Latest News

Police: Ill. teen accidentally kills accomplice while shooting at house

PoliceOne - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 08:30

By Mary Cooley and Dana Rieck Belleville News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE, Ill. — A 16-year-old charged with murder in the shooting death of a Belleville 18-year-old was trying to fire shots into a house when a bullet hit the older teen, police said Friday.

The 16-year-old, Quantez Jones, has been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated discharge of a firearm, Belleville Police Capt. Matt Eiskant and St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly announced at a news conference Friday.

Deveon Hunt was shot and killed a little after 10 p.m. Sunday evening in an alley behind West Main Street in Belleville. Police were nearby and responded to multiple 911 calls of gunshots within a minute, Eiskant said earlier this week.

Eiskant said the suspect and Hunt were friends, and were walking in the alley behind the 7600 block of West Main after 10 p.m. Sunday. The two decided to fire upon a home there, he said.

“Our victim and suspect were walking down the alley, walked up on a house unknown to them, and committed a crime,” Eiskant said, by firing multiple rounds into the home. The home was occupied at the time, but no one inside was injured.

The teens were “staggered in their stances,” Eiskant said, with Hunt somewhat in front of the suspect.

“And the suspect, Quantez Jones, struck the victim, Deveon Hunt, with a round of ammunition resulting in his death,” Eiskant said.

The shooting death appears accidental, Eiskant said.

Kelly, the prosecutor, said that although Jones may not have been trying to shoot Hunt, he still can be charged with murder under Illinois’ felony murder law. Under that law, a person can be charged with first-degree murder if he or she commits a felony, and a person dies during the commission of the felony. In this case, Kelly said, Hunt died while Jones was committing a felony — shooting at the house.

Eiskant said some details, such as where the teens acquired the guns, why they decided to shoot at that particular house, and what kinds of weapons they used, would be saved for trial.

Kelly declined to say more about the suspect.

“If he had a record, we could not talk about it. And if the victim had a record (as a juvenile), we could not talk about it,” Kelly said.

Although Jones is 16, he has been charged as an adult. Defendants ages 16-18 who are charged with certain crimes, including murder, automatically have their cases handled in adult court.

The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis was activated the night of the shooting, and announced on Thursday morning that a suspect was in custody and the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s office was reviewing a “lengthy” case.

“We dig into everything. It generates a lot of leads and a lot of reports,” Eiskant said on Thursday. He said the public, including local businesses, had been very helpful during the investigation.

Hunt’s father, Eric Deboe, earlier this week said his eldest son had worked at the KFC on West Main for two years. He had played football and ran track at school, but had stopped attending Belleville West.

“He started getting in trouble... with the law,” his brother Sir Deboe told reporters earlier this week.

Hunt was on probation for the beating of a man in O’Fallon, for which he’d been found guilty of aggravated battery and mob action.

“I try to push all the kids to go into the military and get out of here,” Eric Deboe said.

Hunt’s killing was the first homicide inside Belleville city limits in 2017, according to police.

©2017 the Belleville News-Democrat (Belleville, Ill.)


Categories: Latest News

Police: Mich. girl who was with her dad yelled ‘stranger danger’ over hat

PoliceOne - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 07:07

By PoliceOne Staff

SOUTHFIELD, Mich — A child screaming “stranger danger” while being pulled out of a store wasn’t being abducted - she was just upset over a hat her father had purchased for her.

WTCF-TV reports that on Halloween, police received a number of calls from people, including the child’s mother, who were concerned for a 7-year-old girl after she was seen visibly upset and yelled “stranger danger” at a store. A store surveillance photo circulated on social media before police were able to confirm the identities the man and child in the photo.

Police said the man in the photo is the child’s father and that she did not like the hat he bought her. They said they have spoken to the child about the consequences of yelling “stranger danger” when there’s no emergency.


Categories: Latest News

Texas LEO dies from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound

PoliceOne - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 06:44

By Rashda Khan San Angelo Standard-Times, Texas

SAN ANGELO, Texas — A veteran officer shot and killed himself Monday at the San Angelo Police Department headquarters.

Sgt. Freddy Dietz Jr., 53, had been with SAPD since 1983. Fred Dietz Sr. also was an SAPD officer, beginning in 1966 and retiring as a lieutenant in 1997.

His father confirmed that Dietz had died and said he was struggling to understand the situation. He said his son loved being a police officer and helped a lot of people during his career.

"He started out when he was just 19 years old," Dietz Sr. said. "I was real proud of him being a police officer. He did a lot of good."

The San Angelo Police Department issued the following news release about 4:10 p.m.:

At approximately 10:41 a.m., San Angelo Police responded to a private office within Police Headquarters where they located the body of Sergeant Freddy Dietz Jr., who was deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Justice of the Peace Eddie Howard responded to the scene and formally pronounced Sgt. Dietz deceased.

Texas Ranger Todd Reed of the Texas Department of Public Safety is assisting with the investigation.

Sgt. Dietz’s body will be transported to the Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy. There is no further information available at this time.

The Department is asking the members of the community to keep the Dietz family and Police Department in your thoughts and prayers and to respect their privacy during this difficult time.

A plaque at SAPD headquarters shows Dietz was Officer of the Year in 2016.

Dietz once was a D.A.R.E. officer, speaking to local students to help prevent drug and alcohol use, according to Standard-Times archives.

Dietz underwent surgery after an on-duty vehicle crash in April 2016 left him with severe injuries.

He was remembered as a good man and good officer in Facebook messages Monday:

Pete Flores wrote: "I was in the inaugural D.A.R.E program in 5th grade at Reagan Elementary. He and Officer Ruiz were the two officers who came to our classroom. I could never forget them and their leadership. My heart aches for the loss to the San Angelo Community."

Chelsea Kading wrote: "Our hearts break with this tragic news. Freddy was such a kind man with a wonderful sense of humor. I? hope he has found the peace he was looking for."

Tino Rojas wrote: "My condolences to his parents. Freddy and I had been friends for many years. R.I.P my brother. May you rest in the arms of our Father."

Sally Hagen wrote: "This is just heartbreaking, I'm so sad about this tragic loss. Officer Dietz was my DARE officer and such a great person and friend! My prayers are with him and his family."

This is a developing story. More information will be added as it becomes available.

