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Updated: 6 hours 15 sec ago

IACP, TASC create initiative to combat opioid epidemic

8 hours 14 min ago

By PoliceOne Staff

The International Association of Chiefs of Police and Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) announced the launch of a national initiative to combat the opioid epidemic Monday.

According to a press release, the initiative aims to create robust alternative-to-arrest diversion programs for law enforcement, allowing addicts to receive the help they need. The announcement comes days after the Trump administration declared the opioid crisis a “national emergency.”

“At this critical time for our communities, law enforcement efforts to connect people with drug treatment could not have greater urgency,” IACP President Donald De Lucca said. “Law enforcement officers, working side-by-side with treatment providers and community, will together help form the solution.”

The collaboration aims to streamline law enforcement’s ability to partner with substance use and mental health providers to provide treatment for addicts as quickly as possible. IACP and TASC will partner with the Police, Treatment and Community Collaborative (PTAC) to build a multi-disciplinary approach to help reduce crime.

The initiative has four main goals:

    To identify the many variations on the concept of diversion across the United States, pinpointing programs with the most promising and measurable outcomes Launch a significant nationwide pilot implementation approach using the identified promising models Leverage the resources of the IACP Center for Police Research and Policy at the University of Cincinnati to measure and evaluate the results of the pilot implementation to ensure an evidenced-based approach Launch one of the largest pre-arrest diversion initiatives in the United States, seeking a sea change in policing (and justice) practices

The partnership acknowledges that diversion programs are not a new practice, but the initiative brings together TASC’s expertise in evidence-based responses to substance use and mental health disorders and IACP’s law enforcement network.

“This initiative can yield value across the U.S., including safer communities, healthier families, and officers returning home safely from duty,” De Lucca said.


Categories: Latest News

NM officer cleared in fatal shooting of armed man, video released

8 hours 17 min ago

By Carlos Andres López Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The 3rd Judicial District Attorney's Office has determined last month's fatal shooting of an armed suspect by a Las Cruces police officer was justified under New Mexico law.

The district attorney's decision was announced Tuesday by the Las Cruces Police Department, which also released the name of the officer who fatally 52-year-old Ernesto Sedillo on July 17.

“After an extensive review of this case," District Attorney Mark D’Antonio wrote Monday in a letter to LCPD, "we have concluded that the shooting by Officer Kenneth Davis was justified under New Mexico law."

Police said video of the incident captured by Davis' lapel camera played a "key" role in "exonerating" the officer.

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District Attorney’s Office Clears Officer in July Shooting The investigation into the July 17 shooting death of an armed man on Arizona Avenue is complete and the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office has concluded that the Las Cruces Police officer’s actions were justified. “After an extensive review of this case we have concluded that the shooting by Officer Kenneth Davis was justified under New Mexico law,” said District Attorney Mark D’Antonio in a letter dated Aug. 14, 2017. The July 17 shooting resulted in the death of 52-year-old Ernesto S. Sedillo of Las Cruces who emerged from a vehicle pointing a handgun at officer Davis, a 4-year veteran of the Las Cruces Police Department. Before his LCPD career began, Davis was a deputy with the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office since 2009. Davis was wearing a lapel camera during the incident and video from it was key in exonerating the officer. Shortly before 11:30 a.m. Monday, July 17, Las Cruces Police were dispatched to the report of a suspicious person possibly armed with a knife on the 800 block of Delta Drive. Davis was the first officer to arrive and located Sedillo, who matched the description of the suspect, near a black Honda Accord that was parked along the 1800 block of Arizona Avenue. By the time Davis approached the vehicle, Sedillo was already in the back seat of the Honda. As Davis walked up to the rear of the Honda, Sedillo partially emerged from the vehicle and pointed a handgun at the officer who responded by firing multiple rounds at the suspect. The officer retreated to his patrol unit and called for backup, not knowing if the suspect was struck or still a threat. The investigation revealed that Davis fired eight rounds, four of which struck Sedillo. Investigators learned that Sedillo’s 9mm handgun had a loaded magazine but no round in the chamber. It’s not known if Sedillo pulled the trigger or attempted to fire at officer Davis. LCPD’s SWAT team was activated after the shooting because officers believed Sedillo might still be a threat and was possibly barricaded in the Honda. After about an hour, the combined Las Cruces Police-New Mexico State Police SWAT team located Sedillo deceased in the back seat of the Honda. No shots were fired by any members of the SWAT team. After the shooting, Davis was placed on administrative leave which is standard protocol for the Las Cruces Police Department. Davis returned to duty on July 24. Through the course of the investigation it was learned that Sedillo entered the backyard of a resident on the 800 block of Delta Drive. The resident confronted Sedillo who was armed with a knife. The resident subsequently called 911 to report the incident and prompting the initial response from the Las Cruces Police Department. Investigators recovered the 9mm handgun from Sedillo’s vehicle. The knife was located in a sheath Sedillo was wearing. The shooting was investigated by the Officer-Involved Incident Task Force which includes investigators from New Mexico State Police, LCPD, the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office and New Mexico State University Police. The task force investigates all officer-involved shootings and reports its findings to the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Dikirim oleh Las Cruces Police Department pada 15 Agustus 2017

The incident began to unfold around 11 :30 a.m. July 17 when police had been dispatched to the report of suspicious person, possibly armed with a knife, in the 800 block of Delta Drive.

