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Officer attends graduation of girl he rescued in 2011

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 11:14

Associated Press

NORTH BABYLON, N.Y. — A Long Island police officer has attended the high school graduation of a teen he rescued from icy waters more than six years ago.

Newsday reports that Suffolk County Police Officer Matthew DeMatteo watched Sarah Thalhammer graduate from North Babylon High School on Saturday.

Thalhammer was 11 when a dog she was walking dragged her onto the frozen Great South Bay on Jan. 17, 2011. The ice gave way about 50 yards off shore.

DeMatteo crawled onto the ice and pulled Thalhammer out, but the ice broke again. Firefighter Chris Gonzales threw them a rope and pulled them both to safety.

Thalhammer's mother invited DeMatteo to her daughter's graduation.

DeMatteo said Thalhammer is going to do great things and he's "very, very proud of her."

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Six years ago, Suffolk County Police Officer Matthew DeMatteo saved a then-11-year-old Sarah Thalhammer from drowning in Sayville. Today, DeMatteo was invited by Thalhammer's family to watch her graduate from North Babylon high School. FiOS1's Patricia Nicolas has the story.

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The officer remembers the 911 call like it was yesterday. An? 11-year-old girl had been dragged by a neighbor’s poodle...

Posted by Newsday on Sunday, June 25, 2017


Categories: Latest News

High police, fire pension rates send Ariz. lawmakers scrambling

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 11:00

Associated Press

PHOENIX — A group of Arizona House lawmakers is launching an effort aimed at cutting the soaring costs to communities of police and fire pensions, with its leader warning that cities could end up declaring bankruptcy if legislators fail to act.

The new committee announced by House Speaker J.D. Mesnard comes just over a year after 70 percent of voters approved changes to the state's public safety pension plan designed to return it to solvency in 20 years.

The voter approval and separate legislative overhauls to the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, known as PSPRS, couldn't address current costs because the state Constitution bans cuts to promised pensions. Instead, they established less generous and lower-cost pensions for new hires and changed how current cost-of-living increases are calculated, a switch intended to stabilize the system over time.

Republican Rep. Noel Campbell of Prescott said he understands the difficult task ahead but believes the pension issue requires urgent attention, calling the debt load a "tsunami."

"We have to start taking a hard look at this because my fear is that two, three years down the road here, cities, municipalities will start filing (bankruptcy)," Campbell said Friday.

There are 230 different entities — cities, town, counties and fire districts — in the PSPRS plan, and each is responsible for its own liabilities in the plan. Employers have seen median contribution rates soar to an average of 52 percent of each officer's salary as the value of the pension plan failed to meet expected returns to meet its obligations. A decade ago, the rate was 21 percent, and just last year it was 42 percent.

Some cities, including Bisbee and Prescott, are paying much higher rates. Bisbee is paying 134 percent of an officer's salary in pension costs, according to plan records. It has $10.8 million in liabilities and only $800,000 in assets on the books.

The state's largest city, Phoenix, also is struggling with soaring pension costs. The City Council voted Wednesday to ask the state pension plan to allow it to pay off its outstanding debt of $2.4 billion over 30 years instead of 20, a change made possible by a new state law. Phoenix has seen its yearly costs for police and fire pensions soar to $207 million from just $56 million in 2007.

As of last June 30, plan members are owed $14.5 billion in retirement benefits and PSPRS has just $6.4 billion in assets.

Mesnard appointed five Republicans and two Democrats to examine possible solutions, with Campbell chairing the effort. The committee plans a series of meetings across the state, followed by four formal meetings at the Capitol.

Campbell says part of the committee's job is to raise awareness about the looming problems.

"It's amazing in talking about this issue how few legislators know anything about it — it's not something being brought to their attention," Campbell said.

Campbell said one of the big problems is that the pension fund hasn't come near to meeting the 7½ percent return its actuaries anticipated. Its 10-year average return is less than 5 percent. In addition, generous benefits have sapped returns.

The 2016 overhaul addressed another major cause of plan underfunding, cost-of-living adjustments. The way the plan was set up, excess earnings were put into a fund that doles out automatic increases of up to 4 percent in most years. The problem is that when the overall pension fund had losses, as it did during the Great Recession, excess cash in flush years couldn't make up the difference because it is sent to the cost-of-living adjustment fund.

