Latest News

Grocery store feeds responders in wake of deadly Va. protest

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 13:29

By PoliceOne Staff

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — First responders received donated food from a grocery store in the aftermath of the fatal Charlottesville rally.

WXXI News reported that responders went to Wegmans to buy pizzas for the officers still working after the deadly white nationalist rally.

Store managers instead donated enough food and drinks to fill a vehicle for the responders to enjoy.

The next morning, responders went back to the store and were given shopping carts full of donated breakfast items. According to a Facebook post, over 1,000 responders were fed. The Facebook post said the responders refused to leave the second time until Wegmans staff accepted a payment.

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If you google "Wegmans founder" the image that comes back says "Never think about yourself, always help others"...

Posted by Metro Richmond Fire Incidents on Sunday, August 13, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Police: 1 dead, at least 12 injured after car plows into French pizzeria

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 13:19

UPDATE 4:22 p.m. (CST):

PARIS — Police say a 13-year-old girl was killed and her younger brother received life-threatening injuries when a driver steered his car into a pizzeria east of Paris.

Authorities initially said the victim was 8-years-old, but later said she was 13. An official with the national gendarme service said her younger brother was among at least 12 people injured in the Monday night attack.

The official said the attacker was driving a BMW that he aimed at patrons of Pizzeria Cesena in the small town of Sept-Sorts, about 60 kilometers (36 miles) east of Paris.

The official was not authorized to be publicly named.

France's Interior Ministry has described the man as apparently suicidal and said it does not believe his actions were linked to terrorism.

EARLIER:

By Angela Charlton Associated Press

PARIS — French police say an 8-year-old girl was killed and at least five people were injured when a driver slammed his car into the sidewalk cafe of a pizza restaurant in a small town east of Paris.

An official with the national gendarme service said the driver was arrested soon after the incident Monday night in the town of Sept-Sorts.

The official said it is unclear whether the act was deliberate. The official was not authorized to be publicly named according to police policy.

An Algerian man drove his car into a group of French soldiers last week, and a truck attack in the French city of Nice left 86 people dead a little more than a year ago. Several other countries have seen cars used as weapons in recent years.

An eight-year-old girl has been killed and eight more injured after a car drove in to a Paris pizzeria. Here's what we know pic.twitter.com/S3kADjcdjt

— Sky News (@SkyNews) August 14, 2017

BREAKING: Girl, 8, has died and several injured after car ploughs into pizzeria in Paris: https://t.co/otf6BqdR6Q pic.twitter.com/R67GlzLv9X

— Daily Express (@Daily_Express) August 14, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Bringing the street to the range: Does your training reflect the reality of policing?

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 12:01

Author: Chrystal Fletcher

Modern trainers are recognizing the need to create more realistic training for police officers. This can be done in various ways, from running scenarios to conducting training using everyday equipment under everyday conditions.

As we constantly try to stretch our training budgets, here are some simple and inexpensive ways to provide realistic training.

Firearms Training

Shooting at night requires a completely different skill set compared to shooting in well-lit conditions. Since the majority of gun fights take place in low or altered light, wouldn’t it be beneficial to conduct a significant amount of firearms training in those conditions?

The use of weapon-mounted lights mitigates much of the low light disadvantage while shooting, but without proper training, it is easy to fall into the habit of using mounted lights for searching, which violates one of the cardinal rules of firearms safety: never point your firearm at anything you are not prepared to shoot.

Officers must practice proper muzzle control at all times; therefore, handheld lights must be the go-to light for searching. Since the handheld light is most likely to be in their hand, officers must be proficient shooting with handheld lights as well, which means a lot of one-handed shooting. Putting a handheld light in the mix necessitates developing a whole new skill, one that is not trained or practiced enough.

Use of Force Training

Most use of force incidents also occur in low light, so hands-on training like defensive and control tactics should be conducted in similar conditions. The flashing and strobing overhead lights create a unique working environment, yet this is seldom incorporated into training. Are your officers ready to recognize changing threat cues under less than ideal lighting conditions?

Fully Clothed

It is easy to become lackadaisical about wearing full duty gear when training. Many police officers show up for training in clothes other than their regular uniform with gear other than their regular duty gear.

Most of the time, this won’t make a difference on the outcome of the training, but everyone should train with the clothes and gear they use every shift at least once a year.

Uniforms are much more restrictive than athletic wear, and the vests, boots and other duty gear add a lot of weight and bulk that will impact performance and endurance.

Inversely, it is common for those in plain clothes assignments to show up to train with their full duty belt. Many of these special assignments carry smaller framed handguns and carry them concealed, yet they fail to receive the training and practice time with this equipment.

Drawing and presenting a full-size handgun from a retention holster is an entirely different action than drawing from concealment. And the smaller the handgun, the harder it is to shoot well.

Proficiency with duty gear does not necessarily equate to proficiency with concealment gear.

Be Weather Wise

For those who live and work where the weather can be inclement, it is important to train in those conditions. No one wants to train in hot or foul weather, but it is imperative we do.

Extreme climate conditions place additional stress on our bodies and equipment, so we need to ensure officers and equipment are up to the task. While it is important to limit exposure to extreme conditions to safe time frames, it is imperative to have that training time.

