Latest News

Another explosion injures 2 in Austin; cause unclear

PoliceOne - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 20:47

By Paul J. Weber Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas — Two people were injured in another explosion in Texas' capital Sunday night, after three package bombs detonated earlier this month in other areas of the city and killed two people and injured two others.

Austin-Travis County Emergency Management Services reported that an explosion in southwest Austin injured two men in their 20s who were hospitalized with injuries that didn't appear to be life-threatening.

There was no immediate word on what caused the blast or if it was related to the previous ones. Those blasts began when a package bomb exploded at an east Austin home on March 2, killing a 39-year-old man.

Two more package bombs then exploded March 12, killing a 17-year-old, wounding his mother and injuring a 75-year-old woman.

Sunday's explosion occurred far from the first three blasts, which happened in separate, suburban neighborhoods in the eastern part of the city.

Police blocked entrances to the neighborhood where Sunday's blast occurred and put up yellow tape about half a mile from the home where it happened. They urged those living nearby to stay in their homes.

Despite that order, neighbors milled around just outside the tape, but they said they hadn't seen or heard much. FBI agents were conducting interviews with some of them.

The latest explosion came hours after authorities raised the reward by $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of whoever is responsible for the first three explosions. It now totals $115,000.

Austin police Chief Brian Manley has said the earlier three bombings are related and could be crimes of hatred, but that investigators have not ruled out any possible motive or any clear idea "what the ideology is behind this."

Initial Statement from Chief Manley regarding explosion

— Austin Police Dept (@Austin_Police) March 19, 2018

Manley said more than 500 officers, including agents from the FBI and other federal agencies, have conducted 236 interviews in following up on 435 leads.

Categories: Latest News

Authorities investigating claims teacher fed puppy to turtle

PoliceOne - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 10:34

Associated Press

PRESTON, Idaho — Authorities are investigating reports a teacher fed a sick puppy to a snapping turtle in a rural Idaho town that was the setting for the teenage cult classic film "Napoleon Dynamite."

The uproar has forced police to step up security amid threats at Preston Junior High School and other schools in the district following the incident that reportedly occurred on March 7 in front of several students after school.

Investigators are looking into possible animal cruelty charges. The teacher has not been named by authorities.

Preston Police Chief Mike Peterson said Friday the threats were vague but linked to the allegation that the reportedly ailing puppy was fed to the turtle March 7.

"It was enough of a threat that our parents thought we ought to have a bit of a presence over there," Peterson said.

He said two police officers and four Franklin County sheriff's deputies were stationed at schools on Thursday that are normally patrolled by one sheriff's deputy. The district doesn't hold classes on Fridays, but officers may return to provide added security on Monday.

Peterson said the sheriff's office has submitted its findings of the incident to Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Vic Pearson. But Pearson said his agency has a conflict of interest and earlier this week forwarded the report to another prosecutor in the region that he didn't name.

He said in a news release that the high volume of calls being received by law enforcement and his office was "hindering our ability to complete what needs to be done to reach the end goal of justice in this case."

Franklin County Sheriff David Fryar didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press on Friday.

The Preston School District's answering system said its mailbox was full and not accepting messages. But in a previous statement, Superintendent Marc Gee said the district became aware of "a regrettable circumstance involving some of the biological specimens."

The Idaho Humane Society has called for an investigation and has contacted local officials offering its help.

In a statement, it said it shares the concern "of all our constituents who are deeply disturbed by the news from Preston, Idaho, regarding allegations of the mistreatment of a puppy in a classroom setting."

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in a statement said the teacher is a "bully who should not be allowed near impressionable young people."

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture on Friday said the turtle was euthanized on Wednesday because it's an invasive species. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game helped obtain the turtle.

"Our concern is they are omnivorous, can be highly predacious on native species, can live a long time, and once they reach a certain size, they have few natural predators," said Fish and Game spokesman Roger Phillips.

The 2004 film "Napoleon Dynamite" was set in rural Preston, which has a population of about 5,200. The film portrays a shy and unpopular teenager helping his friend run for high school class president.

Reports of the puppy being fed to the turtle have put the town near the Utah border back in the spotlight, but in a negative way.

"I think people are disappointed, disappointed that the incident happened," said Peterson, the police chief. "We don't want that media attention. This is a small town that runs at its own pace."

Categories: Latest News

Teacher, reserve officer, apologizes for accidentally firing gun in classroom

PoliceOne - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 10:21

By Corina Knoll and Alene Tchekmedyian Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — The Monterey County high school teacher who accidentally fired a gun during a lecture on "public safety awareness" has publicly apologized for the classroom incident that injured three students.

Dennis Alexander, who also serves as mayor pro tem of Seaside, made an impromptu speech Thursday at a regularly scheduled City Council meeting filled with hundreds of supporters.

