Latest News

Hunt for suspect in Facebook slaying video expands nationwide

PoliceOne - Mon, 04/17/2017 - 13:09

By Mark Gillispie Associated Press

CLEVELAND — In a rambling video, Steve Stephens said, "I snapped, I just snapped." But as the manhunt dragged on Monday for the man accused of posting Facebook footage of himself killing a retiree, police were unable to explain what set him off.

"Only Steve knows that," Cleveland police Chief Calvin Williams said as authorities posted a $50,000 reward for Stephens' capture in the shooting of Robert Godwin Sr., a 74-year-old former foundry worker.

In the video, Stephens blamed a former girlfriend he had lived with, saying he woke up last week and "couldn't take it anymore." But in a statement Monday, the woman shed little light on what might have gone wrong and said Stephens was good to her and her children.

As for the shooting victim, Godwin appeared to have been selected at random, gunned down while picking up aluminum cans Sunday afternoon after spending Easter with some of his children.

A manhunt that started in Cleveland's gritty east side expanded rapidly into a nationwide search for Stephens, a 37-year-old job counselor who worked with teens and young adults, police said.

"He could be nearby. He could be far away or anywhere in between," FBI agent Stephen Anthony said.

Law enforcement officials said his cellphone signal was last detected on Sunday afternoon in Erie, Pennsylvania, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Cleveland.

Police reported getting dozens and dozens of tips, and nine schools in Philadelphia were locked down Monday while authorities investigated possible sightings of Stephens. But they said there was no sign he was actually there.

Some of those who know Stephens described him as pleasant and kind, while some said he had a gambling problem. He filed for bankruptcy two years ago.

In another video posted to Facebook, Stephens said that he gambled away everything and that he and his girlfriend had planned to marry but didn't, without saying why.

"He got along with everybody, so it's just unbelievable what happened," said Alexis Lee, a friend who saw Stephens last week.

The police chief said: "We are not going to pinpoint a specific thing and say this is what triggered this, because we don't know."

Godwin's daughter said he was killed while collecting cans in a plastic shopping bag.

"Not because he needed the money, it was just something he did," said 52-year-old Debbie Godwin. "That's all he was doing. He wasn't harming anyone."

She said her father, who had 10 children, was a gentle man with nothing mean about him.

In the shooting video, Stephens told Godwin a woman's name and said, "She's the reason that this is about to happen to you." The victim did not seem to recognize the woman's name. The gunman then pointed a weapon at Godwin, who shielded his face with the plastic bag.

The woman Stephens spoke of, Joy Lane, said in a text to CBS that "we had been in a relationship for several years. I am sorry that all of this has happened." She said Stephens was "a nice guy" who was generous to everyone.

The video of the killing was on Facebook for about three hours before it was taken down.

Investigators said that Godwin was the only victim so far linked to Stephens, despite his claim in a separate video on Facebook that he killed more than a dozen people.

Detectives spoke with Stephens on Sunday by cellphone and tried to persuade him to surrender, police said.

Stephens worked at Beech Brook, a social services agency in suburban Cleveland that deals with vulnerable young people. He helped them gain job skills and find employment, said Beech Brook spokeswoman Nancy Kortemeyer.

An extensive background check before he was hired turned up nothing worrisome, she said.

Stephens filed for bankruptcy in January 2015. His attorney at the time, Trent Binger, said Monday that he remembered Stephens discussing gambling problems.

"He was an easy client to deal with," Binger said. "Always respectful to me ... well-mannered."


Categories: Latest News

2 Detroit officers injured while responding to burglary; 1 critical

PoliceOne - Mon, 04/17/2017 - 10:05

By PoliceOne Staff

DETROIT – One officer was shot and another officer was injured Sunday while responding to reports of a burglary.

According to WXYZ, a 19-year-old man fired a shotgun at the officers as they checked out the man’s home. One officer was shot in the face. The other officer was injured by flying glass.

Police Chief James Craig said it appears the shooter feared for the safety of his family, according to the Detroit Free Press. The man’s mother and 14-year-old brother were also in the house at the time of the incident. All three were detained after the shooting.

The 19-year-old is remorseful and hopes the officers are OK, according to the report. The officers were in full uniform at the time of the incident.

The officer injured by glass was treated and released. The other officer, who was hit in the face by two shell pellets, is in critical, but stable condition and is expected to recover.

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Chief Craig update on officers shot on the city's west side.

Posted by Detroit Police Department on Sunday, April 16, 2017


Categories: Latest News

9 teens injured in shooting outside Calif. house party

PoliceOne - Mon, 04/17/2017 - 09:36

Associated Press

VALLEJO, Calif. — Police say nine teenagers were injured when two suspects opened fire on a crowd of young people standing outside a Northern California house as a party was ending.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports eight teenagers were shot and one was trampled Sunday by the frantic crowd running away from the home in Vallejo.

Vallejo Police Spokesman Lt. Kevin Barlett says all victims are in stable condition. He says one was shot in the torso and others had femurs broken by bullets.

He says that one of the shooters had a mask and that officers found several spent bullet casings on the street.

No arrests have been made.

Barlett says investigators are trying to determine a motive in the attack.


Categories: Latest News

Court: State police don't have to cover NJ troopers' tolls

PoliceOne - Mon, 04/17/2017 - 09:16

Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. — State police don't have to reimburse troopers for tolls they pay during their commute to and from work, an appellate court ruled.

The decision, issued Thursday, found an arbitrator was mistaken in declaring the practice "an established term and condition" of employment.