The investigation revealed that Sedillo had entered the backyard of a home in the 800 block of Delta Drive, according to police.

The resident of the home confronted Sedillo, who was reportedly armed with a knife. The resident subsequently called 911 to report the incident and prompting the initial response from LCPD.

Davis was the first officer to arrive on the scene and located Sedillo, who matched the description of the suspect, near a black Honda Accord that was parked along the 1800 block of Arizona Avenue, police said.

By the time Davis had approached the vehicle, police said, Sedillo was in the backseat.

As the officer walked up to the rear of the vehicle, Sedillo partially emerged from the backseat and pointed a handgun at the officer, who responded by firing multiple rounds at the suspect.

The investigation revealed that Davis fired eight rounds, four of which struck Sedillo.

After Davis fired his weapon, police said, he retreated to his patrol unit and called for backup, apparently not knowing if the suspect had been struck or was still a threat.

Police revealed Tuesday that Sedillo's 9-mm handgun had a loaded magazine but no round in the chamber. It’s not known if Sedillo pulled the trigger or attempted to fire at the officer.

The handgun was later recovered from Sedillo’s vehicle. The knife also was located in a sheath that Sedillo was wearing.

Following the shooting, LCPD dispatched its SWAT team to the scene, believing Sedillo still posed a threat and was possibly barricaded in the Honda.

After about an hour, the SWAT team located Sedillo deceased in the back seat of the Honda. No shots were fired by any members of the SWAT team.

Sedillo, who had a history of arrests since 2005, was pronounced dead at 12:57 p.m.

After the shooting, Davis was placed on administrative leave which is standard protocol for the Las Cruces Police Department. He returned to duty on July 24.

Davis is a four-year veteran of LCPD and also previously served as a deputy with the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office, police said.

———

©2017 the Las Cruces Sun-News (Las Cruces, N.M.)


Categories: Latest News

Videos show Mich. LEO grabbing man by the neck

8 hours 20 min ago

By PoliceOne Staff

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Videos of a sergeant who grabbed a man by the throat during an arrest has been released by the police department.

Police arrested Antonio Churchwell, 17, outside an abandoned house on July 10 on drug charges, MLive reported. His brother, Diante, 20, arrived on the scene when he heard his brother was in custody. Their parents said Diante questioned why his brother was being arrested when he was detained. Police said Diante became aggressive with officers.

Sgt. Derrick Turner, the arresting officer, is seen holding Diante by the throat before arresting him. A complaint was filed by the family.

Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley said an internal investigation found Turner “violated the Use of Force policy by utilizing ‘a subject control method not taught or recommended.’” Turner will undergo additional training.

However, Hadley said, Turner’s actions “did not seem to be malicious or egregious.”

"Sgt. Turner had every right to address the aggressive manner and approach utilized and displayed by Diante Churchwell," Hadley said. "However the method he chose was not appropriate for the circumstances and fell outside KDPS policy."


Categories: Latest News

Ambulance service now available for injured Ill. K-9s

10 hours 32 min ago

By PoliceOne Staff

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — K-9s injured in the line of duty in Illinois will now be transported by ambulance.

House Bill 2661 allows K-9s to be transported to veterinary clinics or similar facilities by ambulance if injured on duty, as long as no people require transport at the time, WPSD reported.

"Police dogs are often unsung heroes," Sen. Tom Cullerton told the Chicago Daily Herald. "If there are not any people in line that need to receive medical attention, our state's police K-9s should be able to receive the necessary precautions to save their lives so they can return to keeping our streets and communities safe."

"This is an investment in humanity and public safety that needs to be protected," he said.

The bill was signed into law Wednesday and goes into effect on Jan. 1.


Categories: Latest News

Man riding ATV on sidewalk bites NYPD cop, flees

10 hours 35 min ago

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — Police are searching for a man riding an ATV down a sidewalk who bit a police officer and fled.

The officer was on traffic enforcement duty Saturday when he attempted to stop a man riding a yellow ATV down the sidewalk, CBS New York reported. The man bit the officer on the right forearm and fled. The officer was taken to the hospital in stable condition.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic man in his 20s. He is approximately 5 feet 11 inches tall and was last seen wearing a white tank top and dark pants. Anyone with information should call or text the NYPD Crime Stoppers Hotline or submit a tip on the Crime Stoppers website.

Police said ATV are not allowed on city streets and officers are attempting to crack down on illegal ATVs.

#WANTED for assaulting a police officer on 8/12 in #Inwood #Manhattan We need the public's help identifying him ??#800577TIPS with any info pic.twitter.com/tBmd3niqKi

— NYPD 34th Precinct (@NYPD34Pct) August 15, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Report: Lack of command stymied response to Fla. airport shooting

13 hours 29 min ago

By Terry Spencer Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Law enforcement command and communication systems broke down following last January's deadly shooting at a Florida airport, leading to confusion and eventually panic as a false report of a second gunman spread among officers, passengers and employees, a report released Tuesday says.