"I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart," Alexander said in footage by local news outlet KSBW. "I can't find the words to say how sorry I am."

Since the Tuesday afternoon event, the community has rallied around the teacher and Sand City reserve police officer.

"We are his family, and we are here to protect what is ours," said one student at the public comment session that, according to Seaside city clerk Lesley Milton-Rerig, lasted for two hours.

"There was such an outpouring of support," Milton-Rerig said. "The council chamber was filled with students and signs, inside and outside. There was nothing on the agenda that would have related to that in any way, but [Alexander] asked the mayor if he could comment."

Alexander, who has served on the council for eight years, thanked those who have stayed in his corner throughout the ordeal.

"It helps a lot. It gets me through the day," he said.

The Seaside High School website lists Anderson as an educator in the career and technical department responsible for introductory classes on fire and police, as well as public safety.

KSBW reported that Alexander fired his service revolver, a Glock 21 semi-automatic .45-caliber pistol.

When the gun went off, Anderson was "attempting to ensure a weapon was safe and free of any bullets" when he pointed it toward the ceiling and inadvertently fired a round, Seaside Police Chief Abdul Pridgen said Wednesday.

Officers were called to Seaside High School about 1:20 p.m.

Three students, 16 and 17 years old, sustained minor injuries — cuts and scrapes — after they were struck by bullet fragments or ceiling debris, Pridgen said. Seaside police said in a news release that no one was "seriously injured."

One student had a cut near his eye, while another had a cut on his neck. A third student's arm had some inflammation.

In at least one case, the student's parents took the teen to a hospital. School resumed after the incident.

Alexander, who Pridgen said has taught this safety class in the past, did not respond to a request for comment.

It's unclear whether he will face charges in the incident. Pridgen said detectives will present the results of their investigation to the Monterey County district attorney's office, which will decide whether charges are appropriate.

The incident came a day before tens of thousands of students across the country staged a historic national walkout to push political leaders to take action to prevent gun violence on and off campuses. The walkout was in response to the massacre at a Parkland, Fla., school where a gunman killed 17 people.

©2018 the Los Angeles Times

Categories: Latest News

Elected officials outraged after admitted cop killer gets parole

PoliceOne - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 09:45

By Kayla Simas Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The New York State Parole Board's decision to release admitted cop killer Herman Bell from prison has outraged lawmakers and city officials.

Bell, a former member of a 1970s Black Liberation Army, fatally shot New York City police officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones in 1971, after luring the officers into an ambush in Harlem.

Jones was killed with a gunshot to his head, as Piagentini was shot shot 22 times, including with his own service revolver - as the dying officer pleaded for his own life.

Over the last 47 years, according to Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill, Belle has never expressed genuine remorse.

"Every day, police officers bravely face the risk of serious injury and death in confronting armed robbers, fleeing felons and the unpredictability of domestic violence,'' said O"Neill. "But, the murders of Officers Piagentini and Jones were different. It was a horrific assault on the basic underpinnings of our society. And the parole board's unjust and irresponsible decision today renders the life portion of that sentence meaningless. Bell's victims - targeted solely for the blue uniform they wore - can never be paroled from death."

Some Staten Island elected officials spoke out about the release of Belle, stating they feel the system has failed.

"Any person involved in the murder of a police officer should never be able to walk our streets again,'' said Rep. Dan Donovan. "It's unfathomable to think that Herman Bell, a domestic terrorist and member of the Black Liberation Army, who murdered two NYPD officers - as well as a police officer from San Francisco - in cold-blood will be released on parole. This announcement not only dishonors the sacrifice of Officers Waverly Jones, Joseph Piagentini and Sgt. John Young and their families, but it also betrays the trust of the brave men and women in blue who protect and serve our communities each day. This decision is a failure of justice and contrary to the ideals of fairness and liberty that our nation was founded on."

State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, of the 64th District, also said the justice system had reached an all-time low.

"Herman Bell's heinous crime, which was both premeditated and without provocation, would earn him life in prison without parole today,'' Malliotakis said. "It is unconscionable that this murderer will be able to walk our streets again. The lack of respect shown by members of the parole board, who are all appointed by the governor, in making this decision, is absolutely outrageous and a total disgrace. My heart breaks for the families of Police Officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones. While their family members' lives were cruelly taken from them while they served our city, they continue to be remembered and mourned for."

Asseblyman Ron Catorina also expressed his anger over the decision:

"This man murdered two NYPD officers in cold blood. He ruined two families. Children forced to grow up without their fathers, wives living without their husbands. What kind of message does this send to our brave men and women in the NYPD?" Assemblyman Castorina continued, "The pain and grief he caused, still present 47 years later, will never go away. The lives he ruined will never be the same. Justice should always be tempered by mercy, but there is no justice in the release of Herman Bell. Justice requires that Bell remains where he belongs, behind bars."