©2017 the San Angelo Standard-Times (San Angelo, Texas)


Categories: Latest News

Calif. LEO cleared in fatal shooting of mentally ill man, video released

PoliceOne - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 04:00

By Jenna Lyons San Francisco Chronicle

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — A Santa Clara police officer lawfully shot and killed an unarmed 24-year-old mentally ill and suicidal man in March, suspecting the man had a handgun and would use it, the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office said Thursday.

The shooting occurred March 9 after Jesus Alberto Geney-Montes’ parents called 911 four times during the day to report that their son was behaving erratically, was armed and threatening his stepfather.

Each time, officers arrived at the home and left after determining there was no cause to make an arrest, although at one point, police said, he threatened to shoot the officers if they came into his bedroom. The officers were leaving the fourth time, when Geney-Montes’ mother stopped them to say her son had stabbed himself.

They returned and confronted Geney-Montes, who by then was in the yard and told the officers once again he had a gun. Police said he kept his hand in his pants pocket, despite orders to show his hands.

“Show me your hands. Get down. You’re not going to die today. You’re not going to die,” an officer was heard saying on body-camera video.

After a period of negotiation, Geney-Montes threatened to shoot himself in the head and began counting down, according to police accounts. At that point, a video taken by Officer Colin Stewart’s body camera shows the officer jumping a wall behind the house and running toward Geney-Montes.

Police say Geney-Montes charged at Stewart, although the video does not make that apparent.

“Seeing Geney-Montes charging towards him and believing his life was in danger, Officer Stewart chose to defend himself by discharging his weapon,” Prosecutor Carolyn Powell wrote in a 53-page report released Thursday. “Under the facts, circumstances and applicable law in this matter, Officer Colin Stewart’s use of force was in response to an objectively reasonable belief that he was facing an immediate threat of great bodily injury or death.”

During the investigation, Stewart was put on administrative leave, but returned to work about two to three months ago, said Lt. Dan Moreno, a Santa Clara Police Department spokesman.

“We agree with the D.A.’s findings,” he said, declining to comment further.

©2017 the San Francisco Chronicle


Categories: Latest News

2 men in a truck chase down Texas church shooter: 'Let's go'

PoliceOne - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 16:50

By Will Weissert and Jim Vertuno Associated Press

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — A former National Rifle Association instructor who grabbed his rifle and ran barefoot across the street to open fire on the gunman who slaughtered 26 people at a small-town church was hailed as a hero Monday, along with the pickup truck driver who helped chase the killer down.

Stephen Willeford, 55, said he was at his Sutherland Springs home Sunday when his daughter alerted him that she'd heard gunfire at the First Baptist Church nearby. Willeford said he immediately retrieved his rifle from his weapon safe.

"I kept hearing the shots, one after another, very rapid shots — just 'Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!' — and I knew every one of those shots represented someone, that it was aimed at someone, that they weren't just random shots," Willeford said Monday during an interview with television stations KHBS/KHOG in Fort Smith and Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Willeford said he loaded his magazine and ran barefoot across the street to the church where he saw gunman Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, and exchanged gunfire.

"He saw me and I saw him," Willeford said. "I was standing behind a pickup truck for cover. I know I hit him. He got into his vehicle, and he fired another couple rounds through his side window. When the window dropped, I fired another round at him again."

As Kelley sped away, Willeford said he ran to a pickup truck stopped an intersection and told the driver, "That guy just shot up the Baptist church. We need to stop him."

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Johnnie Langendorff was driving near First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs when he saw the gunman exchanging fire with another man. Hear what happened next. https://usat.ly/2AbIOxY

Posted by USA TODAY on Monday, November 6, 2017

The driver, Johnnie Langendorff, said he had been driving to Sutherland Springs on Sunday to pick up his girlfriend when a man who'd been exchanging gunfire with Kelley suddenly landed inside his truck.

"He jumped in my truck and said, 'He just shot up the church, we need to go get him.' And I said, 'Let's go,'" Langendorff, a 27-year-old Seguin resident, told The Associated Press on Monday, adding that the ensuing pursuit eventually clocked speeds upwards of 90 mph.

Willeford said he and Langendorrf kept a 911 operator advised as the high-speed pursuit continued. He said Kelley ultimately hit a road sign and flipped his vehicle into a roadside ditch.

Willeford said he then exited Langendorrf's pickup, perched his rifle on the rooftop and trained it on the Kelley's vehicle. He then yelled: "Get out of the truck,! Get out of the truck!" But Kelley did not move.

Langendorff said police arrived about five minutes later. Based on evidence at the scene, investigators believe Kelley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"There was no thinking about it," Langendorff said. "There was just doing. That was the key to all this. Act now. Ask questions later."

Asked if he felt like a hero, Langendorff said: "I don't really know how I feel. I just hope that the families and people affected by this can sleep easier knowing that this man is not breathing anymore and not able to hurt anyone else. I feel I just did what was right."

Though he did not identify Willeford by name, Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said at a news conference Monday that the armed resident who confronted Kelley was toting an "AR assault rifle and engaged" the shooter.

Stephen Willeford, the man who shot church gunman, breaks his silence https://t.co/ABFdugXC8w

— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) November 7, 2017

Martin later praised Willeford and Langendorff: "The number one goal of law enforcement is to neutralize the shooter. In this situation, we had two good Samaritans who did that for law enforcement."

Julius Kepper, Willeford's next-door neighbor for the past seven years, described Willeford as a gun and motorcycle enthusiast who regularly takes target practice at property out in the country, and has as many as five Harley Davidson motorcycles.

"Avid gun collector, a good guy," Kepper said.

Kepper and other neighbors said Willeford's family has been in the Sutherland Springs area for at least three generations, including a father and grandfather who were in dairy farming. Stephen Willeford is married with two grown children and works as a plumber who installs lines on major projects such as hospitals, Kepper said.

He called Willeford a "free spirit" sort who loves motorcycles despite losing both parents to a motorcycle crash when he was a young adult. "It was almost the same spot where they ran (the shooter) off the road," Kepper said.

Kepper said he's not surprised Willeford would exchange gunfire with the church gunman. Others in the neighborhood would have done the same if they knew what was happening, he said.

"Just like everybody else around here. He was just the first one there," Kepper said.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday praised Willeford's actions, after talking to law enforcement officials and visiting the church in Sutherland Springs. He lauded the "ordinary citizen" who engaged the gunman.