The Broward County report, prepared by an outside consulting firm, shows the extent of the chaos that reigned at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in the minutes and hours after the Jan. 6 shooting that left five people dead and six wounded. About 2,600 law enforcement officers from throughout South Florida rushed to the airport, but the Broward Sheriff's Office didn't take adequate control of the response, the 82-page report says. Without a plan or system to deploy them, most deputies and officers were stranded outside the airport and their presence overwhelmed the radio and cellphone systems.

"Most of the law enforcement personnel who responded lacked clear instructions, objectives and roles," the report says. It also said there was initial confusion about what role the FBI played in the investigation -- shootings at airports are a federal crime.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel strongly disputed the report, saying he, airport manager Mark Gale and the FBI agent in charge quickly took command of the situation shortly after the shooting. He conceded he hadn't read the report, saying he had received it Monday night.

"It's just not accurate," Israel told a press conference Tuesday. "Critics are going to criticize, but I was out there." He admitted there was no plan for staging and deploying that many officers at the airport, but said a lot of the confusion and perceived lack of command was caused by the overwhelmed radio system. He said staging plans are being improved and a new radio system is being purchased.

"Command was unified, we knew what was going on (but) it wasn't perfect," he said.

Authorities say Esteban Santiago, an Iraq war veteran from Anchorage, Alaska, flew to Fort Lauderdale with a 9mm handgun in a box he put in checked luggage. After landing he retrieved the weapon, loaded it in a bathroom and came out firing randomly in a crowded baggage claim area until he exhausted his ammunition. He surrendered 85 seconds after the first shot was fired. The report praises the initial response and capture of Santiago, who admitted the shooting to investigators.

But chaos broke out again 90 minutes after Santiago's barrage when false reports of a second shooter sent people stampeding, injuring 40. The report says that could have been largely avoided if police officers had earphones to listen to their radios without civilians overhearing them.

More than 12,000 passengers were at the airport during the shooting. Many of them ran out through emergency exits onto the airfield after the false second report. There was also terror caused by plainclothes police and deputies, some wearing masks to protect their identities, running through the airport with their guns drawn as they responded to the false report. That could have resulted in uniformed officers accidentally shooting them.

Overall, Israel, Gale and county officials said they are proud of the response but will implement the report's 132 recommended changes as needed.

"It is clear we have some work to do," Gale said. "That is not to say we performed poorly that day, not by a long shot. But we do recognize that as professionals we need to continually improve our performance."

The FBI says Santiago admitted committing the shootings in recorded interviews with agents. His federal trial has been delayed until at least January as prosecutors decide whether to seek the death penalty. Santiago, a diagnosed schizophrenic, told FBI agents he acted under government mind control and then claimed inspiration by the Islamic State extremist group. No terrorism links have been found.


Categories: Latest News

Los Angeles officers justified in 2016 fatal shooting of man

13 hours 32 min ago

By Michael Balsamo Associated Press LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles police officers acted within department policy when they fatally shot an 18-year-old man last year, whose death sparked a series of protests across the city, the police department's civilian oversight panel ruled Tuesday.

The determination from the Los Angeles Police Commission found the officers involved in the October 2016 shooting death of Carnell Snell Jr. were justified in using deadly force. But the panel faulted the tactics used by the officers.

Three people were arrested Tuesday after several activists began protesting at the panel's weekly meeting.

Snell was shot after officers tried to pull over a car he was in because it had paper license plates that didn't match the year of the vehicle. Snell jumped out and ran, and a chase followed, police said.

After the shooting, activists and angry residents criticized police and dismissed the police department's account that Snell had been armed. The outcry led the city's police chief, Charlie Beck, to take the unusual step of publicly disclosing video showing Snell holding the gun. Los Angeles police typically release video of police shootings only after being ordered to do so by a judge.

The surveillance video released by police showed Snell crouching behind an SUV parked at a strip mall and pulling a gun from the waistband of his sweatpants, but the footage failed to capture him when officers say he twice turned toward them holding the loaded semi-automatic handgun.

Officers fired three shots that missed Snell, who then climbed a fence and turned again toward the officers while holding the gun, police said. Police fired three more times, hitting Snell in the torso and knee and killing him.

The union that represents Los Angeles police officers commended the oversight panel for making "the correct ruling on this justified use of force."

"When an armed suspect points a gun at a police officer, that officer must act to protect themselves and members of the public," said Craig Lally, the president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

The shooting set off a series of Black Lives Matter protests across the city, including at the home of Mayor Eric Garcetti. Activists routinely mention Snell's death at weekly police commission meetings as they decry police misconduct.

Three people who protested at Tuesday's police commission meeting were arrested on suspicion of obstructing a public officer, said Officer Drake Madison, a police spokesman.

After protesters refused to sit down and chanted during the meeting, the commissioners left the room and police ordered everyone out of the meeting. Several people refused to leave and a video posted on Twitter showed officers handcuffing Melina Abdullah, a Black Lives Matter organizer and professor at California State University, Los Angeles, and leading her out of the room.

Police said they could not immediately provide the names of those arrested.


