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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.


This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Jasmine Crockett HUMILIATES Jim Jordan For Not Knowing The Law

Photographer Breaks Down HISTORIC Trump Assassination Attempt Photos

How the Israeli Hostage Rescue Led to One of Gaza’s Deadliest Days - The New York Times

How the Israeli Hostage Rescue Led to One of Gaza’s Deadliest Days




"A firefight amid a recovery mission. At least 19 Israeli airstrikes. Scores of Palestinians killed. A Times visual analysis shows how the June 8 operation had such a high toll.

Methodology

The Times verified and analyzed more than 60 user-generated videos, wire footage taken in Nuseirat on June 8 and footage captured by a Times reporter in Nuseirat showing damage to structures. Reporters geolocated the sites, cross referencing the videos with damage visible in satellite images taken on June 1, June 7, June 9 and June 10 to map both the strike locations and buildings damaged or destroyed by the June 8 operation.

The analysis concluded that there were at least 19 strikes and at least 42 buildings damaged or destroyed. Because the map zooms to areas with the largest cluster of strikes and damaged or destroyed buildings, the total numbers are not visible in the article.

The Times also used the videos to map where victims’ bodies were seen after the June 8 operation. The videos and images shown in the article were provided to The Times by witnesses, taken by a Times reporter in Gaza, publicly released by the Israeli military and police, posted on social media or distributed by newswires. Some of these videos were verified by The Times after their sites were first geolocated by online analysts, including fdov and Anno Nemo.

The satellite image used as the base map for the article was captured on June 10 by Planet Labs."

How the Israeli Hostage Rescue Led to One of Gaza’s Deadliest Days - The New York Times

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Dismissal of Trump Documents Case Brings New Scrutiny to Judge Aileen Cannon - The New York Times

Dismissal Brings New Scrutiny to Judge With a History of Unorthodox Decisions



"Judge Aileen Cannon’s rulings in the documents case had fueled questions about favoritism and legal acumen even before she threw out the charges that Donald Trump had mishandled classified documents.

Even before her bombshell decision on Monday to dismiss former President Donald J. Trump’s classified documents case, Judge Aileen M. Cannon had made any number of unorthodox rulings.

In fact, since Judge Cannon took control of the case in June 2023, many of her decisions have been so outside the norm that they have fueled intense criticism of her legal acumen, stoked questions about favoritism toward Mr. Trump and slowed the documents case sufficiently that it would not come to trial before Election Day.

Still, almost no one, including some defense lawyers working on the case, expected Judge Cannon to throw out the charges against Mr. Trump by ruling that Jack Smith, the special counsel who filed the indictment, had been unconstitutionally appointed to his job — especially on the first day of the Republican National Convention.

The ruling upended 25 years of Justice Department procedure for naming and governing special counsels and called into question decisions by previous courts reaching back to the Watergate era.

“The very definition of an activist judge, she has single-handedly upended three decades of established law historically used fairly and in a bipartisan manner,” said Joëlle Anne Moreno, a law professor at Florida International University.

From the moment that Judge Cannon was assigned to the case, there were questions about her ability to handle it. She took control of one of the most significant prosecutions in American history, rife with legal and political complexities, even though she had been a judge for less than four years and had extremely limited experience in overseeing criminal trials.

On top of all that, the main defendant was the president who had nominated her to the federal bench.

Her colleagues in the Southern District of Florida were concerned enough about her stewardship of the case that not just one, but two of them approached her early in her tenure and asked her to consider stepping back and handing off the matter to another federal judge.

One of the jurists — the chief judge of the district — suggested it would be inappropriate for Judge Cannon to continue on the case because of a ruling she had made in Mr. Trump’s favor in a related civil case after the F.B.I. had searched Mar-a-Lago, the former president’s private club and residence in Florida, in August 2022.

In a move that drew national scrutiny and criticism, Judge Cannon intervened in the civil case and barred the Justice Department from using any of the documents that agents seized from Mar-a-Lago in their inquiry until an independent arbiter had sorted through them for any that were privileged.

That decision was quickly reversed in a stinging ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, which said she never had legal authority to get involved in the first place.

Over and over, throughout her handling of the documents case in Federal District Court in Fort Pierce, Fla., Judge Cannon has made similarly unusual decisions, often showing a willingness to grant a serious audience to some of the former president’s most far-fetched defense claims.

She has also repeatedly scheduled hearings in court to debate issues that many federal judges would have dealt with on the merits of written filings alone. And that has made it all but certain that the case will not reach a jury until well after the election in November — one of Mr. Trump’s overarching legal and political objectives.