In 1979, Bell was sentenced to 25-years-to-life and has been before the parole board eight times.

The earliest Bell could be released from Shawangunk Prison in Ulster County is April 17.

©2018 Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

Categories: Latest News

Police: 4 people helped hide man after killing of Ky. officer

PoliceOne - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 09:24

By Karla Ward Lexington Herald-Leader

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Four people are charged with hindering prosecution in connection with the shooting of a Pikeville police officer.

On Thursday, John Russell Hall, 55, of Pikeville, was captured and charged with murder of a police officer and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.

He is accused in the death of Pikeville police officer Scotty Hamilton, who was shot while responding with a state police trooper to a call in the Hurricane community of Pike County late Tuesday night.

Michael Slone, 39, of Lexington, Gregory Slone, 54, of Pikeville, Amanda Dotson, 37, of Pikeville, and Jeanne Blackburn, 44, of Harold, also were arrested Thursday.

WKYT-TV reported that Dotson provided a vehicle that she and Michael Slone used to pick up John Russell Hall when he called and asked them for a ride, according to state police.

They allegedly drove him to Gregory Slone’s house. State police told the television station that all four knew Hall was wanted and all four were at Slone’s house when he was arrested.

They were being held in the Pike County Detention Center.

WKYT reported that Hall pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Friday.

Hamilton, 35, had been on the police force for 12 years and leaves behind a wife and infant daughter.

Happening now: Very large crowd coming together for a candlelight vigil to remember fallen Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton. #WSAZ

— Chad Hedrick (@WSAZChadHedrick) March 16, 2018

©2018 the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)

Categories: Latest News

Sessions fires former FBI deputy director

PoliceOne - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 06:47

By Eric Tucker Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he has fired Andrew McCabe, a former FBI deputy director who was a regular target of President Donald Trump's anger and criticism, just two days before McCabe's scheduled retirement date. McCabe suggested the move was part of the Trump administration's "war on the FBI."

The dismissal Friday was made on the recommendation of FBI disciplinary officials. An upcoming inspector general's report is expected to conclude that McCabe authorized the release of information to the media and was not forthcoming with the watchdog office as it examined the bureau's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

"The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability," Sessions said in a statement.

McCabe said his credibility had been attacked as "part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally" but also the FBI and law enforcement.

"It is part of this administration's ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the special counsel investigation, which continue to this day," he added, referring to Robert Mueller's probe into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. "Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the special counsel's work."

McCabe asserted he was singled out because of the "role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey," whom Trump fired as FBI director last May.

Mueller is investigating whether Trump's actions, including Comey's ouster, constitute obstruction of justice. McCabe, a Comey confidant, could be an important witness.

McCabe said the release of the findings against him was accelerated after he told congressional officials that he could corroborate Comey's accounts of Comey's conversations with the president.

McCabe spent more than 20 years as a career FBI official and played key roles in some of the bureau's most recent significant investigations. Trump repeatedly condemned him over the past year as emblematic of an FBI leadership he contends is biased against his administration.

In a tweet early Saturday, Trump said it was "a great day for Democracy" and "a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI." He asserted without elaboration that McCabe "knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI."

McCabe had been on leave from the FBI since January, when he abruptly left the deputy director position. He had planned to retire on Sunday, and the dismissal probably jeopardizes his ability to collect his full pension benefits. His removal could add to the turmoil that has enveloped the FBI since Comey's firing and as the FBI continues its Trump campaign investigation that the White House has dismissed as a hoax.

The firing arises from an inspector general review into how the FBI handled the Clinton email investigation. That inquiry focused not only on specific decisions made by FBI leadership but also on news media leaks.

McCabe came under scrutiny over an October 2016 news report that revealed differing approaches within the FBI and Justice Department over how aggressively the Clinton Foundation should be investigated. The watchdog office has concluded that McCabe authorized FBI officials to speak to a Wall Street Journal reporter for that story and that McCabe had not been forthcoming with investigators. McCabe denies it.

In his statement, McCabe said he had the authority to share information with journalists through the public affairs office, a practice he said was common and continued under the current FBI director, Christopher Wray. McCabe said he honestly answered questions about whom he had spoken to and when, and that when he thought his answers were misunderstood, he contacted investigators to correct them.

The media outreach came at a time when McCabe said he was facing public accusations of partisanship and followed reports that his wife, during a run for the state Senate in Virginia, had received campaign contributions from a Clinton ally. McCabe suggested in his statement that he was trying to "set the record straight" about the FBI's independence against the background of those allegations.