Categories: Latest News

Helicopter that crashed, killed 2 Va. troopers was damaged in 2010

13 hours 43 min ago

By Alanna Durkin Richer Associated Press

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The Virginia State Police helicopter that crashed, killing two troopers who were monitoring violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protesters in Charlottesville, was heavily damaged in 2010 when it lost engine power and was forced to make a hard landing, a state police spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.

The aircraft was fully repaired after the accident seven years ago, however, said State Police Spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

The 2010 emergency landing happened during a training flight in southwest Virginia, according to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board. The crew heard a "very loud growl" before the helicopter made the hard landing about seven minutes into the flight, according to the report, which was first publicized by The Richmond Times-Dispatch and later reviewed by The Associated Press. It bounced once before coming to rest, resulting in "substantial damage," the report said.

Investigators concluded the accident was the result of "improper repair of an engine component by a repair facility, which resulted in a complete loss of engine power," the report said. Geller confirmed that the helicopter mentioned in the report is the same one that crashed Saturday.

The aircraft was fully repaired by Bell Helicopter, Geller said. A Bell Helicopter spokeswoman said the company was saddened by Saturday's deadly crash and was cooperating with the NTSB's investigation.

On Monday, the NTSB said there was no distress call from the helicopter in Charlottesville, which had been providing video to police of activities downtown before it left to lend support to a motorcade for Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Within two minutes there was a 911 call reporting the crash.

The Bell 407's vertical flight path was about 45 degrees when it descended into trees before catching on fire, the NTSB said. The tail boom separated from the main wreckage and became lodged in a tree. Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, and Berke M.M. Bates, who was one day shy of his 41st birthday, were killed. A preliminary report on the crash is expected to be available in a few weeks.

Matthew Robinson, an aviation safety expert who reviewed the NTSB report on the 2010 accident, said investigators can't rule anything out, but it's far too soon to say what may have caused Saturday's crash.

"The investigator has to be careful in not letting a hypothesis guide the investigation this early in the stage," said Robinson, a former official aircraft accident investigator for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps who's now with Robson Forensic. "Everything is game at this point, but it's so early."


Categories: Latest News

Top Va. public safety official defends police response in Charlottesville

14 hours 5 min ago

By Peter Dujardin Daily Press

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Virginia's secretary of public safety on Monday defended the police response to the mayhem in Charlottesville on Saturday when white nationalists and counter-protestors clashed on the city's streets.

The Charlottesville Police Department and the Virginia State Police have faced sharp criticism in the aftermath of the chaos — accused of not doing enough to keep the two sides separated and standing idly by as the disorder unfolded.

A 32-year-old woman was killed when a white nationalist sped his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counter-protesters. Later in the day, two Virginia State Police officers died when their helicopter crashed nearby. More than 20 others were injured.

But Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran — a cabinet secretary under Gov. Terry McAuliffe — contended that the knocks on the police are off-target.

"Let me unequivocally state that that is an unfounded criticism," Moran said. "I was there. I was at their training at 7 o'clock in the morning. ... I could not be prouder of the Virginia State Police, our National Guard and the Charlottesville Police Department, how they pre-planned and how they executed the plan to ensure public safety in Charlottesville."

Saturday marked the first time in 28 years, Moran said, that the Virginia National Guard was deployed to quell civil unrest. He wouldn't say how many officers were on hand but said there were "hundreds" of Virginia state troopers there, as well as 115 national guardsmen and Charlottesville's "entire force" of 124 officers.

Moran, who oversees the Virginia State Police as part of his duties, made the comments in Newport News on Monday after speaking to sheriff's deputies about dealing with jail deaths at the Hampton Roads Criminal Justice Training Academy in City Center.

Several national news outlets ran stories Monday raising questions about the police response in Charlottesville, quoting protestors from both sides with complaints.

"The worst part is that people got hurt, and the police stood by and didn't do a g------- thing," David Copper, 70, of Staunton, told The Washington Post, saying a fight in the park went on for several minutes before police stepped in.

The Post added that police at one point "appeared to retreat and then watch the beatings before eventually moving in to end the free-for-all, make arrests and tend to the injured."

Joseph L. Giacalone, a retired New York Police Department sergeant and adjunct professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said he was floored that a large band of white nationalists was allowed to carry torches into a rally on Friday evening — and that people from both sides were allowed to carry masks, helmets, face-guards, sticks and bats to the Saturday event.

"In New York, if you said you were going to have people carrying torches (into a rally), they'd say, you have a better chance of seeing God," he told the Daily Press. "That ain't happening." And anyone carrying shields or sticks as they headed toward such an event, he said, would be turned back or have that equipment taken from them.

Giacalone also maintained that police didn't have an adequate plan to keep the sides apart once the noon event was canceled a half-hour before it began. "When you push them out of the park, where do you think they are going to go?" he asked. "I don't see cops lining the streets. Why weren't you standing in between these two groups of fools making sure they don't hurt each other?"

He also said police vehicles and vans could have been lining the streets in a show of force. What unfolded on TV, he said, appears to be a "classic case" of officers being told, "Don't go too far unless somebody is directly attacking you." But he said "the ethereal strategy of disengagement doesn't work with radical groups."

