Archives for category: nickname

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
ZION CLARKE, RICARDO DEFOUR, KEVON DEMERIEUX, ANDERSON STRAKER, WAYNE PIERRE, CHRISTOPHER SEALEY, and KEVIN NIXON, Defendants.

Criminal No. 06-102 (JDB)

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

767 F. Supp. 2d 12

March 2, 2011, Decided

Opinion by US District Judge John D. Bates:

The indictment charges the defendants with participating in a conspiracy — beginning on or about February 1, 2005, and ending on or about April 15, 2005 — to seize and detain Balram Maharaj and his son Dinesh, in order to compel the payment of ransom money for their release, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1203.3 The evidence presented at trial showed that the conspirators’ initial plan was to kidnap 5-year old Dinesh, but that the target instead became Balram Maharaj due to complications involved with kidnapping his child. After a series of planning meetings at the Mellow Moods Bar and other locations, the kidnapping took place on April 6, 2005, at the Samaan Tree Bar. Maharaj was taken at gunpoint, forced into a waiting vehicle, and driven to a cocoa field. From there, he was taken to a forested area where he was held for seven days under the watch of two guards. During that time a series of ransom calls was made to the victim’s family, demanding $3 million Trinidad dollars — approximately $500,000 U.S. dollars — and the captors attempted to obtain “proof of life” from the victim to advance their ransom demands. During the period of captivity, Maharaj, a diabetic, did not have access to medication, and his health took a precipitous decline — he turned pale, had difficulty speaking and breathing, and began hallucinating. On April 13, 2005, Maharaj died. After his death, several co-conspirators dismembered the body with a machete, hid the body parts in two containers — a blue barrel and a white styrofoam cooler — and buried the containers.

As to defendant “Ninja”:

The evidence was sufficient to sustain Pierre’s conviction…

Gittens — a longtime friend of Pierre’s — testified that he was brought into the hostage taking conspiracy by Pierre (“Ninja“) as well, at a meeting at Pierre’s home. Trial Tr. at 3181 (June 16, 2009). Pierre initially assigned him the role of producing a stolen vehicle for use in the kidnapping (which Gittens decided not to do), and later assigned Gittens the role of ransom negotiator. Id. at 3181, 3197 (“I was told by Ninja to drive around with Jason Percival and make a ransom call $3 million to the victim’s family.”).

concluding:

the Court denies defendants’ motions for judgment of acquittal, their motions for new trial, and their motions to dismiss the case.

This case of workplace hostility and discrimination includes “ninja” used as a racial slur against an African American.

Christopher L. Campbell, II, Plaintiff,
v.
Mobile Solution Corporation, et al., Defendants.

Case No. 1:07cv1037

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO,
WESTERN DIVISION

2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29446

March 2, 2010, Filed

Opinion by District Judge Michael R. Barrett:

Smith frequently told jokes using the word “nigger” in Campbell’s presence. (Id., P 20.) Smith would also refer to African-Americans as “ninjas.” (Id.) On July 19, 2005, Campbell told Smith that he found Smith’s jokes offensive and asked him to stop making racial jokes. (Id.) Smith responded by making another racial joke. (Id.)

and

Campbell has shown that he is a member of the protected class because he is African-American. Campbell has also shown that he was subjected to unwelcome racial harassment in the form of racial jokes made by Smith and the use of the term “ninjas” to refer to African-Americans. Campbell has shown that the jokes, which included the word “nigger,” and the term “ninjas” are based on race.

But

However, Campbell has not shown that harassment had the effect of unreasonably interfering with this work performance. The performance records submitted by Campbell show that he was able to meet or exceed his performance goals despite the harassment. Therefore, Campbell has not met this element of the prima facie case.

