Screech actor Dustin Diamond convicted after bar fight

31 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Dustin Diamond Found Guilty of Two Misdemeanors in Stabbing Incident.

Television actor Dustin Diamond exits the courtroom on Friday night after a 12-person jury convicted him of two misdemeanours stemming from a barroom fight. However, the actor managed to avoid a conviction on the felony count of second-degree recklessly endangering safety as a jury found Diamond not guilty of that charge after six hours of deliberations, the Milwaukee Journal- Sentinel reports. Diamond was at a Wisconsin bar with his girlfriend Amanda Schulz when patrons began harassing and attacking her, the 38-year-old actor said in his testimony, adding that he never intended to stab anyone and only took out his knife in hopes of deterring further abuse. He had pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of recklessly endangering public safety, plus two misdemeanors – carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct. The actor’s fiancée Amanda Schutz was also found guilty of disorderly conduct from the Christmas incident where Diamond and Schutz got into a fight with two men and another woman, resulting in a melee where one of the men suffered a half-inch puncture mark from a stiletto-folding knife.

Diamond’s testimony veered widely from the story presented by the prosecution’s nine witnesses, most of whom were cousins of 25-year-old Casey Smet, who suffered a minor stab wound during the altercation. While the prosecution’s witnesses described Diamond and his fiancee, Amanda Schutz, as aggressors who were uninterested in the apology of Smet’s girlfriend after she accidentally bumped into them at the bar, Diamond said the bumping was intentional and repeated. During closing arguments, Ozaukee County District Attorney Adam Gerol hammered that point home by saying that because of Diamond’s acting background, ” he’s an extraordinarily accomplished liar,” the Journal-Sentinel reports. 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings.

Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again. After maintaining a serious facade during most of the trial, Diamond grinned Friday when a defense attorney asked if he liked being compared to the character Screech. After months of escalating protests and grassroots organizing in response to the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, police reformers have issued many demands.

In a series of rapid-fire yes or no questions, Gerol demanded to know if Diamond had included any of the violent details from his testimony in his original statement to police. The moderates in this debate typically qualify their rhetoric with “We all know we need police, but…” It’s a familiar refrain to those of us who’ve spent years in the streets and the barrios organizing around police violence, only to be confronted by officers who snarl, “But who’ll help you if you get robbed?” We can put a man on the moon, but we’re still lacking creativity down here on Earth. While law enforcers have existed in one form or another for centuries, the modern police have their roots in the relatively recent rise of modern property relations 200 years ago, and the “disorderly conduct” of the urban poor. Like every structure we’ve known all our lives, it seems that the policing paradigm is inescapable and everlasting, and the only thing keeping us from the precipice of a dystopic Wild West scenario.

Anthony Cotton, Schutz’s lawyer, read the jury the definition of “beyond a reasonable doubt” and said the evidence supported the hypothesis that Schutz was the victim. Rather than be scared of our impending Road Warrior future, check out just a few of the practicable, real-world alternatives to the modern system known as policing: Unarmed but trained people, often formerly violent offenders themselves, patrolling their neighborhoods to curb violence right where it starts. The entire encounter took place in less than a minute, he said, and his client had simply reacted instinctively and reasonably to protect his fiancee. Aloha is the most Cameron Crowe-like of Cameron Crowe films, a concentrated charge of romantic redemption, immaculately curated musical cues and movie stars in their element that can’t wait to get started.

Stop believing that police are heroes because they are the only ones willing to get in the way of knives or guns – so are the members of groups like Cure Violence, who were the subject of the 2012 documentary The Interrupters. There are also feminist models that specifically organize patrols of local women, who reduce everything from cat-calling and partner violence to gang murders in places like Brooklyn. While police forces have benefited from military-grade weapons and equipment, some of the most violent neighborhoods have found success through peace rather than war. Well, it’s been 10 years since Crowe, the teenage music journalist turned filmmaker responsible for Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire, has been allowed to do his thing – the male perspective romantic comedy – by Hollywood.

