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Death by Officer: An American Epidemic, by David Witkin a  [after the police racially profiled and  brutalized his brother Michael Witkin. The Witkin brothers are Afro-Cuban on their mother’s side and Jewish-American ont heir father’s side. Making them not only bi-racial but, multi-ethnic. Many are certain Michael Witkin was raically profile due to law enforcement’s Anti-black bias and racist tendencies (story below)]

A plea from Elk Grove PD’ victim Michael Witkin’s parents…

MAN SHOT FOR SPEEDING  ???

 

An Elk Grove man was shot several times for what appeared to be no actual reason.Although multiple news outlets originally reported that there was a “high-speed chase”, apparently this was merely a “cover story” fed to the news media, by Police outlets, in an attempt to try to justify the shooting.

Michael Witkin,now 28, of Elk Grove,  WAS speeding by all accounts (including his own), at approximately 4:00 A.M. on the morning of August 21, 2004.  Michael did not see the Elk Grove Police cruiser, driven by Officer Robert Barnes (Badge # 1319) close to finishing his shift on his 16th night on patrol.  Officer Barnes was at a “dead stop” in the left turn lane, southbound on Franklin Blvd. and Calvine,  just north of the Elk Grove/Sacramento boundary line.  Officer Barnes was getting ready to turn East onto Calvine.

Officer Barnes began his “pursuit” unbeknownst to Michael Witkin, but was just turning the corner onto Edgeware Way, when Mr. Witkin,oblivious to either the presence or existence of Officer Barnes, turned into his driveway, some 500+ feet down the street (the entire “chase” would have covered an area of 2/5 mile- about 2,000 feet).

It was then that Officer Barnes began to make a series of “bad” assumptions:

1) That Mr. Witkin was a “Black Man with dreadlocks driving a car that didn’t belong in the neighborhood” (in fact, Mr. Witkin’s father had been driving that car “in the neighborhood” for the previous 2 years);

2) That Mr. Witkin was turning and parking in someone else’s driveway;and,

3)   That he would sneak up on Mr. Witkin, without turning on his lights and siren, or identifying himself,  thereby enabling him to “extract” Mr. Witkin, in similar fashion as he had done at the Sacramento County Main Jail for 3 years prior to going on patrol.

(Officer Barnes was a C.E.R.T. Team Leader (acronym for Custody Emergency Response Team);

Unfortunately, compounding the series of bad decisions and judgments that Officer Barnes made that morning,  he choose to run up on, hit, and assault Mr. Witkin, at the exact moment that Mr. Witkin turned his key in the door, causing them both to fall thru the door and down the landing into the home.   Mr. Witkin,  trying to figure out who or what exactly was attacking him,  and attempting to put some space between himself, those asleep in the house (for their safety), and his attacker,  ran back outside.  

Officer Barnes, continuing in “Keystone Cop” fashion,  then proceeded to fall down the concrete stairs of the porch leading to the front door, angering him, and causing him to begin firing his semi-automatic .40 caliber service revolver into the back of Mr. Witkin, as well as several rounds into the house of the neighbor across the street.

Fortunately for Mr. Witkin,  he was only hit 3 times, one of which could have been life threatening.  Also, fortunately,  Officer Barnes’ gun jammed after firing 6 or 7 rounds.

A neighbor then overheard Officer Barnes running down the street, somewhat disoriented,  shouting “I shouldn’t have shot him,  I shouldn’t have shot him” to another Officer who had just arrived on the scene.  The other Officer said “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of it “ !!! (And, they did !)

All of this for speeding ???

PLEASE READ ON

 The foregoing was written, in news report fashion, as something that could be provided to interested media parties, as kind of a synopsis of what happened that August morning.