The case came about after authorities ended a yearslong practice in which troopers and other state employees were allowed to skip tolls on the New Jersey Turnpike and some other major roadways.

The toll perk was revoked in November 2010. When state police refused to cover the troopers' tolls, the State Troopers Fraternal Association filed a grievance that claimed the division had violated their collective bargaining agreement.

According to court documents, state police had agreed to a "mileage allowance" for troopers. But the division said it shouldn't be held responsible for elimination of the free tolls because it was provided by the transit authorities.

The arbitrator found the toll perk was a negotiable benefit and an established "past practice." But the appellate court ruled the arbitrator "exceeded his authority and made a mistake of law."

The state attorney general's office, which represented state police, declined to comment.

An attorney for the troopers union could not be reached for comment.


Categories: Latest News

Manhunt expanded for suspect in Facebook video killing

PoliceOne - Mon, 04/17/2017 - 08:56

By Mark Gillispie Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Authorities in several states were on the lookout Monday for a man police say shot a Cleveland retiree collecting aluminum cans and then posted video of the apparently random killing on Facebook.

"He could be nearby. He could be far away or anywhere in between," FBI agent Stephen Anthony said on Day 2 of the manhunt for Steve Stephens, a 37-year-old job counselor for teens and young adults.

Police said Stephens killed Robert Godwin Sr., a 74-year-old former foundry worker, on Sunday.

Investigators said that Godwin was the only victim so far linked to Stephens, despite the suspect's claim in a separate video on Facebook that he killed over a dozen people.

Officers searched dozens of places around the city and spoke with the suspect by cellphone, police said.

Police Chief Calvin Williams warned residents to be careful as the go about their day.

Authorities also warned people in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan to be alert for Stephens, who was wanted on a charge of aggravated murder.

Godwin apparently was shot while out picking up cans in a plastic shopping bag, his daughter said.

"Not because he needed the money, it was just something he did," said 52-year-old Debbie Godwin. "That's all he was doing. He wasn't harming anyone."

She said her father, who had 10 children, was a gentle man with nothing mean about him.

"We called him the junk man," she said. "He'd pick up things off the street and fix them. He picked up bikes and he fixed them."

The motive for the shooting wasn't entirely clear from the shaky video, in which Stephens told Godwin a woman's name and said, "She's the reason that this is about to happen to you." Godwin did not seem to recognize the woman's name.

The suspect then pointed a gun at Godwin, who shielded his face with the plastic bag.

Facebook said the video was posted after the killing but wasn't broadcast on Facebook Live as police initially indicated. The suspect did go live on the social media site at another point Sunday.

The video of the killing was on Facebook for about three hours before it was taken down. Stephens' Facebook page also was eventually removed.

"This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook," the company said. "We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety."

In the separate video, Stephens said: "I killed 13, so I'm working on 14 as we speak."

Police said they have not verified any other shootings or deaths.

Stephens worked at Beech Brook, a behavioral health agency headquartered in Pepper Pike, near Cleveland. He helped young people develop job skills and find employment, said Beech Brook spokeswoman Nancy Kortemeyer.

An extensive background check before he was hired turned up nothing worrisome, she said.

"We just hope Mr. Stephens is apprehended as quickly as possible so that no one else is injured," she said.

In one of the videos, Stephens could be seen holding up his employee identification and said: "I'm killing with my Beech Brook badge on, too."


Categories: Latest News

Cleveland police hunt for man who aired killing live on Facebook

PoliceOne - Sun, 04/16/2017 - 13:47

By PoliceOne Staff

CLEVELAND — Police are searching for a suspect they say shot and killed someone live on Facebook Sunday.

Police are warning the public that the suspect, Steve Stephens, is considered armed and dangerous.

Stephens also claimed to have "committed multiple other homicides which are yet to verified," police said.

The video of the killing was posted on Facebook for about three hours before it was removed. His Facebook page apparently was deactivated later Sunday afternoon.

Stephens is 6 foot 1 and is bald with a full beard. He is wearing a dark blue, and gray or black striped polo shirt.

Sources told FOX 8 he is driving a white Ford Fusion with temporary tags.

According to CNN, Stephens spoke to his mother, Maggie Green, on Sunday. Green told CNN that Stephens said he was "mad with his girlfriend that's why he is shooting people and he won't stop until his mother or girlfriend tell him to stop."

Green, who is in disbelief over the incident, told her son to stop, according to the report.

Police are searching multiple areas but no other victims have been found.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Media update on shooting suspect Steve Stephens https://t.co/FTTPJW3X44

— Cleveland Police (@CLEpolice) April 16, 2017

.@CLEpolice says their officers are doubled up right now. No one is by themselves.

— Meg Shaw (@MegDShaw) April 16, 2017

FACEBOOK COMMENTS ON FB LIVE HOMICIDE IN CLEVELAND: Full statement below. Via @ABC @WEWS pic.twitter.com/b7v3ke6OOK

— Tara Molina (@TaraMolinaTV) April 16, 2017

My heart is breaking for this family and for the city of Cleveland. #EasterDaySlaughter pic.twitter.com/X8zi2TntHA

— Chernéy Amhara FOX5 (@CherneyAmharaTV) April 16, 2017

Soon: Cleveland Police press conference. Here's what they've said so far about Steve Stephens pic.twitter.com/PnJugxjaSZ

— Derick Waller News 5 (@derickwallerTV) April 16, 2017

Cleveland Police have identified the man whose killing was streamed on Facebook Live as Robert Goodwin Sr., 74 pic.twitter.com/8IGDxaVSOB

— Claudia Koerner (@ClaudiaKoerner) April 16, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Videos: 20 arrested after violence erupts at Calif. pro, anti-Trump rallies

PoliceOne - Sun, 04/16/2017 - 10:39

Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif. — At least 20 people were arrested after violence broke out Saturday between groups of supporters and detractors of President Donald Trump holding rallies in downtown Berkeley, authorities said.