Many legal experts questioned Judge Cannon’s decision to hold a hearing last month on the issue of Mr. Smith’s appointment, arguing that several courts reaching back to the Watergate era had already upheld the legality of independent prosecutors.

The hearing was even odder, the experts pointed out, because the judge allowed outside parties who had filed friend-of-the-court briefs to address her directly for up to 30 minutes — a practice that rarely takes place at the trial level and is more common in appellate-level courts like the Supreme Court.

Entertaining direct arguments from these outside parties was a signal that she was taking Mr. Trump’s motion to dismiss on the appointments question seriously, Joel S. Johnson, an associate professor at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, said last month before the hearing.

Judge Cannon has her defenders. She approached the question of the constitutionality of the special counsel appointment with the thorough preparation of a circuit judge, said Josh Blackman, a law professor at South Texas College of Law Houston who argued against the legality of the special counsel before her at the hearing last month.

“I’ve rarely seen a district court judge this well prepared,” Mr. Blackman said. “She knew the cases, she knew the statutes and I suspect she had already written most of that opinion already.”

Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor in the Justice Department’s public integrity section, said that even though Judge Cannon’s ruling on Monday was unusual and rejected by other judges, it is also defensible in the context of recent Supreme Court decisions.

He cited the court’s decision granting Mr. Trump substantial immunity for actions he took in office and other decisions as “legal doctrine that upsets settled principles on separations of power and presidential accountability.” In a concurring opinion in the immunity decision, Justice Clarence Thomas had called for re-examining the legality of the appointment of special counsels.

But the hearing and decision on Mr. Smith’s appointment were hardly the only unusual moves by Judge Cannon.

In one of the more striking aspects of her handling of the case, Judge Cannon has ignored a common practice in the Southern District of Florida, where she sits, of trial judges passing off routine motions to the magistrate judge attached to a case.

Judge Cannon has not delegated any motions to the magistrate judge in this case, Bruce E. Reinhart. And Judge Reinhart knows the case well: He approved the search warrant used by the F.B.I. two years ago when agents descended on Mar-a-Lago and hauled away a trove of classified material that is central to the case.

This spring, in another unusual move, Judge Cannon ordered the defense and the prosecution to write dueling instructions for the jury that seemed to take for granted one of Mr. Trump’s most far-fetched defense claims: that he could not be tried for holding on to a trove of classified documents because he had designated the materials in question to be his own personal property under a law known as the Presidential Records Act.

By appearing to adopt the former president’s contentious position on the act, Judge Cannon seemed to be nudging any eventual jurors toward acquitting Mr. Trump or even leaving open the possibility that she herself could acquit the former president near the end of the proceeding by declaring that the government had failed to prove its case.

“I have never seen a case where one would contemplate giving the jury alternative instructions: ‘Decide the case on this hypothetical scenario and then answer the question in an alternative understanding of the law,’” said Margaret Kwoka, a professor at Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law.

Judge Cannon has rarely issued rulings in the documents case that have been longer than 15 or 20 pages, and has often made decisions without revealing much about her legal reasoning.

But her order on Monday dismissing the case because of Mr. Smith’s appointment was 93 pages and full of a sweeping tour of historical events reaching back through the Watergate affair to the Teapot Dome scandal of the 1920s.

“It’s significant that this 90-plus-page decision is more erudite with more traditional citations than some of Judge Cannon’s other opinions,” said Mr. Butler, the former federal prosecutor.

Frustrations with Judge Cannon have been mounting for months among members of Mr. Smith’s team, including one of his top deputies, David Harbach, who has twice lost his temper with the judge during hearings in her courtroom.

It is likely that prosecutors will appeal this ruling in particular to the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, which issued the rebuke against Judge Cannon two years ago over her decision about a special master.

Alan Morrison, a professor at George Washington Law School, said the order to dismiss the case on Monday may end up having a positive outcome for Mr. Smith.

“He can now take an appeal and when he prevails, he can ask the court to reassign the case to another judge,” Mr. Morrison said.

“Of course, it was clear a long time ago that she would never allow the case to be tried before Election Day — if ever,” Mr. Morrison added. “And so this order does nothing to impact the trial date adversely, in the real world.”