Despite his defense, officials at the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility recommended the firing, leaving Justice Department leaders in a difficult situation. Sessions, whose job status has for months appeared shaky under his own blistering criticism from Trump, risked inflaming the White House if he decided against firing McCabe. But a decision to dismiss McCabe days before his retirement nonetheless carried the risk of angering his rank-and-file supporters at the FBI.

McCabe enjoyed a rapid career ascent in the bureau after joining in 1996. Before being named FBI deputy director last year, he led the bureau's national security branch and also the Washington field office, one of the its largest.

But he became entangled in presidential politics in 2016 when it was revealed that his wife, during her unsuccessful legislative run, received campaign contributions from the political action committee of then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton friend. The FBI has said McCabe received the necessary ethics approval about his wife's candidacy and was not supervising the Clinton investigation at the time.

He became acting director following the firing last May of Comey, and immediately assumed direct oversight of the FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign.

He quickly found himself at odds with the Trump administration.

As a congressional hearing days after Comey's dismissal, McCabe contradicted White House assertions that the Trump campaign investigation was one of the "smallest things" on the FBI's plate. He also strongly disputed the administration's suggestion that Comey had lost the support of the bureau's workforce.

"I can tell you that the majority, the vast majority of FBI employees, enjoyed a deep and positive connection to Director Comey," McCabe said.

Categories: Latest News

Man formally charged in slaying of SC LEO

PoliceOne - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 04:00

By Andrew Dys The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.)

YORK, S.C. — Just yards from each other, the accused killer and three police officers he allegedly shot sat in a courtroom Friday night. It was a jail courtroom without public access because of the suspect’s medical condition and security concerns.

The accused and the victims said nothing to each other in the Moss Justice Center courtroom.

The only voice was the judge asking Christian McCall if he understands the charges -- murder and attempted murder -- against him.

“Yes, sir,” McCall said, seated in a wheelchair.

It was the first time the people who survived a Jan. 16 shootout had seen each other.

Christian McCall is listed on arrest warrants as 6 feet tall, 185 pounds. He sat wearing an orange jail jumpsuit. His right leg was in a brace from where he was shot. McCall was in the chair because he was shot after he “engaged in gunfire” with police, warrants state.

Three of the four officers who had been wounded were there.

Randy Clinton, 34 years a York County Sheriff's deputy, sat in the back row. Kyle Cummings, father and husband and Iraq War veteran and police officer, also sat in the back row, said those who were in the courtroom. Buddy Brown, 13 years an officer, was there, too.

Deputy Mike Doty was not there. He died days after being shot.

The court hearing started an inexorable, downhill avalanche of accusations against McCall which, if proven and he is convicted, could end with McCall spending the rest of his life in prison or potentially facing death.

And because McCall claimed to be indigent -- fired from his banking job in Charlotte after being accused of shooting the law enforcement officers -- he will get a public defender.

Doty’s family was in the courtroom in the basement of the justice center where a couple hours earlier, McCall had been charged with Doty’s murder. Doty’s twin brother, Chris, also a deputy, did not speak.

McCall, 47, is accused of beating his wife Jan. 15, smashing her head against bricks, according to arrest warrants served on McCall. Then he fled with two guns, one a high-powered rifle according to police, and hours later shot the officers.

The incident in January started in the late hours of Jan. 15 and ended after 3 a.m. on Jan. 16, police said.

For two months McCall was in a Charlotte hospital recovering from bullet wounds he received.

That recovery ended Thursday. Friday he waived extradition in a Charlotte courtroom and was jailed in York. Then he was wheeled into that York courtroom where the families waited to see him.

The hearing took about 15 minutes.

Then McCall was wheeled back to jail.

©2018 The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.)

Categories: Latest News

Prosecutor: Ky. LEOs justified in fatal OIS of man who attacked them

PoliceOne - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 04:00

Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky prosecutor says police were justified in fatally shooting a homeless man they found in a vacant, boarded-up home last year.

The Courier Journal reported Friday that Jefferson County Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine said the Louisville officers will not faces any charges in the death of 32-year-old William Young Jr.

Wine said footage from the officers' body cameras show Young attacked them with a weapon as soon as they found him. He said Young did not respond to Louisville Metro Police officers, who were searching the building after a report of a burglary.

"It is clear from the video recordings and statements from the LMPD officers and civilians that the intruder, William Young, was given ample opportunity to surrender himself to the officers or at least announce his presence," Wine wrote in a letter to the police department.

At the time of the shooting, police said Young advanced toward an officer with a skewer-like item before he was shot. In Wine's review of the case, he said the officer who shot Young was poked with a 12-inch (30-centimeter) pointed metal pole near his collarbone.