The failure of 2005’s Elizabethtown sent him to commercial purgatory, and he had to make amends with the family-orientated We Brought a Zoo in 2011 before he could get back to his world, one where women marvel at the potential of the flawed hero and declare wide-eyed, “There is greatness in this guy”. Violent offenses count for a fraction of the 11 to 14 million arrests every year, and yet there is no real conversation about what constitutes a crime and what permits society to put a person in chains and a cage.

The guy is Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper), a former US Army logistics expert who moved to the private sector and had both his reputation and body blown up working as a private contractor in Afghanistan. Decriminalization doesn’t work on its own: The cannabis trade that used to employ poor Blacks, Latinos, indigenous and poor whites in its distribution is now starting to be monopolized by already-rich landowners. Left with a limp and few options, he’s given a second chance by his billionaire employer, Carson Welch (Bill Murray), with a seemingly small assignment on Hawaii where the construction of a front gate for a new installation needs the blessing of the native community.

Brian lands in both his abandoned past and possible future, with the camera furiously – and unnecessarily – circling him on the runway as he encounters Tracy Woodside (Rachel McAdams), the love of his life he parted with 13 years prior who married his friend, taciturn Air Force pilot “Woody” Woodside (John Krasinski), and is now the mother of two children. To quote investigative journalist Christian Parenti’s remarks on criminal justice reform in his book Lockdown America, what we really need most of all is “less.” Also known as reparative or transformative justice, these models represent an alternative to courts and jails. Standing at Brian’s shoulder as he skirmishes with Tracy is his military minder for the assignment, F-22 fighter pilot Allison Ng (Emma Stone), who wears aviator shades and speaks with spunky military optimism. From hippie communes to the IRA and anti-Apartheid South African guerrillas to even some U.S. cities like Philadelphia’s experiment with community courts, spaces are created where accountability is understood as a community issue and the entire community, along with the so-called perpetrator and the victim of a given offense, try to restore and even transform everyone in the process. She is all business, which naturally means she will fall for Brian, and as winning as Stone is in this role, you’re left thinking the only bombing runs she’s done are at a swimming pool.

The military, with Alec Baldwin’s fierce General Dixon looming, is assisting Carson in the launch of a private satellite and not even the threat of “Chinese hackers” can make the event serious. Crowe’s rush to engage Brian and Allison is initially annoying – they’ve barely met and they’re seguing from cute bickering to grand pronouncements in the manner of so many of his screen couples.

Communities that have tools to engage with each other about problems and disputes don’t have to consider what to do after anti-social behaviors are exhibited in the first place. Crowe’s first film, 1989’s wonderful Say Anything, is his least sentimental work, and douses attraction with Hawaiian spiritual hokum before Crowe realises it’s better to have Bill Murray and Emma Stone dance to Hall & Oates’ I Can’t Go For That. Substitute the American south for Hawaii and Crowe is revisiting Elizabethtown, another of his films where a flawed man is completed by a wise woman, but that film sank on the failed performances of Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst, whereas Cooper and Stone impress. The former is restrained, advancing the story with conflicted reaction shots as he upends Tracy’s family and Allison’s faith, while the latter finds an emotional core beneath the officious charm. Whether it’s satellite systems or the struggle between husband and wife, Aloha is about negotiating genuine communication, which suits a filmmaker whose characters rush to deliver heartfelt speeches.

Tracy’s son, 10-year-old Mitchel (Jaeden Lieberher), is the classic Crowe kid, solemn and knowing, but 12-year-old daughter Grace (Danielle Rose Russell) adds an emotional entanglement that deepens the film. Obviously these could become police themselves and then be subject to the same abuses, but as a temporary solution they have been making a real impact. Still, you have to wonder when Crowe will stop furnishing his male heroes with new female foundations, especially when he has the likes of Stone at his disposal.

In New York, Rikers Island jails as many people with mental illnesses “as all 24 psychiatric hospitals in New York State combined,” which is reportedly 40% of the people jailed at Rikers. We have created a tremendous amount of mental illness, and in the real debt and austerity dystopia we’re living in, we have refused to treat each other for our physical and mental wounds. Mental health has often been a trapdoor for other forms of institutionalized social control as bad as any prison, but shifting toward preventative, supportive and independent living care can help keep those most impacted from ending up in handcuffs or dead on the street.

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