Dismissal of Trump Documents Case Brings New Scrutiny to Judge Aileen Cannon - The New York Times

Monday, July 15, 2024

NEW DETAILS on Trump Rally Shooter REVEALED…

Judge Dismisses Classified Documents Case Against Trump - The New York Times

Judge Dismisses Classified Documents Case Against Trump

"Judge Aileen Cannon ruled that the entire case should be thrown out because the appointment of the special counsel who brought the case, Jack Smith, had violated the Constitution. Her decision is sure to be appealed.

The courthouse in Fort Pierce, Fla., where Judge Aileen M. Cannon is hearing the classified documents case.Saul Martinez for The New York Times

Sign up for the Trump on Trial newsletter.  The latest news and analysis on the trials of Donald Trump in New York, Florida, Georgia and Washington, D.C.

A federal judge dismissed in its entirety the classified documents case against former President Donald J. Trump on Monday, ruling that the appointment of the special counsel, Jack Smith, had violated the Constitution.

In a stunning ruling, the judge, Aileen M. Cannon, found that because Mr. Smith had not been named to the post of special counsel by the president or confirmed by the Senate, his appointment was in violation of the appointments clause of the Constitution.

The ruling by Judge Cannon, who was put on the bench by Mr. Trump, flew in the face of previous court decisions reaching back to the Watergate era that upheld the legality of the ways in which independent prosecutors have been named. And in a single swoop, it removed a major legal threat against Mr. Trump on the first day of the Republican National Convention, where he is set to formally become the party’s nominee for president.

Mr. Smith’s team will almost certainly appeal the ruling by Judge Cannon throwing out the classified documents indictment, which charges Mr. Trump with illegally holding onto a trove of highly sensitive state secrets after he left office and then obstructing the government’s repeated efforts to retrieve them.

Alan Feuer covers extremism and political violence for The Times, focusing on the criminal cases involving the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and against former President Donald J. Trump.  More about Alan Feuer"

Judge Dismisses Classified Documents Case Against Trump - The New York Times

Saturday, July 13, 2024

How Charles Holman discovered the Bushes’ ancestors had enslaved his family - The Washington Post

A stunning find in his family tree: The Bushes’ ancestors enslaved his relatives

(America is still covering up it's barbaric history)

“It was the coming together of things that I had been looking for for years,” Charles Holman said.

Charles Holman's research into his genealogy turned up connections to the ancestors of President George H.W. Bush. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

Charles Holman had been researching his family tree for more than half a century when he stumbled upon a piece of information that left him slack-jawed.

Holman, 66 and African American, had spent much of his life collecting loose threads — stories passed down through the generations, birth and death certificates, centuries-old bills of sale, Census Bureau records, and DNA matches. His training as a lawyer had taught him to be thorough, and his gentle manner had won over strangers through letters and emails and in person. He had connected with distant relatives both Black and White, who had helped him weave a family tapestry that mirrored America’s complicated and fraught racial history.

Along the way, he had attended a gathering of White relatives who shared his name and whose ancestors had enslaved his. He had visited the sites of three plantations where his forebears had toiled without recompense. He had stood in cramped quarters where some of his enslaved ancestors had probably lived, trying to sense the spirit of those who had slept there.

The discoveries had changed the way Holman saw himself, his family and his place in American history.

Do-it-yourself genealogical research like Holman’s is a popular pastime for many Americans. But for those whose ancestors were enslaved, the task is made difficult, if not impossible, by recordkeeping that often consists of only a first name scribbled in a property ledger.

Holman has had “more success than most,” said CeCe Moore, a genetic genealogist who has worked with him.

Then a couple of years ago, working in his study in Maryland, Holman says he came upon a Kentucky newspaper article from 1992 about a family whose ranks then included one U.S. president and soon would add another. The article identified ancestors of then-President George H.W. Bush dating to before the American Revolution, and Holman recognized the names of Bush’s great-great-grandmother and her parents. They matched names on deeds and inheritance records Holman had already found.

The Bushes’ ancestors, Holman says he realized, had enslaved his own.

“It was the coming together of things that I had been looking for for years,” he said.

Holman had received warm receptions from some other White families he had found in his research, and each meeting had left him feeling “a high of the greatest order.”

Perhaps, he thought, members of the former first family would be willing to meet with him as well. Nervous and excited, he sat down to write to them. He knew it was unlikely the Bushes would respond, but he would never forgive himself for not trying.

Holman’s passion for family genealogy started in 1968, when his fifth-grade teacher in Lansing, Mich., gave an assignment: “Go home and ask who your ancestors were before coming to the United States.” The next day, one student stood up and said his family had come from France to seek their fortune; another spoke of relatives arriving around the time of the Mayflower.