"One individual demonstrated bravery and courage. We need to be celebrating that bravery and courage," Cruz said.

Still, Willeford proved a reluctant hero.

"I didn't want this and I want the focus to be on my friends," Willeford told The Dallas Morning News for a story published Monday that also confirmed he was the first person to confront Kelley. "I have friends in that church. I was terrified while this was going on."

No one answered the door at the Willeford residence Monday. Food that had been delivered to the house was stacked up on the front porch.


Categories: Latest News

Va. officer shot multiple times, suspect in custody

PoliceOne - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 14:03

By PoliceOne Staff

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A suspect is in custody after a Virginia police officer was shot multiple times Monday afternoon.

WAVY-TV reports that a juvenile male is in custody in connection with the shooting. The female officer was rushed to a local hospital for treatment. The extent of her injuries are unknown at the time.

Nearby school buses were rerouted after the shooting.

This is a breaking news story. Watch this page for updates.

Look at the scene right now - looks like police has taped off High St & parts of the London Oaks Apartments. Told officer shot. #13NewsNow pic.twitter.com/zOhzUTSGSo

— Chenue Her (@ChenueHer) November 6, 2017

UPDATE: A juvenile male is in custody in connection with the shooting of a female Portsmouth Police Officer this afternoon. #ThinBlueLine

— PortsmouthPD (@PortsmouthPD) November 6, 2017


Categories: Latest News

White House releases first responder fentanyl safety recommendations

PoliceOne - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 12:07

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — The White House released their official guide to first responder safety in cases of fentanyl exposure.

The White House said in an announcement that the Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders “provides unified, scientific, evidence-based recommendations to first responders so they can protect themselves when the presence of fentanyl is suspected during the course of their daily activities such as responding to overdose calls and conducting traffic stops, arrests and searches.”

The recommendations consist of three categories:

Actions first responders can take to protect themselves from exposure Actions first responders can take when exposure occurs Actions first responders can take when they or their partners exhibit signs of intoxication

The announcement added that the recommendations do not address all scenarios with equal comprehension, and other incidents may require additional protection, such as executing search warrants, field testing and storing evidence.

Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders by Ed Praetorian on Scribd

<!--cke_bookmark_155S--><!--cke_bookmark_155E-->


Categories: Latest News

Texas deputy shot multiple times, suspect arrested

PoliceOne - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 09:35

By Lindsay Ellis and Jasmine Davis Houston Chronicle

HOUSTON — A Precinct 4 deputy constable is stable after a shooting on Sunday when he suffered multiple gunshot wounds, officials said.

The precinct's official Twitter account said on Sunday evening that the deputy constable is being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

He was using a taser while attempting to arrest a suspect as he responded to a call reporting a home disturbance just before 6 p.m. Sunday, Constable Mark Herman said.

The suspect, identified as Constantine Argyriou, then opened fire, he said.

Argyriou, 38 years old, faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, a first-degree felony, for the alleged attack, Herman said. He was taken into custody just before 7 p.m.

The deputy was transported via LifeFlight to Memorial Hermann, Herman said.

Multiple emergency vehicles blocked off the street, the 9000 block of Walnut Glen Drive in Northwest Harris County, on Sunday night.

"Please keep our brother in your prayers," the precinct's official Twitter account posted.

Deputy Justin Gay is under going an 18 hour surgery at this time. Thank you for your continued prayers during this difficult time.

— Precinct 4 Constable (@pct4constable) November 6, 2017

©2017 the Houston Chronicle


Categories: Latest News

Viral video shows struggle between cop, unruly fan at football game

PoliceOne - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 09:23

By David Neal and Charles Rabin Miami Herald

MIAMI — A video shared on social media shows a Miami-Dade police officer punching a woman who had slapped him twice as officers ejected her from Hard Rock Stadium during the University of Miami football game against Virginia Tech.

Saturday night’s incident at the nationally televised game was posted on the Instagram account The 5th Year/Barstool Sports.

The U is back @BarstoolUMiami pic.twitter.com/MI96aa4zh4

— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) November 5, 2017

Bridget Freitas, 30, was arrested on charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and disorderly conduct. The Pembroke Pines woman, a registered nurse, bonded out Sunday morning.

In the video, four Miami-Dade uniformed officers, three men and one woman, attempt to remove Freitas, who appears to be lolling in a barely conscious state. She was in a stairway between rows, hanging onto a man’s shirt with her right hand.

As the officers hoist her above them and begin moving up the stairs, Freitas swings twice at Miami-Dade police detective Douglas Ross, who was holding her right leg — a forehand that grazed the back of his head and a backhand swing that caught him on the left side of his face.

Ross responded with a right hook to Freitas’ face.

Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said as of Sunday, Ross’ standing with department hasn't changed. They are reviewing the video and “immediate chain of command will address the concerns.”

Police union President John Rivera said from what he has seen of the video, Ross was justified in striking the woman.

“All he did was react to her actions,” said Rivera, president of Miami-Dade's Police Benevolent Association.

Herald attempts to reach Freitas Sunday were unsuccessful.

As for what happened before the video, according to the arrest report, Ross went to Section 129 after a disturbance was reported there. The disturbance Ross found was Freitas arguing with other fans while “using profanity in a loud and boisterous manner.”

After officers couldn’t get Freitas to exit the section calmly, the report says, she planted herself on the stairs. Two officers tried to get her up and out. Two other officers, of which Ross was one, joined to help.

That’s when the video starts.

The report describes “Upon lifting (Freitas), (Freitas) swung and struck (Det. Ross) in the face while attempting to get away, causing this Det. (Ross) to strike (Freitas) in the face to gain compliance and control.”

Miami-Dade police issued a statement about the incident on Sunday afternoon: “Promoting a safe and secure environment during any special event is our primary concern. After responding to a disturbance, the person in the video was being removed from the event by our officers for being disorderly. She was subsequently arrested for Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer and Disorderly Conduct/Breach of the peace.

“Supervisory personnel are aware of the video and are reviewing the incident to ensure compliance with our policies and procedures.”

Freitas was one of 23 ejections and two arrests Saturday night, according to Miami-Dade police. The other arrest was also for battery.