So because he was able to keep doing good work it wasn’t harassment?!?!? Still, Campbell can show that the complaints led to retaliation. So the Court concludes:

Christopher Campbell’s Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 45) is hereby GRANTED in PART and DENIED in PART;

a. The Motion is GRANTED as to Campbell’s claim for retaliation in violation of Title VII and Ohio law;

b. The Motion is DENIED as to Campbell’s claim for hostile work environment based on race in violation of Title VII and Ohio law; and wrongful termination in violation of public policy;

This defendant’s name is Ninja Palms. She admitted her part in a conspiracy to manufacture and distribute crack cocaine and plead guilty but then balked at sentencing and claimed she didn’t understand the plea. Here, the Court denies her petition for habeas relief.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
NINJA PALMS, Defendant.

No. 05 c 374
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS, EASTERN DIVISION
2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88657

Opinion by Judge Wayne R. Andersen, decided November 29, 2006

This case is before the court on Ninja Palms‘ (“Palms”) petition for writ of habeas corpus. Palms is asking the court to vacate, set aside, or correct her sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. For the following reasons, the petition is denied. Id.
BACKGROUND

Beginning in 1994 and continuing until March 2002, Palms contributed in a drug conspiracy to manufacture and distribute crack cocaine. As part of the conspiracy, co-defendants, Troy Lawrence (“Lawrence”) and Cameron Wilson (“Wilson”), delivered kilograms of powder cocaine to Palms’ apartment. Lawrence cooked the powder cocaine into crack cocaine and broke it into small pieces. Palms, Lawrence, Wilson, Levert Griffin, and Montel Goings would then place the small pieces of crack cocaine into individual bags, seal them, and then store them in Palms’ apartment until they were sold. Palms admitted in her plea agreement that she delivered crack cocaine packages to the “shift runners” at a drug spot which was within 1,000 feet of the Gavin Elementary School in Chicago Heights, Illinois. Palms also admitted in her plea agreement that she occasionally accompanied Lawrence during the purchases of the cocaine purchases, and, in exchange for Palms’ help, Lawrence promised to pay her rent plus a weekly salary. However, Palms states she sometimes did not receive the weekly salary.

On July 16, 2002, Palms was charged with: (1) conspiring to posses with intent to distribute; and (2) distributing powder and crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of an elementary school, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b) and 21 U.S.C. § 860(a). Represented by court-appointed counsel and pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 846 and 18 U.S.C. § 2, on November 26, 2002 Palms pled guilty to Count I of the indictment.

Then

On July 8, 2004, Palms was sentenced to 112 months imprisonment. On January 20, 2005, Palms filed the instant petition to vacate, set aside, or correct her sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. As support for her petition, Palms raises the constitutional arguments of ineffective assistance of trial counsel and that she involuntarily pled guilty and now asks this court to examine both claims.

But

Palms affirmed her understanding of this portion of the plea agreement at the plea hearing. (11/26/02 Plea Hearing at 11.) She offers no support in her petition to show that her attorney improperly advised her regarding her right to collaterally attack her sentence. In fact, Palms’ affirmative response at the plea hearing supports the conclusion that she knowingly waived her right to collaterally attack her sentence.

The claims of ineffective assistant do not satisfy analysis under first prong of Strickland.

Ninja Palms’ petition for writ of habeas corpus to vacate, set aside, or correct her sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is denied.

In this 2003 case, “Ninja” is a gang nickname (in 1988) for someone who was going to sell or give guns (“artillery” or “jammies”) to the convicted criminal conspirators. The crime is the execution-style murder of a police officer.

PHILIP COPELAND, Petitioner, – against – HANS G. WALKER, Superintendent, Auburn Correctional Facility, Respondent.
97-CV-2082 (ERK)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
258 F. Supp. 2d 105;

Decided – April 15, 2003

Opinion by Judge Edward R. Korman explains:

In the early morning hours of February 26, 1988, a young, newly appointed New York City Police Officer, Edward Byrne, sitting in his patrol car outside the home of a witness he was assigned to protect, was shot five times in the head from a distance of two feet. Officer Byrne died instantly. The killing was apparently meant to send a message to law enforcement authorities from Howard “Pappy” Mason, one of two Queens drug lords who were incarcerated at the time. Petitioner, Philip Copeland, was convicted by a jury sitting in New York State Supreme Court of carrying out this crime along with his co-defendants Todd Scott, David McClary, and Scott Cobb. Howard “Pappy” Mason was convicted his for his role in the offense.