Prescott, Campbell's hometown, has nearly $80 million in unfunded liabilities and plans to ask voters in August to raise city sales taxes from 2 percent to 2.75 percent. Campbell said people are angry about the proposed tax increase, and he worries it won't put a dent in the pension debt.

More worrisome, he said, are the state Constitution's limits on cutting promised pensions may crimp any efforts to reform the system.

"I don't know if there is a solution because ... the constitution prevents any reduction or diminution of retirement benefits," he said.


Categories: Latest News

Seattle police: No choice but lethal force in fatal shooting

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 10:41

Associated Press

SEATTLE — Two Seattle police officers who shot and killed a 30-year-old pregnant woman each say they fired their weapons after the woman suddenly pulled a knife and came after them.

The Seattle Police Department late Friday released transcripts of interviews with the officers involved in the June 18 fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles, the Seattle Times reported.

The two officers say they had no choice but to use lethal force after Lyles, a mother of four, tried to stab Officer Jason Anderson in the stomach and cornered Officer Steven McNew in the kitchen.

Family members, who previously expressed concerns about her mental health after Lyles threatened officers with long metal shears less than two weeks before the shooting, question why the officers didn't use nonlethal methods to subdue the petite woman and have suggested race played a role. Lyles was black, and the officers were white.

The officers responded to the apartment on June 18 after Lyles reported a burglary. Anderson told investigators that the officers were talking with Lyles and he was looking at his notebook when Lyles pulled a knife from about 3 feet away.

Anderson told investigators, according to the transcript, that he "was jumping back, uh, kind of sucking my abdomen in trying to avoid getting stabbed in the stomach."

Anderson said "just the look on her face changed completely from when I had been talking to her a second early."

Anderson said Lyles advanced from around a counter into the kitchen toward McNew, telling investigators that "at that moment I was in, in fear that she was gonna try and kill my partner, um, 'cause she was going after him," according to the transcript. "I don't know at what point she changed her focus from, from me to Steve, um, but as she started turning the corner to go after Steve, that's when I, um, that's when I shot."

McNew told investigators Lyles had him trapped in the kitchen and was closing the distance between them.

"And at that point, fearing for what was about to happen, what she would do to me, um, being stuck in that spot, I fired my handgun," he told investigators, noting he remembered hearing shots coming from Anderson's location.

"She hit the floor," McNew said. "She, I didn't see her movement, but when she landed on the floor she landed face down."

Lyles had four children, and three of them — ages 11, 4 and 1 — were at home when she called police.

After the shooting, McNew said, "one of the little babies crawls out from behind and right on top of her . her . upper body, you know resting his head against her."

McNew picked up the child, and a third officer who arrived began giving first aid to Lyles.

Along with the transcripts, police also released images of what appear to be kitchen knives as well as a diagram of Lyles' apartment.

Anderson told investigators he wasn't carrying a Taser because the battery had died two weeks earlier. But he said that he wouldn't have used it in that situation because he was trained to use lethal force when being attacked by someone with a knife.

McNew's transcript is about 29 pages, while Anderson's transcript is about 60 pages.


Categories: Latest News

Colo. officer escorting Pence motorcade seriously injured in crash

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 10:00

Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A Colorado Springs motorcycle officer has been injured in an accident while escorting Vice President Mike Pence's motorcade to the city's airport.

Police Lt. Howard Black told The Gazette the accident happened at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Officer Andrew Holland, an eight-year veteran of the force, was in serious condition.

No other vehicles were involved, and Pence's motorcade continued to the airport.

Pence said in a Tweet released by the police department that he'd spoken with the officer's wife and was "so relieved his injuries are not life-threatening."

Pence was in Colorado Springs to mark the 40th anniversary of Focus on the Family. He also visited Schriever Air Force Base, home to the Air Force Space Command.


Categories: Latest News

Protesters disrupt Minn. Pride Parade after Castile verdict

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 09:30

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Anti-police protesters are disrupting the Twin Cities Pride Parade over the police shooting of Philando Castile.