Young's autopsy report showed he was shot 10 times and tested positive for methamphetamine.

Young's mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city. Her attorney, Gregory Belzley, said even if criminal charges aren't warranted, he believes the confrontation with the "frightened, mentally-ill homeless man" was unnecessary and could have been avoided.

Categories: Latest News

Showdown: S&W vs. break-open revolver – is one faster to reload?

PoliceOne - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 16:25
Author: TFB Staff

This article originally appeared on The Firearm Blog.

In a follow-up to an earlier video in which he compared reloading the last military gate-loading revolver with his Smith and Wesson, Mike returns by popular request to pit his Smith against a British break-open revolver. Is one of them significantly faster to reload?

Categories: Latest News

Mo. police receive grant to combat opioid overdoses

PoliceOne - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 15:35
Author: TFB Staff

By Sydnie Holzfaster LQTV

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The St. Joseph Police Department will soon be able to provide emergency medical assistance to people who have overdosed on opioid painkillers. Thanks to a Missouri grant, police will now be outfitted with the emergency drug Narcan, a nasal spray used to reverse the deadly effects of an opioid overdose.

Police said with the growing opioid epidemic growing nationwide, drug training is vital for the safety of citizens and patrol officers.

The overdose medication comes in a portable holster that will be carried by officers in the field to reverse damages to the central nervous system of a person who has overdosed.

Full Story: St. Joseph Police Recieve Grant to Combat Opioid Overdose

Categories: Latest News

Off-duty cop nearly caught in Fla. bridge collapse helps save lives

PoliceOne - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 14:14
Author: TFB Staff

By PoliceOne Staff

MIAMI — An officer braved the rubble of a bridge collapse in Florida after nearly being a victim herself.

CNN reports that Sweetwater Sgt. Jenna Mendez was at a red light when she witnessed the pedestrian bridge collapse near Florida International University on Thursday. She initially thought a demolition crew collapsed it, but when she saw the crushed cars, she sprung into action.

Had the officer beaten the red light, she may have been one of the victims of the collapse that killed at least six people.

Det. Jenna Mendez and Sgt. A. Mesa witnessed bridge come down, jumped into action and pulled four severely hurt workers and some people in cars out of debris. @WPLGLocal10

— Amy Viteri (@TVAmyViteri) March 15, 2018

"I was seconds away from being caught under that," she said.

Mendez, who wasn’t on duty at the time, was instead one of the first few people to respond to the collapse, according to WPTV. Mendez said after she jumped out of her vehicle, her instinct and training took over.

"I saw on top of the (rubble), there were several construction workers that were injured very badly. I jumped up there to assist, and I had four guys laying there," she said.

Two of the men had broken bones and two were unconscious, one of whom wasn’t breathing. The officer performed CPR on the man who wasn’t breathing and helped the two unconscious people get to the hospital after rescue workers arrived. The two may not have survived had the officer not helped.

Mendez said she was so shocked she doesn’t even remember hearing the bridge collapse.

Just spoke to this amazing @SweetwaterPD Sgt. who saw the #FIUBridgecollapse while heading to work and rescued 2 people. @FOX29WFLX @WPTV

— Stephanie Susskind (@StephanieWPTV) March 16, 2018

"When I look back and see the news stories, you obviously can hear all the horns and the chaos, and think I was in such a zone and a mode that I do not remember hearing anything, to be honest with you," she said.

The officer, a mother of five, said she was thankful she was able to tell her husband she was safe. Mendez believes that anyone else would have helped in that situation but knows she was at that traffic light for a reason.

“Thank God, thank God I was there, we could assist and two lives were saved,” she said.

Categories: Latest News

Wash. officers go above and beyond to help autistic boy whose bike was stolen

PoliceOne - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 12:56
Author: TFB Staff

By PoliceOne Staff

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A pair of Washington officers are being credited for helping a young boy who was “in extreme distress” after his bike was stolen.

The Bellingham Herald reports that Officers Bourgault and Mark Litovchenko received that call Monday from the mother of 6-year-old Levi Martinez, who has autism. Levi’s bike was stolen three days earlier and was later found in pieces.

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Sharing a message and photo that was sent to us last evening....Thank you to the citizen who sent this and thank you...

Posted by Bellingham Police Department on Tuesday, March 13, 2018

When Levi’s mother, Kelly, called police, Bourgault and Litovchenko stepped in to help.

"Those two officers spent more than 45 minutes trying everything they could to fix the bike," Kelly said. "It meant a lot to me, and it meant a lot to Levi for them to go above and beyond."

The officers weren’t able to fix the bike, but they promised to bring the young boy another one “that wasn’t broken.”

On Tuesday, Bourgault and Litovchenko delivered a new bike to Levi. His mother said her son was elated to receive a new bike.

