- Associated Press - Thursday, August 7, 2014
Wisconsin man admits threatening New Jersey judge

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) - A Wisconsin man who is identified with the Sovereign Citizen movement has admitted threatening and filing false charges against a judge and 27 other officials in New Jersey.

Twenty-nine-year-old Michael Rinderele of Waukesha, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to making threats and engaging in retaliation. Under terms of a plea agreement, Rinderele will face up to 5 years in prison and more than $600 in fines when he’s sentenced in October.

Members of the Sovereign Citizen movement argue federal, state and local laws have no authority over them.

Rinderele admitted filing fraudulent liens against the judge and 27 other officials in Voorhees and Winslow after traffic offenses were filed in New Jersey against Rinderele’s common-law wife.

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Voter ID unlikely to be reinstated by Tuesday

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A federal appeals court has given opponents of Wisconsin’s photo identification law until after Tuesday’s primary to file their arguments as to whether it should be in effect.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen on Tuesday asked the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to quickly lift an injunction blocking the photo ID requirement. If granted, the law could be in place for Tuesday’s primary.

But the court late Monday gave opponents of the law until Aug. 19 to respond to Van Hollen’s request, meaning a ruling won’t come until after the primary.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman issued the injunction earlier this year, saying the requirement is unconstitutional. Van Hollen asked Adelman in May to lift the injunction pending his appeal but the judge hasn’t acted on the request.

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3 officers in strip-search case deny wrongful acts

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Three Milwaukee police officers accused of illegally strip-searching a man in 2012 testified in federal court Wednesday that their search was appropriate and that no nudity was publicly exposed.

Officers Michael Gasser and Keith Garland Jr. testified that they stopped Leo Hardy, 40, because they were looking for a suspect often seen with him. They and Officer Michael Valuch Jr., who arrived on the scene later, acknowledged patting down Hardy to search for weapons or drugs, but they denied his allegations that they grabbed his genitals, pulled down his pants or otherwise exposed nudity to public view.

Garland acknowledged running a “bladed hand” between Hardy’s buttocks, but said it was over Hardy’s clothes, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported (https://bit.ly/1AVVNQuhttps://bit.ly/1AVVNQu ).

At least 60 people have accused Milwaukee police of conducting illegal strip searches and body-cavity searches from 2008 to 2012. Hardy’s is the first of what could be numerous federal lawsuits alleging civil-rights violations.

Strip searches can be conducted only with permission of the chief or supervisor, unless an officer believes the suspect has a weapon. Cavity searches must be performed by a medical professional.

Hardy testified earlier in the week that Gasser groped his genitals, and that officers pulled his underwear from his body in a way that exposed his buttocks. One witness testified that Hardy’s buttocks were in clear view, and another says she saw his pants around his ankles.

Garland testified that he and Gasser were in such haste to check Hardy for a weapon that they exited their squad car without turning on their emergency lights, which would have activated the dashboard camera.

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2 officers recognized for stopping temple shooting

OAK CREEK, Wis. (AP) - Two Oak Creek police officers have been awarded the Congressional Badge of Bravery for helping stop a gunman’s shooting rampage at a Sikh temple two years ago.

Lt. Brian Murphy and Officer Sam Lenda were recognized in a ceremony Wednesday. The event featured Reps. Paul Ryan and Gwen Moore, Sen. Ron Johnson and others.

Murphy was the first to arrive at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin that day. He was ambushed by the gunman, a white supremacist who shot him about a dozen times.

Lenda took up a sniper position and wounded the gunman, who later killed himself.

Both officers say they’re grateful for the recognition but they don’t consider themselves heroes.

The gunman killed six worshippers and wounded five other people. Tuesday was the two-year anniversary of the tragedy.

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