Articles Posted in Human Rights

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A Federal District Court has ordered a trial in a wrongful death civil rights case brought by our client, Lena Williams, individual and as administrator of the Estate of her son, the Decedent, Mr. Melvin Williams. On May 14, 2010, an officer of the East Dublin Police Department fatally shot Mr. Melvin Williams.

Plaintiff argued before the District Court that the officer’s conduct was unreasonable and thus violated the constitutional and state law rights of the Decedent. The officer attacked the Decedent, who is heard on the video repeatedly screaming, “what is wrong with you?” Then seconds later, the officer fatally shot the Decedent while standing numerous feet away, and while knowing the Decedent was unarmed. The alleged criminal violation at issue was a “rolled” stop sign about 10 minutes prior to the attack on the Decedent. We dispute that a traffic violation ever occurred because all the independent evidence demonstrates that no traffic violation occurred.

One interesting aspect of the case is that, at the time the officer attacked the Decedent, the officer did not have his general police powers or specific powers of arrest under Georgia law, according to the District Court’s factual findings.

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d74173891.jpgGood Georgia Civil Rights and Government Lawyer Mario Williams’ flash bang case on behalf of our client Treneshia Dukes was featured in the Atlantic magazine this week that you can read here.

Treneshia Dukes was pregnant when a flash bang grenade was thrown on her by the Clayton County Police Department while she was sleeping in bed causing her terrible burns and injuries. Flash bang grenades burn “Hotter than Lava” hence the name of this excellent article by Julia Angwin and Abbie Nehring. (Above photo as featured in the article by Bryan Meltz for ProPublica.)

These flash bang grenades which were originally created for military forces to use in hostage situations, now are common amongst the growing militarization of police. The Clayton County Police, deployed flashbangs on around 80 percent of their raids in the year before her injury, according to records.

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Good Georgia Civil Rights Lawyer Mario Williams received an order from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Robert Kopperud v. Dexter Mabry denying the Defendant’s appeal of the District Court’s denial of summary judgment. The District Court denied qualified and official immunity for Defendant Deputy Sheriff Dexter Mabry who was sued by Robert Kopperud, represented by Mario Williams and Julie Oinonen.

This decision comes on the heels of several other appellate victories by Mario Williams, civil rights lawyer who regularly represents multiple civil rights victims who have been wrongfully killed or catastrophically injured due to civil rights violations such as excessive force.

This Wednesday, Mario Williams will be arguing before the Eleventh Circuit in oral argument on behalf of Delma Jackson who is suing wardens from the Department of Corrections in a retaliation First Amendment claim. Delma Jackson is the wife of a prisoner who has had her visitation to her husband taken away indefinitely as a result of exercising her First Amendment rights concerning issues of prison strike and abuses.

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Good Georgia Serious Injury Civil Rights Lawyer Mario Williams represents Treneshia Dukes, a pregnant woman who was seriously injured with burns when a flash bang grenade landed on her bed while she was sleeping. Just this past week, the AJC reported how the Clayton County police were sued in this case as the media’s focus has been on the use of these flash bang grenades.

Below is a copy of the complaint. It may take a minute to load on the web page but it is worth the read:

First Amended Complaint -T. Dukes by julie9094

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The case of Delma Jackson vs. Wardens from the Department of Corrections involving First Amendment retaliation will be argued before the Eleventh Circuit on Ms. Jackson’s behalf by Mr. Mario Williams this summer. The Defendants appealed the District Court’s order.

Below is a copy of the complaint. It may take a minute to load on the web page but it is worth the read.

Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint – Jackson by julie9094

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black guy.JPGOftentimes, employees come to us because they believe they are being racially discriminated against and subjected to a hostile work environment.

Racial harassment is actionable (which means you can file a lawsuit because of it) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 where the conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of employment and create an abusive working environment. See, e.g., Freeman v. City of Riverdale, 330 F. App’x 863, 865 (11th Cir.2009).

To establish a prima facie case of hostile work environment in the form of racial harassment, an employee must show that (1) he belonged to a protected group; (2) he was subjected to unwelcome harassment; (3) the harassment was based on his race; (4) the harassment was sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the terms and conditions of employment and create a racially abusive work environment; and (5) a basis exists for holding the employer liable. See Miller v. Kenworth of Dothan, Inc., 277 F.3d 1269, 1275 (11th Cir.2002).