©2017 Miami Herald


Categories: Latest News

Police: Texas church attack stemmed from domestic situation

PoliceOne - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 07:29

By Jim Vertuno Associated Press

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — The gunman who opened fire in a small Texas church, killing 26 people during worship services, sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law before the attack, which appeared to stem from a domestic situation, authorities said Monday.

Investigators have concluded that the deadliest mass shooting in state history was not racially or religiously motivated, Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said.

Based on evidence at the scene, they believe that Devin Patrick Kelley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he was chased by armed bystanders and crashed his car.

The 26-year-old shooter also used his cellphone to tell his father that he had been shot and did not think he would survive, authorities said.

The gunman's family relationships were uncertain. The sheriff said the shooter's former in-laws sometimes attended services at the church but were not there on Sunday. Martin said the text messages were sent to the gunman's mother-in-law, who attended the church. It was unclear if they were referring to the same people.

Once the shooting started at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, there was probably "no way" for congregants to escape, Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. said.

The gunman, dressed in black tactical gear, fired an assault rifle as he walked down the center aisle during worship services. He turned around and continued shooting on his way out of the building, Tackitt said.

The attack claimed multiple members of some families and tore apart the close-knit town of 400 people.

"It's unbelievable to see children, men and women, laying there. Defenseless people," Tackitt said.

The dead ranged in age from 18 months to 77 years old. About 20 other people were wounded, 10 of whom were still hospitalized Monday in critical condition.

Authorities said Kelley lived in New Braunfels, about 35 miles north of the church.

A U.S. official told The Associated Press that Kelley did not appear to be linked to organized terrorist groups. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss the investigation.

Investigators were looking at social media posts Kelley made in the days before the attack, including one that appeared to show an AR-15 semi-automatic weapon.

Kelley, who had a license to serve as an unarmed private security guard, did not have a license to carry a concealed handgun. Martin said.

After serving in the Air Force, Kelley received a bad conduct discharge for assaulting his spouse and child and was sentenced to 12 months of confinement after a 2012 court-martial. He served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his 2014 discharge, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said.

The attacker pulled into a gas station across from the church, about 30 miles (48.28 kilometers) southeast of San Antonio, around 11:20 a.m. Sunday. He crossed the street and started firing the rifle at the church, then continued firing after entering the white wood-frame building, Martin said.

As he left, the shooter was confronted by an armed resident who "grabbed his rifle and engaged that suspect," Martin said. A short time later, the suspect was found dead in his vehicle at the county line.

Twenty-three of the dead were found in the church. Two were found outside and one died after being taken to a hospital, Martin said.

The man who confronted Kelley had help from another local resident, Johnnie Langendorff, who told KSAT-TV that he was driving past the church as the shooting happened. He did not identify the armed resident but said the man exchanged gunfire with the gunman, then asked to get in Langendorff's truck and the pair followed as the gunman drove away.

Langendorff said the gunman eventually lost control of his vehicle and crashed. He said the other man walked up to the vehicle with his gun drawn and the suspect did not move. He stayed there for at least five minutes, until police arrived.

"I was strictly just acting on what's the right thing to do," Langendorff said.

Among those killed was the church pastor's 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle Pomeroy. Pastor Frank Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, were both out of town when the attack occurred, Sherri Pomeroy wrote in a text message.

"We lost our 14-year-old daughter today and many friends," she wrote. "Neither of us has made it back into town yet to personally see the devastation."

Church member Nick Uhlig, 34, who was not at Sunday's service, told the AP that his cousin, who was eight months' pregnant, and her in-laws were among those killed. He later told the Houston Chronicle that three of his cousin's children also were slain.

Three guns were recovered. A Ruger AR-556 rifle was found at the church, and two handguns were recovered from the suspect's vehicle, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The church has posted videos of its Sunday services on a YouTube channel, raising the possibility that the shooting was captured on video.

In a video of its Oct. 8 service, a congregant who spoke and read scripture pointed to the Oct. 1 Las Vegas shooting a week earlier as evidence of the "wicked nature" of man. That shooting left 58 dead and more than 500 injured.

Sunday's attack came on the eighth anniversary of a shooting at Fort Hood, between Austin and Waco, where 13 people were killed and 31 others wounded by a former Army major.

The previous deadliest mass shooting in Texas had been a 1991 attack in Killeen, when a mentally disturbed man crashed his pickup truck through a restaurant window at lunchtime and started shooting people, killing 23 and injuring more than 20 others.

The University of Texas was the site of one of the most infamous mass shootings in American history, when Marine sniper Charles Whitman climbed a clock tower at the Austin campus in 1966 and began firing on stunned people below, killing 13 and wounding nearly three dozen others. He had killed his wife and mother before heading to the tower. One victim died a week later, and medical examiners eventually attributed a 17th death to Whitman in 2001.


Categories: Latest News

On-duty NJ sergeant dies suddenly after suffering a stroke

PoliceOne - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 07:11

By PoliceOne Staff

BERKELEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A New Jersey police sergeant died unexpectedly after suffering a stroke on Friday.

Sgt. Alison Wray, 32, was on duty when she suffered the stroke, NJ.com reports. Wray was a part of the Berkeley Township Police Department for nine years. She leaves behind two children, her fiance and two stepchildren.

In a post on the Berkeley Township PD’s Facebook page, Berkeley police Chief Karin DiMichele said Wray “excelled” in her position and quickly rose the ranks to sergeant in 2015.

"Please keep Sergeant Wray's family in your thoughts and prayers as they mourn their loss," DiMichele said in the post. "Please also keep the officers and civilian staff at Berkeley Township in your prayers as they have lost a great officer, a great leader, great public servant and a great friend."

Her family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for her two children, ages 2 and 4.

Funeral arrangements for Wray have not been announced at this time.

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On behalf of Police Chief Karin DiMichele the Berkeley Township Police Department sadly announces the death of Sergeant...

Posted by Berkeley Township Police Department on Saturday, November 4, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Operation Taurus – Greece and Europol dismantle an organized crime group

EUROPOL - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 02:13
The Organized Crime Unit of the Hellenic Police, with the support of Europol, dismantled an organised criminal group engaged in migrant smuggling and document forgery. The organised crime group smuggled illegal migrants by air from Greece to the United Kingdom, using falsified documents. 20 persons have been arrested in Greece. The planning of the operation started in July 2017.
Categories: Latest News

26 killed in Texas church attack

PoliceOne - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 20:03

By Jim Vertuno Associated Press

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — A man dressed in black tactical-style gear and armed with an assault rifle opened fire inside a church in a small South Texas community on Sunday, killing 26 people and wounding about 20 in what the governor called the deadliest mass shooting in the state's history. The dead ranged in age from 5 to 72 years old.