"He was really happy, and he hasn't been off it since," Kelly said. "It made a big difference for him. .... I can't explain how much it meant to see them go out of their way to help Levi."

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = ''; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

True to their’s a happy young man on his new bike! Thank you ?? Bourgault and ?? Litovchenko! ????????

Posted by Bellingham Police Department on Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Categories: Latest News

K-9 sniffs out $1M drug bust

PoliceOne - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 12:52

Author: TFB Staff

By PoliceOne Staff

YAVAPAI COUNTY, Ariz. — An Arizona K-9 sniffed out a million-dollar drug bust.

The Daily Courier reports that on Monday, authorities pulled over Eduardo Pedro Martinez, 20, for an equipment violation. Martinez initially refused to step out of the vehicle before the deputy opened the vehicle door and ordered the suspect out of the sedan, according to The Arizona Republic.

Deputies deployed K-9 Vader, who found several packages that contained cocaine and marijuana. The total weight of the cocaine packages was 47.5 pounds, with an estimated street value that exceeds $1 million, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office said.

The sheriff’s office said deputies also found 27.5 pounds of marijuana and a forged social security card.

Martinez faces a slew of drug charges, including transportation of narcotics for sale.

Categories: Latest News

Man who nearly cut LEO’s ear off sues police, alleges excessive force

PoliceOne - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 12:50
Author: TFB Staff

By PoliceOne Staff

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah man who nearly cut an officer’s ear off filed a lawsuit against the LEO and four other officers, alleging that they used excessive force against him.

The Desert News reports that 25-year-old Leon Dane Hall filed a civil rights lawsuit Monday against the Salt Lake City officers and said his constitutional rights were violated when officers used “brutal, violent” force against him. The suit alleges the physical altercation was “instigated by one of the officers.”

On Feb. 2, 2016, police encountered Hall while responding to reports of a man banging on doors at an apartment complex late at night. Police said Hall refused to give them a name or personal information. When the officers tried to detain Hall, he shouted and resisted, according to charging documents.

Officers attempted to put Hall in a patrol vehicle when he started swinging and screaming at them. When Hall and an officer fell to the ground, Hall pulled out an 18-inch cast-iron lawn ornament with jagged edges and swung it at officers.

Officer Tyler Bang’s ear was nearly severed during the attack. It took five officers to take Hall into custody.

A bystander filmed the incident, which sparked public outcry over whether police used excessive force.

"My little brother Leon Hall is in jail for cutting off part of a police officer's ear during an altercation. Is what he did OK? Not at all. Did the cop excessively beat him? … Yes," Hall's brother, Eli Hall, posted on Facebook.

Hall pleaded guilty to two counts of assault on a peace officer in December.

Hall said it was police who escalated the situation and unlawfully detained him. The suit alleges Hall was already shaken up “in a violent hate crime inflicted against him because he is gay.” Hall said he suffered from PTSD.

Hall contends that the five officers haven’t received adequate training on dealing with people with the condition and that they wrongly assumed that the only explanation for his behavior was that he was on drugs.

The suit said officers struck Hall six to eight times with a baton and used a TASER on him three times after the officer’s ear was sliced. He is seeking $1.8 million in damages.

Salt Lake City police did not comment on the lawsuit.

Categories: Latest News

Couple to get $2.5M after police called bizarre abduction a hoax

PoliceOne - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 11:58

Author: TFB Staff

Associated Press

VALLEJO, Calif. — A couple reached a $2.5 million settlement with a Northern California city and its police department after investigators dismissed the woman's elaborate and bizarre kidnapping as a hoax.

Police in the city of Vallejo initially discounted a report by Denise Huskins and her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, that a masked intruder drugged them in their home and then kidnapped her in 2015.

The assailant sexually assaulted Huskins and released her two days later outside her family's home in Southern California. The Associated Press doesn't normally name victims of sexual assault, but Huskins has frequently spoken publicly about the case in the past.

Police realized the couple were telling the truth after a disbarred Harvard University-trained attorney, Matthew Muller, was implicated in another crime and tied to the abduction. He pleaded guilty to the kidnapping and is serving a 40-year prison term.

Quinn's mother, Marianne Quinn, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the settlement in the lawsuit was reached Thursday.

Vallejo police had apologized after discounting the outlandish kidnapping.

Muller used a drone to spy on the couple before he broke into their home with a fake gun, tied them up and made them drink a sleep-inducing liquid, prosecutors said. They were blindfolded while Muller played a recorded message that made it seem as if there was more than one kidnapper.

He put Huskins in the trunk of his car, drove her to his home in South Lake Tahoe and held her there for two days. Investigators said they found videos of Muller arranging cameras in a bedroom and then recording himself twice sexually assaulting his blindfolded victim.