Heat is not such an issue as cold. Additional layers of clothing, the use of gloves, and navigating snow and ice add a new facet to the job and training. We require officers to perform their duties in harsh conditions; therefore, we must allow police officers time to train and practice in these conditions.

Without the scheduled and forced training time, very few will take it upon themselves to practice using cold weather gear, and I assure you, it is a game changer.

Workforce Needs Should Dictate Training Schedule

Often, training is scheduled at the convenience and comfort of the trainers. It is the job of trainers to train, and their success is dependent upon the readiness and success of their officers. The needs of the workforce should dictate the training schedule.

It requires a special person to look outside their own personal desires, to see the big picture, and make decisions based on the good of the officers, the department, and the community.

Not long ago, an agency cancelled previously scheduled winter range training because of snow on the range. This agency is located in an area where it is common to receive winter snow so these conditions should have been expected. Their officers work and drive on ice and snow all winter. Oddly enough, this range training was cancelled just a few weeks after an officer-involved shooting in the same region. Whether or not the training was cancelled due to weather is irrelevant. The fact that they cancelled a regularly scheduled range training event on the heels of an officer-involved shooting sent a loud and distinct message to officers about administrative priorities.

It is human nature to seek the easiest and most comfortable way to live. Given our druthers, we will never train or practice those things that cause us physical or emotional discomfort. This is why it is imperative to hold training and practice sessions that reflect actual working conditions for police officers.

We want to give our officers their best chance at success, and this is the best way to accomplish this goal. Training does not need to be complicated or expensive, but it does need to be realistic.


Categories: Latest News

NJ pizzeria accused of writing 'pig' on cop's order, owner says it's a misunderstanding

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 11:10

Author: Chrystal Fletcher

By PoliceOne Staff

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. — A police officer said a local pizzeria employee wrote “pigs” on her order when she went in to grab lunch.

A Facebook post written Friday said a uniformed police officer went into Mancini Pizza last week and saw an employee write “pigs” on a pizza box, MyCentralJersey.com reported. She said she called out the employee and the owner got involved.

The East Brunswick PBA wrote on Facebook that the officer “left without reimbursement or the food she purchased.”

Mancini wrote on Facebook that it was all a misunderstanding regarding the marks employees write on the boxes while preparing orders. He said she saw a box containing a plain slice of pizza and garlic twists, which had a “p” for the plain slice written on it and a squiggly symbol representing the garlic twists.

"The officer thought that was her order," Mancini said. "Meanwhile, she ordered a panini, which goes in a single bag. It doesn't go in a box."

He said his brother told the officer the box wasn’t her food and her panini was still in the oven. The PBA said the officer “refutes the claims made by Mancini Pizza regarding the matter and we stand by her account of the event.” They’re calling for a boycott of the restaurant as well.

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On August 1st, a uniformed officer and member of the East Brunswick PBA Local #145 entered Mancini Pizza to purchase...

Posted by East Brunswick PBA Local 145 on Saturday, August 12, 2017

Mancini said he has family and friends that are police officers and several LEOs frequent his shop and their relationship is good with his employees.

"They don't even know us. They don't know how we treat police officers. We treat them with the utmost respect,” he said. “This is my livelihood, this is my family. This is what we've worked so hard for."


Categories: Latest News

Officer honored after saving cardiac arrest victim at soccer game

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 10:40

Author: Chrystal Fletcher

Seattle.gov

SEATTLE — Seattle Police officer and certified EMT Kevin Oshikawa-Clay knows what it’s like to be in the right place at the right time.

Just a week into paternity leave following the birth of his second child, Officer Oshikawa-Clay took a breather from his parental duties for an evening soccer match at Asa Mercer Middle School, and ultimately provided life-saving CPR to a man who suffered cardiac arrest. Today, Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins honored Officer Oshikawa-Clay and his family at Seattle Fire Headquarters, presenting him with a letter of appreciation and recognizing him for his life saving actions.

The medical emergency occurred on a warm June evening about midway through the soccer game when a 42 year old man on the opposing team suddenly collapsed. Officer Oshikawa-Clay and one of his team mates, a medical doctor, rushed to his side.

Officer Oshikaway-Clay and the doctor quickly observed that the patient wasn’t breathing. Officer Oshikawa-Clay immediately launched into CPR. Other soccer players ran about 300 yards to Asa Mercer Middle School in search of an automated external defibrillator (AED). The soccer players had the good fortune to get the attention of a janitor, who directed them to the location of an onsite AED.

Officer Oshikawa-Clay and the doctor deployed the AED, delivering one shock. Seattle Fire Department Medics arrived soon after and delivered another shock with their own AED. All told, Kevin supported the patient with CPR for nearly 10 minutes.

While this unfortunate incident had a happy outcome – the patient has made a full recovery – this is definitely a case where proper training, equipment, and good fortune played a significant role.

Every Seattle Police officer is trained in CPR. Thanks to the generous contributions of Craig Tall and the Seattle Police Foundation, every Seattle Police patrol car is equipped with an AED.