Sunday's parade was disrupted just minutes after getting underway in downtown Minneapolis. WCCO-AM reports about 200 protesters began marching down Hennepin Avenue and at one point, staged a die-in.

Parade organizers on Friday invited police to participate in the annual parade after initially asking police to minimize their participation due to tensions over a jury's recent acquittal of a Minnesota officer who fatally shot Castile during a traffic stop last year. But Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, who is the city's first openly gay police chief, called that decision "divisive."

Protesters chanted "No justice, no peace, no pride in police" and carried signs reading "Justice for Philando" and "Black Lives Matter."

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Here's a live look at the Twin Cities Pride Parade, where protesters demonstrating against the verdict in the Philando Castile shooting are blocking Hennepin Avenue.

Posted by WCCO-TV | CBS Minnesota on Sunday, June 25, 2017

Protesters have blocked the Twin Cities #PrideParade. pic.twitter.com/vCUyuFofeF

— Just Sylvan Please (@sylvan_wolf) June 25, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Seattle body cameras stalled over contract talks

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 11:35

By Steve Miletich The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — More than a month after a federal judge approved the Seattle Police Department’s long-awaited proposal to equip officers with body cameras, the timing for the rollout remains clouded amid tense labor negotiations.

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild, which has a history of trading wage hikes for reforms, has asked for extra pay of about 1 ½ percent for officers who wear body cameras, according to three sources familiar with the talks.

The negotiations come at a time the issue has come under sharper scrutiny after no video evidence was captured of Sunday’s highly charged fatal shooting of a 30-year-old African-American woman by two white Seattle police officers in her Northeast Seattle apartment.

Only audio of the confrontation was recorded, leaving many questions about what occurred when the officers shot the woman, Charleena Lyles, after she allegedly displayed two knives.

On the recording, the two officers can be heard calmly speaking with Lyles in her apartment after she reported a burglary. Moments into the exchange, one officer shouts “Get back! Get back! Get back!”

One officer tells his partner to “Tase her.” But the second officer responds, “I don’t have a Taser.”

There are several more commands to “get back” before they open fire on Lyles as at least one child could be heard crying in the background.

U.S. District Judge James Robart’s approval last month of the SPD’s body-camera proposal cleared the way for the city to begin formal talks with the guild over equipping patrol officers.

Robart is presiding over a 2012 consent decree between the U.S. Justice Department and the city, mandating Seattle police adopt reforms to address excessive force and biased policing. The decree requires all use of force be fully, fairly and accurately reported, investigated and reviewed.

Robart and his court-appointed monitor, Merrick Bobb, have pushed for body cameras.

Guild President Kevin Stuckey couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday, and guild Vice President Sgt. Rich O’Neill, who has been representing the union in the talks, hung up the phone after telling a reporter, “I’m not interested.”

The guild, which represents about 1,275 officers and sergeants, has been working without a new contract since the end of 2014.

Last July, its members overwhelmingly rejected a tentative, four-year contract with the city, prompting further negotiations over wages and management rights that would give the police chief more authority over promotions, rotations and transfers.

The body-camera discussion has been drawn into those negotiations, with the guild’s request for extra pay in line with other cities where the issue has arisen, one source said.

There is still room to reach agreement, a second source said, even as contract talks overseen by a mediator recently reached a stalemate. A last-ditch effort was under way to avoid the rare step of turning to binding arbitration, according to the first source.

City Council President Bruce Harrell, who has long pushed for body cameras, said Wednesday he has favored separating the body-camera issue from the larger contract negotiations and moving forward with the rollout.

He said he hoped the guild would voluntarily agree to that, but he was willing to risk a legal challenge from the union on whether the cameras represent a change of working conditions that must be negotiated.

“I’ve never believed it has to be bargained,” Harrell said.

In past years, guild members in 2000 voted down a contract that included new civilian oversight, ratifying it only after the city sweetened its salary offer.

In 2008, O’Neill, who was then guild president, made Seattle police officers the highest paid law-enforcement officers in the state under a labor contract in which the union conceded to 29 recommendations aimed at improving police accountability.

Acting behind the scenes, O’Neill led the successful effort to defeat last year’s proposed contract, according to sources familiar with his efforts.