During and after the kidnapping, Muller used an anonymous email address to send messages to a San Francisco reporter claiming that Huskins was abducted by a team of elite criminals practicing their tactics.

After she was released in the city of Huntington Beach, Vallejo police called the kidnapping a hoax and erroneously likened it to the book and movie "Gone Girl," in which a woman goes missing and then lies about being kidnapped when she reappears.

Muller was arrested in an attempted robbery at another San Francisco Bay Area home. Authorities said they found a cellphone that they traced to Muller and a subsequent search of a car and home turned up evidence, including a computer Muller stole from Quinn, linking him to the abduction.

Huskins sued police, and a judge ruled last year that the lawsuit could proceed.

"The conduct plaintiffs allege goes beyond defendants being skeptical, investigating alternate theories, and expressing skepticism," U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley wrote in his 22-page decision, adding that, "A reasonable jury could find that defendants engaged in conduct that was extreme and outrageous."

Categories: Latest News

SHOT Show 2018 roundup: Innovative gear from the show floor

PoliceOne - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 10:24
Author: Ron Avery

I was on a mission at this year’s SHOT Show to find some products I felt represented true innovation, established a new niche in an already crowded marketplace, or stood out as offering great features for the money.

I wasn’t only interested in mission-specific tactical products; I was also looking for multi-purpose gear and products that were just plain fun.

In no order, here are some of the items that caught my eye.

SIG Sauer P365 Nitron Micro Compact

SIG Sauer’s P365 was a big hit at this year’s SHOT Show. The P365 is under 6 inches long, 4.8 inches height and 1 inch wide. It will fit comfortably inside the waistband or in a pocket. At 17.8 oz, it won’t weigh you down either.

It comes with night sights and, unlike other micro compacts, it carries 10 plus 1 rounds. It is rated for +P ammunition as well.

Surefire EDCL1

This everyday carry light from Surefire is small enough to be tucked in just about anywhere. It has a low beam of 5 lumens for getting around or reading, up to a blinding 500 lumens. I remember when Surefire first came out with a 500 lumen flashlight and it was huge compared to this one. This light will replace my old Surefire EDC1.

Surefire Maximus

I have been in the market for a bright headlamp to use when I am out in the boonies, and the Surefire Maximus fits the bill.

Built with a magnesium body, it looks to be super strong but only weighs 5 oz. It has a variable intensity beam that can go from as low as 1 lumen to a blinding 1000 lumens. It also has a long-running SOS beacon. It runs on a rechargeable lithium ion battery for long life in cold conditions. A gauge shows you the charge status and a moisture-wicking forehead pad provides extra comfort.

Vortex Optics

I use a 4.5 X 27 Vortex scope with the EBR- 2C reticle on my PRS rifle and I am very pleased with the scope/reticle combination. These two Vortex products on display at SHOT Show caught my attention:

The all-new Fury HD 10x42 Laser Rangefinder Binocular has dual-purpose functionality, pairing a high-definition binocular with a compensated rangefinder. I like the idea of having a rangefinder in my binoculars in a compact package. For hunting, tactical or sporting use, it simplifies the spotting, ranging and shooting solution. It also allows you to chest carry in a binocular pouch and not have to dig around for another rangefinder. The Fury Rangefinder is range reflective: 10-1,6000 yards and range deer: 10-1,000 yards. Vortex’s Razor HD 11-33X50 spotting scope is a little jewel that sports high definition glass and only weighs 25 oz. I have a couple of nice Kowa spotting scopes that I use all the time for shooting, wildlife viewing and digi-scoping, but carrying that gear in the mountains is always a challenge. This new Vortex scope could be just the ticket when every ounce counts and you need more than just a pair of 10X binoculars. Nightforce 1-8 scope

This year, Nightforce unveiled a new 1-8 scope. This is a first focal plane scope, daylight bright illuminated reticle (choice of 2 reticles), zero stop feature with a throw lever for ease in switching powers. This scope is very compact and weighs 17 oz. I predict it will be in high demand.

Mag Storage Solutions

The magazine storage products from Mag Storage Solutions allow you to store various magazines – both pistol and carbine – loaded and ready to go, or empty as you prefer.

The pistol version has spacers so you can fit magazines of different widths and there is a shelf at the bottom for ammo.

You can mount these storage units on a wall, attach to a vehicle seat or, with the optional magnet kit, attach to the sidewall of a vehicle or, in my case, the bed of my pickup. I will be testing out the carbine magazine one on my pickup seat and the magnetic one in the bed of my truck.

Hill People Gear Chest Carry Rigs

Hill People Gear has come up with some really good concealed chest carry rigs, as well as packs and other gear.