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corrine Geller said there was "no stand-down order" issued by state or local police Saturday.

She said that the center of the event, Emancipation Park, had a physical barrier down the middle, with officers in that area. But the police couldn't legally tell people which side they could stand on, she said.

There also were "roving patrols" of officers throughout the park and downtown area, Geller said.

In the wake of a white nationalist rally that roiled Charlottesville Saturday, several hundred people on the Peninsula gathered Sunday in different settings to reflect on the violence and lives lost and address how to face hate and bigotry.

A pair of vigils in Hampton and Williamsburg were just...

In the wake of a white nationalist rally that roiled Charlottesville Saturday, several hundred people on the Peninsula gathered Sunday in different settings to reflect on the violence and lives lost and address how to face hate and bigotry.

A pair of vigils in Hampton and Williamsburg were just...

"That may have given the impression that there were a lot of officers standing around," Geller said. "But they were standing there in order to rapidly respond to incidents as they occurred."

The hostility grew increasingly heated throughout the morning, with Geller saying people began throwing frozen water bottles, soda cans with cement, paint-filled balloons, and other items -- in addition to using mace, sticks and pool cues on each other.

"There were flashpoints of engagement," she said. "Someone would come up, throw something or strike someone, and move back. Our troopers would respond to conflicts, but by the time they got there, people would already be dispersed back into the crowd."

Geller said police didn't use tear gas or fire any shots, though they did use pepper spray on a couple of occasions.

Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas said during a nationally televised news conference Monday that there was a plan "to keep the two sides separate" at the park, but that "we can't control which side someone enters the park ... They didn't (follow the plan), and entered the park from different directions."

The Charlottesville officers had been in their traditional police clothing, Thomas said, but were told to change into more protective gear as the unrest grew worse.

"Once the crowds were dispersed, they went to many locations throughout the city," he said. "We had to send our forces to multiple locations to deal with a number of disturbances."

It took at least an hour to get control after the rally's cancellation, Thomas said. "We were following a number of groups, ensuring that they were being peaceful, but it was certainly a challenge. We were spread thin once the groups dispersed."

McAuliffe called a special Cabinet meeting for Monday afternoon to discuss the Saturday event, Moran said, with a smaller protest in Richmond this past Sunday. "It's probably not the end of these types of displays and confrontations," he said. "So we'll learn from this one, but I'll tell you, in terms of what worked and what didn't, a whole lot more worked than didn't."

Newport News Police Chief Richard W. Myers — who served as the interim chief in Sanford, Fla., in the aftermath of the explosive Trayvon Martin saga — asserted that it's not fair to criticize without a lot more information.

"Police in those kind of scenarios are in a no-win situation," he said. In some cases, Myers said, things could go wrong with a heavy police response, "and people say, 'See, you were way too eager to get into battle.'"

"I've been very distressed about the quick criticism of the police when no one has done a thorough after-action report," he said. "I wasn't there, and neither were all the social media trolls complaining that they didn't jump at it quick enough."

White nationalist groups and other "alt-right" groups first descended upon Charlottesville on Friday, with witnesses saying hundreds of marchers bearing torches shouted racist, racially charged and Nazi slogans, walking into the Rotunda area on the University of Virginia's campus.

The group was to hold a "Unite the Right" rally at Emancipation Park on Saturday, in part to protest the Charlottesville City Council's vote to remove a statue of Confederate war hero General Robert E. Lee.

"The crowd came to provoke violence, and they got violence," Moran said. "They came for a fight."

Moran said later that he was talking mostly about the white nationalist sides as the main instigators. But he said there were people from both sides geared up for battle.

It was in the aftermath of the rally's cancellation that a gray Dodge Challenger slammed into a crowd of counter-protestors.

Heather Heyer, 32, of Charlottesville, a paralegal, died in what police are calling a deliberate act. The car's driver, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, is charged with second-degree murder in her death, and related charges of aggravated maiming.

But though Moran termed Heyer's death "a terrible, terrible tragedy," he said he thought officers "demonstrated professionalism" throughout the day. "At the end of the day, not a pane of glass was broken and not a gunshot was fired, and I'm not aware of any claims of police brutality," he said.

Moran said it would have helped matters if the rally had been held at a larger park.

The city had wanted the event moved to McIntire Park, which they said would have enhanced security. But organizers, backed by the ACLU, wanted it to remain at Emancipation Park, where the Lee statute still stands.

U.S. District Judge Glen Conrad sided with the organizers, declining to order that the venue be moved.

"This was an urban environment, one that we did not choose to be in," Moran said. "In fact, if we had our druthers," it would have been "removed from the downtown mall area."

Going forward, Moran said, Virginia will do everything it can to ensure public safety. He also said people "need to take a deep breath" and "ratchet down the rhetoric."

———

©2017 the Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)


Categories: Latest News

ACLU: Police can't ticket drivers for giving the finger

18 hours 49 min ago

By Janet McConnaughey Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana is chastising state police because a trooper ticketed a driver who gave him the middle finger.