Following is what happened, subsequently:

Michael was charged originally with 3 felonies,  later reduced to 2 felonies, and then finally reduced to one felony (Resisting Arrest with Force and Violence) and one misdemeanor (Battery on a Peace Officer).  The “Battery on a Peace Officer” charge was reduced to a misdemeanor, when the District Attorney’s office realized that ALL of Officer Barnes injuries were caused by himself,  first falling down the landing stairs into the Witkin living room (after entering their house accidentally and failing to identify himself to anyone in the house), and then falling down the front landing concrete steps trying to chase after Michael.

Officer Barnes had actually ran at Michael from behind, and hit him on the side of

the head with his 16”-18” flashlight, when Michael was at the front door of our house.

This is documented in pictures of Michael’s injuries,which the Judge, at the D.A.’s request, refused to be allowed to be shown to the Jury, because they were “prejudicial”.

He had also testified that when he “ran up on Michael”,  Michael’s body language was not resistant- in other words Michael was not aware that the Officer was there.

Michael was dazed when this happened, and he had already turned the key to go into his house, when the force of Officer Barnes attack, caused Michael and the Officer to fall through our front door.   Although the Police and Media reported that a “fight” had occurred,   Michael never hit or kicked his attacker, but was only trying to get away, to bring the “action” back outside.  The entire extent of this “fight” was last than 30 seconds long, according to Police timetables extrapolated from their own reports and radio logs.

During the Pretrial process,Michael was offered a misdemeanor, no jail time plea, but because he was innocent,he felt that it would be in his best interest to go to Trial.

This turned out not to be true,  legally, although from a character standpoint, if he had to do it again, he said that he would still go to Trial,  and not take a deal.

At Trial, however, the Sacramento County District Attorney attempted, unsuccessfully, to have the shooting details removed from the trial.  She tried to say that the shooting was “irrelevant” to the charges.  However, once they were allowed,  she created such a “hodge podge” of mixed details of relevant and irrelevant information, that the Jury was sufficiently confused by the whole process.  Our Attorney,  felt that the “Excessive Force” defense was so obvious,  and created such a clear sense of reasonable doubt,  that it wasn’t necessary to address all of the peripheral things that the District Attorney brought into the case.  However, he misjudged the Jury and the level of confusion under which they were operating.

After they found Michael guilty, one of the Jurors was willing to speak to us, and he indicated that they didn’t know how to apply the “Excessive Force” defense, so they went strictly by definitions:  “If you even touch the shirt of a Police Officer, you’re guilty of battery”.  “Well, he did touch his shirt, so I guess we have to find him

guilty”.  They didn’t understand that if a Police Officer uses Excessive Force, he is no longer in the “performance of his duties”, and therefore no longer subject to those definitions.  Our original Attorney said that he was in such disbelief, that a Jury was able to come up with a guilty verdict that “He was considering quitting the law” !!!

We hired a second Attorney who filed a Motion for a New Trial.  This process took around 5 months, during which Michael was out on bail, most of the time.  During this time, Michael became a volunteer for the NAACP,  who also gave him an “official vote of support”, as they believed that his Civil Rights were clearly violated, and that he was a victim of Police Brutality.   And, they, along with everyone who hears this story (with the possible exception of Sacramento County Judicial System employees-  although the Court Reporter and Baliff in Dept. 35 all thought, after sitting thru the Trial themselves, thought that Michael would be found “not guilty”) believes that he was a victim of a “cover up” as well.

Despite the fact that our second Attorney came up with some 9 or 10 points of evidence, with cases that had legal precedent,  any one of which could easily change an entire jury’s minds,  the Judge “concluded” that “he didn’t see anything presented that would change a jury’s mind at a new trial”, so he denied the motion.  Even the NAACP attorneys thought that the points presented in the motion were “excellent”.

So, this led us to conclude that we weren’t sure that the Judge even read the points of the motion, as their goal is to “maintain the status quo”, and not incur the expense of a new trial.  They also have incentive (which we would call a conflict of interest)

to protect the civil liability to the County for the unwarranted shooting.  We believe that this is the basis for them even pursuing charges against Michael in the first place, as they knew he would be filing a lawsuit against the County and the Sheriff’sDepartment- which he has. We are currently Appealing the Jury Verdict as well as the denial of the New Trial Motion,  although Appeals don’t usually have a high probability of success. 

