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No Constitutional Rights for Undocumented Immigrant Accidentally Shot by Police, Says Grand Jury

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There is a landmark case that is being challenged in Southaven, Mississippi, over constitutional rights. Ismael Lopez, an undocumented immigrant, was accidentally shot by police on July 24th, 2017. After a lengthy court battle, a Grand Jury ruled in favor of the city, saying the police officer and city were exempt from any guilt because of the immigration status of the person who was shot. The city argued that Lopez had no constitutional rights due to his undocumented status. The ruling attempts to set a new precedent, claiming that the U.S. Constitution does not protect undocumented persons. Lopez was shot in his mobile home park in Southaven, Mississippi. Police knocked on Lopez’s door by accident, instead of their intended domestic assault suspect, and began shooting. Lopez had already died from a gunshot wound to the head by the time paramedics had arrived.

The Constitution typically protects people under these circumstances. The Fourth Amendment protects U.S. citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures, and the Fourteenth Amendment provides equal protection for all citizens under the law. The attorney for the police officer involved in the shooting as well as the city, Katherine Kirby, successfully argued that Lopez lacked protections under these amendments. The Lopez family attorney, Wells, has argued that all people on United States territory have constitutional rights, giving Lopez rights through the 14th Amendment.

A motion from court documents explained this idea, stating that Ismael Lopez’s lack of citizenship in the United States when he was shot voids these rights. As a result, it said, there was no legal grounds for this case based on his status as undocumented. Lopez was a 41-year old auto mechanic who also mentored teens and fixed friends and neighbors’ cars for free.

The family of Lopez filed a civil action lawsuit in response to the jury’s decision and is seeking $20 million in damages for his wrongful death. The civil lawsuit was filed in June 2019. Attorneys have stated that Claudia Linares, Lopez’s widow, will be unable to sue due to her status as an undocumented immigrant. Murray Wells, the attorney for Linare, says that this interpretation of the Constitution that excludes non-citizen residents impedes the process of due process and for what the Constitution stands. He continues by saying that he was disgusted by the decision of the Grand Jury. Attorneys also accused Linares of not actually being married to Lopez, which was disproved by her attorneys when they filed her 2003 marriage certificate. There has been controversy over the city’s accusations towards Linares and her lawyer asked the judge to consider sanctioning the city for their actions.

“This could lead to a slippery slope effect that could affect similar cases. Such a ruling goes against past rulings that state that all persons in the United States, including undocumented immigrants, are protected by the U.S. constitution,” says immigration attorney Natalia Segermeister of Price Benowitz LLP. This controversial ruling could potentially be sanctioned under Federal rules of procedure.

A multi-lingual talent head, Jimmy is fluent in languages such as Spanish, Russian, Italian, and many more. He has a special curiosity for the events and stories revolving in and around US and caters an uncompromising form of journalistic standard for the audiences.

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Brilliant Artist and Activist, Hillary Raimo Captures the Essence of our Social Climate in her latest piece entitled “Apparition”

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“Hillary has a brilliant mind that is focused on healing and consciousness, and she is drawing together some of the most meaningful teachers and thinkers of our time.” – Barbara Hand Clow, internationally acclaimed ceremonial teacher, author, and Mayan Calendar researcher.

Raised in part by her activist grandparents, who were Quakers, it would be natural to assume that Hillary Raimo would automatically have a sense of activism herself, and a curiosity for truth, running through her veins. And, after discovering the inner-being of a woman who is well on her way of becoming an artistic icon in her own right, it is clear to see that she is by all means a truth-seeker. Raimo is a breath of fresh air in that she is incredibly open-minded and finds value in all perspectives; compiling all information to form a true, educated opinion that she whole-heartedly calls her own. Raimo is not only a gifted artist, painter and photographer, but a businesswoman who is a licensed NYS real-estate and insurance agent, radio broadcaster, producer and writer. She has traveled the globe and has had the opportunity to immerse herself into ancient cultures and religions. She has accumulated a lifetime of experiences derived from many diverse civilizations, and people, and has wondrously added the countless number of perspectives into her various collections of art.

A recent luxury that Raimo has had the pleasure of experiencing is to work alongside Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Essdras M. Suarez. As she now opens up her schedule to collaborations, mentoring, commissions and curating Raimo’s mentoring, partnered with her high-level business skills, will surely make her a valuable resource to many. As an already well-known artist in New York, Raimo’s works have been featured in NYC galleries including the Salmagundi Club in Manhattan, the Spring Street Gallery in Saratoga and is regularly featured in the traveling exhibits of the Schenectady Photographic Society. Raimo, noticed and celebrated for her ability to translate a wide range of realities and issues of today’s social climate, into beautiful works of art, has quickly become a highly sought-after artist, by collectors, and has inspired many up-and-coming artists.

Raimo, IrishRoots Photograph 2019.

And now, the esteemed honor, of being chosen as 1 of 25 women artists from NJ, NY and Pennsylvania whose work will be highlighted at “The Space Between: Questions of Place in Times of Uncertainty” for the Women’s Caucus for Art New York Chapter (WCA NYC), has been given to Hillary Raimo.  The exhibit, held from September 5th – September 26th, in the Alfa Gallery in NJ, will be open as an all-media exhibition and was formed in an effort to build bridges between certain regions, focusing on women artists living in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. A diverse female audience, was encouraged, in order to empower voices who are often suppressed. This unique display of art, that is a diversified assortment of work by women artists from a variety of backgrounds, will shed light on new viewpoints of the connection between female identity, circumstances and the environment, placing value on the foundation of space, in an ever-changing, uncertain climate where public skepticism has become an inherent concern. As this exhibit began with multiple ideas for themes, it ultimately was decided that “The Space Between” was the necessary choice to provide interesting interpretations of our current position and was juried by Jeanne Brasile, Director of the Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey.

As Hillary Raimo herself is quite open to all interpretations with a true appreciation of viewpoints far from her own, observers of her selected photograph, Apparition, are in for a true delight. Her eye for art is refreshing, captivating and inspiring. As her work is highlighted at this current exhibit it is important to note that the exhibition overall will allow audiences the opportunity to pinpoint patterns between women’s circumstances and their surroundings on both an individual and a collective level. For those eager to learn more about Raimo, or collaborate with her, she is eager to help you get to the next level. With 20 years of guiding clients to a higher consciousness Raimo is the perfect guide to take you on your next meaningful journey! And, to follow her on her exciting journey, subscribe to #YinRadioTV.

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