The ticket alleged public intimidation, a felony carrying up to five years in prison and a $1,000 fine, ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Marjorie Esman said in a letter faxed to the Louisiana State Police on Monday. Giving the ticket was illegal retaliation for protected free speech, she said.

"They don't have to like it but they have to respect that people have the right to do it," she said in a telephone interview.

Her letter also noted that a prosecutor refused to charge the driver.

"The Louisiana State Police has tremendous respect for the First Amendment even when the citizens we serve choose to be vulgar and disrespectful," Maj. Doug Cain, a state police spokesman, said in an email. "This was an unfortunate incident which will be used as a training opportunity."

Esman said the issue arose Dec. 28, when a driver on Interstate 20 raised his middle finger while passing a parked trooper. She says the trooper pulled him over within minutes and, after conferring with other troopers who showed up, ticketed him.

Esman urged state police to ensure officers understand the full scope of the right to free speech.

She did not request any action against the trooper.

"We just want to make sure that they all know what the rules are," Esman said.

She wouldn't comment on whether the ACLU of Louisiana plans future action against the officer.

Her letter cited several rulings in other states finding that giving the middle finger is protected by the First Amendment.

This is the second time in recent years that the ACLU of Louisiana has challenged police when they attempted to arrest people for using the middle finger.

In 2012, the organization sued the city of Denham Springs on behalf of a woman who used Christmas lights on her roof to create the image of an extended middle finger. Police had threatened to sue Sarah Childs unless she took the lights down.

A judge handed down a temporary order allowing the display, and the two sides eventually reached an out-of-court settlement.


Categories: Latest News

Photo of cops corralling loose pig goes viral

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 14:24

By PoliceOne Staff WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A Facebook post of three officers lassoing a pig has gone viral, for reasons you would expect.

Sgt. Rieger, Cpl. Cook and Ptl. Ouellette responded to a call about a loose pig this weekend, the department wrote on Facebook.

A makeshift lasso and dog treats helped lure the pig back to its owner. The department said “no pig(s) were hurt in the process.”

The department asked their followers to make their “best pig/bacon/cop joke” in the comments.

The Glassboro NJ Police Department joked “What’s next, overturned donut truck in your jurisdiction?” The Woolwich PD responded with “I wish.”

“A demonstration of the extension of professional courtesy,” Christopher Michael Manganello wrote.

Jaime Richardson wrote, “Ham on the lam!!”

“Oh, po-LICE. Cop jokes are so overused. People should really give them arrest. Sheriff you agree,” Catherine Belle joked.

What’s your best pig joke?

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To answer the age old question. Just how many cops does it take to lasso a pig? The answer is 3. We can't make this...

Posted by Woolwich Township Police Department on Saturday, August 12, 2017


Categories: Latest News

People who OD could soon face penalties in W.Va.

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 14:22

By PoliceOne Staff

MASON, W.Va. — A West Virginia police department wants those who overdose to be cited, with the hope that it will help addicts on a path to recovery.

The Mason County police chief told WCHS that he plans to take the proposal to town council Thursday. The ordinance would allow the police department the authority to cite those who overdose on drugs.

"We are going to overdoses, and we understand you have a medical emergency. We will be there to help you, but there are no repercussions. You get Narcan. You get back up. You tell us to leave and that is what we have to do,' Sgt. Colton McKinney said.

While details are still being worked out, penalties would include community service, jail time or both.

“We want to say, 'Hey, this is no longer OK. This is no longer the standard.' That is what we are trying to get across. This is no longer going to be accepted, but we want to help you in the same regard," McKinney said.

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Chief Rich Gilkey is proposing an ordinance to the Mayor and Town Council involving overdoses in the Town of Mason. With...

Posted by Mason City Police Department on Friday, August 11, 2017


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NC sheriff seeking charges for Confederate statue vandalism

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 14:18

By PoliceOne Staff

DURHAM, N.C. — Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews announced his department was seeking those responsible for the vandalism of a Confederate statue.

Protesters congregated Monday night around the Confederate Soldiers Monument, WRAL reported. Some members of the crowd climbed a ladder, wrapped a strap around the statue and pulled it down.

A crowd in Durham, N.C., uses a rope to topple a statue of a Confederate soldier. Then they kick it after it falls. https://t.co/ru7SUi8fyX pic.twitter.com/tLNm7b8zD0

— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) August 15, 2017

"With the help of video captured at the scene, my investigators are working to identify those responsible for the removal and vandalism of the statue," Andrews said in a statement.

He said county leaders were “aware of the risk of damage to the Confederate statue, as well as potential risk of injury to the public and officers,” but decided against taking action.

Andrews said he wants to work with county and city officials to "establish guidelines and safe spaces for protesters to prevent demonstrations from becoming disruptive."

Protesters pull down a Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina https://t.co/9mgRnnUxII pic.twitter.com/bRtCkO3fur

— CNN (@CNN) August 15, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Officer finds drunk man napping in patrol car

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 10:49

By PoliceOne Staff

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. — An off-duty officer discovered an unlikely passenger in his car: a drunk man.

Police told WHTM that the officer finished his shift and stopped at a store on his way home Sunday.

