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How big is Oklahoma City, and why does its size make it unique?

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The Oklahoma City downtown skyline is pictured Friday, July 15, 2022.

What has both an urban core and rural outskirts? How about suburban neighborhoods and an Air Force base? Plus, land in four counties?

Ding, ding, ding if you guessed Oklahoma City.

Clocking in at 621 square miles, Oklahoma’s capital city far outpaces most of the nation’s cities when it comes to geographical size. It ranks 10th in square miles out of all U.S. cities โ€” or third, behind Jacksonville, Florida, and Houston, Texas, when you exclude sparsely populated yet expansive municipalities in Alaska, Montana and Kansas.


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‘You can’t have cops watching cops’ โ€” NYPD officer, ex-cop lawyer sue NYC โ€” Queens Daily Eagle

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Leeโ€™s ย complaint claims that the named defendants โ€” NYPD brass, including former Commissioner Bill Bratton, and several allegedly crooked cops โ€” โ€œhave engaged in retaliatory action, consisting of a persistent campaign to harass, defame, threaten, intimidate, extort, and endanger [Leeโ€™s] life.โ€ The NYPD has denied him โ€œhundreds and hundredsโ€ of hours of overtime and fair compensation for his undercover workload, when he would clock out at the station house so as not to tip off his colleagues, he said.

Meanwhile, Internal Affairs has swept his allegations under the rug in order to protect high-ranking and well connected cops โ€” a routine exercise in the NYPD, Lee and Murray said.

โ€œItโ€™s everyone. This is job-wide,โ€ Lee said. โ€œYou have a good cops who are there trying to do a good job. Trying to do their work, then you have other people who have other agendas saying, โ€˜No, donโ€™t do that.โ€

Lee said the notion that the NYPD can police itself is the root of the problem.

โ€œLetโ€™s say the feds come in and say, โ€˜Hey, we want to investigate the Latin Kings and the Latin Kings say, โ€˜OK. Weโ€™ll investigate ourselves and weโ€™ll let you know whatโ€™s going on.โ€™โ€

Murray said the NYPD is desperate to protect top officials.

โ€œThey will crush the low-level cops,โ€ Murray said. โ€œItโ€™s the bosses protecting the bosses, because theyโ€™re looking out for each other.โ€

A spokesperson for the New York City Law Department declined to comment on the lawsuit.

โ€œWe donโ€™t try cases in the press,โ€ the spokesperson said. โ€œWeโ€™ll respond to the complaint in due course.โ€

The NYPD declined to comment on pending litigation and referred questions to the city Law Department.

A nightmarish โ€˜dream jobโ€™

The 109th Precinct in Flushing was a โ€œdream jobโ€ for Lee, who is Chinese-American and speaks Mandarin.

โ€œI finally got to help my people, to help my own community,โ€ he said, recalling an instance when a Chinese woman who didnโ€™t speak English came into the station house and described a sex trafficking operation. Since he understands Mandarin, he was able to translate for her and led cops to the home of a man who allegedly kidnapped the woman and forced to perform sex work at night.

Nevertheless, the 109th was marred by controlling cliques and low morale, he said.

Things should have changed for the better when the NYPD brought in a โ€œstraight cop,โ€ Capt. Thomas Conforti, to take over the precinct. But several of the cops bristled at Confortiโ€™s arrival.

Officers were allegedly paid off in a scheme to protect a number of Flushing karaoke bars that contracted with an ex-copโ€™s security firm. They didnโ€™t like the change in command, Lee said.

The bars doubled as drug dens and brothels connected with organized crime figures from the local Chinese community, he said.

When one fellow cop told Lee about a plan to get one of the sex workers, known as a โ€œPR girlโ€ to โ€œget rid ofโ€ Conforti by accusing him of rape, Lee decided to alert Conforti. A few days later, Internal Affairs asked Lee to record the cops discussing the โ€œrape frame-upโ€ plan, the suit claims.

Lee said he had no choice but to accept the role. He quickly realized that he had just scratched the surface of the corruption.