About 200 people were at Berkeley's Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park when several fights broke out. Dozens of police officers in riot gear standing nearby quickly arrested one man. Others were arrested after several skirmishes.

Trump supporters announced earlier in the week that they were holding a "Patriot Day" at the park at noon that would feature speeches by members of the alt-right, an amorphous fringe movement that uses internet memes, message boards and social media to spread a hodgepodge of racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny and xenophobia. Counter-demonstrators then said they would hold a rally at the same place at 10 a.m.

Police put in a makeshift barrier of plastic orange poles and orange fence mesh to separate both sides, but that quickly came down as demonstrators started punching and kicking each other, while pepper spray and firecrackers were thrown to the crowd.

After the barrier was put back in place, demonstrators shouted at each other from a distance, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"You go back to the '60s," shouted a pro-Trump supporter.

It's going down in the pro-Trump rally in Berkeley. Bottles, m-80s, etc. pic.twitter.com/tgOxbIknPJ

— Shane Bauer (@shane_bauer) April 15, 2017

"You go back to the 1400s," someone on the opposing side shouted back

The groups then left the park and walked on Berkeley streets with police closely following them. Photographs of the scene showed at least two men with bloodied faces.

Berkeley police have stopped intervening a while ago @EastBayExpress pic.twitter.com/kCHoi6hOKh

— Brian Krans (@citizenkrans) April 15, 2017

Authorities had said ahead of the rallies, that baseball bats, sticks, flagpoles and any items that could be used as a weapon were banned at the park. Officers on Saturday confiscated sticks, knives, flagpoles and helmets and sticks with signs on them.

The rally followed March 4 demonstrations at the same park planned by some of the same groups and that ended in violent clashes. Several people were injured and police arrested 10 demonstrators.

Antifa needs to be labeled as domestic terrorists. This hate group is getting out of control. Total chaos.#Berkeley pic.twitter.com/ne75geN3dM

— Tennessee (@TEN_GOP) April 15, 2017

In February, protesters threw rocks, broke windows and set fires outside the University of California, Berkeley's student union building, where then-Breitbart News editor and provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos was set to speak. His presentation was cancelled.

Absolutely chaotic scenes in Berkeley where pro- & anti-Trump protesters are clashing. @BuzzFeedNews also on scene: https://t.co/GHfElQPq6U pic.twitter.com/XX5mR0s7LC

— David Mack (@davidmackau) April 15, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Police say 9 shot early Sunday in Ohio club, 2 critical

PoliceOne - Sun, 04/16/2017 - 10:38

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Police in Ohio's capital city say nine people have been wounded, two critically, in an early morning shooting in a Columbus club.

Columbus police say initial investigation indicates an argument erupted into gunfire at 3:20 a.m. Sunday in the J&R Party Hall. They say five females and four males were shot, with wounds ranging from minor to life-threatening. News outlets reported that two people were still in critical condition hours later.

Police say they haven't identified any suspects yet, but think there was more than one shooter.

In another early Sunday morning shooting three weeks ago, Cincinnati police responded to a dispute that escalated into a gun battle inside the Cameo club. Two people died, and 15 others were injured. A man has pleaded not guilty to charges including murder.


Categories: Latest News

A survivor, now a dad: Virginia Tech tragedy, 10 years later

PoliceOne - Sun, 04/16/2017 - 10:36

By Alanna Durkin Richer Associated Press

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Kevin Sterne has spent 10 years trying not to let himself be defined by the mass shooting that nearly killed him at Virginia Tech. But now that he's a new father, Sterne grapples with knowing that one day he must tell his son about the horror he worked so hard to put behind him.

"How do I approach that? Do I talk about it? What age is appropriate to go into what kind of detail?" Sterne asked, seated outside the building where he was taking a German class on April 16, 2007, when a mentally ill student with a gun chained the doors shut and killed 30 people before killing himself.

Not until months after the shootings did Sterne's mother hear him talk about what he saw that day. Even now, he doesn't discuss it much: the day a bullet cut through his right leg and another one ripped his femoral artery. The day he wrapped a power cord around his leg as a tourniquet, likely saving his own life. The day four officers carried his bloody body out of Norris Hall — an image plastered on the front pages of newspapers across the country.

How do you explain that to a little boy?

Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on campus that cold April day. More than two dozen others were wounded by bullets or hurt trying to escape. It was, at the time, the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history. A massacre that claimed 49 lives at an Orlando, Florida, nightclub surpassed it last year.

The Tech shooting motivated schools across the country to reevaluate campus security.

It also prompted Virginia lawmakers to close a loophole that allowed Cho to buy guns even though a judge had declared him a danger to himself and ordered him to get involuntary mental health treatment. But a push from Tech survivors and relatives of the slain failed to persuade lawmakers to tighten oversight of sales at gun shows, revealing the depth of the gun culture in this Southern state.

Over the years, other students wounded at Tech have graduated and moved away, many becoming advocates for gun-control and campus safety. Quiet and unassuming, Sterne has chosen to stay out of the spotlight, remain at the school and try to continue his life the way he imagined it would be before it was upended.