Holman, the only Black student in the class, had nothing to share. His ancestors had been enslaved, and his parents didn’t know the details.

“I felt a little bit like the kid who comes to school without lunch money and has to watch the other kids eating all this great food,” Holman said.

The teacher’s question, and Holman’s inability to answer it, made him determined to construct the kind of family history for himself that many White Americans take for granted.

Black Americans often hit a wall when trying to chronicle more than three or four generations of family history, said Briayna Cuffie, co-founder of Reparations 4 Slavery, a website that provides information on racism and reparations. Records of ancestors before the 1870 Census, the first decennial count after slavery was abolished, are difficult to find, she said. Enslaved people often didn’t have surnames and didn’t always show up in wills and estate documents.

“Black people have to piece together where they were and who they came from, whereas a lot of White people always had that information,” Cuffie said.

Holman also encountered another common stumbling block: resistance from family elders to speaking of a painful period in history. His father and stepfather helped fill in some information, but others didn’t want to talk about the past. Some only vaguely recalled stories passed down by long-dead grandparents.

Holman’s grandfather initially resisted sharing that his own grandfather had been a White enslaver. “He didn’t want to let that out,” he said.

He knew his maternal great-grandfather, Moses Clark, had been enslaved, but his mother was born after Clark died, and she and her seven siblings hadn’t asked their elders many questions about slavery. Holman learned that a 1911 book titled “Beacon Lights of the Race” mentioned Clark, but the pages about him were missing in his aunt’s copy.

But he didn’t give up. In 1973, at 16, he sat in the front row for a lecture in his hometown by the author Alex Haley, who spoke of a book he was working on called “Roots” and gave tips on researching African American genealogy.

While attending the University of Michigan, Holman rode a Greyhound bus to Jackson, Mich., to visit his father’s parents, who told him about his great-great-grandmother, America Granderson Thomas. Holman learned that as a young enslaved woman in the 1850s, she escaped Kentucky by boarding a train disguised as a White woman in mourning, her features obscured by a sunbonnet and a heavy veil. The Quakers helping her had warned her to speak to no one so her cadences wouldn’t give her away; when a man on the train tried to chat, she answered in clipped yeses and noes.

As Holman uncovered more such stories, his hunger grew. One night, studying in a university library, he found an intact copy of “Beacon Lights of the Race,” which said his mother’s grandfather, Moses Clark, had been enslaved in Arkansas and freed in 1862 by U.S. Gen. Samuel Curtis after a Civil War battle there. The book included a photograph of Clark.

As a child, Holman had seen the portrait on the wall of his grandmother’s home and been frightened of the stern face at the top of the stairs. Now, he read about Clark’s life as an enslaved man, how he had been trained as a barber and went on to become a lawyer, magistrate, justice of the peace, Masonic leader and newspaper editor.

He checked out the book and called his parents with the news. “From that moment on, I changed my mind about becoming a dentist and decided to study law,” he said. “It literally changed the course of my life.”

Not everyone was helpful. In 1985, Holman, now a young lawyer, visited South Carolina and found the names of ancestors who had been enslaved by a White family who shared his surname. After adding his name to a roster at the South Carolina Historical Society, he was contacted by a Holman in Georgia. Were they related, the man wanted to know. They were. “My ancestors were enslaved by our mutual ancestors,” Holman recalled telling him. “That man dropped me like a potato.”

Others surprised him with kindness. In 1995, after learning that some ancestors had been enslaved on a plantation near Harrodsburg, Ky., he contacted its caretaker, who invited Holman to visit the remains of the original plantation. He saw stones in the graveyard, some whose names had worn away, some just rocks no one had bothered to engrave.

A week or two later the property’s owner, Cincinnati philanthropist Ralph Anderson, asked Holman to return. Anderson and his wife, Ruth, who have since died, had restored the mansion along with several nearby plantations they began purchasing in the 1960s. They invited Holman to stay in the mansion, but on the first night he chose to sleep in the guesthouse, to be closer to where his family had been.

“The caretaker gave me one of the bricks of the old house from the 1700s and some nails,” he said. “I would have taken that over a million dollars, just to have something tangible that went back to the time of my ancestors.”

He came away energized. What else from his family’s lost history, he wondered, might he unearth?

After taking a DNA test through Ancestry.com, Holman found another White relative: Larry Holman, a retired engineer of Vicksburg, Miss. The two spoke and confirmed they had a common ancestor and belonged on the same family tree.