And:

Petitioner’s role in the planning of this execution-style murder was firmly established through the testimony of Darrell Newby and Martin Howell, who were both members of the drug gang known as the “Beebos,” to which petitioner also belonged (T. 362-63, 527-28, 746, 754). Howell and Newby testified that on February 25, 1988, the night before Officer Byrne was killed, they attended a meeting in an apartment along with petitioner, Todd Scott, and Scott Cobb (T. 369, 370-71, 379). Prior to petitioner’s arrival, Howell heard Scott announce that “the boss had put out an order to hit a cop” (T. 532, 589-90, 591, 593). Scott assured that anyone who participated would receive $ 8,000 in return and would not get caught because “the guy sleeps on the job and it would be easy” (T. 532, 593). Upon petitioner’s arrival at the apartment, Newby (petitioner’s cousin), overheard Todd Scott tell petitioner and Cobb “that we have to kill a police officer regarding a witness” (T. 372, 481-82). Newby then observed both petitioner and Cobb nod their heads “up and down” in response to Scott’s remark (T. 374, 460, 464). Howell also overheard petitioner ask Scott if he had the “jammies,” or guns (T. 602, 664, 717, 727). Scott replied that he was going to get the “artillery” from “Ninja” (T. 603). Howell then heard petitioner say to Cobb, “We’re going to use your car” (T. 537, 603).

Petitioner’s complicity in the conspiracy to murder Officer Byrne is further evidenced by statements made both before the planning session and after the killing. Howell testified that earlier on February 25, petitioner declared to him that “the [*120] Boss [Pappy Mason] was very pissed off and he wanted to see it on TV while he was on Riker’s Island that a cop got iced” (T. 763-64, 770). In addition, the morning following the shooting Scott Cobb confessed to Newby that “We killed the cop” (T. 508, 521). That same day, Cobb told Howell, in petitioner’s presence, how two cars had been used in the “hit” — one car was “dumped” while the other was used to take the participants to a party in Manhattan after the killing (T. 576, 740-41). Howell also heard petitioner tell Cobb that he did not want to hear anymore about “the situation” (T. 577, 665, 743). On the Monday following the crime, Newby also overheard Scott Cobb confess to a third person that he had pulled up behind the police officer’s car and shot him (T. 508-09). Finally, on the Saturday following the shooting when some money was missing from the profits of drug sales, petitioner warned Howell and others that “if you all want to end up like that MF-ing cop, then that money better turn up” (T. 764-65).

In addition to this testimonial evidence, the prosecution also presented physical evidence linking petitioner to the crime. Specifically, petitioner’s fingerprint was found on an Econo-Lodge scratch pad, which was recovered from the yellow car used by the perpetrators (T. 942, 1490, 1732). Based on this evidence, a rational juror could certainly conclude that petitioner was guilty of intentional murder.

The Court here denies the petition for habeas corpus and denies certificate of appealability.

Recall also, this is the second time we’ve seen Ninja as a gang member’s nickname in Federal Court.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA -against- STEVEN CAMACHO and JAIME RODRIGUEZ, Defendants.
S12 94 Cr. 313 (CSH)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
163 F. Supp. 2d 287

Decided – October 1, 2001

The opinion of the court is written by Charles S. Haight, Jr.:

Camacho and Rodriguez were indicted on racketeering charges on May 25, 1994, along with multiple other defendants as part of the federal prosecution of members of the C&C gang, which operated in the Bronx. Early in the case, the government agreed to try Camacho and Rodriguez separately from the others, and accordingly they were severed from the primary case. After securing guilty pleas from numerous defendants and agreeing to additional severances, the government initially proceeded to trial against Angel Padilla, one of the founders of the C & C gang, and Ivan Rodriguez, the man accused of killing the other founder, Juan Calderon. Both Padilla and Ivan Rodriguez were convicted in May of 1995.