"I just don't think he wants that one day, that one horrific day that he can't change ... to control who he is," his mother, Suzanne Grimes, said.

That doesn't mean its effects don't linger.

He still sometimes loses feeling in his right leg, where the bullet remains lodged in the head of his femur. When the anniversary approaches, he gets more irritable and stressed — the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, he believes. Loud noises can still make him uneasy. His mother notices he gets anxious in crowds and sits with his back to the wall at restaurants so he can see the entrances and exits.

And he has never re-entered Norris Hall.

"This isn't something that happens and then it's gone and everybody is fine ... It stays with you," said Sterne, now 32.

Sterne is the only one of the wounded students still at Tech, where he works as an engineer in two labs. While recovering in the hospital, he was accepted at graduate school here and never considered not returning, despite protests from his mother. In the weeks and months that followed, he found it comforting to be around others on campus who witnessed the same horror. When he was offered a job at the school, he accepted and never left.

He didn't want to leave just because that terrible thing happened to him here, he said.

"It will be an event that changes and kind of shapes our lives, but there are so many other things to do," Sterne said.

On the massacre's 10th anniversary weekend, Sterne will bring his wife and son to campus to join other survivors for events honoring the lives lost that day. Not even a year old yet, his son is still too young to understand the reason for the solemn faces. Sterne knows tough conversation will eventually come.

But for Sterne, Tech is no longer just a place of tragedy: It's where he built a career, started a family and survived.

"I think one of the most incredible things about Kevin is he's not the guy who was shot on April 16," his wife, Kacey Sterne, said. "He's Kevin Sterne, an electrical engineer. He self-identifies as a nerd. He's a dad now.

"I don't think that he sees this as, like, 'the place I got shot' ... I think he thinks of it as... 'my home.'"


Categories: Latest News

Boston marks 4th anniversary of deadly marathon bombing

PoliceOne - Sun, 04/16/2017 - 10:32

Associated Press

BOSTON — Bostonians marked the fourth anniversary of the deadly Boston Marathon attacks on Saturday with quiet remembrances for the victims.

Bill Richard placed a large wreath on the Boylston Street sidewalk where his 8-year-old son, Martin, died. The boy was one of the three spectators killed when two bombs planted near the finish line exploded on April 15, 2013, spraying shrapnel into the crowds. More than 260 others were wounded.

Richard stood Saturday with his wife, Denise, their daughter, Jane, and oldest son, Henry, in silence as bagpipers performed "Amazing Grace." The Boston Globe reports he briefly hugged a family member of Lu Lingzi, a Boston University graduate student from China who was killed in the second blast.

The family of 29-year-old Krystle Campbell placed a second wreath about 200 yards away where the Medford native was killed in the first blast.

Democratic Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker took part in the wreath-laying ceremonies for what is now called "One Boston Day."

Sean Collier, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer, also was killed later while struggling with the bombers as they tried to steal his gun.

Bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in an ensuing standoff with police. His younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was convicted on federal charges and sentenced to death.

The attacks have inspired several movies, including the Mark Wahlberg film "Patriots Day."

On the eve of the anniversary, volunteers planted thousands of daffodils along the marathon course in solidarity.


Categories: Latest News

Videos: Train stuck in tunnel 3 hours, then ECD sparks stampede

PoliceOne - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 11:48

By Jennifer Peltz and Verena Dobnik Associated Press

NEW YORK — A train with about 1,200 passengers became stuck in a tunnel between New York and New Jersey for nearly three hours on Friday, and the chaotic scene escalated to pandemonium when Amtrak police used a stun gun to subdue a disruptive man in a station, sparking a stampede.

It was the latest in a series of recent rail problems plaguing the metropolitan area.

The New Jersey Transit train became disabled in the Hudson River tunnel late Friday afternoon, when Amtrak was experiencing overhead power problems. A New Jersey Transit spokeswoman said the train finally reached New York's Penn Station in the early evening.

A look at the chaos at Penn Station after Amtrak police used a Taser on a man. Details: https://t.co/4eIk8Ak0k2 pic.twitter.com/RjcuwGX7NR

— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) April 14, 2017

The overcrowded train station erupted in panic when Amtrak police used a Taser to subdue a man who was causing a disturbance. New York police said the use of the Taser led to false rumors of gunshots at the station. People screamed and ran, leaving the station strewn with abandoned bags. The nearby Macy's department store was briefly locked down. Sixteen people suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Amtrak said Friday night the subdued man, who wasn't a passenger from the disabled train, was in police custody.

The loss of power in the tunnel caused delays of an hour or more on Amtrak and New Jersey Transit. It happened three weeks after the derailment of an Amtrak train at Penn Station and a week after a New Jersey Transit derailment shut down eight of 21 tracks there and disrupted travel in the region for days. No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.

VIDEO: Chaos at Penn Station after Amtrak Police tasered an emotionally disturbed person #nbc4ny pic.twitter.com/d17PZUlqw4

— Steven Bognar (@Bogs4NY) April 14, 2017

One passenger from Friday's train, Mia Sanati, described a scene of confusion.

Sanati said she and her husband were headed for the New York International Auto Show when they boarded the train in Secaucus, New Jersey, at Secaucus Junction, the last New York-bound stop before Penn Station.

She said shortly after the train entered the tunnel to go under the Hudson River, they felt a bump on the side of the train and saw sparks.

"About 30 seconds later, the train just came to a complete stop," Sanati said.

The power went out, except for emergency lights, and so did the air conditioning, said Sanati, who made video of the darkened car.

"It got really hot really fast, with that many people crammed together," she said.