Authorities didn't identify the attacker during a news conference Sunday night, but two other officials — one a U.S. official and one in law enforcement — identified him as Devin Kelley. They spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the investigation.

The U.S. official said Kelley lived in a San Antonio suburb and didn't appear to be linked to organized terrorist groups. Investigators were looking at social media posts Kelley made in the days before Sunday's attack, including one that appeared to show an AR-15 semiautomatic weapon.

An Air Force spokeswoman said Sunday night that Devin P. Kelley received a bad-conduct discharge from the Air Force for allegedly assaulting his spouse and child, and was sentenced to 12 months' confinement after a 2012 court-martial. Kelley served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his discharge, spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said.

At the news conference, the attacker was described only as a white man in his 20s who was wearing black tactical gear and a ballistic vest when he pulled into a gas station across from the First Baptist Church around 11:20 a.m.

The gunman crossed the street and started firing a Ruger AR rifle at the church, said Freeman Martin, a regional director of the Texas Department of Safety, then continued firing after entering the white wood-frame building, where an 11 a.m. service was scheduled. As he left, the shooter was confronted by an armed resident who "grabbed his rifle and engaged that suspect," Martin said. A short time later, the suspect was found dead in his vehicle at the county line.

Several weapons were found inside the vehicle and Martin said it was unclear if the attacker died of a self-inflicted wound or if he was shot by the resident who confronted him. He said investigators weren't ready to discuss a possible motive. Martin said 23 of the dead were found in the church, two were found outside and one died after being taken to a hospital.

Addressing the news conference, Gov. Greg Abbott called the attack the worst mass shooting in Texas history.

"There are no words to describe the pure evil that we witnessed in Sutherland Springs today," Abbott said. "Our hearts are heavy at the anguish in this small town, but in time of tragedy, we see the very best of Texas. May God comfort those who've lost a loved one, and may God heal the hurt in our communities."

Among those killed was the church pastor's 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle Pomeroy. Pastor Frank Pomeroy, and his wife, Sherri, were both out of town in two different states when the attack occurred, Sherri Pomeroy wrote in a text message to the AP.

"We lost our 14-year-old daughter today and many friends," she wrote. "Neither of us has made it back into town yet to personally see the devastation. I am at the charlotte airport trying to get home as soon as i can."

Federal law enforcement swarmed the small rural community of a few hundred residents 30 miles southeast of San Antonio after the attack, including ATF investigators and members of the FBI's evidence collection team.

At least 16 wounded were taken to hospitals, hospital officials said, including eight taken by medical helicopter to the Brooke Army Medical Center. Another eight victims were taken to Connally Memorial Medical Center, located in Floresville about 10 miles from the church, including four who were later transferred to University Hospital in San Antonio for higher-level care, said spokeswoman Megan Posey.

Hunter Green, 16, normally attends the church with his girlfriend but they skipped Sunday after a late date night. Attending a candlelight vigil hours later, he described the building as having only small exits on the side and in the back that would have made it very difficult to flee a shooter entering the front door.

"They wouldn't have had anywhere to go," Green said.

Alena Berlanga, a Floresville resident who was monitoring the chaos on a police scanner and in Facebook community groups, said everyone knows everyone else in the sparsely populated county.

"This is horrific for our tiny little tight-knit town," Berlanga said. "Everybody's going to be affected and everybody knows someone who's affected."

Regina Rodriguez, who arrived at the church a couple of hours after the shooting, walked up to the police barricade and hugged a person she was with. She said her father, 51-year-old Richard Rodriguez, attends the church every Sunday, and she hadn't been able to reach him. She said she feared the worst.

Church member Nick Uhlig, 34, wasn't at Sunday's service, but he said his cousins were at the church and that his family was told at least one of them, a woman with three children and pregnant with another, was among the dead.

"We just gathered to bury their grandfather on Thursday," he said, shaking his head. "This is the only church here. We have Bible study, men's Bible study, vacation Bible school. Somebody went in and started shooting."

President Donald Trump, who was in Japan, called the shooting an "act of evil" and said he was monitoring the situation.

"We're shocked. Shocked and dismayed," said state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, a Laredo Democrat whose district includes Sutherland Springs, a rural community known for its peanut festival, which was held last month. "It's especially shocking when it's such a small, serene area. These rural areas, they are so beautiful and so loving."

Later Sunday, two sheriff's vans were parked outside the gate of a cattle fence surrounding the address listed for Kelley on the rural, western outskirts of New Braunfels, north of San Antonio, preventing a group of waiting journalists from entering. Officials from the Comal County Sherriff's Office and the Texas Rangers declined to comment or say if they had raided his home.

Ryan Albers, 16, who lives across the road said he heard intensifying gunfire coming from that direction in recent days.

"It had to be coming from somewhere pretty close," Albers said. "It was definitely not just a shotgun or someone hunting. It was someone using automatic weapon fire."

The church has posted videos of its Sunday services on a YouTube channel, raising the possibility that the shooting was captured on video.

In a video of its Oct. 8 service, a congregant who spoke and read Scripture pointed to the Oct. 1 Las Vegas shooting a week earlier as evidence of the "wicked nature" of man. That shooting left 58 dead and more than 500 injured.

Until Sunday, the deadliest mass shooting in Texas had been a 1991 attack in Killeen, when a mentally disturbed man crashed his pickup truck through a restaurant window at lunchtime and started shooting people, killing 23 and injuring more than 20 others.

The University of Texas was the site of one of the most infamous mass shootings in American history, when U.S. Marine sniper Charles Whitman climbed the Austin campus' clock tower in 1966 and began firing on stunned people below, killing 13 and wounding nearly three dozen others. He had killed his wife and mother before heading to the tower, one victim died a week later and medical examiners eventually attributed a 17th death to Whitman in 2001.

