge that dismissed the charges said that “the children acted silly, playful and age appropriate.”

There’s a little bit of hyperbole in this paragraph:

To omit from the OLA’s report even the most basic of facts in this regard is misleading and profoundly unfair. The notion that a person could equate Coach Hoffner with Jerry Sandusky is absurd, and that a person could draw such a comparison exemplifies why that person should not have the authority to make life-changing employment decisions affecting others.

First, Hoffner’s attorneys went a little overboard in saying that President Davenport shouldn’t “have the authority to make life-changing employment decisions affecting others.” That being said, Hoffner’s attorneys are right in saying that comparing Coach Hoffner’s actions with Sandusky’s is absurd. They aren’t close to being similar, much less close to being the same thing.

Jerry Sandusky is serving a minimum of 30 years in prison. According to Wikipedia, which I realize isn’t always the most accurate website, “Specifically, Sandusky was convicted of the following charges and counts: eight counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, seven counts of indecent assault, one count of criminal intent to commit indecent assault, nine counts of unlawful contact with minors, 10 counts of corruption of minors and 10 counts of endangering the welfare of children. Cleland immediately revoked Sandusky’s bail and remanded him to the Centre County Correctional Facility to await sentencing.”

It shouldn’t be difficult for university presidents to differentiate between a man who was investigated and had charges dropped and a man convicted of “eight counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, seven counts of indecent assault, one count of criminal intent to commit indecent assault [and] nine counts of unlawful contact with minors…” I’m betting that most high school students could differentiate between the two.

Simply put, this would be a disaster for President Davenport if the MnSCU Chancellor, aka Davenport’s boss, were a principled man or if the DFL-chaired Higher Ed committees took their oversight responsibilities seriously. Since neither is the case, it isn’t likely that this will hurt President Davenport.

That’s the biggest of disasters in this entire situation.

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This post about Richard Davenport’s termination of Coach Todd Hoffner highlights the timeline of Mankato State University, Mankato’s investigation that ultimately led to Coach Hoffner’s termination. This post will highlight the OLA’s report of what happened that triggered the investigation:

On August 10, 2012, Coach Hoffner asked a MSU, Mankato information technology staff person to examine his cell phone because it was not working properly. The staff person found a video recording of naked children on the phone and brought it to the attention of MSU, Mankato officials, who turned the cell phone over to the Mankato police. Coach Hoffner was arrested at his home on August 21, 2012. The following day, the Blue Earth County Attorney filed charges against Todd Hoffner alleging that the images of the children were pornographic and criminal.

After reviewing the images, other evidence, and considering the applicable laws, on November 30, 2012, a Blue Earth County District Court Judge dismissed the criminal charges for lack of “probable cause.” In her order, the judge noted that the children in the video were Todd Hoffner’s children, who asked their father to record a “performance” after they emerged from a bath. The judge went on to say
that the context of the video showed that the “children’s performance was not intended to be erotic or pornographic in nature.” She also noted that the children acted silly, playful, and age appropriate.

Despite the fact that charges were dismissed by a Blue Earth County district court judge, President Davenport proceeded with his investigation.

It’s worth highlighting that the judge ruled that “the children acted silly, playful and age appropriate.”

Here’s another situation that might put President Davenport into a delicate situation:

President Davenport also told us that he responded to the allegations against Coach Hoffner with the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) football sex scandal in mind. In that case, a former Penn State assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, was accused of sexually abusing children for more than a decade. In addition, university officials were accused of failing to respond adequately when concerns about the coach were brought to their attention.

The Penn State situation was dramatically different from what happened in Mankato. Here’s one of the report’s footnotes:

In June 2012, former Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and, in October 2012, he was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) imposed severe sanctions against the Penn State football program, including: a $60 million fine to create an endowment to prevent child sexual abuse and help child abuse victims; barring Penn State’s football program from post-season play for four years; and vacating the team’s wins from 1998-2011. In addition, former Penn State officials, President Graham Spanier, Senior VP for Finance and Business Gary Schultz, and Athletic Director Tim Curley were indicted for endangering the welfare of children, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury. They are awaiting trial.

In the Penn State case, senior members of the administration, including Penn State’s president were accused of lying to investigators and for trying to hide Jerry Sandusky’s actions. Further, they “were indicted “for endangering the welfare of children…”

The underlying allegations included this:

Victims also commonly reported that Sandusky would place his hand on their thighs or inside the waistband of their underpants. Two recounted oral sex with Sandusky, sometimes culminating in his ejaculation.

That’s totally different than the situation at Mankato. First, President Davenport didn’t attempt to cover anything up. Second, he wasn’t accused of lying to investigators. Those things alone differentiate this situation from the Penn State scandal.

I understand that administrators nationwide worried about being accused of covering up a pervert’s lengthy history of child sex abuse. That’s appropriate and justified. What isn’t appropriate or justified is conflating everything into another Penn State.

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