During O’Neill’s tenure as guild president from 2006 to 2014, he garnered a reputation as a staunch defender of collective-bargaining rights who worked tirelessly for his members.

But he alienated people in city government and the community with comments that excessive-force complaints had been overblown, and SPOG’s newspaper, The Guardian, published articles bitterly attacking the Justice Department.

In 2013, after the federal reforms were agreed upon, O’Neill struck a more conciliatory tone, saying it was time to put aside complaints and “move forward” with the changes.

At a court hearing last August, Robart, pointedly reacting to the union’s rejection of last year’s tentative contract, said he would not let the labor group hold the city “hostage” by linking wages to constitutional policing.

“To hide behind a collective- bargaining agreement is not going to work,” Robart said.

Information from Seattle Times is included in this story. Steve Miletich: 206-464-3302 or smiletich@seattletimes.com On Twitter @stevemiletich

———

©2017 The Seattle Times


Categories: Latest News

NYPD campaign focuses on good Samaritan law

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 11:24

By Anthony M. Destefano Newsday

NEW YORK — With drug overdoses increasing this year at a faster pace than 2016, the NYPD and other city officials on Wednesday kicked off a public service campaign designed to encourage people who are overdosing to call 911 without fear of being arrested.

The campaign will include ads on mobile billboards, in subways, busses, ferry terminals and social media venues in an effort to let both drug users and those trying to help that the state’s good Samaritan law protects them from being prosecuted in the event of an overdose.

“Right now we are seeing a significant number of our New Yorkers struggling with drug abuse who could use our help,” said NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker at a Wednesday news conference announcing the program.

Because the Bronx and Staten Island have the most overdose deaths, the billboards will travel the streets in those boroughs, Tucker said.

The good Samaritan law allows people to call 911 to seek medical help for someone overdosing on drugs or alcohol without fear of being arrested. One exception to the protection is if the person is in possession of at least eight ounces of a controlled substance.

In 2016, the city recorded 1,374 overdose deaths, compared to about 980 in 2015. Of those deaths, 82 percent were attributed to opioid use, police said. So far this year, the city has recorded 432 such deaths compared to 359 in the same period a year ago, an increase of 20 percent, said Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce. Officials said the spike in deaths is attributed to the use of fentanyl to boost the effects of heroin.

“Call 911, alert the authorities if you see someone showing signs of an overdose,” Tucker said. “In doing so, you can save that person’s life. We encourage you to do so and not worry about helping because you will be protected by our state’s good Samaritan law.”

Tucker said the department and the FDNY have had success using the antidote naloxone to revive people who have overdosed.

———

©2017 Newsday


Categories: Latest News

Man accused of killing Ark. deputy, 2 others takes plea deal

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 11:19

Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to killing a sheriff's deputy and two other people last month.

Little Rock television station KATV reports James Arthur Bowden was sentenced Friday after taking a plea deal to avoid the death penalty.

Bowden was accused in the killings of Yell County Sheriff's Deputy Lt. Kevin Mainhart, 61-year-old Rita Miller and 17-year-old Ciera Miller. Family members have said the Millers were relatives of Bowden's girlfriend.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports Bowden addressed the families of the three people killed in court Friday.

"I'm really sorry about what happened," Bowden said. "I can't be forgiven, so I won't ask."

According to an affidavit, authorities accused Bowden of shooting Mainhart during a traffic stop, then killing Rita Miller and Ciera Miller at a nearby home about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west of Little Rock.

Bowden surrendered to police after an hours-long standoff at a house near Dardanelle, in which he was accused of holding his girlfriend hostage. The woman was eventually let go.

Always remember: Lieutenant Kevin Mainhart, Yell County Sheriff's Department, Arkansas https://t.co/bb2JdCmZYn pic.twitter.com/4iiWQdSJFR

— MHP Jackson (@MHPTroopC) May 11, 2017

Bowden's sister, Julie Inmon, previously told The Associated Press after the shootings that her brother was mentally ill and that she spoke to her brother by phone during the standoff. She said her brother has taken anti-psychotic medication and anti-depressants for his mental illness in the past.

Authorities have not confirmed that.

Mainhart was an officer in Yell County for five years and had previously worked for the West Memphis Police Department for more than 20 years. He is the first of two Arkansas police officers to be killed in the line of duty this year.