“There’s no doubting it, so why not accept it?” Larry, 73, said in an interview.

In 2015, Larry invited Charles Holman to a gathering near Blackville, S.C., where family members planned to unveil a historic marker to a bridge that Larry and Charles’s common ancestor, John Holman, had built in the early 1800s. John Holman was Charles’s great-great-great-grandfather, referred to as a third-great-grandfather; he was Larry’s fourth-great-grandfather.

Charles Holman hesitated. A few months earlier, a white supremacist had killed nine Black churchgoers in a Charleston church known for its civil rights organizing. Would Holman be safe, on a rural patch of land surrounded by White Southerners who might resent learning of their blood ties to an African American stranger?

But each leap Holman had taken on his research journey had brought him closer to answering his teacher’s question, and his own. He got in his car and drove.

On a dusty South Carolina road near the site where the bridge had been, he stood among 60 or so White people. One man was wearing a T-shirt with a Confederate flag on it, and a woman, unrelated to the Holmans, invited the group to sing “Dixie.”

This was land where his ancestors had been enslaved until federal troops burned the plantation house in February 1865, Holman said he had learned.

Larry Holman stepped up to address the group. Everyone should take a DNA test, he told the gathered family. Then he introduced Charles Holman as his cousin.

“It was not a secret when I was a child” that their family had Black relatives, though they seldom spoke of it, said Lynn Teague, 75, a retired archaeologist, who was among those at the gathering.

“While most people were not anything you’d call effusive, I think people were very glad to see him [Charles Holman], because I think there is a long-standing underlying feeling with a lot of people that this is a fracture that they would rather see healed,” she said.

Over the next few years, Holman took more DNA tests and found more relatives. He took courses on genetic genealogy and worked with Moore, a DNA expert on “Finding Your Roots,” Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s PBS series about researching one’s family tree, to confirm his findings. This type of research has become more common, Moore said, but she called Holman a “pioneer” among Black Americans researching their family lines to before the Civil War.

Through estate records and Civil War soldier pension records, Holman tracked down a man in Brooks, Ky., whose ancestors had enslaved his. The man, Michael Robison, sent Holman copies of records he had found in his late grandmother’s trunk.

Reading them chilled Holman. There was an 1817 bill of sale for the purchase of his third-great-grandfather Darby Granderson. A trader had been hired to take Granderson and other enslaved people from Kentucky to Louisiana to be sold. They wore ragged clothes and no shoes; a pregnant woman died along the way, the documents showed.

Robison, 70, still remembers how his great-grandparents remained bitter about the Civil War’s outcome and the end of slavery. “They were of that generation that could not get by it,” he said.

He invited Holman to visit, and they toured the plantation, still owned by a relative of Robison’s, where, according to the bill of sale from the trunk, Robison’s ancestors had enslaved his. Holman took photos standing in the narrow doorway of a one-room brick structure that may have housed his relatives. Connecting with Holman felt, Robison told The Washington Post, like a way to start atoning.

Then, in April 2022, Holman received a trove of documents from the Filson Historical Society in Louisville about an enslaver named Peter G. Foree, a physician and large landowner in Anchorage, Ky.

He had already seen Foree’s estate inventory, which included Holman’s third-great-grandfather Robert Thomas; his wife, Winny; and some of their children. One of their children was Holman’s great-great-grandfather Robert Anderson Thomas, and DNA tests had confirmed Holman’s relationship with descendants of two more, including Robert Anderson Thomas’s sister, Susan, who was moved out of state when she was 6 years old and never saw her parents again.

Then he opened a file that included a 1992 article from the Kentucky Advocate. The headline read, “President George Bush has Kentucky connections.”

Holman welled up with excitement as he read about George Herbert Walker Bush’s ancestors who had moved from Virginia to Kentucky in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Among the president’s direct ancestors were Peter G. Foree and his daughter Lucretia Green Foree Holliday.

To Holman, it felt like a breakthrough.

“It was one of the greatest moments in my life,” he said.

According to Charles Holman’s research,

members of the Foree family, George W. Bush

and George H.W. Bush’s ancestors, enslaved

members of the Thomas family,

Holman’s ancestors.

Elizabeth G. 

Dawson

John James

Holliday

Lucretia

Green Foree

America

Granderson

Robert Anderson

Thomas

James Hutchenson

Wear

Nancy Eliza

Holliday

John W.

Belford

George Herbert

Walker

Charles F.

Holman Sr.

