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WILKINSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — The family of a 15-month-old boy who died in a shooting is demanding change.

Marcus White, Jr. was shot and killed while he was at a picnic with his family in East Hills in 2013. Twenty-two-year-old Gregory Parker was taken into custody on Saturday afternoon and is accused of having pulled the trigger.

(Image Provided By Family)

On Tuesday, the attorney for the family says the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office knew for years who killed the toddler but avoided an arrest to use Parker for information on another case.

Paul Jubas, the family’s attorney, filed a federal lawsuit against Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala, the Allegheny County Police Department and the United States for an ATF agent’s role in the investigation.

He is also sending a letter to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, asking him to take over the case.

“We kind of lost hope thinking nothing was going to happen. And for it to resurface, we know it’s not an accident or a coincidence. We are positive that we will get justice in some form,” said Shedayah Tyler, Baby Marcus’ aunt.

Jubas claims police had a confession years ago from Parker.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

“We are calling on the Pennsylvania Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, to come in and prove to this family, prove to this city, to this county that baby Marcus’ life mattered,” Jubas said.

Police have not said what evidence was used to make the arrest or why the arrest happened on Saturday.

Police have also not said whether or not they received a confession, as White’s family alleges.

Parker is facing criminal homicide, criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault and gun charges.

“You don’t get to cover up a confession for two years and then prosecute the murder once it accidentally gets out,” Jubas said.

A spokesperson for the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office released a statement, saying:

“Yesterday’s filing is wrong on the facts and wrong on the law. That said, our office deals with frivolous matters on a regular basis, and this will be dealt with in due course.”

News Source: cbslocal.com

Tags: allegheny county allegheny county district attorney stephen zappala allegheny county police department baby marcus east hills gregory parker jennifer borrasso local tv marcus white pennsylvania attorney general josh shapiro

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Morning Digest: Indiana Republicans deny renomination to their disgraced attorney general

Indiana state Attorney General Curtis Hill (R)

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

Leading Off

IN-AG: Indiana Republicans announced the results of their mail-in nominating convention on Friday, and former Rep. Todd Rokita defeated scandal-plagued incumbent Curtis Hill 52-48 in the contest for state attorney general. (Both parties in the Hoosier State select nominees for attorney general at conventions rather than in party primaries.)

Rokita will be the favorite in November against the Democratic nominee, former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel, in this reliably Republican state. Still, Weinzapfel, who had $729,000 on-hand at the end of June, will have the resources to run a serious campaign. The Democratic Attorney General Association has also reserved $600,000 here in fall TV time to aid Weinzapfel.

Campaign Action

Hill's defeat, which came after the other two candidates were eliminated through instant-runoff voting, ends what once looked like a promising political career. Hill made history in 2016 when he became the first African American Republican to be elected Indiana attorney general (Democrat Pamela Carter's win back in 1992 made her the first Black woman to be elected attorney general in any state), and he was quickly mentioned as a potential candidate for higher office.

Everything changed in July of 2018, though, when four women accused Hill of groping them at a party that had taken place a few months earlier. Hill's fellow Republicans, including Gov. Eric Holcomb, called for the attorney general to resign, but he refused to go anywhere and even announced his re-election campaign the following year.

Hill avoided criminal charges, but he still faced disciplinary proceedings in front of the state Supreme Court. In May of 2020, the justices finally ruled that Hill had "committed the criminal act of battery," and that they would suspend his law license for a month with an automatic reinstatement afterwards. Hill already faced two intra-party challengers before he was sanctioned, while Rokita announced his bid shortly after.

Hill turned over his duties to a subordinate during his suspension and returned to office on June 17, which was just before ballots were sent out to the convention delegates. But while Holcomb and several other major Indiana Republicans remained hostile to Hill, national Republicans still were in his corner. The Republican Attorneys General Association donated $11,000 to Hill on June 15, two days before his suspension ended. Ultimately, though, just enough Republican delegates were tired of Hill to permanently end his time as attorney general.

Rokita's win, by contrast, revives a political career that had seemed over just months ago. Rokita gave up his safely red House seat after four terms in 2018 to wage a bid against Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly, and he soon found himself in an ugly primary against his old rival and former college classmate, fellow Rep. Luke Messer. However a third candidate, wealthy former state Rep. Mike Braun, unexpectedly picked up support when he ran ads positioning himself as an alternative to two ambitious political insiders.

Braun ended up defeating Rokita 41-30, and he went on to win in the fall. Rokita's convention win, though, now gives him a chance to make up for that defeat this November.