Aftermath of the stampede in Penn Station. It was crazy. Unclear what exactly sparked it. @NBCNewYork pic.twitter.com/eKXFKDgTxV

— Erica Byfield (@EricaByfield4NY) April 14, 2017

As riders waited and plans changed — they were told that the train would be towed, then that it would be evacuated — some tried to make light of the situation or scooted over in their seats to make room for people who were standing. But others were shaking, pacing, saying they had to get out or mulling about walking through the tunnel, Sanati said.

After the electricity came back on and the train started moving, there were cheers, said Sanati, who lives in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, and just finished a doctoral program in mass communications.

Rush hour passengers trying to leave New York faced mounting delays.

Adam Rosen, a chemical engineer going to Hamilton, New Jersey, said, "They keep extending the delays from 45 minutes to 90 minutes and now indefinitely. This is the worst."

New Jersey Transit executive director Steven Santoro said in a statement to affected riders, "we deeply apologize for your experience, and I would like to hear from you."

NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said the railroad was working with Amtrak to determine the cause of the problem.

Mass panic erupted at Penn Station this evening when police chased and tased a man inside the Amtrak waiting area pic.twitter.com/iqMpN4xseY

— AJ Ross (@AJRossABC7) April 14, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Prosecutor undecided on 137-gunshot case against police supervisors

PoliceOne - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 11:44

By Mark Gillispie Associated Press

CLEVELAND — The new county prosecutor in Cleveland appears to have left open the possibility he might not pursue misdemeanor criminal charges against five Cleveland police supervisors for failing to control a high-speed chase in 2012 that ended with two unarmed black people fatally shot in a 137-shot barrage of police gunfire.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a judge in East Cleveland, where the chase ended, can preside over the officers' dereliction of duty charges. The ruling did not address the merits of the charges.

Prosecutor Michael O'Malley said through a spokesman Friday that his office was reviewing the court's ruling and that no decision had been made about whether he would pursue charges against Randolph Dailey, Patricia Coleman, Michael Donegan, Jason Edens and Paul Wilson.

O'Malley took office in January and inherited the case from his predecessor, Tim McGinty, whom O'Malley defeated last year in a Democratic primary election.

The chase in November 2012 began near Cleveland police headquarters after an officer standing outside the building reported a shot had been fired from a passing beat-up Chevy Malibu. Experts later said it was likely the sound of the car backfiring.

The supervisors initially were charged in May 2014 at the same time patrol officer Michael Brelo was indicted on voluntary manslaughter charges for the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. Brelo was the only officer of the 13 who shot at the car charged with a crime. Brelo fired 49 of the 137 rounds, including a final 15-shot volley while standing on the hood of the Malibu.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O'Donnell acquitted Brelo in May 2015 after a bench trial. O'Donnell was scheduled to preside over the supervisors' trial but eventually dismissed the case at McGinty's request after the prosecutor filed identical dereliction of duty charges in East Cleveland.

Attorneys for the supervisors accused McGinty of "forum shopping" and appealed to the 8th District Court of Appeals, which issued an order prohibiting the case from being heard in East Cleveland. The Supreme Court overturned that ruling on Thursday.

The East Cleveland judge, William Dawson, didn't return phone messages Thursday. The court was closed Friday. McGinty's appeal to the Supreme Court said Dawson "takes no position on his authority or jurisdiction" in the case.


Categories: Latest News

Lawyer: Little money involved in Trump sanctuary order

PoliceOne - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 11:41

By Sudhin Thanawala Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — President Donald Trump's executive order withholding funding from communities that limit cooperation with immigration authorities applies to a small pot of grant money, not the billions of dollars that San Francisco and a California county say is at stake for them, a lawyer with the Department of Justice said Friday.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler made the comments during a court hearing on lawsuits filed by San Francisco and the Silicon Valley county of Santa Clara against Trump's order targeting so-called sanctuary cities.

Readler said the city and county were interpreting the order too broadly.

The funding cutoff applies to DOJ and Department of Homeland Security grants contingent on compliance with a federal law that prohibits local governments from refusing to provide people's immigration status to federal authorities, he said.

The order would affect less than $1 million in funding for Santa Clara County and possibly no money for San Francisco, Readler said. "There is no mystery," he said.

The plaintiffs have argued that more than $1 billion was at stake for each of them, citing all federal funds they receive for a variety of programs and services.

Sarah Eisenberg, a deputy city attorney in San Francisco, disputed Readler's claim, saying the city has money at stake.

Readler's comments about the money appeared to catch U.S. District Judge William Orrick by surprise. Orrick then questioned the point of the president's executive order.

The administration was using a "bully pulpit" to highlight an issue it cares deeply about, Readler responded.

John Keker, an attorney for Santa Clara County, rejected Readler's interpretation and said the order referred to all federal funds now received by local governments that don't detain immigrants for possible deportation when they are due for release from jail.

"They've come up with a further interpretation," Keker said. "It won't wash."

San Francisco and Santa Clara County have asked for a court order blocking the Trump administration from cutting off funds to any sanctuary cities. Orrick did not immediately issue a ruling after Friday's hearing.

Readler said the request was premature because decisions about withholding funds and what jurisdictions qualify as sanctuary cities have yet to be made.

Mollie Lee, another deputy city attorney in San Francisco, said the Trump administration has labeled San Francisco a sanctuary city in public comments, so the city had good reason to believe it was a target.

The sanctuary city order was among a flurry of immigration measures the president signed in January, including a ban on travelers from seven majority Muslim countries and a border security directive calling for a wall with Mexico.