The coincidences don’t end with Officer Oshikawa-Clay being an EMT. Officer Oshikawa-Clay’s wife Sara works for the Medic One Foundation. The patient’s wife works for AED manufacturer Physio Control.

This is Officer Oshikawa-Clay’s second life save. He saved a woman in 2016 when he administered department issued naloxone to an overdose victim.


Categories: Latest News

Police try out new database for documenting opioid overdoses

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 10:38
Author: Chrystal Fletcher

By Jennifer McDermott Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Police in Massachusetts are testing a new database for documenting opioid overdoses they hope will help departments share information in real time and get people into treatment.

The database was developed by criminal justice experts Sean Varano at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, and Pam Kelley with Kelley Research Associates in Massachusetts.

It's an innovative approach, Varano said, because agencies typically rely on older public health data about fatal overdoses and don't know the prevalence of nonfatal overdoses and because it gives them a quick way to communicate about that data.

"This is really a death prevention project," Varano said. "That sounds like hyperbole, but when someone overdoses today and they're not in treatment, their chances of dying in the next month are exponentially greater. So how do we understand that and play a role so they don't die?"

It works like this: When a department is called to an overdose, it's recorded in the system. The system then alerts the department to do a follow-up outreach visit. If the victim is from a neighboring community, that police department is notified.

The 27 police departments in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, are using it. They have all agreed that within 24 hours of a nonfatal overdose, a non-uniformed officer and recovery coach will go to the person's house to discuss treatment and offer resources to their family.

"We know people suffering from the crisis don't just overdose in their town," said East Bridgewater Police Chief Scott Allen. "And if we're not sharing that information in real time, we're missing opportunities to get people into treatment."

Given the skyrocketing number of overdoses, Allen said the departments had no choice but to figure out what they could do to help people. He stressed that the visits serve to offer people access to treatment and services they may not know about, and they won't be prosecuted for possession because of the state's Good Samaritan law.

More than 1,000 people have overdosed in the county so far this year, Allen added. He said he's looking at the data for increases because that could indicate that more people are using fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid.

Allen is also speaking with police departments in other parts of the country interested in the new database. Allen and Plymouth Police Chief Michael Botieri brought police chiefs together to implement the system in their county.

President Donald Trump said last week that he will officially declare the opioid crisis a "national emergency," and he pledged to ramp up government efforts to combat the epidemic.

More than 33,000 people died from drug overdoses involving opioids nationwide in 2015, and preliminary data for the first three quarters of 2016 indicate that the drug overdose death rate is still increasing, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.


Categories: Latest News

NYPD K-9 injured after falling through ceiling during gun bust

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 09:31
Author: Chrystal Fletcher

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — A NYPD K-9 was injured during a gun bust after he fell through a ceiling.

K-9 Timoshenko, named after slain Det. Russel Timoshenko, was searching a home for firearms Friday night. Timoshenko was checking the attic when the ceiling gave way and he fell through, the New York Post reported.

His front paw was cut and he received seven stitches. He is recovering at home where he is expected to make a full recovery.

Timoshenko’s efforts did not go to waste. He sniffed out a .22 semiautomatic handgun, an assault rifle, six other rifles and a shotgun, the Post reported. Agron haskaj, 61, was arrested on multiple counts of weapons possession.

Last night / search warrant #K9 "Timoshenko" recovered these guns but also fell thru a ceiling. 7 stitches & he's recovering @ home #GoodBoy pic.twitter.com/KoE2ZPBgvE

— NYPD Special Ops (@NYPDSpecialops) August 12, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Suspect fatally shot after striking Wash. cop in head with sword

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 09:29
Author: Chrystal Fletcher

By PoliceOne Staff

KENNEWICK, Wash. — A man was fatally shot by police after striking an officer in the head with a sword.

Two officers responded to a 911 call Sunday evening about a man armed with a sword, KNDO reported. The caller told dispatchers the man was attempting to hide the sword with a newspaper. One officer exited his patrol car to approach the suspect when the man struck the officer in the head with a sword, KVAL reported.

Both officers drew their firearms, fatally shooting the suspect.

Medics arrived and transported the officer and suspect to the hospital. The officer was treated for his wounds and released. The suspect died at the hospital.

An investigation is ongoing.

@KennewickPolice responded to a call Sunday Evening about a man walking near the intersection of 10th Ave and Olympia with a sword. pic.twitter.com/JEqED07sx7

— Rashaad O'Neal (@RashaadKAPPKVEW) August 14, 2017


Categories: Latest News

3 dead after shooting at Wis. drag racing event; suspect at large

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 08:01

Author: Chrystal Fletcher

Associated Press

UNION GROVE, Wis. — Three Illinois men who were shot to death at point-blank range during a drag racing event in southeastern Wisconsin may have been targeted by a rival gang member, a sheriff's official said Monday.

The three were fatally shot as they stood near a concession area in the parking lot of the Great Lakes Dragaway near Union Grove about 7 p.m. Sunday, according to Kenosha County sheriff's officials.

The shooter remains at large, sheriff's Sgt. Mark Malecki said Monday.

"The victims were known gang members," Malecki said, adding that they came from the Aurora area in Illinois. Deputies were investigating the possibility that the assailant was a rival gang member.