Prescott Sheldon

Bush Sr.

Charles F.

Holman Jr.

George H.W.

Bush

Barbara J.

Pierce

Charles F.

Holman III

Sources: Ancestry.com, Charles Holman research

CHIQUI ESTEBAN/THE WASHINGTON POST

The lineage of one of America’s most accomplished political dynasties dates back to colonial times and includes some well-known enslavers. The most notorious stories center on Thomas Walker, George H.W. Bush’s third-great-grandfather, who was associated with at least 11 slaving voyages to West Africa, according to various news reports.

The Post was unable to find instances of the Bush family directly addressing their ancestors’ connection to slavery, and members of the Bush family and their representatives didn’t respond to multiple letters, emails and phone calls from The Post about Holman or their ancestors’ relationship to slavery.

The Post reached a Bush family friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss a private conversation. That friend said they spoke with a member of the Bush family about The Post’s inquiries. The family member referred questions to a 2023 statement on the topic given to another news outlet, the family friend said.

Responding to a Reuters investigation last year into the slaveholding past of U.S. political elites that connected George W. Bush to Peter G. Foree, the former president’s chief of staff said in a statement: “As President Bush said at the dedication of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, ‘A great Nation does not hide its history; it faces its flaws and corrects them.’”

Katharine O’Connell, a forensic genealogist whom The Post contacted to review Holman’s research, said her independent investigation corroborated his findings that the Bushes’ ancestors owned his, by tracing the Bush family line through census records and other documents, including the Peter G. Foree estate inventory.

Considering how hard it can be for African Americans to trace their family roots to pre-Civil War times, she said, “I think the fact that he was able to put this together was pretty amazing.”

After making his findings, Holman sent letters to George W. Bush; Jeb Bush; Laura Bush, who is listed as a member of the Museum Council of the National Museum of African American History and Culture; and Jenna Bush Hager, co-host of “Today With Hoda & Jenna,” which has featured the series “Finding Your Roots.”

But Holman said he hasn’t received any replies.

His cousin Laura Ingersol, a retired Baltimore pastor, also wrote to George W. Bush in January 2023, asking for material related to their families’ intersecting history. “Learning as much as we can about our ancestors helps us to understand some of the stories passed down through our family and ultimately, something about our own character,” she wrote.

She received a response from his chief of staff, Freddy Ford, that was cordial but unambiguous: “Unfortunately, our office doesn’t possess any ancestral records or have access to any materials about the families you mention. Therefore, we regret that we can’t be of assistance.” Ford didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment.

Holman says he hasn’t given up.

In February, he visited the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives in Frankfort, where he found an 1847 document depicting the fracturing of his family, when his third-great-grandparents Winny and Robert and their children were divided up among Peter G. Foree’s widow and children.

As he read the 19th-century curlicue calligraphy, his heart pounded.

“Negro Boy, James, valued at $550” and “Negro Girl, Susan, valued at $250” were bequeathed to Lucretia, one of Foree’s daughters. Another daughter, Eliza, inherited “Negro Boy, Anderson, valued at $500.” That was Robert Anderson Thomas, Holman’s great-great-grandfather. Foree’s widow got Holman’s third-great-grandparents: “Bob,” valued at $400, and “Negro Woman Winny and her Child Cucinda” for whom no value was assigned, “the Woman being diseased and likely to be a charge.”

Holman then drove to Anchorage, an affluent Louisville suburb where the old Foree residence still stands. He strained to feel some connection to this spot where his great-great-grandfather Robert Anderson Thomas, born into slavery in 1833, had grown up.

“That window in the old house could have been, or maybe wasn’t, where my great-great-great-grandmother Winny was when she was the cook,” he said.

Holman also recently tracked down his fifth-grade teacher, Tamara Lobsinger, now 83, and gave her a call.

When she had given the fifth-grade class assignment, he told her, “I didn’t have anything to say. So I’ve spent the rest of my life [finding] out who these ancestors were, and I have to tell you that after all these years I’ve fully completed the assignment. I wanted, above all, to say thank you.”

When he hung up the phone, he felt a sense of peace, he said. “I just sat in my leather recliner for a good 30 minutes, just soaking it in.”

After multiple attempts to reach the Bushes, Holman says he realizes he may never hear from them. But he treasures the connections with the people who have responded, and the stories he has heard about ancestors he never knew.

One of his favorites, told by his grandmother, is a childhood escapade of Robert Anderson Thomas, who was owned as a little boy by Peter G. Foree, George H.W. Bush’s fourth-great-grandfather, according to Holman and O’Connell’s research.