Newport Police Lt. Patrick Weatherford was fatally shot earlier this month while investigating a break-in in Newport, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock.


Categories: Latest News

Trooper saves fawn after mother dies

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 05:00

By Mark Price The Charlotte Observer

JACKSON COUNTY, N.C. — A trooper with the North Carolina Highway Patrol is winning hearts on social media for refusing to abandon a fawn that was born seconds after its mother was hit by a car in Jackson County.

The incident, first reported in the Sylva Herald, happened June 15, when a motorist hit and killed a full-grown deer in the Barker’s Creek area northwest of Sylva.

Trooper Rocky Deitz was called to the crash scene and discovered the impact of the collision had caused the doe to give birth. The fawn was lying in a ditch, it was reported. “I had to do something with it to give it a fair chance,’’ he was quoted as saying.

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When he saw a fawn lying in a ditch, this state trooper couldn’t leave it to die. A motorist hit and killed a...

Posted by The Sylva Herald on Thursday, June 22, 2017

The trooper wrapped the newborn buck in a cloth and took it home, where his family has been tending it, including bottle feedings. They are also teaching it to walk, he told the newspaper.

Buckshot, as they named the baby, will be taken to a fawn rehabilitation center in Henderson County, it was reported. Keeping such animals as pets is illegal in North Carolina.

Coverage of the rescue has won praise for the trooper, with many thanking him for not leaving the newborn to die in a ditch.

“Good job Rocky Deitz!!! You have a heart just like your Mom!” posted Eloise Galloway on Facebook.

“One in a million, wonderful man!” said Shannon O'Donovan.

“That is awesome Rocky Dietz. I hope the baby makes it,” posted Darlene Marie Tiedge on the Sylva Herald’s Facebook page.

———

©2017 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)


Categories: Latest News

Calif. beehive heists lead to felony charges

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 04:00

By Scott Smith Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. — Two California men have been charged with a string of felony counts stemming from a criminal case that created a buzz among beekeepers across the country, authorities said Thursday.

The men charged with possessing more than 1,200 stolen beehives could each spend more than a decade in jail if convicted, the Fresno County District Attorney's Office said.

The case stems from a tip in April that led investigators to Pavel Tveretinov, 51, and Vitaliy Yeroshenko, 48, at work among stacks of mismatched beehives on a field outside Fresno.

Bees are a key part of the agriculture industry in California, the nation's most productive farming state. Beekeepers from around the country truck in their beehives and rent them to farmers to pollinate their flowering crops, such as almonds.

Investigators have said the beehives had been stolen during the night over more than two years from orchards in several California counties. The victims were beekeepers as far away as Missouri, Montana and North Dakota.

The two Sacramento-area men are charged with nine felony counts of receiving stolen property.

While announcing the break in the case in May, Fresno County Sheriff's investigators said they had netted 2,500 stolen beehives valued at nearly $1 million.

Charges filed by prosecutors on Thursday, however, estimate 1,200 beehives valued at $200,000. Prosecutors based their charges on the reports they received from investigators, said Geri Benavides, a spokeswoman for the office.

An attorney representing Yeroshenko could not be reached by The Associated Press for comment. Authorities have issued a warrant seeking his arrest.

Defense attorney Andrew Kalnoki dismissed the validity of the case filed against Tveretinov, who was booked into jail with bail set at $267,750.

"The charges have no factual or legal basis," Kalnoki said. "We are going to put forth a very vigorous defense."


Categories: Latest News

Huge stuffed cow saves 2-year-old boy after fall out window

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 04:00

Associated Press

CHELSEA, Mass. — Police in Massachusetts are crediting a huge stuffed cow with saving 2-year-old boy who fell out of a second-story window and onto concrete below.

It happened Wednesday in Chelsea.

Police say the boy was playing in a bedroom with his 12-year-old sister and bouncing on the bed when he bounced right out of the window. He fell 16 feet onto the concrete. Luckily, he was holding onto the cow, which broke his fall.

2 year old child from yesterday is doing fine. He was held overnight at MGH for observation. Thankfully the stuffed cow broke his fall. pic.twitter.com/rWclFUey1x

— Chief Brian Kyes (@ChiefKyes) June 22, 2017

The boy's great uncle, Luis Estrada, tells WCVB-TV that the 2-year-old takes the stuffed animal with him everywhere.