Two of the men died at the scene and the third died in an ambulance on the way to a hospital.

Sheriff David Beth urged any witnesses to the shooting to contact his department.

"A lot of people may not have wanted to come up and talk to the sheriff's department initially because maybe they were afraid someone was going to see them," Beth said. "So what I'm hoping happens is someone who knows what's going on or saw what happened will call us, give us more information and help us catch the individual who did this."

The sheriff's office estimated that more than 5,000 people were at the raceway for an event known as "Larry's Fun Fest." The track's website shows the event included drag racing, tailgating, live entertainment and a car show.

Union Grove is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Milwaukee.


Categories: Latest News

How Charlottesville tried to move alt-right rally location

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 07:42

Author: Chrystal Fletcher

By Andrea Fox, EfficentGov Editor in Chief

Because Charlottesville, Va., renamed Lee Park to Emancipation Park and planned to removed statues of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and Lt. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, the city has attracted the Klu Klux Klan and other alt-right rally groups for several months.

Clashes between “Unite the Right” rally protesters and anti-protesters over the weekend led to a declared state of emergency that required the presence of the National Guard. The event led to the death of at least one woman, with several others in critical condition or injured, when suspect James Alex Fields Jr., of Ohio, rammed a crowd with a car in the congested downtown. Two state police officers were also killed in a helicopter accident as part of citywide crowd control measures during the violent rally.

“This entire community is a very far left community that has absorbed these cultural Marxist principles advocated in college towns across the country, about blaming white people for everything,” said Jason Kessler, a local man who organized the “Unite the Right” alt-right rally.

How Charlottesville Got Here

The event escalation began a week before the planned rally when city officials wanted to change the location, according to a report by a local NBC News affiliate.

Locally, police believed the alt-right rally would attract as many as 2,000 to 6,000 people, according to CNN. Groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism that tracks various groups had been saying they believed it would be the largest gathering of the major white supremacist groups in a decade, according to the Capital Journal.

The city sought to move the rally to a larger park, away from the congested downtown.

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City Statement on 8/12 Court Ruling "While the City is disappointed by tonight's ruling we will abide by the judge's...

Posted by Mike Signer on Friday, August 11, 2017

Representing the rally organizer, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against changing the location.

When the court made the decision Friday night to keep the scheduled Saturday rally at Emancipation Park, The Unite the Rally members took up torches and marched on the University of Virginia campus, and stood around a statue of Thomas Jefferson chanting white supremacy-fueled statements.

Police were called to break up that seemingly spontaneous demonstration prior to the next day’s planned rally, and photos comparing the tone of the evening to the rise of Nazi Germany spread like wildfire on social media.

Looking at Charlottesville’s Public Safety Decision

ACLU regarded previous response by the city to a July alt-right protest as “over-militarized,” according to a prepared statement, saying that they would be monitoring police presence.

But Dan Marcou, who has experience in crowd control tactics in La Crosse, Wisc., and other like him regularly advise cities and local law enforcement agencies to prepare for a range of potential public safety impacts at protests.

“Agencies and their partners — prosecutors and other government entities — need to be ready for a variety of appropriate responses for actions these groups may take,” Marcou said during an International Law Enforcement Educators & Trainers Association conference session during the height of the Occupy Movement in 2012, according to a PoliceOne column about May Day protest prep.

In Charlottesville, City Manager Maurice Jones decided to move the rally, citing public safety concerns. Jones concluded the alt-right rally would be incompatible with the dense, urban location of Emancipation Park and its proximity next to the downtown mall, said Mayor Mike Signer, according to an NBC report earlier in the week preceding the event.

The city held a press conference about the location change on Monday, August 7th.

"I expect Mr. Kessler to cooperate with us by holding his event at the approved venue. Having a demonstration at McIntire Park is safer because the park is large enough to accommodate the size of the anticipated crowd,” Police Chief Al Thomas told press.

Charlottesville businesses were also concerned about the upcoming alt-right rally’s location:

“The Downtown Business Association of Charlottesville (DBAC) wishes to commend Charlottesville City Manager, Maurice Jones, for his wise decision to relocate the rally scheduled for August 12th from Emancipation Park to McIntire Park. This decision protects the safety of the community as well as downtown properties due to the anticipated increase in the size of the crowd. The size of the McIntire Park location provides more adequate parking and space for individuals attending the rally,” said Susan Payne, spokesperson for DBAC.

The Department of Justice has opened a federal investigation into the motor vehicle homicide Fields, an alt-right protester, is accused of.


Categories: Latest News

Man drags accused rapist to deputies

PoliceOne - Sun, 08/13/2017 - 12:02

By Olivia Hitchcock The Palm Beach Post

GREENACRES, Fla. — When Dennis Padilla Vindel heard that a 13-year-old had been repeatedly raped, he raced home from work and dragged the bloodied man to deputies himself.

Padilla Vindel, whose relationship to the young teen is redacted from Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office records, denied intentionally stabbing Roberto Rubio, though he admitted to having a box cutter on him during their confrontation Monday afternoon just east of Greenacres.