The cop who proposed the frame-up job was involved in the wider scheme to enable drug-dealing and sex work in the karaokes, Lee said.

โ€œSomething fishyโ€™s going on. You sure you want to do this? Because it seems like youโ€™re opening a whole can of worms,โ€ Lee said he told his Internal Affairs handlers. They encouraged him to continue working undercover and recording what happened at the karaoke bar.

โ€œDuring this time, [Lee] learned of a far greater scheme of corruption, involving a huge network of police-protected karaoke bars, in exchange for free alcohol and free prostitutes,โ€ the suit states. โ€œIn addition to free alcohol and free prostitutes, [Lee] learned that high-ranking police personnel were also receiving large regular stipends, of thousands of dollars per month.โ€

On one occasion, Lee and other officers arrived at a bar to conduct a routine inspection โ€” one that the bar owner was already alerted to by other officers. โ€œIโ€™m supposed to find nothing,โ€ Lee said.

This time, though, Lee and two other officers found a handful of people sniffing cocaine in one of the private rooms, he said. They moved to arrest the suspects who were in possession of a large quantity of drugs, but Leeโ€™s Internal Affairs handlers told him to tell the other two cops to let the suspects go. Arresting them could have jeopardized the investigation, he said the handlers told him.

After 18 months of taping and documenting illegal operations and the officer-backed protection scheme, the NYPD refused to pursue charges against any of the people involved, however, Lee said.

Instead, he said, they used the two low-level cops who released the drug dealers as โ€œsacrificial lambs,โ€ forcing them out of the department.

Lee persisted and tried to rally Internal Affairs to pursue additional charges, but they declined. Soon, he said, he began to experience a pattern of harassment by supervisors and administrators.

Flashbacks for Murray

Leeโ€™s experience hit home for Murray, a former cop in the 115th Precinct.

Murray first got on the brassโ€™ bad side after a confrontation with another cop who had allegedly roughed up his friend. The rival cop shoved Murray and Murray threw a punch broke that the manโ€™s jaw, he said. Murray beat the departmental charges against him but said he became persona non grata.

โ€œI took the side of the perp [his friend] and the department hung me out to dry,โ€ he said.

The ill will intensified when Murray questioned a new policy that replaced experienced, trained officers on the DWI Unit with rookie cops because of overtime concerns.

โ€œThey figured they were going to take all these rookies, put them on the midnight shifts and assign them arrests for DWI, and do it on straight time,โ€ he said. โ€œBut they gave them barely any training and theyโ€™re telling them to stick their head in the cars and take a whiff.

โ€œThey were just looking for numbers and the rookies are pups. Theyโ€™ll do what theyโ€™re told,โ€ he continued.

Murray said some directives endangered cops and others, like going after drivers who seemed to deliberately avoid checkpoints, violated the law.

โ€˜The commanding officer of the unit got very upset with me because I kept trying to fight back,โ€ he said. โ€œItโ€™s so hard for the rookies to stand up for themselves and so I locked horns with him.โ€

The commanding officer sent Murray back to the 115th, where he saw a colleague get suspended by the Civilian Complaint Review Board over what he considered a bogus charge. He wrote a letter to the police commissioner.

โ€œSo now I get known as a letter-writer,โ€ he said. โ€œThe new [Commanding Officer] comes in, calls me into his office and says, โ€˜I got the story on you. Youโ€™re not allowed to write any letters unless you come to me first.โ€™โ€

Eventually, Murray retired from the force and pursued his law degree.

Lee said he has no such plans just yet.

โ€œIf I quit now, Iโ€™d be throwing away 14 years of my life. I wouldnโ€™t get a pension,โ€ he said. โ€œIโ€™d be letting them win โ€ฆ This has to stop.โ€


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Warnock Fundraises With Tom Steyer After Voting for Legislation That Poured Billions Into Green Energy

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Events come amid global surge in energy prices as Democrats vilify fossil fuels

โ€ข September 30, 2022 4:30 pm

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D., Ga.) raked in cash from wealthy green energy moguls at a series of San Francisco fundraisers last weekend, a month after voting to pass legislation that steered billions to climate initiatives and the green energy industry.