When he returned to his patrol car, he discovered Travis McLaughlin, 22, sleeping in his passenger seat. He told police he locked his car, but left the windows slightly down.

An on-duty officer responded to the store to arrest McLaughlin.


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Ohio police release dash cam of 'violent struggle' between cop, driver

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 10:45

By PoliceOne Staff

EUCLID, Ohio — Police have released dash cam video of a struggle between an officer and the driver after Facebook video of the incident went viral.

Police pulled over Richard Hubbard III, 25, Saturday, Cleveland.com reported. Officers ordered him out of the car and told him to face away so they could handcuff him. When he refused, a struggle ensued.

Facebook video shows the officer throwing Hubbard to the ground and repeatedly punching him as a female passenger yells at them to stop. Dash cam shows Hubbard exiting the vehicle and not facing the vehicle like the officer asked.

Hubbard was examined at the county jail annex and posted bond on charges of driving under suspension and resisting arrest, Cleveland.com reported.

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Euclid Ohio Police Officer BRUTALLY BEATS Black Man . . . After RACIAL PROFILING Him In Traffic Stop . . . The Cop Practices UFC Moves . . . On The Innocent Black Man!!

Posted by Mediatakeout on Sunday, August 13, 2017

Police said they released the dash cam to “provide professional and transparent service” to the community.

"This entire incident will be reviewed, in detail, so that the public can have a full and open understanding of the series of events that eventually led to this violent encounter," a statement said.

Per department policy, the officer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. His name has not been released.

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Booking photo of Richard Hubbard III, man arrested by Euclid Police after violent struggle on Saturday. Cleveland 19 News

Posted by Dani Carlson on Monday, August 14, 2017


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Rookie officer on way home stops stabbing, kills suspect

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 10:16

By David J. Neal Miami Herald

MIAMI — A rookie Miami police officer fatally shot a man who had stabbed a woman near Miami Lakes Middle School on Sunday morning, according to police.

Yurine Rodriguez-Perez, 27, was in good condition after county paramedics airlifted her to Ryder Trauma Center, Miami-Dade police said.

The officer was in uniform when the drama unfolded around 7 a.m. Sunday in a driveway at Miami Lakes Middle School, 6425 Miami Lakeway North, according to Miami police.

The shooting is being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the stabbing is being handled by Miami-Dade police.

According to Miami-Dade, a Miami officer on his way home from work came upon Rodriguez-Perez and a man in a fight. A resident in a nearby apartment complex, Walter Villereal, said he saw most of the confrontation.

Villereal described the officer repeatedly say “Outside the car!” as he stood outside a pickup truck with the couple inside. The officer then broke a truck window. Villereal said he turned to leave when he saw the man get out of the truck with a knife raised, and then heard seven shots.

He said he later saw Rodriguez-Perez screaming and with cuts, including a large one near the right side of her throat.

Javier Ortiz, president of Miami Fraternal Order of Police, said the officer was a rookie “in shock” from having to kill a suspect. The Miami officer and the dead suspect were not identified.

“On behalf of the FOP, there is no doubt in our mind that when the investigation is completed, this officer will be declared a hero,” Ortiz said. “If it wasn't for the swift actions of this officer, we would not only have had just one homicide here, we would've had a victim that would've been tragically injured.”

———

©2017 Miami Herald


Categories: Latest News

Trump considers pardon for Sheriff Joe

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 10:05

Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump told Fox News on Sunday that he was "seriously considering" a pardon for Joe Arpaio, the former Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff.

Arpaio was convicted two weeks ago of defying a court order to stop his practice, while he was sheriff of Maricopa County, of racially profiling Latinos and bringing detainees to federal immigration officials. Fox reported on the comments Monday.

Arpaio, a figure widely loathed by liberals and immigrant rights advocates, is a folk hero to many on the hard right and served as a prominent Trump campaign spokesman.

"He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration," Trump told Fox. "He's a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him."

Copyright Los Angeles Times


Categories: Latest News

Hotel manager helps off-duty cop save unconscious toddler

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 09:57

By PoliceOne Staff

CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. — An off-duty police officer and a hotel manager saved the life of a two-year-old boy after finding him unconscious.

ABC Action News reported that Sheraton Sand Key hotel manager Vince Tropea rushed to the hotel’s pool to find the boy unconscious on the pool deck.

“The boy was blue. His eyes were rolled back in his head. He was unresponsive,” Tropea said.

Sgt. Sean O’Hare, who was on vacation, was performing CPR when Tropea arrived. Tropea took over and performed chest compressions until the boy started breathing again.

“Being a resort manager for as many years as I have, we see lots of things. I'd never seen something quite like that. I'm just so glad we were all there and ready to help,” Tropea said.

The boy’s mother said her son is fully recovered.

"I didn't think it was going to be good when I first saw him," Sgt. O’Hare said. "I am not sure how long he was under, but I'm sure it was for a good couple of minutes. That's the reason you take the job. To help people.”

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Morris Township Police Sergeant saves the life of a two year old child while on vacation On Sunday, August 13, 2017 at...