Earlier that day the 13-year-old’s mother called Padilla Vindel after someone saw the teen running into a neighbor’s home in their Greenacres-area community, away from Rubio.

The young teen was hysterical, records show, and said Rubio had repeatedly climbed into the teen’s room through a window and raped the teen.

The first time, Rubio brought a red blanket with him into the bedroom, put a shirt over the teen’s mouth and then undressed and raped the teen, Palm Beach County sheriff’s records show. He also threatened to kill the teen’s parents if the teen didn’t do what he said.

He is accused of raping the teen two other times.

By the time Padilla Vindel had learned about the allegations and made it home, the teen and the teen’s mother had left to speak with medical staff and detectives.

Relatives at the scene, though, directed Padilla Vindel to Rubio who was hiding in his car on 63rd Way South near Casa Del Monte Mobile Home Park. Padilla Vindel went to find Rubio and brought along a box cutter, he said, because “(Rubio) usually is armed.”

Rubio tried to run when Padilla Vindel approached. They fought one another, during which Padilla Vindel suspects Rubio received the stab wound to the chest. Both men ended up in a canal.

Padilla Vindel eventually got a hold of the man and dragged him to a sheriff’s deputy. Rubio had a bloodied shirt and nose and was rushed to a trauma center for his injuries.

After being treated, authorities met with Rubio, who denied forcing the teen to do anything. He was in love with the 13-year-old, he said, and promised to take care of the teen and the teen’s family.

The age of sexual consent in Florida is 18. No one under the age of 16 can give consent under any circumstances, according to Florida statutes.

Padilla Vindel was arrested Monday afternoon on an aggravated battery charge. He was released the next day from the Palm Beach County Jail on a $10,000 surety bond.

Rubio was booked Tuesday into the county jail on three counts of sexual assault of a minor. He is being held without bond.

———

©2017 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.)


Categories: Latest News

Sheriff's office to auction century-old machine gun

PoliceOne - Sun, 08/13/2017 - 11:56

Associated Press

NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio — A northeast Ohio sheriff's office is auctioning off a nearly century-old machine gun to help pay for new weapons for deputies.

The Dover-New Philadelphia Times Reporter reports that an expert has estimated the Thompson Model 1921's value at $37,000.

The weapon was purchased by Tuscarawas County Sheriff Abe Laird in 1934. Sheriff's Office staff is unsure what the machine gun was originally used for. Lt. Brian Alford says the Thompson was a popular law enforcement weapon during Depression-era mine riots.

Alford says the weapon is nearly original and is cleaned several times a year. He says he was the last person to fire the weapon five years ago.

Sheriff Orvis Campbell expects the gun to fetch nearly $50,000 at a September auction.

Up for auction in Ohio: A Thompson Model 1921 https://t.co/UH3TPxSoYN pic.twitter.com/dkTKQ9zXfE

— Guns.com (@Guns_com) August 10, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Authorities: NJ shoplifting suspect flees cops, drowns in lake

PoliceOne - Sun, 08/13/2017 - 11:30

Associated Press

WOODBURY, N.J. — Authorities say a shoplifting suspect in New Jersey drowned when he ran from police and then tried to swim away in a lake.

Gloucester County prosecutors say officers approached the 20-year-old man at a Woodbury convenience store around 3:50 a.m. Saturday and tried to speak with him. But they say he ran off and jumped into nearby Woodbury Lake.

The officers ordered the man to leave the water. But they soon lost sight of him when he swam under a bridge.

Emergency responders then searched the water for the man but could not find him. A state police dive team eventually found his body around 10:30 a.m.

An autopsy determined the death was an accidental drowning. His identity has not been released.


Categories: Latest News

Brother: Slain Mo. officer saw policing as dream job

PoliceOne - Sun, 08/13/2017 - 10:01

By Jim Suhr Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Missouri police officer slain during a traffic stop was eulogized Saturday as an optimistic man who always prized law enforcement, with the state's governor pressing mourners to appreciate the perils of police in a culture "too quick to condemn" them.

"My brother's dream job was being a police officer," said Chris Michael, standing behind brother Gary Lee Michael Jr.'s flag-draped casket.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens and hundreds of others packed a convention center in western Missouri's Clinton, the 9,000-resident town where the officer was gunned down on Aug. 6.

Investigators say 37-year-old Gary Michael had stopped a car for a traffic violation when the driver fatally shot him and sped away. The suspect, Ian McCarthy of Clinton, was captured after a two-day manhunt.

McCarthy, who authorities say was wounded in the gunfire exchange with Michael, is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action. A plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf Friday, and he remains jailed.

A second man, 35-year-old William Noble of Clinton, was charged Thursday with felony evidence tampering after prosecutors alleged he supplied the weapon — an unspecified rifle — used to kill Michael.

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Procession for Officer Gary Lee Michael Jr

Posted by Kip Nelson on Saturday, August 12, 2017

During Saturday's funeral, Chris Michael said his brother had a "passionate, optimistic view of life" and "a servant heart."

When Gary Michael was 16, his brother recalled, he went to the Clinton police station and had "his first interview," telling officers, "'You guys have car chases sometimes, and during those maybe you need somebody to help you out."