“The story was that [Robert Anderson Thomas’s mother, Winny] made some cherry pies for the enslaver’s wife, George Bush’s ancestor, and she put the cherry pies on the windowsill to cool. And Robert Anderson Thomas, my great-great-grandfather, saw the pies, could smell them, but knew he would never be able to have a taste of it. They were pies for George Bush’s ancestor, but he was a child and he couldn’t resist. And so he devised an idea that if he could take a straw to the top of the pie, he could suck out the juice and savor some of the pie’s flavor, which he did. And he was undetected. But later, when his mother was serving pies to George Bush’s ancestors, the slaveholder’s wife ... remarked that these were the driest cherry pies she had ever eaten. And he thought it was so funny that decades later, well after he’d escaped and slavery had long been over, he told this story to my grandmother.”

Holman smiled. “I can’t tell the story like she told it, and I’m sure she couldn’t tell it as funny as he could. But 50 years after [her grandfather] was dead, my grandmother still remembered that story.”

It’s a tale, he said, he would love to share with the Bush family.

Story editing by Ryan Bacic and Renae Merle. Julie Zauzmer Weil, Magda Jean-Louis and Razzan Nakhlawi contributed to this report. Photo editing by Mark Miller. Copy editing by Anne Kenderdine and Shay Quillen."

How Charles Holman discovered the Bushes’ ancestors had enslaved his family - The Washington Post

‘Signs of Scorching Prejudice’ Doomed the Case Against Alec Baldwin for ‘Rust’ Shooting - The New York Times

‘Signs of Scorching Prejudice’ Doomed the Case Against Alec Baldwin

"A high-pressure manslaughter case against a movie star turned into an interrogation of the prosecution’s conduct.

A woman is surrounded by cameras and microphones outside of a building.
Kari T. Morrissey, the lead special prosecutor, decided to take the witness stand herself to defend how she handled evidence in the case against Alec Baldwin.Pool photo by Luis Sanchez Saturno/The New Mexican

While dismissing the involuntary manslaughter case against Alec Baldwin on Friday, the judge did not hold back.

She delivered a searing criticism of the prosecution and state law enforcement officials who oversaw the case, declaring that they had intentionally and deliberately withheld from the defense evidence related to the fatal shooting on the set of the film “Rust.”

“If this conduct does not rise to the level of bad faith, it certainly comes so near to bad faith as to show signs of scorching prejudice,” Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer said.

The judge’s decision to end the case against Mr. Baldwin — without the option for the prosecutors to revive it — was the conclusion of a shocking day at the Santa Fe County Courthouse, in which a high-pressure trial against a movie star turned into an interrogation of the prosecution’s conduct. And it came after a series of missteps by different teams of prosecutors left Mr. Baldwin in legal limbo for more than two years.

Shortly before the case was thrown out, the lead prosecutor, Kari T. Morrissey, took the unusual step of calling herself to the witness stand to defend how she handled the situation when a batch of live rounds with a possible connection to the “Rust” shooting was brought to the local sheriff’s office in March.

Law enforcement officials testified on Friday that they had inventoried the evidence under a separate case number from other “Rust” evidence. Defense lawyers said they were not told about the ammunition despite asking for all ballistic evidence in the case.

It has never been certain how live ammunition got onto the set of “Rust,” resulting in the death of the movie’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, a rising talent with a young son who was killed on Oct. 21, 2021, when a gun Mr. Baldwin was rehearsing with suddenly fired. The defense had argued that the provenance of the live rounds, which were supposed to be banned on the set, was a more important question than how Mr. Baldwin was handling the gun when it fired.

It is unclear whether the evidence that was withheld would have changed the course of Mr. Baldwin’s case, but Judge Marlowe Sommer found that its suppression had meant that the defense was “not in a position to test the state’s theory as to the source of the live rounds.”

Outside the courthouse, Ms. Morrissey said that she respected the judge’s ruling but still believed that the “importance of the evidence was misconstrued by the defense attorneys.”

“There is absolutely no evidence,” she said, “that any of that ammunition is related to the incident involving Ms. Hutchins.”

While dismissing the case, Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer said, “If this conduct does not rise to the level of bad faith, it certainly comes so near to bad faith as to show signs of scorching prejudice.”Pool photo by Ross D Franklin/EPA, via Shutterstock

It was far from the first time that Mr. Baldwin’s lawyers have complained about the state’s conduct.