The boy has some cuts and was taken to a hospital overnight for observation, but has since been released.

Police wrote on Twitter that the boy is doing fine.


Categories: Latest News

Photos: Cops honor their four-legged partners on #BringYourDogToWorkDay

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 17:00

By PoliceOne Staff

Today is #BringYourDogToWorkDay, and while some cops take their dogs to work every day, police departments still took the opportunity to pay tribute to their four-legged partners in crime fighting. Take a look at this photo roundup and share your photos with us on our Facebook page.

[View the story "Cops honor their four-legged partners on #TakeYourDogToWorkDay" on Storify]
Categories: Latest News

Hero off-duty cop stabbed after tackling London Bridge attacker gets WWE belt

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 14:06

By PoliceOne Staff

LONDON — An cop who was stabbed while saving another officer during a terrorist attack was gifted WWE’s highest honor: the championship belt.

Charlie Guenigault was off duty when he tackled one of three suspects involved in the June 3 terror attack that left eight dead, according to the BBC. He was stabbed and suffered injuries to his leg, head, back and stomach. He was released from the hospital this past weekend.

Guenigault was surprised by wrestler Triple H in a London hotel Tuesday, the BBC reported.

"People say a lot of times that they watch WWE because these guys are like real-life superheroes. Well, Charlie is a real hero,” Triple H said. “The highest recognition a WWE superstar can get is winning the WWE Championship, but this honor is also reserved for those in real life who go above and beyond."

.@TripleH meets Charlie Guenigault, a London police officer wounded in the attack at London Bridge, to personally thank him for his heroism. pic.twitter.com/kBOn14iX08

— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2017

Guenigault received a message from wrestler Sami Zayn as well. Guenigault was wearing a Sami Zayn shirt when he was stabbed, the BBC reported. "I feel that Sami Zayn has always been the guy to stand up to the bad guys ... but you did it in the most horrific of circumstances,” Zayn said. “I hope I can display the type of bravery that you displayed, that you embody, the kind of heroism that you showed. I want to thank you for everything you do and I hope you continue to do well."

Last night, @TripleH paid a visit to heroic London police officer Charlie Guenigault, and brought with him this message from @iLikeSamiZayn. pic.twitter.com/89h96guwkg

— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2017

Guenigault, a big WWE fan, said “it was an absolute pleasure to meet” Triple H.

"My comments when he first walked in the room are probably not suitable for a PG audience," he said.


Categories: Latest News

Gang member charged in cop killing: 'I should have smoked 'em quicker'

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 14:00

By PoliceOne Staff

WHITTIER, Calif. — A gang member charged with murder in the shooting death of a police officer made disturbing comments about the slaying in a taped interview conducted in a jail medical ward.

Michael Christopher Mejia admitted in a police interview that he shot another officer after he killed one officer and his own cousin.

Mejia’s comments were revealed Thursday during a hearing to determine if there was enough evidence for him to stand trial, NBC Los Angeles reported. Mejia, 26, is charged with murder in the fatal Feb. 20 shootings of Officer Keith Boyer and Roy Torres.

"I guess you guys have everything down — smoked my cousin, smoked the cop. ... I mean, what else do you guys want? I shot another cop," Mejia said in the interview. “I did it, I mean, I did it ... both of 'em, all three of them had it coming."

Mejia fatally shot his cousin and stole his car before crashing into two other cars. He pulled out a semi-automatic gun and opened fire on Boyer and Officer Patrick Hazell when the officers responded to the traffic collision. Hazell was shot in the abdomen and is recovering, the news station reported. Mejia had been recently released from jail at the time of the incident.

Mejia said he noticed the officers didn’t have their weapons drawn and he “delayed it.”

“I should have smoked 'em quicker,” he said.

When asked if he had anything to say to the Whittier Police Department, Mejia said they needed to “train your guys better.”

“They just got a taste of an L.A. gang member, real L.A. gang member. You know what I mean? And, nope, I don't feel sorry," he said.