A federal appeals court blocked the travel ban. The administration then revised it, although the new version is also stalled in court.

The Trump administration says sanctuary cities allow dangerous criminals back on the street, and the president's order is needed to keep the country safe. San Francisco and other sanctuary cities say turning local police into immigration officers erodes trust that's needed to get people to report crime.

The order has also prompted lawsuits by Seattle, two Massachusetts cities, Lawrence and Chelsea, and a third San Francisco Bay Area government, the City of Richmond, though none of those cases has received a court hearing yet.

San Francisco, the first city to challenge the order in court, said in court documents that the president does not have authority over federal funds and cannot force local officials to enforce federal immigration law.


Categories: Latest News

Things we learned from Pa. barracks ambush suspect's confession

PoliceOne - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 11:37

By Michael Rubinkam Associated Press

MILFORD, Pa. — He decided to attack a state police barracks only a few days before squeezing the trigger. He was surprised the manhunt for him wasn't more aggressive. He feared he'd be shot by police but figured he had it coming.

Eric Frein's videotaped statement to police, recorded on the night of his 2014 capture and aired publicly for the first time during his capital murder trial last week, offered new details into what the suspect was thinking and doing before, during and after the deadly ambush that killed one trooper and left a second with devastating injuries.

While chain-smoking cigarettes given to him by police, Frein answered many of the investigators' questions with a nod or shake of the head - and, in the process, implicated himself over and over.

His attorney, Michael Weinstein, told reporters after the video was played in court that "it's not for us to decide if it's a confession." But he added the video showed Frein displayed "legitimate remorse."

The 33-year-old college dropout, who eluded capture for nearly seven weeks after the ambush, faces a potential death sentence if he's convicted in the attack that killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson. He's pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors have said they could rest their case this week.

Some things we learned about Frein from the video and from other evidence presented at his trial:

PLAN DEVELOPED QUICKLY

Frein told police he began plotting the ambush the first weekend of September, only a few days before the Sept. 12, 2014, attack. He used Google Earth to scope out state police barracks near his home in Canadensis, picking the Blooming Grove station because it was surrounded by woods and offered good cover. He said he didn't visit the area ahead of time and knew no one at the barracks.

___

HIDE AND SEEK

Frein wasn't exactly on the run during a large portion of the manhunt. He told police he spent most of his time as one of America's most wanted men living in an airplane hangar attached to a defunct and abandoned Poconos resort more than 20 miles from the shooting scene. It was stocked with everything he needed to live in relative comfort, though he did say he burglarized a home a few days before his capture to steal food. He called it "scary" and "a little bit disconcerting" to be the target of a manhunt but added he didn't care if he got caught.

___

RELUCTANT TO OFFER MOTIVE

Faced repeatedly with questions about why he did it, Frein demurred. "I don't know," he said at one point. At another, Frein seemed to suggest he was dissatisfied with his life as a 31-year-old man who lived with his parents and had few job prospects. Finally, toward the end, he agreed with the investigators' suggestions that he shot Dickson and Trooper Alex Douglass to "wake people up" and force a change in government. He complained there was no one worth voting for.

Another key piece of evidence - a letter to his parents - lends credence to the idea that Frein was a wannabe revolutionary. He wrote that only another revolution can "get us back the liberties we once had."

___

CLAIMS TO BE RELIGIOUS

Asked if he considered himself a man of faith, Frein nodded his head yes. He talked about Old Testament prophesy and the New Testament book of Luke. He made the sign of the cross when an investigator said "thank God" nobody got seriously hurt during the manhunt. He spoke of his soul and said "there's already enough to answer for."

And, in a handwritten journal recovered from the hangar, he asked Jesus Christ for mercy.

Frein did not square his professions and displays of piety with the sniper who plotted, laid in wait and chose his victims at random.


Categories: Latest News

Facts, tips and tricks concerning shotgun ammunition

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 12:59
Author: TFB Staff

This article originally appeared on The Firearm Blog.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some curious and relatively lesser-known facts as well as some handy tips concerning the shotgun ammunition. There is no actual criteria as such. I just gathered some thoughts, random facts and other interesting information that I hope will be useful for you and let you learn something new. So let’s see what we have:

1) What does “Dram Equivalent” mean?

You’ve probably noticed on a shotshell box a marking saying “Dram” or “Dram Equivalent”. It is usually right between the hull length and shot weight markings.

It comes from the days when shotshells were loaded with black powder. So “dram” is a weight measuring unit, which was used to measure the black powder weight. Dram is equal to 1/16 of an ounce or about 27.3 grains. Obviously, shotgun shells loaded with black powder are virtually obsolete today. Modern smokeless powders are much powerful at a given weight. If you weigh as much smokeless powder as black powder and load it into the shell, you’ll end up blowing up your gun or severely damaging it. Let alone how dangerous it can be for the shooter.

So, why then they put that marking on the boxes? That’s where the word “Equivalent” comes in. The number of dram equivalent on modern shotshell boxes indicates the amount of power level that particular ammunition is loaded to compared to black powder weight. In other words, by printing the dram equivalent value on the ammo boxes, manufacturers try to say that the shotshell is loaded with smokeless powder, which will generate as much power/pressure as the printed amount of black powder would do.