Pres. Trump: "All of America is praying to God to help the wounded & the families of the victims. We will never ever leave their side. Ever" pic.twitter.com/D1W8vvHftT

— ABC News (@ABC) November 6, 2017

Keeping all harmed in Sutherland Springs in our prayers and grateful for our brave first responders on the scene.

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 5, 2017

Our prayers are with all who were harmed by this evil act. Our thanks to law enforcement for their response. More details from DPS soon. https://t.co/KMCRmOPkiM

— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 5, 2017

First Baptist Church Pastor Frank Pomeroy tells ABC his 14yr-old daughter is among the dead—Says she "was one very beautiful, special child"

— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) November 5, 2017

May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2017

Texas county commissioner tells @NBCNews "there are a lot of fatalities" at church shooting, estimating 24 dead. "The shooter is deceased."

— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) November 5, 2017

According to @ksatnews a witness reported seeing a man in full gear come into the church & unloaded several rounds. https://t.co/2K0aJZ3D79 pic.twitter.com/EFbWIKnX9D

— Nick Short ???? (@PoliticalShort) November 5, 2017

DEVELOPING: Shooting at Texas baptist church in Sutherland Springs as police report multiple victims of 'active gunman' pic.twitter.com/2ckI2B45c9

— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) November 5, 2017

Special agents from ATF’s Houston Field Division, San Antonio Field Office are responding to a shooting at a church in Sutherland Spring, TX pic.twitter.com/LCyt7EydbZ

— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) November 5, 2017

#BREAKING Confirmed shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, police say multiple victims pic.twitter.com/1ljzxpqk4f

— Max Massey (@MaxMasseyTV) November 5, 2017

Neighbors say they heard shooter may have reloaded multiple times, around 50 people usually at service pic.twitter.com/tkAYMp2Y8A

— Max Massey (@MaxMasseyTV) November 5, 2017

At least 6 helicopters called to transport victims pic.twitter.com/GTwwQfPx6L

— Max Massey (@MaxMasseyTV) November 5, 2017


Categories: Latest News

5 things to know about the Texas church shooting

PoliceOne - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 14:56

By PoliceOne Staff

A gunman walked into a church in the small Texas town of Sutherland Springs on Sunday, killing over 20 people and wounding at least 10 others. Here are five things to know about the mass casualty incident.

1. The church filmed its services.

The Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church filmed its services and posted them on a YouTube channel. The latest video post is from Oct. 29, when Pastor Frank Pomeroy gave a sermon titled “You Don't Need Training Wheels, You Need Christ!”

Law enforcement has not yet said whether there is video evidence of Sunday’s disturbing attack.

2. The pastor’s daughter was killed in the shooting.

Pomeroy was out of town in Oklahoma at the time of the shooting, but his 14-year-old daughter Annabelle was among those tragically gunned down in the attack.

Pomeroy described Annabelle to ABC News as “one very beautiful, special child.”

Neighbors say they heard shooter may have reloaded multiple times, around 50 people usually at service pic.twitter.com/tkAYMp2Y8A

— Max Massey (@MaxMasseyTV) November 5, 2017 3. SUtherland Springs is a Tight-Knit community

Sutherland Springs has a population in the hundreds, according to the New York Times. The 2000 census had the population as 362 – meaning the death toll from Sunday’s attack could amount to around 7 percent of the population.

The New York Times, citing a law enforcement source, said the gunman was from Comal County and drove to the church in Wilson County to carry out the attack.

4. Police are checking the gunman’s home for explosives.

MySa.com reported San Antonio police are checking for explosive devices in the suspected shooter’s home. The shooter was either killed by police or a self-inflicted gunshot wound after fleeing the scene.

5. The shooting is the deadliest mass killing at a house of worship in modern U.S. history.

Sunday’s attack is the deadliest shooting inside a house of worship in modern U.S. history. The previous highest was the 2015 mass killing at Emanuel AME Baptist Church in Charleston, South Carolina, perpetrated by Dylann Roof.

At least 6 helicopters called to transport victims pic.twitter.com/GTwwQfPx6L

— Max Massey (@MaxMasseyTV) November 5, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Investigators scour past of man charged in NYC terror attack

PoliceOne - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 12:54

By Tom Hays and Jennifer Peltz Associated Press

NEW YORK — From his hospital bed, Sayfullo Saipov proudly told investigators how he had rented a truck and used it to fatally run down cyclists and pedestrians on a New York City bike path, all in the name of the Islamic State.

He assured them he acted alone. U.S. counter-terrorism agents want to make sure.

Since the attack that killed eight people, the New York Police Department and the FBI have been working behind the scenes to study his past, question his family and friends, examine his cellphone and online activity and hunt for any clues that might identify others plotting similar attacks.

That search has already revealed instances where Saipov had contact with other people who had drawn law enforcement scrutiny.

"What we are looking for is how has he touched the subjects of other investigations, what is his connectivity to those people," said John Miller, the NYPD's top counterterrorism official.

Saipov, 29, came to the U.S. legally in 2010 from Uzbekistan, where officials say he had no history of trouble with the law. He first lived in Ohio, where he was a commercial truck driver, then Florida. He most recently lived in New Jersey with his wife and children, and worked as an Uber driver.

Since Saipov's arrest, investigators have tried to determine if he had interactions with any other terror suspects, including four Uzbeks charged in separate case in Brooklyn with conspiring to support the Islamic State group. Prosecutors have accused them of seeking to travel to Pakistan to fight for the group.

The FBI has also learned that Saipov was at a wedding two years ago that was also attended by another immigrant from Uzbekistan who was — and remains — under investigation.

Agents have also interviewed many people who knew Saipov, including a friend who was questioned for hours over several days. So far, that man, a fellow immigrant from Uzbekistan, is only considered to be a witness, according to two law enforcement officials.

Investigators have interviewed Saipov's wife, who was cooperative but provided no clues, and visited a mosque in New Jersey, where the defendant was living, said one of the officials. Both officials weren't authorized to detail the probe and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The FBI in Ohio also has questioned members of an Uzbek community about Saipov. And it's certain investigators would seek to speak to 23 other people who President Donald Trump said listed Saipov as a contact on immigration forms.

Counterterrorism experts say the investigators are scouring Saipov's contacts and communications and see whether anyone encouraged his plans for violence, talked about joining in or contributed financially, even unknowingly.