I do a lot of things outdoors and most of the chest carry rigs are too big and bulky. Hill People’s recon pack, runner’s pack and sub-compact chest carry rigs should fit the bill for just about everybody.

The Recon Kit Bag is a full-size chest carry rig in which you can carry a full-size gun, small med kit, tactical light and spare magazines. It comes with laser cut slots on the front for a minimalist profile if you want to attach items like molle pouches.

The Runner’s Kit Bag is designed for carrying a handgun while running, biking or whatever in urban or low-profile settings. It doesn’t have the room that the recon bag has, but it is more discreet. You can purchase a stabilizer strap for any kit bag to keep the bag from flopping as you run.

The Snubby Kit Bag is for carrying sub-compact handguns and very little else. This bag is good for those who don’t have a large frame as well.

Ruger Precision Rifle .22

This year, Ruger came out with a .22 rimfire version of its hugely popular Ruger Precision Rifle. This should make a great training rifle, as well as be a lot of fun to shoot!

When handling it, I noted that it is made up of high quality components. The stock is adjustable for length of pull and comb height for scope use. It has an AR style safety, uses 10/22 magazines, has an 18” threaded barrel and the barrel can be switched by a competent gunsmith using AR-15 tools and headspace gauges. It has an oversize bolt handle for ease of manipulation and weighs just less than 7 lbs.

The Ruger Precision Rifle centerfire is amazingly accurate, and I expect the same for the .22 version.

There were many other interesting items at SHOT Show 2018, but these were a few I felt I would like to test and evaluate over the coming months. Be sure to check them out for yourself!

Categories: Latest News

Policing Matters Podcast: Report writing best practices

PoliceOne - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 10:04
Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie


Download this week's episode on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed

JD “Buck” Savage humorously taught officers to write accurate reports when he said, “Saw drunk. Arrested same.” Thorough, well-written reports get results. Sloppy reports with a dearth of information let the guilty run free. In this podcast segment, Jim and Doug discuss best practices for report writing, and ponder what the future holds, as artificial intelligence and body-worn cameras may one day lead to semi-autonomous report writing or even fully-autonomous report writing.

Categories: Latest News

Company says it gave correct address before Mo. officer's death

PoliceOne - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 09:57

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

Associated Press

CLINTON, Mo. — A telephone company says its database did not provide the wrong Missouri address and phone number to police dispatchers leading to the shooting of three officers, one fatally.

Police were alerted March 6 about a 911 call in which two women could be heard arguing but made no comment to dispatchers. Clinton police officer Christopher Ryan Morton and two other officers were sent to a home in Clinton to respond to the 911 call. Inside the home, James Waters fired at the officers, killing Morton and injuring the other two. Waters was also fatally shot.

After the shootings, officials determined the 911 call came from a home in Windsor, 20 miles (30 kilometers) from Clinton, and that the women involved in the argument were not connected to the home in Clinton.

Mark Molzen, a spokesman for CenturyLink, which provides a master street address guide for first responders in the area, said in an email to The Kansas City Star Thursday that an internal investigation shows it provided the correct phone number and address.

Henry County 911 Emergency Communications said in a statement March 9 that it believed the error was made in the master street address guide.

On Thursday, Ken Scott, chairman of the county's 911 communications, said he had no reason to challenge CenturyLink's statement. He suggested the Henry County computer assisted dispatching and mapping system may have been unable to interpret and map the address. He said the county recently upgraded its 911 system and it meets Missouri's highest level of service.

"We're looking to see, what do we need to do next to make sure the mapping system is correct," Scott said.

A woman who lived at the home where the officers were shot, Tammy Dee Widger, was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder in Morton's death. The charge was added to previous drug charges because Morton was killed "as a result of" Widger's alleged drug crime, Henry County prosecutors said.

Categories: Latest News

Prolific cybercriminal suspected of spreading ransomware arrested by Polish Police

EUROPOL - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 08:45
This week, the Polish Police, in close cooperation with the Belgian Federal Police and Europol, has arrested a Polish national, known online as "Armaged0n", who is suspected of having encrypted several thousands of computers and having committed a series of online attacks on various Polish companies between 2013 and 2018. The detainee will have to answer to 181 charges in court, including money laundering and computer fraud.
Categories: Latest News

More than 900 instances of online terrorist propaganda uncovered

EUROPOL - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 07:56
On 14 and 15 March 2018 Europol’s European Union Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU) took part in two Referral Action Days with colleagues from the national referral units of Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Slovenia and the United Kingdom, targeting terrorist content located on, a blogging service, and VideoPress, a video-hosting service for WordPress sites. The intensive referral campaign identified over 900 items of branded terrorist propaganda that were swiftly flagged to the platform moderators for further review and eventual removal. 
Categories: Latest News