"'I got a fast car, you known, and maybe I could help. Maybe I could be a pursuit specialist,'" Chris Michael quoted his brother as saying then. "Unfortunately that job title still does not exist. But Gary did get the nickname of 'Rabbit' because of his foot-pursuit skills. He loved his brothers in blue."

Gary Michael — an Army veteran and one-time car salesman — was the first police officer killed in the line of duty in Clinton, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) southeast of Kansas City.

McCarthy served time in prison in New Hampshire for first-degree assault and a parole violation. He also was wanted at the time of his arrest on a 2015 warrant out of Johnson County, Missouri, for unlawful possession of a firearm. As a convicted felon, McCarthy cannot legally own a firearm.

Moments after Clinton pastor Randy Shipman told mourners Michael was taken by "a depraved act that is unexplainable," Greitens said the tragedy underscored that "now more than ever our police officers need our devotion."

"This culture has become too quick to condemn the peacekeepers and to defame the defenders," Greitens said. "But we here, we know that our peace and defense are dearly paid for in sweat and sacrifice and also lives."


Categories: Latest News

Man accused of ramming protesters pictured with racist group

PoliceOne - Sun, 08/13/2017 - 09:28

By Sarah Rankin Associated Press

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The driver of a car accused of crashing into a crowd protesting a white supremacist rally in Virginia had been photographed hours earlier carrying the emblem of one of the hate groups that organized the "take America back" campaign.

Vanguard America denied on Sunday any association with the suspect. A separate hate group that organized the initial rally pledged on social media to organize future events that would be "bigger than Charlottesville."

Meanwhile, the mayor of Charlottesville and political leaders of all political stripes vowed to combat the hate groups and urged President Donald Trump to forcefully denounce the organizations that had promoted the protest against the removal of a Confederate statue. Some of those groups specifically cited Trump's election after a campaign of racially charged rhetoric as validation of their beliefs.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced late Saturday that federal authorities will pursue a civil rights investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash. The violence and deaths in Charlottesville "strike at the heart of American law and justice," Sessions wrote. "When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated."

Police charged James Alex Fields Jr. with second-degree murder and other counts after a silver Dodge Challenger they say he was driving barreled through a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman and wounding at least 19.

In a photo taken by the New York Daily News, Fields, a 20-year-old who recently moved to Ohio from Kentucky, stands with a handful of men, all dressed similarly in the Vanguard America uniform of khakis and white polo shirts. The men hold white shields with a black-and-white logo of two axes. The Confederate statue of Robert E. Lee is in the background.

The Daily News said the photo was taken about 10:30 a.m. Charlottesville officials say Fields crashed his car into the crowd at 1:42 p.m. The Anti-Defamation League says Vanguard America believes the U.S. is an exclusively white nation, and uses propaganda to recruit young white men online and on college campuses.

In a Twitter post, the group said it had handed out the shields "to anyone in attendance who wanted them," and denied Fields was a member. "All our members are safe an (sic) accounted for, with no arrests or charges."

In blog posts that appeared Saturday after the violence, the Daily Stormer, a leading white nationalist website that promoted the Charlottesville event, pledged to hold more events "soon."

"We are going to start doing this nonstop," the post said. "We are going to go bigger than Charlottesville. We are going to go huge."

Saturday's chaos erupted as neo-Nazis, skinheads, members of the Ku Klux Klan, and other white supremacist groups staged a rally to protest the city of Charlottesville's plans to remove the Lee statue. Peaceful counter-protesters arrived and marched downtown, carrying signs that read "black lives matter" and "love."

The two sides quickly clashed, with hundreds of people throwing punches, hurling water bottles and unleashing chemical sprays. Some came prepared for a fight, with body armor and helmets. Videos that ricocheted around the world on social media showed people beating each other with sticks and shields. Amid the violence, the Dodge Challenger tore through the crowd.

The impact hurled people into the air and blew off their shoes. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed as she crossed the street.

"It was a wave of people flying at me," said Sam Becker, 24, sitting in the emergency room to be treated for leg and hand injuries.

Those left standing scattered, screaming and running for safety. Video caught the car reversing, hitting more people, its windshield splintered from the collision and bumper dragging on the pavement. Medics carried the injured, bloodied and crying, away as a police tank rolled down the street.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency, police in riot gear ordered people out of the streets, and helicopters circled overhead, including one that later crashed, killing two state police troopers. Officials had not provided a crowd estimate but it appeared to number well over a thousand.

Fields' mother, Samantha Bloom, told The Associated Press on Saturday night that she knew her son was attending a rally in Virginia but didn't know it was a white supremacist rally.

"I thought it had something to do with Trump. Trump's not a white supremacist," said Bloom.

Trump criticized the violence in a tweet Saturday, followed by a press conference and a call for "a swift restoration of law and order."

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides," he said.

The "on many sides" ending of his statement drew the ire of his critics, who said he failed to specifically denounce white supremacy and equated those who came to protest racism with the white supremacists. The Rev. Jesse Jackson noted that Trump for years questioned President Barack Obama's citizenship and his legitimacy as the first black president, and has fanned the flames of white resentment.