During his West Coast fundraising swing, the senator partied with billionaire investor Tom Steyer, biofuels CEO Wade Randlett, and “Defund the Police” advocate Meena Harris, the niece of Vice President Kamala Harris, according to photos. Steyer cohosted an event for Warnock in San Francisco on Saturday, along with NextGen America board member Andrea Evans, according to an invitation for the fundraiser. Randlett cohosted an event for Warnock on Friday.

The parties came weeks after Warnock voted for the Biden administrationโ€™s budget reconciliation billโ€”officially dubbed the Inflation Reduction Actโ€”and highlight the cozy relationship between Democratic political leaders and the lucrative green tech industry. The legislation poured billions into green energy initiatives and is expected to benefit industries in which Steyer is an investor, according to analysts. The fundraisers also come amid a global surge in energy prices, with many Americans strugglingย to pay utility bills, and as Democratic lawmakersย continueย to vilify the fossil fuel industry.

Steyer, a Democratic donor who ran a short-lived campaign for president in 2020, launched a “climate investment fund” called Galvanize in 2021 with a goal of investing “billions” into decarbonization companies. The fundโ€™s reported investments include Regrow Ag, a startup that “aims to help accelerate the shift to climate-friendly farming” and Arable, which seeks to “create a more sustainable food supply.”

Both Regrow Ag and Arable were named as companies that are likely to benefit from a $20 billion earmark in the federal spending bill, according to an analysis published by the clean energy investment firm G2 Venture Partners on Aug. 17, the day after the bill was signed by President Joe Biden.

The bill “has earmarked $20B to (1) target methane and nitrous oxide emission reduction (e.g. Arable, Trace Genomics), (2) improve soil carbon and nitrogen content (e.g. Pivot Bio), and (3) avoiding / sequestering GHG emission (e.g. ProducePay, Regrow, Cloud Agronomics),” wrote G2 Venture Partners.

Steyer praised the passage of the bill as the “culmination of a decade of advocacy and persistence.” Earlier this month, he attended a party at the White House celebrating the legislation.

The Friday fundraiser was cosponsored by Randlett, a biofuels mogul and CEO of the transportation fuels division at General Biofuels. The spending bill extended the biodiesel tax credit and was praised by leaders in the biofuels industry.

“This bill represents the most significant federal commitment to low-carbon biofuels since the Renewable Fuel Standard was expanded by Congress in 2007,” said Renewable Fuels Association president Geoff Cooper in a statement applauding the bill.

Andrea Evans, a board member at Steyerโ€™s nonprofit group NextGen, also cohosted the Saturday Warnock fundraising event.

The Inflation Reduction Act has faced some criticism, with Republicans arguing that it will raise taxes while steering federal funds to Democratic constituencies. Warnock praised the bill, saying it will “help lower costs for families in every corner of our stateโ€”all without raising taxes for hardworking Georgia families. Thatโ€™s a win-win.”

Photos from Warnockโ€™s California fundraising trip also show him posing with his arm around Meena Harris, an Instagram lifestyle influencer and the niece of Kamala Harris. Meena Harris is a vocal advocate for the “defund the police” movement.

“Defund the police and reallocate funds to mental health and social services. This shouldnโ€™t be controversial,” wrote Harris in one Twitter post.

She later expanded on this by adding: “To everyone in my mentions policing my language, let me clarify: Defund the police. Defund the police. Defund the police. Defund the police. Defund the police. Defund the police. Defund the police. Defund the police. Defund the police. Defund the police. Defund the police.”

The senator is the partyโ€™s top fundraiser for the midterm cycle, pulling in a whopping $17 million last quarter in his competitive faceoff against Republican challenger Herschel Walker.




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China setting up overseas police stations, including one in US, to bring back 'fugitives' – KATV

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