Authorities can compare the information to intelligence databases with names and other information U.S. agencies have gathered, said Jeffrey Ringel, a former FBI agent and Joint Terrorism Task force member who now works for the Soufan Group, a private security firm.

A case like Saipov's "can lead to all sorts of spinoff investigations," Ringel said. It could turn out Saipov acted alone, "but until that's determined, everything's got to be looked at," he added.

Saipov was charged with federal terrorism offenses that could qualify him for the death penalty. According to a criminal complaint, the Uzbek immigrant made statements about his allegiance to the Islamic State group, which later took credit for the attack.

The complaint also described how a search of two cellphones has already produced a trove of evidence against the defendant. One contained 90 videos and other Islamic State propaganda, including one of a beheading and another of a tank running over a prisoner. The other phone showed a search for truck rental outlets.

Saipov told investigators he was inspired to carry out the attack after watching a video of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi questioning "what Muslims in the United States and elsewhere were doing to respond to the killing of Muslims in Iraq," the court papers said.


Categories: Latest News

Texas trooper dies in fiery crash while conducting traffic stop

PoliceOne - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 11:30

By Eline de Bruijn The Dallas Morning News

TEMPLE, Texas — A State Trooper died Saturday in a fiery crash after he was conducting a traffic stop on Interstate 35 in Temple and was struck from behind, authorities said.

Thomas Nipper, 63, was on the southbound shoulder of I-35 about 3:05 p.m. when he was struck by a Chevrolet pickup, authorities said in a news release. Nipper was transported to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Nipper's patrol car was on fire when a Temple Fire and Rescue unit arrived at 3:12 p.m., spokesman Thomas Pechal said to the Temple Daily Telegram. Four people, including Nipper, were medically treated in the crash, the Telegram reported.

UPDATE: @TxDPS trooper killed in Temple I-35 crash. #Temple #i35 https://t.co/Rm2JTrqaYZ pic.twitter.com/3JHtjajrS5

— TempleDailyTelegram (@tdtnews) November 5, 2017

Scott Taylor of Marble Falls and his fiancée Carmen Bridges were riding in a white 2017 Chevrolet truck in the left lane when the accident happened, they told the Telegram.

"We have no idea what happened," Taylor said to the newspaper. "We were in the left lane. As far as I know that was the last thing I remember, then us rolling."

"I didn't even know we hit a car," he said.

They both suffered chest pain, but didn't want to leave their Chihuahua puppy, Faith and their other dog that they had lost track of, a mastiff-boxer mix named Jackson, the Telegram reported.

"We were grateful," he said to the newspaper. "The airbags saved our lives."

Nipper is survived by his wife and three children. He was commissioned as a Trooper in January 1983 and was stationed in Temple. He is the 220th Texas Department of Public Safety officer to die in the line of duty since 1823, authorities said.

“It is with heavy heart that we must notify our fellow Texans that State Trooper Thomas Nipper died in the line of duty today,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Today Texas and our DPS family lost one of our finest. Trooper Nipper was a hard-working and selfless man, who proudly served and protected the people of this state. His commitment to duty and his sacrifice will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this extremely difficult time.”

Gov. Greg Abbott released the following statement Saturday:

"Trooper Nipper was a dedicated member of Texas' law enforcement community, and like his fellow officers, I am saddened to learn of his tragic death. The men and women who make the commitment to keeping us safe are every day heroes, and we should always remember the risks and sacrifices they make to serve their fellow Texans. Cecilia and I ask all Texans to join us in keeping Trooper Nipper, his family, and all those close to him in our thoughts and prayers. May God grant them peace and comfort during this difficult time."

Funeral arrangements are pending.

The crash is under investigation and no other details were available, authorities said.

©2017 The Dallas Morning News


Categories: Latest News

Ill. cop, another person dead after traffic stop

PoliceOne - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 11:26

By Elyssa Cherney Chicago Tribune

ROCKFORD, Ill. — A Rockford Police officer was found dead near a traffic crash and a person was dead in a vehicle early Sunday following a possible shooting, police Chief Dan O'Shea said.

Jaimie Cox, 30, made a traffic stop near East State Street and Dawn Avenue in Rockford about 1 a.m. Sunday before making a "brief radio transmission indicating he needed assistance," O'Shea said at a news conference.

Rockford officers responding to the scene found Cox, who was critically injured, near a single-vehicle crash about two blocks north of the initial traffic stop, O'Shea said. Officers also found another person dead inside a vehicle.

Cox was rushed to OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, where he was pronounced dead, O'Shea said.

About 1:20 a.m., Rockford police on Twitter said it was at a "scene of a shooting involving an officer." O'Shea later would not say whether Cox or the other person was fatally shot, but believed a shooting took place.

"The investigation is still ongoing and very active," O'Shea said. "We do not believe we have any public at risk at this point. The area is still blocked off from the incident. The detectives are out there working. ... As far as suspects, we don’t feel the public is in jeopardy right now."

Cox joined the Rockford department in December 2016, a city spokeswoman said.

He previously worked as an officer for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, O'Shea said.

©2017 the Chicago Tribune


Categories: Latest News

Idaho jury votes for death penalty after officer killed

PoliceOne - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 14:36

Associated Press

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — A jury has unanimously decided that a 29-year-old man who shot and killed a northern Idaho police officer should be sentenced to death.

The 12-member panel reached the decision Saturday morning.

The same jury last month found Jonathan Renfro guilty of first-degree murder for the May 2015 killing of Coeur d'Alene Police Sgt. Greg Moore. He was also found guilty of robbery, removing a firearm from a police officer and concealment of evidence.

The mitigation phase of the trial began Monday and concluded Friday afternoon with defense attorneys arguing why Renfro shouldn't get the death penalty. The jury was sequestered while reaching its decision.

During the trial, jurors watched a video of the shooting recorded by Moore's body camera. Moore was checking on a suspicious person while patrolling a neighborhood when he was gunned down, court documents say. He died later that evening.

"Renfro is observed shooting Sgt. Moore," a detective wrote in an affidavit that describes images from the camera worn by Moore. "After being shot, Sgt. Moore falls to the ground, causing his body camera to point skyward. A short time later, Renfro's face comes back into the frame. Renfro is seen using a flashlight while searching Sgt. Moore's person."

