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May 24, 2011

Police arrest train passenger for a 16-hour loud cellphone conversation

Police arrest train passenger for a 16-hour loud cellphone conversation

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

An Amtrak train

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A 39-year old woman, Lakeysha Beard, talked for more than half a day while on an Amtrak train going from Oakland, California to Portland, Oregon. The loud cellphone conversation lasted sixteen hours last Monday, after which police stopped the train for twenty minutes at Salem, Oregon to arrest the woman.

According to the British newspaper Daily Mail, Amtrak has no policy forbidding passengers from talking on the phone on a moving train.

In the train’s car, a few passengers asked the woman to put the phone away or to stop a few times during the conversation prior to notifying the train staff. Staff members were unable to convince the woman to end the conversation and stopped the train to arrest the woman and halt the disruption.

As British newspaper Metro mentioned, this cellphone conversation doesn’t beat the record 51-hour phone call by Sunil Prabhakar of New Delhi in 2009.

Sydney, Australia etiquette expert Alex Travers, remarking on a train incident in March, said there is a lack of respect for public transportation from younger generations. The U.S. woman in the current incident, Lakeysha Beard, is 39 years old. Travers said, “I’m afraid we are all in a very bad place as far as we feel about our public transport. People think poorly of it, so therefore they are getting on it with a poor attitude.” She called youths “me-oriented” and said that they “do what they want to do” without thinking about others on the vehicle.



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London policeman charged over G20 protest death

London policeman charged over G20 protest death

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

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Tomlinson after being pushed over, shortly before his death
Image: Anonymous.

An officer with London’s Metropolitan Police has been charged with causing the death of a man caught up in the G20 protests in 2009. PC Simon Harwood is accused of the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson, who died after Harwood hit him with a baton before pushing him to the ground.

Homeless paper-seller Tomlinson was pushed from behind outside the Bank of England as he walked back from work. He died within minutes. The death was filmed and attracted international media attention.

Last year, Keir Starmer, Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales, announced that no charges would be brought due to conflicting medical evidence. That decision was placed under review after an inquest jury ruled last month that Tomlinson had been unlawfully killed.

Starmer met with the Tomlinson family today, informing them of his changed decision before the Crown Prosecution Service released a statement by him. In it, he explained that the inquest evidence had changed his position.

He named two areas in which the inquest has had an impact: One is extra medical evidence and the other is questioning in court to assess conflicting medical evidence from different sources. “But for the inquest, the significant conflicts in the evidence that had previously existed could not have been addressed; and the inquest process, which is less confined than a criminal trial, has allowed a degree of clarity to emerge,” said Starmer.

He adds that “the position in relation to the medical evidence about the cause of death has clearly changed,” although he cautioned that the prosecution will remain difficult owing to conflicting medical evidence. Starmer continued, saying that “it is clearly in the public interest that criminal proceedings be brought. Accordingly, a summons charging PC Harwood with the manslaughter of Mr Tomlinson has been obtained …. He will appear before [City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court] on 20 June 2011.”



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