Posted by Morris Township Police Department on Sunday, August 13, 2017


Categories: Latest News

NG911 and FirstNet: Breaking down the differences

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 09:48

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON —The National 911 Program and NASNA teamed up to create a guide to help authorities better understand how to use NG911 and FirstNet.

911.gov reported that the two organizations created a visual resource to lay out the differences and similarities between NG911 and FirstNet, and how they can together improve communication in emergency situations.

"It is imperative to the 911 community, first responders and the public that these two systems work together seamlessly. They are two parts of the whole, and are both critical in bringing 911 into the digital age," National 911 Program Coordinator Laurie Flaherty said.

The brochure includes:

A summary of the benefits and risks of NG911 and FirstNet An overview of the differences between the two systems An infographic detailing how the systems will work together A look into the future of NG911 capabilities Ways state and local leaders can support the transition to NG911

The resource is available to download on 911.gov.

REDFLASH 051017 911Magazine-Webspreads by Ed Praetorian on Scribd


Categories: Latest News

'Out for blood': Man arrested in plan to bomb Okla. bank

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 09:35

By Tim Talley Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — A 23-year-old man who was "out for blood" when he attempted to detonate what he believed was an explosives-laden van outside an Oklahoma bank in a plot similar to the deadly 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, authorities said Monday.

During a meeting with undercover FBI agents in June, Jerry Drake Varnell of Sayre, Oklahoma, said he held "III% ideology" and wanted "to start the next revolution," a reference to the "Three Percenters" patriot movement — begun in 2008, galvanized by President Barack Obama's election — and that has rallied against gun control efforts and pledges resistance to the federal government over the infringement of constitutional rights.

Federal officials arrested Varnell early Saturday in connection with a plot to detonate a vehicle bomb in an alley adjacent to BancFirst in downtown Oklahoma City. Varnell is charged with attempting to use explosives to destroy a building in interstate commerce.

Varnell made an initial appearance before a federal judge Monday afternoon and remains in the custody of federal marshals. Court records do not indicate whether Varnell is represented by an attorney.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said the allegations are a somber reminder that Americans must remain vigilant about home-grown extremism and radicalization in local communities.

A III% group said Varnell had joined their group less than a year ago but was never active and has been removed from its membership rolls. In a statement, III% United Patriots spokesman Dylan Hunter says the group condemns Varnell's alleged acts.

"His claim about following the III% ideology are blatantly false as we do not condone acts of terrorism," Hunter said.

On Saturday, a rally by white nationalists and others opposed to a plan to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a Charlottesville, Virginia, park turned violent and led to the death of a 32-year-old woman who was struck by a car allegedly driven by a man into a crowd of people protesting the rally. A Virginia State Police helicopter deployed in a large-scale police response to the violence then crashed into the woods outside of town and both troopers on board died.

A federal complaint filed on Sunday says a confidential informant told the FBI in December that Varnell wanted to blow up a building and "that Varnell was upset with the government and was seeking retaliation."

Officials said Varnell initially wanted to blow up the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C., with a device similar to one used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds more.

In a series of text messages with the FBI's informant, Varnell "claimed to have a bunker for when the world (or United States) collapsed" and indicated he was trying to build a team, the complaint states.

"I'm out for blood," the complaint quotes Varnell's texts. "When militias start getting formed I'm going after government officials when I have a team."

But an undercover FBI agent posed as someone who could help Varnell build a bomb and the device used was actually inert, authorities said. Varnell's actions were monitored closely for months as the plot developed.

"There was never a concern that our community's safety or security was at risk during this investigation," said Kathryn Peterson, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oklahoma.

The undercover agent met face-to-face with him on June 1 to discuss obtaining materials for an ammonium nitrate and fuel oil bomb similar to the one used in the Oklahoma City bombing, the complaint states.

Varnell indicated at the meeting that he had previously made homemade explosives and that he "was of the same mind with people who wanted to use explosives and make a statement," the complaint says.

"Something needs to be done," Varnell said, but killing a lot of people was not a good idea, according to the complaint. During text conversations in July, Varnell stated he wanted to conduct the attack after closing hours to prevent casualties but conceded that some bank workers or custodians who were inside the building could be killed or injured in the blast, it says.

The complaint says Varnell helped assemble the device and load it into what he believed was a stolen van. Shortly after midnight on Saturday, Varnell drove the van by himself from a storage unit in El Reno, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the bank in Oklahoma City, and dialed a number on a cell telephone that he believed would trigger the explosion. The FBI and members of a Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Varnell shortly before 1 a.m.

The complaint also states that Varnell prepared a statement to be posted on Facebook after the explosion which reads in part that the attack was "retaliation against the freedoms that have been taken away from the American people" and "an act done to show the government what the people think of its actions."

Both of Oklahoma's Republican U.S. senators said the alleged plot could have rivaled the devastation caused by the Oklahoma City bombing 22 years ago.

"It is chilling to think that a sympathizer of Timothy McVeigh would want to act on hate, as a tribute to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil before September 11," Lankford said.

Sen. Jim Inhofe said law enforcement authorities "successfully prevented a hateful act of domestic terrorism."

If convicted, Varnell faces between five and 20 years in prison.


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