Election Changes

Please bookmark our litigation tracker for a complete summary of the latest developments in every lawsuit regarding changes to elections and voting procedures as a result of the coronavirus.

California: Republicans have dropped a pair of related lawsuits challenging Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom's early May order directing election officials to send mail-in ballots to all voters for the November general election. The plaintiffs, which included the RNC and former Rep. Darrell Issa (who is currently mounting a comeback bid), had argued that Newsom's order usurped the legislature's prerogatives. However, in June, Newsom signed a bill passed by state lawmakers that authorized an all-mail election, superseding Newsom's order and rendering both suits moot.

2Q Fundraising

The deadline for federal candidates to file their second quarter numbers is the evening of July 15, and we'll have our House and Senate fundraising charts out afterwards.

MI-Sen: Gary Peters (D-inc): $5.2 million raised, $12 million cash-on-hand; John James (R): $6.4 million raised

FL-27: Maria Elvira Salazar (R): $550,000 raised, $1.2 million cash-on-hand

IN-05: Christina Hale (D): $541,000 raised, $726,000 cash-on-hand

MN-02: Angie Craig (D-inc): $725,000 raised, $2.5 million cash-on-hand

PA-10: Eugene DePasquale (D): $630,000 raised, $980,000 cash-on-hand

TX-21: Chip Roy (R-inc): $544,000 raised, $1.7 million cash-on-hand; TX-21: Wendy Davis (D): Over $1.4 million raised, $2.8 million cash-on-hand

Senate

AL-Sen: Auburn University at Montgomery has released a poll of Tuesday's Republican primary runoff, and it's the first survey we've seen here since the end of May. Former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville, who has Donald Trump's endorsement, posts a wide 47-31 lead over ex-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The college also finds each Republican well ahead of Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in a hypothetical general election. Sessions leads 49-43, while Tuberville outpaces the incumbent 44-36. The sample also finds Trump ahead 55-41 in a state he carried 62-34 four years ago.

TN-Sen: The Republican firm Trafalgar Group has released a survey of the Aug. 6 GOP primary that shows former Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty leading orthopedic surgeon Manny Sethi 42-39, while wealthy perennial candidate George Flinn takes just 4%.

This is the third survey we've seen over the last week. A Victory Phones poll for Sethi showed him trailing Hagerty 33-31, which is similar to what Trafalgar finds. However, a Hagerty internal from the Tarrance Group taken around the same time showed their man ahead by a wide 46-29. What both surveys agree on, though, is that Flinn is stuck in the mid-single digits.

Hagerty has been running commercials for months that both emphasize his endorsement from Donald Trump and launch racist attacks against China, while Sethi has also been serving plenty of red meat to the conservative base. Sethi's latest ad argues that liberals "don't actually care about Black Lives Matter" because they support abortion rights.

The spot comes weeks after Sethi ran a different commercial asking viewers if they were tired "of liberals saying you're a racist, and that watching American cities get ripped apart is a chance for you to examine your privilege?" It probably won't shock you to learn that neither Sethi offering makes the slightest mention of police violence against people of color.  

TX-Sen: Our first poll in months of Tuesday's Democratic primary runoff to take on Republican Sen. John Cornyn comes to us from … John Cornyn. His TargetPoint survey gives Air Force veteran MJ Hegar, who is the favored candidate of national Democrats, a small 33-29 lead over state Sen. Royce West.

It's unusual to see a campaign release a poll of the opposing side's primary, but Cornyn has made it clear for a long time that West is his preferred opponent. Cornyn ran a commercial last year during a Democratic presidential primary debate that "attacked" West as too liberal, which is just the sort of argument meant to encourage Team Blue's voters to support the state senator, and the incumbent is continuing that strategy in the homestretch.

Politico reports that Cornyn has booked at least $259,000 on TV for the final week of the runoff. The commercial, which doesn't mention Hegar, argues that West is a "liberal politician" who is on the side of people like former presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. Cornyn also has been running radio spots contrasting Hegar with the "consistently liberal" West.

Hegar's allies at EMILY's List, meanwhile, have increased the size of the buy for their ad campaign to $1.3 million.

Gubernatorial

MT-Gov: The state Commissioner of Political Practices fined Democrat Mike Cooney $1,000 on Wednesday for doing a campaign call from his state Capitol office, and the RGA has wasted no time running a TV commercial about it. The ad, unsurprisingly, does not mention the relatively small penalty Cooney actually had to pay.