It is somewhat weird, isn’t it? Why don’t they just put the type and weight of the smokeless powder that is loaded in any particular shell? It is hard to tell. This system was definitely useful when smokeless powder was newly introduced and not all shells were loaded with it. In that period of time, both smokeless and black powder loads were available. So it was useful to have some sort of a comparison reference to have an idea concerning what to expect from the ammunition loaded with the “new” smokeless of powder. Today it seems to be a rather non-practical tradition or maybe it is a requirement for some legislations or sporting federation rules.

Here is a video by Federal Premium Ammunition explaining the meaning of “dram”:

2) What gauge is .410 bore?

As you know the shotgun gauge number indicates the amount of equal diameter balls that can be cast from one pound of pure lead. However, in the case of .410 bore shell, the “.410” is the actual bore diameter. So it is more like caliber designation of rifled firearms. In order to calculate the gauge knowing the bore diameter and vice versa, there are a couple of formulas, which look like so:

In the above formulas, dn is the bore diameter and n is the gauge.

So from the second formula, placing .410 instead of dn we get 67.57. It means that if .410 bore had a gauge designation, it would be 67 or 68 gauge.

Now, this is just a curious fact and it has no use. If you don’t like this kind of stuff, then skip the next point – it is even more impractical, yet interesting.

3) What gauge is equal to caliber?

Let’s see what bore diameter matches the gauge number. In that case, n will be equal to dn . So using the same formulas we get the approximate number of 46.5. Which means that a .465 caliber (bore diameter) would be equal to 46.5 gauge!

4) How to memorize the diameter of birdshot pellets of any particular number?

Birdshot has number designations. If you are an experienced shooter you probably already have an idea of what size each birdshot number matches. But for many people, especially for new hunters and shooters, it is hard to remember what sizes have the numbers of birdshot. However, you don’t have to keep in mind that numbers. There is a simple trick to quickly calculate the shot diameter of each birdshot number. All you need is to subtract the birdshot number from “17” and you’ll get the diameter in hundredths of an inch. For example, to calculate the pellet diameter of say #9 birdshot, you need to subtract 9 from 17 (17-9=8) and the answer 8 will mean that #9 pellets have a diameter of .08 inches.

5) A couple of tips from Russian hunters

I learned a couple of DIY tricks while watching a Russian hunting YouTube channel, which host was telling about his grandfather’s experience. There were not too many advanced shotgun ammunition offerings in the Soviet Union. Things like special wads that decrease the spread patterns and buffering media were pretty much nonexistent. But the problems and need to solve them still existed, so people had to invent DIY solutions. I talked to a couple of long-time hunters (and researched other sources) and they pretty much confirmed the legitimacy of these tricks (with minor differences).

So, instead of the birdshot buffer (to decrease the pellet deformation), they used potato starch. Sounds interesting, isn’t it? What they did is poured potato starch into the shell right on top of a couple of rows of birdshot. Then they shook the shell to allow the starch to find its way into the column and fill the voids between pellets. Then added a couple of more rows of birdshot and repeated the process until the necessary amount of birdshot was loaded and the starch had no more place to go in. For some unknown reason, they used only starch and nothing else with similar density (no salt, no flour, nothing else).

Next trick helped to decrease the spread pattern of the buckshot load. So what they did is poured melted candle wax into the hull, which filled the voids between the buckshot pellets. You may think that it would form a wax slug, which is exactly what I thought first. However, it turns out that because buckshot pellets are much larger and have greater individual mass, they separate from each other unlike the birdshot, which forms a wax slug. However, they separate with a delay of a fraction of a second which makes the buckshot patterns tighter in normal shotgun hunting distances.

TAOFLEDERMAUS YouTube channel earlier tried to make a wax slug made of buckshot and it worked for him as a slug. So I guess it is all about what type of wax to use or maybe the technique of applying candle wax to make the buckshot pellets separate with a delay.

I have to say that I haven’t tested these methods and I DON’T RECOMMEND you to try them. I am just sharing with our readers the interesting information that I came across. Now I warned you … if you try them and blow your gun, don’t blame me ??

If you are an avid hunter then you were probably aware of most of the subjects discussed in the article. Moreover, you may know about more interesting things which could be a good addition to this article. So, if you do know something like that, please share it with us in the comments section.


Categories: Latest News

SC officer dies from crash injuries

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 12:19

By PoliceOne Staff

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — An officer died Thursday evening after crashing his motorcycle earlier this week.

According to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, 39-year-old Jason Gregory Harris was responding to a call for backup Tuesday when his motorcycle struck a vehicle pulling into a driveway. Harris was thrown from his bike and suffered serious injuries.

Harris joined the Spartanburg Police Department in 2004 and took on multiple roles, including gang investigator, SWAT team member, and motorcycle patrol, according to the report.

“He took a lot of pride in his work. Jason was one who was always ready to volunteer, to take on a task whether pleasant or unpleasant,” Deputy Chief Jennifer Kindall told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.

The officer is survived by his wife and three kids.


Categories: Latest News

Answering the call: Daughter of cop killed in 9/11 attacks joins NYPD

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 10:25

Associated Press

NEW YORK — The daughter of a New York Police Department officer killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks has been sworn in as a member of the force.

Brittney Roy, of Massapequa Park on Long Island, was sworn in Thursday along with 473 other recruits during a ceremony held at the city's police academy in Queens.

Meet Brittney Roy, daughter of NYPD Sgt. Timothy Roy who was killed on 9/11. Today, Brittney joined the NYPD. Let's say thank you & congrats pic.twitter.com/ECVVo320Dz

— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) April 14, 2017

Her father, Sgt. Timothy Roy, was assigned to the NYPD's surface transit enforcement division. He was working in Brooklyn courts when the terrorists flew two planes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

The 36-year-old Roy rushed to Lower Manhattan to help. He was last seen by the South Tower before it collapsed. His body was found the following March.