"We are in a very dangerous place right now," Jackson said.

McAuliffe said at Saturday's news conference that he spoke to Trump on the phone, and insisted that the president must work to combat hate.

Trump said he agreed with McAuliffe "that the hate and the division must stop and must stop right now."

At a news conference, Signer remarked, "There is a very sad and regrettable coarseness in our politics that we've all seen too much of today. Our opponents have become our enemies, debate has become intimidation."

In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Signer said of Trump, "Look at the campaign he ran. ... Look at the intentional courting, both on the one hand of all these white supremacists ... and then look on the other hand the repeated failure to step up, condemn, denounce, silence ... put to bed all those different efforts, just like we saw yesterday. ... There's two words that need to be said over and over again: domestic terrorism and white supremacy. That is exactly what we saw on display this weekend."

New York Gov. Mario Cuomo on Sunday launched an online petition calling on Trump to denounce Saturday's white supremacist rally. The violence prompted responses from around the country, including in West Virginia and Florida, where activists and others pledged to work to remove Confederate statues in their cities, staged protests against white supremacy, and planned candlelight vigils in support of Charlottesville and in honor of the victims.


Categories: Latest News

Police identify helicopter, troopers in crash

PoliceOne - Sat, 08/12/2017 - 16:07

UPDATE 8:27 p.m. (CST):

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Virginia state police said one of their agency's helicopters crashed Saturday outside Charlottesville, killing two troopers.

Police said the helicopter was assisting law enforcement officers monitor the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

Police said Lt. H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian and Trooper-Pilot Burke M.M. Bates of Quinton were killed in the crash.

The crash happened just a few hours after a car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting against the white nationalist rally. One person was killed and at least two dozen were hurt.

Virginia State Police identify two officers killed in helicopter crash near Charlottesville. https://t.co/9k3oqvhte6 pic.twitter.com/g5jh2NVwF8

— ABC News (@ABC) August 13, 2017

EARLIER:

By PoliceOne Staff

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. —A helicopter crashed near the site of a white nationalist rally that erupted in violence, killing two troopers.

According to NBC News, Virginia State Police say the crash happened in a wooded area and no one on the ground was injured. Police are investigating the cause of the crash.

BREAKING NEWS: Police helicopter reportedly crashes near Charlottesville, casualties feared pic.twitter.com/9rjGy5dYOm

— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 12, 2017

Officials told the AP the crash was linked to the rally, but it was not immediately clear how.

President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences to the families of the fallen officers.

Deepest condolences to the families & fellow officers of the VA State Police who died today. You're all among the best this nation produces.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017

NBC News: Senior law enforcement official confirms that Virginia State Police troopers were killed in the helicopter crash this afternoon.

— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) August 12, 2017
Categories: Latest News

Police: 3 Ohio nurses treated for fentanyl exposure

PoliceOne - Sat, 08/12/2017 - 11:29

Associated Press

MASSILLON, Ohio — Authorities say three nurses at an Ohio hospital had to be treated with an overdose reversal drug after being exposed to suspected fentanyl.

Police say the nurses at Massillon's Affinity Medical Center lost consciousness Monday while cleaning a room where an overdose victim had been treated. All three were administered the overdose reversal drug naloxone and are said to have recovered.

A Massillon police spokesman says it's believed the nurses were exposed to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid many times more powerful than heroin.

A union representing nurses at the hospital wants to meet with hospital officials to discuss protocols for environmental contamination. A hospital spokeswoman says the hospital has effective policies.

Massillon is located about 55 miles (89 kilometers) south of downtown Cleveland.


Categories: Latest News

Suspect indicted on murder, other charges in deadly NJ standoff

PoliceOne - Sat, 08/12/2017 - 11:23

Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. — A man who allegedly shot three police officers and killed an innocent bystander before barricading himself inside his Trenton, New Jersey, home for nearly two days has been indicted on murder charges and other counts.

The 18-count indictment against 35-year-old Tyleeb Reese was recently handed up by a Mercer County grand jury. The charges stem from a standoff that started May 10, when agents with the U.S. Marshals Service went to Reese's home to arrest him on a warrant.

Authorities say Reese started shooting at the officers and wounded three of them. Robert Powell Jr., a 56-year-old Trenton resident who happened to be walking in the area, was shot and killed.

Reese then barricaded himself inside his home for 35 hours before he surrendered.

It's not known if he has an attorney.


Categories: Latest News

Prosecutor clears NC officer who killed burglary suspect

PoliceOne - Sat, 08/12/2017 - 10:32

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. — Authorities have cleared a police officer in North Carolina who killed a burglary suspect in May.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said Friday that Cary police officer Andre Lopez was justified in using deadly force against 22-year-old Shaquian Johnson.

A woman called 911 early on May 28 to report she and her granddaughter were hiding from an intruder. Responding officers saw a man running from the home and later found Johnson going through a vehicle.

Lopez told investigators he heard a gunshot and saw a muzzle flash before firing.

Freeman's report says a gun stolen from a vehicle earlier that night was found near Johnson, and tests determined Johnson had fired it. Johnson was shot twice in the face, once in his left arm and once in his back.