House

AL-01: Outgoing Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne, who gave up this safely red seat to unsuccessfully run for the Senate, is starring in a commercial for Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl ahead of Tuesday's primary runoff.

Byrne's ad comes in the midst of a nasty battle between Carl and former state Sen. Bill Hightower for this Gulf Coast seat. The anti-tax Club for Growth has also been running ads promoting Hightower and hitting Carl, and Politico reports that the group has spent $439,000 here during June and July. By contrast, a group called Right for Alabama has deployed a smaller $115,000 to aid Carl.

Carl is trying to make the Club's support for Hightower a liability, though, and he's airing a spot arguing that Hightower is "bankrolled by Never Trumpers." The Club famously spent millions to try to help Ted Cruz beat Donald Trump in 2016, and other Republicans this cycle have tried to paint their Club-backed primary opponents as tools of anti-Trump forces. The commercial also once again takes Hightower to task for liking a 2016 tweet from a conservative columnist who said he was disgusted that his choices were Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Hightower, meanwhile, is airing a commercial declaring that Carl has "handed shady deals to donors, handed himself a raise, even donated thousands against Trump." As we've noted before, Carl donated $500 in late 2015 to Ben Carson, who is now a member of Trump's cabinet. Ironically enough, the Club has also been attacking Carl over this contribution.

AL-02: Businessman Jeff Coleman's new ad ahead of Tuesday's Republican primary runoff argues that the biggest backer of his opponent, former state Rep. Barry Moore, "spent $7 million against Trump in 2016." Just like in the neighboring 1st District primary (see our AL-01 item above), that's a reference to the Club for Growth, which Politico reports has spent $350,000 during June and July to help Moore. Coleman's narrator also rips Moore for not voting in the 2016 GOP primary when Trump was on the ballot and repeatedly declares, "No Moore."

FL-03: Kat Cammack, a former campaign manager and congressional aide to retiring Rep. Ted Yoho, is up with her first TV spot ahead of the Aug. 18 Republican primary. As suit-and-tie wearing chickens run around, Cammack declares, "My opponents are a lot like career politicians in D.C.: chicken." Yoho's 2012 campaign, which Cammack managed, famously compared his foes to "pigs feeding at the trough," and it seems she's decided to keep up the farm animal theme for her bid.

Cammack goes on to say that she had to be tough growing up in a family that struggled with homelessness, but that she went on to lead a small business and serve as Yoho's deputy chief of staff. She then goes back to the chickens and argues that "in Washington, these guys will run away from President Trump, guns, and the pro-life values that we care about. And I've said, that's chicken s**t." (A chicken clucks to censor her last word.) Politico writes that this ad is "backed by six-figures."

FL-13: On behalf of Florida Politics, St. Pete Polls is out with the first survey we've seen of the Aug. 18 Republican primary to face Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist.

The poll gives attorney Amanda Makki, who has the endorsement of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a 29-21 lead over 2018 nominee George Buck, whom the NRCC cut ties with last year after he sent out a fundraising email calling for Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar to be hanged for "treason." Air Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna is in third at 13, while each of the other candidates take no more than 4% of the vote.

MA-04: Two Democrats competing in the September primary for this open seat, former Wall Street regulator Ihssane Leckey and City Year co-founder Alan Khazei, have launched their first TV ads.

The Boston Globe reports that Leckey has reserved $110,000 on TV and is spending another $200,000 for digital advertising, while Khazei's team says his commercial is running somewhere in the six figures. Leckey didn't have much money available to get her name out until recently, but her campaign says she self-funded $650,000 during the second quarter and raised another $60,000, and she ended June with $700,000 in the bank.

Leckey begins her opening ad with footage of Bernie Sanders rallies, with a voiceover from the candidate declaring, "People are demanding change from a system run by rich white men for too long." She continues by introducing herself as "Donald Trump's worst nightmare: A fearless woman of color ready to end corporate greed." Leckey, who is shown talking to a voter while wearing a face mask, goes on to say, "I took on Wall Street and refuse to accept a dollar from corporate PACs and lobbyists."

Khazei's commercial opens with a narrator saying, "These times we're in, they didn't start on a gold-plated escalator, a street in Minneapolis, or a province 7,000 miles away." She frames the contest as a choice between the status quo and a new leader, and goes on to commend Khazei's work in nonprofits and in activism.

MI-13: Rep. Rashida Tlaib is running a commercial ahead of the Aug. 4 Democratic primary that focuses on her constituent service work.