Prosecutors have yet to decide if they will seek the death penalty against Mejia. He is also charged with one count each of attempted murder of a peace officer, carjacking and possession of a firearm by a felon with two prior convictions.


Categories: Latest News

Armed man attempts home invasion, gets beating

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 13:41

By PoliceOne Staff

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — An armed suspect who tried to break into an apartment was beaten and held down by the men he tried to rob.

Shane Feeney, 19, was hanging out with friends Sunday when he heard Calvin Carter III outside the complex, WRCB reported.

"It sounded like he was messing with a gun," Feeney said. "So I came back and I was like 'I don't know if he is, but it sounds like he's messing with a gun. I'm going to call the cops.'"

When a friend jumped out the window to get help, he was held at gunpoint by Carter. Feeney, who was on the phone with the police, took matters into his own hands when Carter asked for his phone.

"Whenever he turned around, that's when I grabbed him," Feeney said. "His forearms were still loose so he grabbed the gun out of his waist band and shot me in the leg."

Five people held Carter down until police arrived. Tucker Williams, one of the people who held Carter down, told WRCB that Carter kept wrestling with him.

"I was like 'you have one more chance please stop.' He wouldn't stop and that's when I punched him in the eye twice,” he said.

Carter is facing several charges including first degree attempted murder and aggravated burglary.

Feeney was shot in the upper thigh and is recovering at home.


Categories: Latest News

Thief returns human toe used for special cocktail

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 12:20

By PoliceOne Staff

DAWSON CITY, Yukon — A mummified human toe that is a part of a long-standing drink tradition has been returned after it was stolen from a hotel bar.

Hotel Manager Geri Colbourne served a couple Saturday night who asked for the special “sourtoe cocktail,” The Toronto Star reported. Colbourne was called away, and when she returned, the toe was gone.

Police told the publication that the suspect called them and said he mailed the toe back to the hotel. An apology note accompanied the toe, which is said to be in good condition. The man called the hotel and verbally apologized as well. No charges are expected.

Per tradition, drinkers must let the brown, shriveled toe touch their lips in order to join the exclusive Sourtoe Cocktail Club.

Dawson City's infamous mummified sour toe has been returned to its rightful home https://t.co/IbTgAkMSnJ pic.twitter.com/fx6iUsxmMs

— Metro News Canada (@MetroNewsCanada) June 23, 2017

Am now the apology letter that came with the return of the @SourtoeCocktail #toe for @yukonhotels ??#MysterySolved thx @YukonRCMP pic.twitter.com/w6NSRAOtwn

— * W. Brett Wilson * (@WBrettWilson) June 23, 2017


Categories: Latest News

A 2nd mistrial: Jury deadlocks in Ohio cop's murder retrial

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 11:46

By Dan Sewell Associated Press

CINCINNATI — A mistrial was declared Friday in the murder retrial of a white University of Cincinnati police officer after the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked on charges in the fatal traffic stop shooting of an unarmed black motorist.

The Hamilton County jury had deliberated some 30 hours over five days after getting the case Monday. The jurors had told Judge Leslie Ghiz earlier Friday that they were unable to reach a verdict in the trial of Officer Ray Tensing, but Ghiz sent them back to try again.

The jury on Friday afternoon told the judge they were almost evenly split in their votes and didn't anticipate coming to a decision. Ghiz then declared a mistrial.

The first trial against the 27-year-old Tensing also ended in a mistrial after the jury deliberated 25 hours over four days in November without reaching a verdict. It was not immediately clear if prosecutors intend to try the case for a third time.

Tensing shot 43-year-old Sam DuBose in the head after pulling him over for a missing front license plate on July 19, 2015.

As in his first trial, Tensing testified in his own defense and said he feared he could be dragged or run over as DuBose tried to drive away. He was in tears at some points.

"I meant to stop the threat," he told jurors last week. "I didn't shoot to kill him. I didn't shoot to wound him. I shot to stop his actions."

Prosecutors said repeatedly the evidence contradicted Tensing's story. An expert hired by prosecutors said his frame-by-frame analysis of the former officer's body camera video showed the officer was not being dragged by the car.

The University of Cincinnati fired Tensing last year after his indictment. It restructured its public safety department and made other policing reforms. The university reached a $5.3 million settlement with DuBose's family, including free undergraduate tuition for DuBose's 13 children.