And despite a totally inaccurate Probation Report,  many of the details which our Attorney had to correct “on the record” in open Court, the Judge still decided to sentence Michael according to the Probation Report recommendation.

This also despite the NAACP Legal Redress Secretary, as well as my wife and I, and several letters from his Professors at CosumnesRiverCollege (I will fax you copies of these) testifying that Michael was being very successful and constructive, in both his life and current endeavors, the Judge decided to sentence Michael to 2 years in State Prison (the D.A. wanted him to serve 3 years).  This also despite the extreme overcrowding in the California State Prison System.

So, our main concern throught this process, is the issue of the “Cover Up”.  In other words,  a former Jail Deputy, goes out on the street for a short time, and fails to follow proper Police procedure, and shoots someone for no reason.

He receives no discipline, and the person who’s his victim is sent to State Prison and he goes free.  He’s still loose on the streets, and what’s going to prevent him

from doing it again ? Then the County goes along with the “cover-up” and who’s going to stop them ?  That’s why we’re looking for advocates to make them Accountable to someone !!!

Thank you for your help.

Sincerely,

 

Robert and Elena Witkin

Michael’s Parents

robertwitkin@comcast.net

Please signal boost, we spoke with Elena Witkin and her son’s case has received little to no coverage because the cops didn’t kill him.

However, the case still needs coverage because if we can get justice for Michael and Elena [his mother] we can set a precedence for other victim’s families to get justice too.


Remember, this officer fired at Michael 6-8 times. One of the three  wound Michael sustained could have killed him.

When’s enough enough?

Marco Antonio Muñiz (born September 16, 1968), better known by his stage name as Marc Anthony, is an American record producer, singer-songwriter, fashion designer, actor and television producer. Anthony is also the top selling tropical salsa artist of all time. The two-time Grammyand four-time Latin Grammy winner has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide. He is best known for his Latin salsa numbers and ballads. Anthony has won numerous awards, and his achievements have been honored through various recognitions. He was the recipient of the 2009 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Chair’s Award. He also received the “2009 CHCI Chair’s Lifetime Achievement Award” on September 16, 2009.

Marco Antonio Muñiz, known professionally by his stage name Marc Anthony, was born in New York City, to Puerto Rican parents Guillermina, a housewife, and Felipe Muñiz, a musician and hospital lunchroom worker from Guayama, Puerto Rico. Anthony’s parents named him after Mexican singer Marco Antonio Muñiz. Anthony grew up in East Harlem, also known as Spanish Harlem and El Barrio, and is the youngest of eight surviving children. He was raised Roman Catholic.

Muñiz began his career as a session vocalist for freestyle and Underground New York house music acts. After changing his name to avoid confusion with his namesake, Anthony worked as a songwriter and backing vocalist for pop acts including Menudo and the Latin Rascals. His first album was a freestyle music record, “Rebel”, in 1988 on Bluedog Records. That same year he wrote and produced “Boy I’ve Been Told” for fellow freestyle artist Sa-Fire. Then in 1989, he sang backup vocals for Ann-Marie on the freestyle club hit, “With or Without You” produced by Little Louie Vega and Todd Terry. A year later, 1990, with Little Louie Vega and Todd Terry, Marc wrote and whispered a duet with Chrissy I-eece, called “You Should Know By Now”. In 1992, still working with Todd Terry, he provided vocals for “Love Change” which is on the flip-side of a 12” vinyl released by Elan and The Powermachine titled “Here’s Your Hat”, production of Todd Terry. At the same time, he collaborated with music producer Little Louie Vega, who featured the singer on many another freestyle-flavored club hits “Ride On The Rhythm" and the "When The Night Is Over" album, which featured the Freestyle classic "Time". In 1992, Vega and Anthony opened for Latin bandleader Tito Puente at New York’s Madison Square Garden. After 1992, he changed his style from freestyle to salsa and other Latin styles.