Categories: Latest News

Videos: White nationalist rally, violence rock Va. city; 3 dead

PoliceOne - Sat, 08/12/2017 - 10:05

UPDATE 9:12 p.m. (CST):

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Authorities say a 20-year-old Ohio man accused of driving a car into a group of counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally has been charged with second-degree murder and other counts.

The Charlottesville Police Department said in a statement Saturday night that James Alex Fields Jr. of Ohio also faces three counts of malicious wounding, and one count related to leaving the scene.

Col. Martin Kumer, superintendent of the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, said Fields was in custody there Saturday night. Kumer says he doesn't believe Fields has obtained an attorney yet.

He says a bond hearing is scheduled for Monday.

Albermale county jail just sent me the mugshot of today's suspect in today's Charlottesville tragedy. James Alex Fields Jr, 20. pic.twitter.com/ucALl7oSyi

— Sebastian Murdock (@SebastianMurdoc) August 13, 2017

EARLIER:

By Sarah Rankin Associated Press

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally Saturday in a Virginia college town, killing one person, hurting at least two dozen more and ratcheting up tension in an increasingly violent confrontation.

A helicopter crash that killed the pilot and a passenger later in the afternoon outside Charlottesville also was linked to the rally by State Police, though officials did not elaborate on how the crash was connected.

The chaos boiled over at what is believed to be the largest group of white nationalists to come together in a decade: the governor declared a state of emergency, police dressed in riot gear ordered people out and helicopters circled overhead. The group had gathered to protest plans to remove a statue of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, and others who arrived to protest the racism.

Matt Korbon, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student, said several hundred counter-protesters were marching when "suddenly there was just this tire screeching sound." A silver Dodge Challenger smashed into another car, then backed up, barreling through "a sea of people."

The impact hurled people into the air. Those left standing scattered, screaming and running for safety in different directions.

The driver was later arrested, authorities said.

The turbulence began Friday night, when the white nationalists carried torches though the university campus in what they billed as a "pro-white" demonstration. It quickly spiraled into violence Saturday morning. Hundreds of people threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays. At least eight were injured and one arrested in connection.

President Donald Trump condemned "in the strongest possible terms" what he called an "egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides" after the clashes. He called for "a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives."

Trump says he's spoken with the governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, and "we agreed that the hate and the division must stop and must stop right now."

But some of the white nationalists cited Trump's victory as validation for their beliefs, and Trump's critics pointed to the president's racially tinged rhetoric as exploiting the nation's festering racial tension.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson noted that Trump for years publicly questioned President Barack Obama's citizenship.

"We are in a very dangerous place right now," he said.

Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler had called for what he termed a "pro-white" rally in Charlottesville. White nationalists and their opponents promoted the event for weeks.

Oren Segal, who directs the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism, said multiple white power groups gathered in Charlottesville, including members of neo-Nazi organizations, racist skinhead groups and Ku Klux Klan factions.

The white nationalist organizations Vanguard America and Identity Evropa; the Southern nationalist League of the South; the National Socialist Movement; the Traditionalist Workers Party; and the Fraternal Order of Alt Knights also were on hand, he said, along with several groups with a smaller presence.

On the other side, anti-fascist demonstrators also gathered in Charlottesville, but they generally aren't organized like white nationalist factions, said Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Many others were just locals caught in the fray.

Colleen Cook, 26, stood on a curb shouting at the rally attendees to go home.

Cook, a teacher who attended the University of Virginia, said she sent her son, who is black, out of town for the weekend.

"This isn't how he should have to grow up," she said.

Cliff Erickson leaned against a fence and took in the scene. He said he thinks removing the statue amounts to erasing history and said the "counter-protesters are crazier than the alt-right."

"Both sides are hoping for a confrontation," he said.

It's the latest confrontation in Charlottesville since the city about 100 miles outside of Washington, D.C., voted earlier this year to remove a statue of Lee.

In May, a torch-wielding group that included prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer gathered around the statue for a nighttime protest, and in July, about 50 members of a North Carolina-based KKK group traveled there for a rally, where they were met by hundreds of counter-protesters.

Kessler said this week that the rally is partly about the removal of Confederate symbols but also about free speech and "advocating for white people."

"This is about an anti-white climate within the Western world and the need for white people to have advocacy like other groups do," he said in an interview.

Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer said he was disgusted that the white nationalists had come to his town and blamed Trump for inflaming racial prejudices.

"I'm not going to make any bones about it. I place the blame for a lot of what you're seeing in American today right at the doorstep of the White House and the people around the president," he said.

Charlottesville, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a liberal-leaning city that's home to the flagship University of Virginia and Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.

The statue's removal is part of a broader city effort to change the way Charlottesville's history of race is told in public spaces. The city has also renamed Lee Park, where the statue stands, and Jackson Park, named for Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. They're now called Emancipation Park and Justice Park, respectively.

For now, the Lee statue remains. A group called the Monument Fund filed a lawsuit arguing that removing the statue would violate a state law governing war memorials. A judge has agreed to temporarily block the city from removing the statue for six months.

[View the story "Violence erupts at Va. white nationalist at rally " on Storify]
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