TX-13: Lobbyist Josh Winegarner talks directly to the camera in his new ad for Tuesday's Republican primary runoff and tries to frame the race between himself and former White House physician Ronny Jackson as about honesty. "He says he's from here, but he isn't," Winegarner says of his opponent, adding, "He lied about working for a Chinese company, and he lied about voting for Trump." Winegarner goes on to say Jackson is lying about him now "when he knows I support Trump and fought to make China pay our farmers and ranchers."

TX-24: The Congressional Hispanic Caucus' BOLD PAC, which supports local school board member Candace Valenzuela in Tuesday's Democratic primary runoff, has released a poll from Data for Progress that gives Valenzuela a 52-37 lead over Air Force veteran Kim Olson. This is the first survey we've seen of this contest.

Olson outspent Valenzuela in the lead up to the first round of the primary back in March and outpaced her 41-30, but Valenzuela's side has had a huge financial edge for the runoff. From April 1 to June 24, which is the time the FEC defines as the pre-primary period, Valenzuela, who would be the first Afro Latina to serve in Congress, outspent Olson $400,000 to $280,000. Several groups, including the the Latino Victory Fund, BOLD PAC, and the Voter Protection Project, have also spent at least $855,000 on advertising praising Valenzuela and criticizing her opponent, while VoteVets has dropped around $110,000 to aid Olson.

Whoever wins on Tuesday will take on former Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne, who won the Republican nomination in March to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Kenny Marchant. This rapidly diversifying seat, which includes the highly educated suburbs north of Dallas and Fort Worth, moved from 60-38 Romney to 51-44 Trump, and Marchant won an unexpectedly tight race here two years later.

Other Races

Los Angeles County, CA District Attorney: Former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón has released a poll from the Democratic firm Tulchin Research that shows him leading incumbent Jackie Lacey 35-32. This is the first poll of the November nonpartisan general election to become the top prosecutor in America's largest county.

Election Result Recaps

New York: Election officials in New York finally began tallying absentee ballots two weeks after the June 23 primary, but don't expect returns in a number of key races for some time.

The New York City Board of Elections says it will not release any results during the counting process, and it has also declined to provide an estimated timetable for completion; Westchester County, just north of the city, also tells us it won't offer any updates until its count is finished. However, Rockland County, another suburban county to Westchester's immediate west, says it will post interim updates, though the latest data on its site indicates it's from the day after the primary.

Here's where things stand in the major races we're still waiting on:

● NY-12: With 39,500 votes tallied in the Democratic primary, Rep. Carolyn Maloney leads attorney Suraj Patel 41 to 40.1. This is a safely blue seat covering parts of Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn.

● NY-15: With 40,800 votes tallied in the Democratic primary, New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres leads Assemblyman Michael Blake 30-19, with New York City Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. at 15. This is a safely blue seat in the Bronx that became open when Democratic Rep. José Serrano announced his retirement.

● NY-16: With 50,600 votes tallied in the Democratic primary, educator Jamaal Bowman leads Rep. Eliot Engel 61-36. Bowman has declared victory, but Engel has not conceded. This is a safely blue seat in the Bronx and Westchester.

● NY-17: With 34,900 votes tallied in the Democratic primary, attorney Mondaire Jones leads former prosecutor Adam Schleifer 45-20, with state Sen. David Carlucci at 12. This is a safely blue seat in Westchester and Rockland that became open when Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey announced her retirement.

● NY-19: With 19,000 votes tallied in the Republican primary for this Hudson Valley seat, Army veteran Kyle Van De Water leads fashion designer Ola Hawatmeh 57-43. The winner will take on Democratic Rep. Antonio Delgado in a race Daily Kos Elections rates as Likely Democratic.

Tompkins County, NY District Attorney: While District Attorney Matthew Van Houten initially trailed in the days following the June 23 Democratic primary, he won renomination after mail-in ballots propelled him to a 51.5-48.5 lead over progressive opponent Ed Kopko on Tuesday. County election officials said that there were not enough uncounted votes left to overcome Van Houten's 345-vote lead, and Kopko has conceded the race. Van Houten faces no general election opposition in this very blue county.

● Westchester County, NY District Attorney: With 40,800 votes tallied in the Democratic primary, challenger Mimi Rocah leads incumbent Anthony Scarpino 68-32.

Ad Roundup
  • KS-Sen: Barbara Bollier (D)
  • NY-24: Dana Balter (D)

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