Otra Nota (1993) Anthony was initially reluctant to become a salsa musician and declined an offer to make a salsa album when Ralph Mercado, president of RMM Records, asked him. Anthony was in a taxi when he heard Juan Gabriel's hit song, “Hasta Que Te Conocí" which influenced him to change his mind and ask Mercado if he could record it as a salsa tune. Inspired by the music of Tito Puente, Hector Lavoe, Rubén Blades and Juan Gabriel, Anthony released his Spanish-language debut, Otra nota, in 1993. Anthony performed at the Radio y Musica Convention hosted by Alfredo Alonso. ”Si Tu No Te Fueras”, “El Ultimo Beso”, “Palabras Del Alma”, The album also included a cover of Bread's song, “Make It with You”. Subsequent tours throughout the Americas, including an opening slot for Blades, established Anthony as one of the new stars in salsa. In 1994, he was featured in La India's album Dicen Que Soy, on the song “Vivir Lo Nuestro”.

His 1995 follow-up, Todo a su tiempo, won Anthony a Billboard award for Hot Tropical Artist of the Year. The album was also nominated for a Grammy with songs like “Te Conozco Bien”, “Hasta Ayer”, “Nadie Como Ella”, “Se Me Sigue Olvidando”, “Te Amare”, and “Llegaste A Mi”. The album has sold more than 800,000 copies and has become established gold in the US and in Puerto Rico.

Anthony’s next Spanish language album, Contra La Coriente, was followed by the television special Marc Anthony: The Concert from Madison Square Garden, broadcast on HBO onValentine’s Day 2000. The special was nominated for Music Special of the Year from TV Guide. The album’s song “Y Hubo Alguien" became his first number-one single on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks Chart and the first by a salsa musician. The album became the first salsa album to enter the English language Billboard 200 chart. After an ongoing battle with RMM, he severed ties with Ralph Mercado and left the label in 1999.

Anthony subsequently recorded the duet “No Me Ames" with Jennifer Lopez on her album On the 6, giving her an assist in her Spanish language crossover attempt.

In 1999, riding the crossover wave of Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin in the Anglophone market, Anthony, working with producers Walter AfanasieffCory RooneyDan Shea, and Rodney Jerkins, released an English-language, self-titled album with the US Top 5 single “I Need to Know”, and the Spanish version, “Dímelo”. His song “You Sang To Me" was featured in Runaway Bride. A dance version was remixed by Dutch producer Rene Van Verseveld. The album debuted at number eight on the Billboard album chart, and six weeks later went platinum; it eventually was certified triple platinum.The song “I Need To Know” earned a Grammy nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

In June 2004, Anthony released a Latin pop album, Amar Sin Mentiras. The following month, he reintroduced its songs with a danceable salsa rhythm in another album, Valio La Pena. The song “Escapémonos” was a duet with Jennifer Lopez. In the 2005 Latin Grammy Awards, his Amar Sin Mentiras won best Latin Pop Album of The Year, and his Valió La Pena won Best Tropical Album of the Year. Lopez and Anthony performed “Escapémonos” at the 2005 Grammy Awards.In 2001, he debuted another salsa album, Libre, which was certified gold with songs like “Celos”, “Este Loco Que Te Mira”, and “Viviendo”. The album spent 14 weeks at the number-one spot on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart. The year after that, he made another English-language album, Mended.

On December 2012, it was announced that Anthony was recording a salsa album alongside with longtime producer Sergio GeorgeVivir Mi Vida, a Spanish adaptation of Khaled's song “C’est la vie”, was released as the lead single on April 25, 2013. In July 2013, Anthony released 3.0, a salsa album including his song “Vivir Mi Vida”. Since the release, the album has been certified Platinum. In addition to the new album, Anthony announced his Vivir Mi Vida World Tour, and plans to travel across 15 countries on 3 continents.On July 11, 2006, Anthony released Sigo Siendo Yo, a Spanish greatest-hits album. On May 2010 he released Iconos, a tribute to old Latin songs by artists such as José Luis PeralesJuan Gabriel and José José. In 2012, he released a new song called “Cautivo De Este Amor.” In the same year, Anthony was inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame.