Camacho and Jaime Rodriguez were later tried pursuant to a superseding indictment dated February 12, 1996. They were charged at trial with conspiracy to murder Hector Ocasio, the murders of Hector Ocasio and Gilberto Garcia, and the attempted murder of Luis Garcia, all in aid of the C&C racketeering enterprise, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1959; they were also charged with a related firearms offense in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924. A jury trial commenced on June 3, 1996. The government advanced the following theory of how the murders and attempted murder took place: After Calderon was killed, Padilla told the members of his security force to keep a low profile and brought in a new head of security, Hector Ocasio, who hired new security members. Soon, Padilla and several longtime members of his security force, including James Albizu, Joey Pillot, Trumont Williams, and Gregory Cherry, 1 began to distrust Ocasio. Ocasio had reduced weekly salaries and then cut several security members from the payroll. He also had given local drug dealers permission to shoot Williams and Cherry. Albizu conceived of a plan to murder Ocasio, and he discussed his plan with Pillot, Williams, and Cherry. He also discussed his plan with Camacho and Rodriguez, who together used to pay C&C “rent” to sell drugs in the gang’s neighborhood and were friendly with Albizu. In late December of 1992, Albizu, Williams, Cherry, Camacho, Rodriguez, and a cousin of Rodriguez’s agreed to meet to kill Ocasio, but the plan fell through when Cherry failed to appear.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – Footnotes – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
1 The members of the C&C gang were frequently referred to at trial by their nicknames: Albizu–“Pito,” Pillot–“Joey,” Williams–“Tree,” and Cherry–“G” or “Ninja.” Camacho and Rodriguez were sometimes referred to respectively as “Spanky” and “Jay”; two other indicated defendants appear to have the same nicknames (James Rodriguez–“Spanky” and James Boggio–“Jay”).

One issue in this case is credibility of testimony from Cherry (aka Ninja):

The case at bar is complicated by the fact that the admissibility of Cherry’s declarations must be viewed in the context of defendants’ motion for a new trial under Rule 33. Casamento and the other Rule 804(b)(3) decisions previously discussed all arose out of trial judges’ evidentiary rulings during trials from which convicted defendants took appeals. In other words, the only question before the courts of appeal was whether, during the trial, the trial judge correctly applied Rule 804(b)(3) in admitting inculpatory out-of-court declarations or excluding exculpatory ones. In this Rule 33 context, the “newly discovered evidence must be of a sort that could, if believed, change the verdict”; and, in making that determination, “the trial court has broad discretion to decide Rule 33 motions based upon its evaluation of the proof produced,” Gambino, 59 F.3d at 364.

While I am aware of no case discussing the interaction between evidentiary Rule 804(b)(3) and procedural Rule 33, I think that the expanded focus of the present inquiry makes it at least arguable that I may consider the credibility of Thomas as a witness: not to determine the admissibility of Cherry’s declarations, but rather to evaluate the likely effect of Thomas’s testimony upon the jury at a new trial.

I do not decide the point now, and will hear argument from counsel concerning it. But I entertain no doubt that the prudent course is to develop a full record during the evidentiary hearing. That means that the government may cross-examine Thomas fully as to whether or not in fact Cherry made the statements Thomas ascribes to him. The government may also offer extrinsic evidence (if it has any) bearing upon that question of fact.

The Court also decided to “deny defendants’ request for a grant of judicial immunity for Gregory Cherry to testify.”

This is not the first time Judge Haight had the opportunity publish the word “ninja” in the federal record. Recall NinjaLaw post about “Burger King Kids Club with Mutant Ninja Turtles” in which Judge Haight used the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to support the holding that concepts and ideas of multi-ethnicity cannot be copyrighted.