The original manslaughter charge against Mr. Baldwin, which carried more potential jail time, was downgraded because it was filed under a law that did not exist at the time of the fatal shooting. It was later dropped altogether as prosecutors considered forensic evidencesurrounding the gun.

The defense also objected to the fact that the original special prosecutor overseeing the case, Andrea Reeb, was serving as a state legislator at the same time, saying it violated the State Constitution. (In an email later made public, she wrote that her involvement in the case “might help in my campaign lol.”) She stepped down, and a new prosecution team led by Ms. Morrissey took over.

In the months before the trial, the actor’s lawyers sought to get the case dismissed several times, accusing prosecutors of improperly presenting the case to the grand jury and noting that F.B.I. testing broke internal components of the gun.

None of the arguments stuck — Judge Marlowe Sommer found that the state had been within the law each time — until the revelations about the withheld evidence.

“You’ve given them more than enough opportunities, your honor,” Luke Nikas, one of Mr. Baldwin’s lawyers, told the judge in court on Friday. “This is not the first time, it’s not the second time, it’s not even the third time. It’s time for this case to be dismissed.”

Tensions had long been high between Ms. Morrissey and Mr. Baldwin’s lawyers. While Ms. Morrissey was on the stand on Friday, things got even more personal.

“The truth of this matter is, you don’t like Mr. Baldwin very much, do you?” another of the actor’s lawyers, Alex Spiro, asked her.

“That is absolutely untrue,” Ms. Morrissey replied. “I actually really appreciate Mr. Baldwin’s movies. I really appreciated the acting that he did on ‘Saturday Night Live.’ And I really appreciate his politics.”

Ms. Morrissey said she really appreciated Mr. Baldwin’s acting on “Saturday Night Live” and his politics.Pool photo by Eddie Moore

When the case was dismissed, Mr. Baldwin, who was facing up to 18 months in prison, wept, embraced his wife, Hilaria, and left the courtroom. His lawyers have said that since the shooting he had lost “numerous job opportunities and associated income.” He put his estate in the Hamptons up for sale. And he recently announced that he would be doing a reality show on TLC with his wife and their seven children.

The judge’s decision on Friday centered on ammunition that a man named Troy Teske brought to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office on the day that the “Rust” armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. She had loaded a live round into the gun before it was handed to Mr. Baldwin.

In a hearing after the judge sent the jury home for the weekend, the prosecution shared footage of Mr. Teske — a retired police officer who is friends with Ms. Gutierrez-Reed’s stepfather, a well-known Hollywood armorer — showing up to the sheriff’s office in March. Mr. Teske, who had been on Ms. Gutierrez-Reed’s defense witness list but was not called to testify, said he had ammunition that he believed was related to the “Rust” case.

Ms. Morrissey had known that Mr. Teske stored ammunition for the armorer’s stepfather, she testified, but dismissed the idea that the rounds were relevant to the case. A photo, she said, seemed to show that they did not resemble the live rounds that were found on the “Rust” set after the fatal shooting.

But she testified that she had not seen the rounds from Mr. Teske in person until Friday morning, when, in an extraordinary moment, the judge asked to examine them inside the courtroom alongside the prosecution and defense. Three of the rounds, Ms. Morrissey acknowledged, resembled the ones found on the “Rust” set.

Ms. Morrissey said she had not realized that the evidence had been put under a separate case number, but under questioning by the judge, Cpl. Alexandria Hancock, the lead investigator in the case, said Ms. Morrissey had been present for the decision.

Ms. Morrissey’s appearance on the witness stand opened her up to pointed questioning from defense lawyers who have long railed against the prosecution as misguided.

When Mr. Spiro asked if she told witnesses that she would “teach” Mr. Baldwin “a lesson,” she vehemently denied it, adding, “I made every effort in this case to resolve this case with your client in a very favorable way for him.”

Mr. Spiro asked if she had ever called Mr. Baldwin an “arrogant prick” to a witness. “I don’t believe I did — I don’t recall,” she said, challenging him to name the person, which he did not.

The other special prosecutor, Erlinda O. Johnson, resigned earlier Friday, saying she believed that the case should have been dismissed because of the undisclosed evidence.

“Prosecutors not only owe a duty to the people, but to the defendants accused of crimes as well,” she said in an email. “The prosecution must always be above reproach.”

‘Signs of Scorching Prejudice’ Doomed the Case Against Alec Baldwin for ‘Rust’ Shooting - The New York Times