Later, authorities said, an officer from nearby Post Falls, Idaho who was listening to radio traffic about the shooting, saw a Coeur d'Alene police car race by at about 90 mph, so he gave chase close to the Washington state line.

The officer found the patrol car abandoned, and the Washington State Patrol and Kootenai County Sheriff's Office helped set up a perimeter. A police dog found Renfro about two hours later hiding under a tractor-trailer.

Renfro has a long criminal record and was on probation at the time of the shooting. During the trial, prosecutors said Renfro feared going back to jail if Moore discovered that he was illegally carrying a firearm. So Renfro used the firearm to kill Moore, they said.

Renfro's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Monday in 1st District Court.

Moore, the son of a police officer, was a husband and father of two and a 16-year veteran of the city police department. He began his career as a deputy sheriff in Asotin County, Washington, in late 1997 and started in Coeur d'Alene in 1999.


Categories: Latest News

San Francisco officers to carry TASERs

PoliceOne - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 14:31

By Vivian Ho San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Police Commission approved the use of Taser electroshock weapons late Friday for the Police Department, an issue that has been debated and rejected in the city for 13 years.

Following an almost seven-hour meeting interrupted by a protest that led to a lockdown of City Hall, commissioners narrowly passed a measure that the police officers union and several past city chiefs have long called for but activists and police critics have strongly opposed.

While members of the department’s top brass remained straight-faced during the hard-fought, 4-3 vote in favor of the plan, activists outside the chamber began chanting, “Shame! Shame!”

The San Francisco Police Department is one of the last major city forces in the country without the devices, in part because of the opposition from community members concerned about the weapons’ lethality and the potential for abuse.

But those in favor of Tasers, including police Chief Bill Scott, who took command in January amid controversy over a series of officer-involved shootings, say officers need less-lethal alternatives to firearms and Tasers provide such an option.

On Friday, Commissioner Thomas Mazzucco echoed Scott’s sentiments on the weapons, citing the findings of the U.S. Department of Justice’s community-policing division for why he voted to allow Tasers. In a report last year, the Justice Department said San Francisco “should strongly consider” giving officers stun guns.

“They could not believe we did not have these,” Mazzucco said. “They believe it will save lives.”

The report was the result of a six-month review of the San Francisco force after officers fatally shot Mario Woods in December 2015. Woods, a stabbing suspect who was still carrying a knife, was shot while shuffling slowly along a Bayview neighborhood street, after efforts to subdue him with beanbags rounds and pepper spray failed.

The killing is still under investigation, but following the shooting, the Police Commission revised the department’s use-of-force policy to put more of an emphasis on the sanctity of life, deploying de-escalation tactics and using force as a last resort.

“De-escalation has been a topic that the San Francisco Police Department has taken very seriously,” Scott said Friday, as he made his case for Tasers. “The reality is there are times when de-escalation does not work and officers have to use force as safely as possible. We have a duty to reduce injuries to residents and officers when these type of incidents occur.”

But Commission President L. Julius Turman, who voted against the measure, said he felt that equipping officers with Tasers “will derail the progress we have made.”

Commissioner Petra DeJesus, who has long opposed Tasers, had harsher words.

“Shame on this commission for even thinking to vote on this,” she said. “We should give our (policies) a chance to work.”

While Friday’s vote did not delve into policy for Taser use nor into the implementation, Chief Scott has said he wants all sworn officers to be equipped with the weapon. As part of the vote, commissioners said officers could not begin using the weapons until December 2018, after the new use-of-force policy has been in place for two years.

Commissioner Sonia Melara said she received about 100 letters in support of Tasers from community members, and a handful spoke at the meeting. But dozens more spoke in opposition. Activists speaking out against Tasers shut down the meeting for about an hour and prompted deputies to lock down City Hall.

“Please try (a Taser) on yourself before you make the decision,” activist Maria Cristina Gutierrez said just before she went beyond the two-minute allotment allowed for each speaker during public comment and Turman called the meeting into recess.

The activists remained in the room, chanting and making speeches against the weapons, as the commissioners filed out and reconvened in another room.

Turman called the meeting back into session without informing the community members still in the original room — a move that was widely criticized — and reopened public comment by bringing in five people at a time who were “not involved in the disruptive behavior.”

In this year’s discussion, opponents have shifted their focus from past deaths linked to the devices to their effectiveness. Critics have brought in experts to speak to commissioners about the failure rate of Tasers — and what that means for an officer and a subject in an escalating, perilous encounter.

Many balked at the city budget and legislative analyst’s estimate for the overall cost. The low estimate for obtaining Tasers — in a scenario in which some but not all officers get them — was $2.8 million, which includes the cost of the devices as well as officer training, instructor training, testing and defibrillators. Ongoing, annual costs for the low estimate came out to just over $400,000.

The high estimate, which is based on equipping and training all sworn officers, was $8 million in one-time costs and annual costs of about $750,000.

The analysis did not include the cost of litigation that could come as a result of injuries or deaths because of Taser use by a city officer.

Commissioner Joe Marshall, the longest serving member on the panel, commented that he has served on the commission through all 13 years of proposals regarding Tasers.

He said he supported the chief in what he wanted, in part because from his experience, he learned there was no “right time” to equip officers with Tasers and that after 13 years, it was time for a decision.

“People just don’t like Tasers,” Marshall said. “I heard the statement that it will never be the time to have them. Time does not matter to me. There is no ‘the time.’ You have to decide whether to have them or not.”

©2017 the San Francisco Chronicle


Categories: Latest News

Baltimore police say off-duty DC officer fatally shot

PoliceOne - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 10:20

Associated Press

BALTIMORE — Authorities say an off-duty Washington, D.C., police sergeant was fatally shot while sitting in a parked car in Baltimore and a woman with him was injured.

Baltimore police said in a statement that officers found 40-year-old Tony Anthony Mason Jr. with gunshot wounds early Saturday morning. He died of his injuries at a hospital.

The Metropolitan Police Department in Washington said Mason, a sergeant, was a 17-year veteran of the force. Public information officer Sean Hickman referred all further inquiries to Baltimore police.

The second victim, a 43-year-old woman, suffered a gunshot wound to her leg and was taken to a hospital.

Investigators believe Mason and the woman were inside the car when an unknown suspect approached, began shooting and then fled.

No information about a motive was immediately released.


Categories: Latest News

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