Herman Wallace, 71, one of the famous “Angola 3” who was released this week after U.S. District Chief Judge Brian Jackson overturned Wallace’s 1974 murder conviction for the death of a prison guard, died of liver cancer on Friday morning.
Wallace spent an astounding 41 years in solitary confinement in a Louisiana prison. Wallace, of New Orleans, had already been serving a 50-year armed robbery sentence, when 23-year-old prison guard Brent Miller was fatally stabbed in 1972. After Wallace and two other inmates were convicted in Miller’s death, authorities moved the three of them to isolation at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.
Wallace and the two other inmates came to be known as the “Angola 3″ after a fellow Black Panther member in the late 1990s discovered the many decades they had spent in isolation.
“He passed away early this morning among people who cared for him very much,” Wallace’s lawyer, George Kendall, told the BBC.
Miriam Carey’s Brother, Former NYPD Sergeant, Says D.C. Police Shouldn’t Have Shot Her
After her 34-year-old sister Miriam Carey was gunned down police in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, former New York police sergeant Valarie Carey spoke out yesterday and said police in Washington could have avoided killing her sister.
Carey, unarmed and apparently suffering from postpartum depression, was gunned down by police after she attempted to breach barricades outside the White House and Capitol building, unnerving the already tense city during the government shutdown and two weeks after the Navy Yard attack that left 13 dead.
Carey had her one-year-old baby in the back seat of the car during the police chase from the White House to the Capitol, but the child was unharmed. By the time the chase was over, dozens of shots had been fired—the smell of gunpowder filled the air— two officers were injured, and Carey’s body was riddled with police bullets after she managed to get out of the car. Authorities had difficulty identifying her because of the extent of her injuries, according to the New York Times.
“My sister could have been any person traveling in our capital,” Valarie Carey told reporters outside her Brooklyn home. “Deadly physical force was not the ultimate recourse and it didn’t have to be.”
According to law enforcement sources, Carey did not shoot a gun and there was no indication she had one.
“I’m more than certain that there was no need for a gun to be used (by police) when there was no gunfire coming from the vehicle,” Valarie Carey said. “I don’t know how their protocols are in D.C., but I do know how they are in New York City.”
The shooting is under investigation by the Metropolitan Police Department’s internal affairs division, with assistance from the Secret Service, the Capitol Police and the FBI.
A Secret Service officer was struck by Carey’s car outside the White House and a Capitol Police officer was hurt when his car struck a barricade during the mid-afternoon chase, which ranged roughly over a mile and a half and lasted just a few minutes, officials said.
Carey’s other sister, Amy Carey-Jones, described to reporters the struggles her sibling had with post-partum depression.
“I can tell you that she was a law-abiding citizen, carefree and loving. She had a baby and she did suffer from post-partum depression with psychosis,” Carey-Jones said, adding that her sister had been receiving medication and therapy.
U.S. Looks Weakened, Politically Bankrupt to Rest of the World
The nation from afar appears to be unraveling after the U.S. avoided military action in Syria; and committed political suicide in Washington, D.C., with the government shutdown and possible debt default plunging the world’s financial system into chaos, .
With the weakening of the U.S. in the eyes of world capitals, its allies have the sense that Washington is not as firm as it used to be in its resolve and its financial capacity—which could provide an opening for China or Russia to fill the void, an Asian foreign minister told a group of journalists in New York this week, according to the Huffington Post.
When President Barack Obama canceled travel this weekend to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in Bali and the East Asia Summit in Brunei, concerns only deepened.
“The paralysis of the American government, where a rump in Congress is holding the whole place to ransom, doesn’t really jibe with the notion of the United States as a global leader,” said Michael McKinley, an expert on global relations at the Australian National University.
Europe has been spooked by the political turbulence in Washington and potential economic bombshells still to come over the U.S. government shutdown and a possible debt default this month, according to the head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, who noted that Europe was just rebounding from the 2008 economic downturn.
“We view this recovery as weak, as fragile, as uneven,” Draghi said at a news conference.
“At the moment, Washington is fighting over the budget and nobody knows if the country will still be solvent in three weeks. What is clear, though, is that America is already politically bankrupt,” said Germany’s influential newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
“I think there are a lot of broader concerns about the United States. They aren’t triggered simply by Syria. The reaction the United States had from the start to events in Egypt created a great deal of concern among the Gulf and the Arab states,” said Anthony Cordesman, a military affairs specialist at the Center for International Studies.
According to Danny Yatom, a former director of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service, the U.S. handling of the Syrian crisis and its decision not to attack after declaring red lines on chemical weapons, has hurt Washington’s credibility.
“I think in the eyes of the Syrians and the Iranians, and the rivals of the United States, it was a signal of weakness, and credibility was deteriorated,” he said.
Syrian rebels, who were promised arms by the U.S., feel deserted by the Americans and say they have lost faith and respect for Obama.