Wandering Eye: Obama limits military gear for cops, a recap of Holyfield-Romney, and more

Updating a previous Wandering Eye item, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney and former heavweight champion Evander Holyfield did in fact get into a boxing ring and spar, all in the name of charity. Here's CNN's recap: "For two rounds, Romney, 68, and Holyfield, 52, went head-to-head, each landing gentle blows that appeared more like a tickle fight than a boxing match. Although Holyfield took a tumble on the mat, Romney threw in the towel in the second round." Holyfield was complimentary of the former business exec who lost to Barack Obama in 2012, saying: "For a man who's never got in the ring to box, he can throw a jab. He can move around. I was impressed." We still would have preferred some legit haymakers. Oh well. If you want to see the whole spectacle for yourself, video of the bout naturally made its way to YouTube. (Brandon Weigel)

 

Baltimore superlawyer Kenneth Ravenell, who left Freddie Gray's family lawyer Billy Murphy's firm last fall suddenly and without explanation, is subject of a grand jury investigation, a court filing suggests. "The attorney inquiry hearing in question in this case implicated matters involving a grand jury investigation, and accordingly, the hearing and related documents must continue to be sealed in light of considerations of grand jury secrecy," reads Judge Richard D. Bennett's order in a related matter. William Bond filed as an intervenor, seeking to open sealed documents in the case of Richard Byrd, who is accused in a large drug-dealing conspiracy that stretched from Arizona to New York to Atlanta, at least. Byrd, who did time for drug dealing years ago, remade himself as an expert in "brand-awareness," in the words of his former lawyer, Ravenell. That means he staged large parties, sponsored by Couvoisier and Hennessy, where thousands paid for entry to see or be seen with big rap stars. Ravenell came under scrutiny in the case, apparently for helping coordinate counter-surveillance against law enforcement agents working the case (Who knew that you could not tail and surveil the cops who were following you?). The judges have rejected Bond's arguments for opening the attorney inquiry proceedings involving Ravenell. According to Bennett's April 15 order, Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Sullivan previously and correctly found that "the type of hearings that took place in this case would be frustrated by such openness. In coming to this conclusion, Judge Sullivan noted that attorney inquiry hearings 'are designed to address a wide variety of problems that can arise between criminal defendants and their counsel,' and that the success of such hearings depends on the parties' ability to speak openly and with candor." (Who knew that there was no openness or candor in regular court proceedings?) But the new order, upholding Sullivan's ruling, offers more confirmation that Ravenell's attorney inquiry case is a big deal: "as explained in somewhat more detail below, the precise nature of the attorney inquiry hearing in this case clearly qualified this case as one of 'unusual circumstances,' and public access would not significantly improve the functioning of the inquiry in this case." Bond can appeal. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

A couple of weeks ago during the uprising, it was sometimes difficult to tell which guys with machine guns were cops, which were National Guard, and which were . . . from New Jersey. Today, the president might make it a bit easier for us to make these distinctions in the future as he announces that he will ban police departments from using federal funds to "acquire items that include tracked armored vehicles, the highest caliber-firearms and ammunition, and camouflage uniforms," according to The New York Times. Since this limit on spending federal funding on military-type equipment can only go so far, it is paired with another effort which includes grants to encourage local departments to adopt administration suggestions and a "tool kit" to help departments implement body cameras. (Baynard Woods)

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