Anthony played supporting roles in projects including 1995’s Hackers, and 1996’s Big Night and The Substitute. He appeared with Rubén Bladesand Puerto Rican pop singer Ednita Nazario in Paul Simon's 1998 stage musical, The Capeman, which ran for 68 performances. He had a role inMartin Scorsese's 1999 drama Bringing Out the Dead, and in 2001, opposite Salma Hayek, was in the film In the Time of the Butterflies. In Man On Fire (2004), Anthony, opposite Denzel Washington, played a wealthy businessman who hires a former U.S. Marine to protect his daughter from kidnappers in Mexico City. In 2007, Anthony starred in El Cantante, a biographical drama about the life of salsa music legend Héctor Lavoe, who died in 1993 from AIDS complications. Anthony’s then-wife, Jennifer Lopez, narrated the story and portrayed Lavoe’s wife. The film, released in August 2007, received strong reviews. In 2010, Anthony guest-starred in two episodes of the TNT medical drama “HawthoRNe" as a detective and the title character’s (Jada Pinkett Smith) love interest. He was later named the executive music producer of the show. Anthony worked with ex-wife Lopez and director-choeographer Jamie King in late 2011 on a Latin talent series created by Simon Fuller, called Q’Viva! The Chosen. It follows Lopez and Anthony as they travel across 21 countries to find new talent. In 2012, Anthony guest mentored on Season 2 of The X Factor (U.S. TV series).

Anthony is a Democrat and performed the National Anthem at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Anthony also sang “God Bless America” at Major League Baseball’s All-Star game in New York on July 16, 2013. While Anthony is an American cit­i­zen, born and raised in New York of Puerto Rican descent, numer­ous offen­sive tweets made the rounds, say­ing “shouldn’t an Amer­i­can be singing God Bless America?” under the mistaken belief that Anthony is actu­ally from Mex­ico or Cuba. The Anti-Defamation League spoke out against the offensive tweets.

In 1994, Anthony’s ex-girlfriend Debbie Rosado, a NYC police officer, gave birth to their daughter Ariana.

Marc married former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres on May 9, 2000 in Las Vegas. They have two sons, Cristian Anthony Muñiz (February 5, 2001) who Anthony named after the Mexican singer Cristian Castro, and Ryan Anthony Muñiz (August 16, 2003). There were many problems in the marriage, and the couple separated in early 2002. They later reconciled and renewed their vows in a formal ceremony on December 7, 2002 at San Juan’s Cathedral in Puerto Rico. The rocky marriage came to an end in October 2003 with Dayanara filing for divorce in January 2004. To help in her recovery from the divorce, Dayanara traded her engagement ring for a diamond-encrusted Cartier watch and wrote the book Married to Me: How Committing to Myself Led to Triumph After Divorce.

When his divorce proceedings began, Anthony was spotted with long-time friend Jennifer Lopez. Prior to his first marriage and her second, they had briefly dated. Lopez and Anthony married on June 5, 2004, less than a week after his divorce was finalized. Guests had been invited to an “afternoon party”, unaware they were attending a wedding. Lopez gave birth to their children, twins Emme Maribel Muñiz and Maximillian David Muñiz on February 22, 2008. People (magazine) paid $6 million for the first photos of the twins. In 2009, Anthony and Lopez purchased a stake in the Miami Dolphins. They joined several personalities in buying small stakes in the club, including Gloria and Emilio EstefanVenus and Serena Williams, and Fergie. They bought two houses in Brookville, New York but Anthony and Lopez announced their separation in July 2011, with Anthony filing for divorce on April 9, 2012. Their divorce was finalized on June 18, 2014, with Lopez winning primary custody of the children.

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