Brittney Roy, now 22, was 7 years old when her father died. She says she always dreamed of becoming a police officer.


Categories: Latest News

Photo: Fla. cop becomes lost girl's 'knight in shining armor'

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 10:20

Associated Press

CLEARWATER, Fla. — A Florida police officer is getting some social media love after a woman snapped a picture of him walking hand-in-hand with a little girl who got separated from her family.

Clearwater police officials said on a Facebook post that the child wandered away from her family on Tuesday evening. After the 6-year-old girl approached several beachgoers, Officer Rich Edmonds came to her rescue.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

A Clearwater Police officer was a knight in shining armor for one little girl earlier this week on Clearwater Beach. The...

Posted by Clearwater Police Department on Friday, April 14, 2017

Police say that when Edmonds realized the crying child didn't want to get in his police car, he walked with her until they found her family farther down the beach.

The photo, posted Friday morning, was shared 59 times before noon.

Clearwater is on Florida's west coast, near Tampa.


Categories: Latest News

Videos: Philly cops corral horse loose on city streets

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 10:11

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Police used carrots to corral a horse that got loose and blocked traffic at an intersection in Philadelphia's Fishtown neighborhood.

Police believe the animal got loose from the city's Fairmount Park stables. Officials there didn't immediately return a call for comment.

The horse was seen galloping through the city streets before being captured by police at Girard Avenue and Richmond Street about 7:15 a.m. Friday.

Officers used carrots to attract and calm down the horse, so they could put him in a trailer.

#EXCLUSIVE: Philly police safely capture runaway horse. First spotted running on Kelly Drive. Chase ended at Girard and Richmond. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/RrqBsoMoFk

— Jan Carabeo (@JanCarabeoCBS3) April 14, 2017

#EXCLUSIVE: Just before capture on Richmond near Girard. Horse seen running on Kelly, Spring Garden and Beach this morning. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/cT2b2qrt7X

— Jan Carabeo (@JanCarabeoCBS3) April 14, 2017 (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

#LIVE: Not your typical #Traffic #Alert... A horse that was on the loose has been captured in Fishtown. STORY: http://cbsloc.al/2otIaHp

Posted by CBS Philly on Friday, April 14, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Police arrest fugitive who stole guns, penned anti-government manifesto

PoliceOne - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 10:02

By Gretchen Ehlke Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin fugitive accused of stealing an arsenal of firearms and sending an anti-government manifesto to the White House was arrested Friday after a retired school counselor found him camping on his property and calmly talked to the man before calling authorities.

The arrest of Joseph Allen Jakubowski settled fears among residents and law enforcement over what he might do with his stockpile of weapons and ammunition. In his manifesto, Jakubowski detailed a long list of grievances against the government and law enforcement, and threatened unspecified attacks.

His arrest came about 6 a.m. Friday, when tactical officers surrounding his campsite in a field near Readstown and arrested him without incident, said Jeffrey A. Gorn, the property owner who called authorities. Readstown is about 125 miles (200 kilometers) northwest of Janesville, where the manhunt for Jakubowski began April 4.

Gorn told The Associated Press he was driving his four-wheeler on his property late Thursday night and checking his deer stands when he spotted a blue tarp and discovered a man camping on his land. Gorn said he didn't realize it was Jakubowski, the 32-year-old target of an intense manhunt by at least 150 federal, state and local law enforcement officers for more than a week.

Gorn approached the tent fashioned from the tarp and asked if anyone was inside. Jakubowski came out.

"He said he was off the grid," Gorn said. "And I told him you're not too far off the grid. You're on my grid."

Gorn, 58, a former high school guidance counselor, said he talked with Jakubowski for an hour.

"He seemed angry at the way he views society, how he believes money is controlling society," Gorn said, adding that the man was "extremely cordial."

"He never raised his voice, never showed any sign of doing anything inappropriate. I shook his hand twice," Gorn said. "He wanted me to see his points of view. He wanted me to see what he had written to various people."

Gorn said Jakubowski asked for food and asked if he had to leave the field. Gorn told him he could stay the night. When he returned to his house, Gorn said he felt a bit uneasy with the campsite and called the Vernon County Sheriff's Office. Law enforcement officers began to descend on the property in the dark and set up a perimeter around the camp. Gorn estimated 100 officers arrived and sat down with him to look over maps of the property. A thermal imaging camera showed Jakubowski was in the tent, he said.

Tactical officers moved in about 6 a.m. and arrested Jakubowski without resistance, according to the Rock County Sheriff's Office.

Jakubowski's capture quieted concerns after authorities said Thursday they were investigating a letter threatening Easter attacks on churches in Wisconsin, specifically around Sussex, purportedly sent by Jakubowski. Officials did not confirm its authenticity.

An Easter egg hunt at the governor's mansion that was cancelled Thursday because of the hunt for Jakubowski was back on for Saturday.

Janesville Police Chief David Moore earlier said Jakubowski cited concerns about President Donald Trump in his 161-page manifesto but that he didn't make any specific threats.

The sheriff's office said Jakubowski filmed a video of himself dropping his manifesto, addressed to Trump, into a mailbox and speaking of a "revolution" before the manhunt began. He warned in the video that whoever received the manifesto "might want to read it."

Authorities believe Jakubowski drafted a letter of apology the owner of a gun store in his hometown of Janesville before stealing 18 guns, two silencers and ammunition on April 4.


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