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Gilda.jpgGeorgia Education Lawyer was proud to represent our courageous educator, Ms. Gilda Day. Ms. Day won her appeal before the State Board of Education reversing the Floyd County Local Board of Education’s decision to non-renew her. This case has regularly drawn the attention of the front page of the Rome Tribune and can be reviewed here.

Ms. Day’s appeal was drafted by Ms. Julie Oinonen and her partner Mr. Mario Williams of Williams Oinonen LLC. “Providing teachers with procedural due process is a constitutional right and essential to maintain quality teachers in an increasingly difficult and underpaid profession” said Oinonen. “Under the Constitution, the government cannot take away life, liberty or a property interest without due process—it is a constitutional right that not even charter systems are permitted to waive. What due process does is provide teachers with a fair hearing: the right to notice and opportunity to be heard so that a superintendent or administrator cannot unfairly or indiscriminately fire a teacher without just cause, for discriminatory purposes, or simply a personal vendetta. Gilda Day’s courage and bravery has resulted in a victory for teachers throughout our state and a win for Georgia public education that is increasingly under attack by big money, outside interests who seek corporate takeover of our Georgia public schools.”

“Today’s State Board decision stating that charter schools and systems cannot waive the Fair Dismissal Act is a huge win for all teachers,” stated Mike McGonigle, general counsel for the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE). McGonigle was referring to the reversal of the Floyd County Board of Education’s decision that fair dismissal due process rights could be waived by charter schools.

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Good Georgia Civil Rights Lawyer Mario Williams obtained $350,000 for Terrance Dean, a prisoner at Macon State Prison who had been beaten by correctional officers. Mr. Williams, who specializes in wrongful death police misconduct cases filed suit against correctional officers many of whom have been recently indicted for their crimes by the Department of Justice after a GBI and FBI investigation. Several news organizations have featured the story involving this prison abuse incident.

Terrance Dean Civil Rights Prison Abuse Case by julie9094

https://www.scribd.com/doc/155611668/Terrance-Dean-Civil-Rights-Prison-Abuse-Case

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emory.jpgWilliams Oinonen LLC partner Julie Oinonen was recently appointed as a Fellow at the Emory University School of Law Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution.

Previously, Ms. Oinonen has been a Dean’s Teaching Fellow and Post Doctoral Fellow for Emory University School of Law. She is also admitted into the prestigious Order of Emory Advocates, in addition to being awarded the Kathleen Kessler-Eidson Trial Advocacy Award and International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award by Emory University School of Law. Ms. Oinonen has a Masters of Education and Masters of Business Administration graduating Magna Cum Laude. She completed her undergraduate education at Covenant College, a Christian college located on Lookout Mountain, Georgia.

Ms. Oinonen now joins her partner, Mr. Mario Bernard Williams, who is also a Fellow at the Center. Prior to Mr. William’s career as an attorney at Williams Oinonen LLC, he worked in the field of International Human Rights throughout South America. Mr. Williams graduated with honors from Morehouse with a degree in Political Science and has extensive experience with opponent research, policy analysis and political consulting. Additionally, Mr. Williams and Ms. Oinonen have had much success working on opponent research campaigns for elected officials throughout Georgia.

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This is an extremely disturbing video of what happened yesterday in Oakland, California at an Occupy Oakland protest. A young Iraq war veteran named Scott Olsen, age 24, is potentially brain injured thanks to a police officer throwing something that some people are alleging to be a flashbang grenade, i.e. a bomb, into a crowd of people. When a crowd of young people rush to help save him it appears that the police officer throws a second bomb at the crowd. At this point, the police department have issued a press release denying use of flash bang devices but others dispute this.

Flashbang grenades are NOT a non-lethal use of force as some police departments would have you believe. They are deadly. Just this year in Charlotte, North Carolina, a SWAT officer by the name of Fred Thornton was killed when a flash bang grenade exploded as he was securing his equipment in the trunk of his patrol car. Certain city police departments, including the New York City Police Department have banned the use of flash bang grenades because they kill innocent victims.