The case is among several across the country in recent years that have raised attention to how police deal with blacks. It's also among cases that show the difficulties prosecutors face in gaining convictions against police for on-duty shootings.

A jury last week acquitted a Minnesota officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop. And jurors Wednesday acquitted a black police officer of first-degree reckless homicide in the death of a black Milwaukee man who threw away the gun he was carrying during a brief foot chase after a traffic stop.

Jurors in the Tensing case began deliberations Monday afternoon. They submitted a question Tuesday about the location of a piece of evidence. At the end of the day, they came into the courtroom where the judge praised their work and encouraged them to "hang in there."

On Friday morning, after jurors said they were deadlocked on both murder and manslaughter charges, Ghiz sent them back to the deliberating room where, she said, "Hopefully, you're able to resolve your deadlock."

Ghiz gave the jury of nine whites and three blacks formal instructions to re-examine their views and listen to one another's opinions.

"It is your duty to decide the case if you can conscientiously do so," she said.

She declared a mistrial after they came back deadlocked for the second time.

The jury in Tensing's first trial consisted of 10 whites and two blacks.

Ghiz continues to restrict media coverage. News organizations including The Associated Press have a pending lawsuit against her restrictions on the use of cellphones and other electronic devices.

To convict Tensing of murder, jurors had to find he purposely killed DuBose. The charge carries a possible sentence of 15 years to life in prison.

The voluntary manslaughter charge means killing during sudden passion or a fit of rage. That carries a possible sentence of three to 11 years.


Categories: Latest News

Police bullet meant for charging dog ricochets off concrete, kills teen

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:59

Associated Press

PALMDALE, Calif. — When a dog that had already bit one of them charged a group of deputies, two of them opened fire. Authorities say they did not see the teenage boy standing some 30 feet behind, who was struck down by a bullet that apparently bounced on the concrete and hit him in the chest.

The 17-year-old, who had helped to restrain the dog after the first bite, died at a hospital an hour later, turning what began as a mere early-morning noise complaint at a party in Palmdale into a freak tragedy.

The same Los Angeles County deputy that was bitten by the dog was also hit by a bullet fragment Thursday but survived. He was treated at a hospital and released.

The dog, which survived the shooting, was later euthanized.

The boy's mother, Roberta Alcantar, said his name was Armando Garcia-Muro, the eldest of four siblings about to start his senior year of high school. She said he loved dogs and planned to go into construction.

"He was a very loving person,"Alcantar told the Los Angeles Times.

Sheriff's Capt. Christopher Bergner called it an "extremely, extremely unfortunate incident," adding that it didn't appear the deputies saw the teen in the dark before they fired.

After the male pit bull first bit the deputy, Garcia-Muro restrained the dog behind the apartment complex that is also home to his mother, his aunt, and a neighbor who owns the dog. Then it broke loose and charged again.

Deputies shot and wounded the dog when it was about 10 feet away, then chased it as it tried to run back behind the building, officials said. Only then did they see that the boy, who had been standing about 40 feet away, had also remerged from behind the building and had been hit in the chest by a so-called "skip round" that had ricocheted off the pavement.

The deputies had first been called to the Palmdale complex at about 3:45 a.m. with complaints of a loud party.

Sheriff's officials said in a statement and at a news conference that they found evidence of several shots having ricocheted off the ground, and concluded that one of those most likely killed the teen.

They did not elaborate further, and a message left with one of the homicide detectives on the case was not immediately returned.


Categories: Latest News

Man released from prison arrested at welcome home party

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:49

By PoliceOne Staff

COWETA COUNTY, Ga. — A man recently released from prison was arrested at his own homecoming party, along with dozens of other people.

According to WSB-TV, Mondell Whitaker’s friends were throwing him a welcome home party on June 16 at a local bar after he was released from prison the previous day. Police raided the party based on a marijuana complaint. Officers said the odor was so strong, they could smell it when they drove by the bar.

During the raid, police found drugs and arrested dozens of people for probation violations, including Whitaker, the Palm Beach Post reported.

“They are not supposed to be in establishments like that on probation or parole,” Sheriff Mike Yeager told WSB. “They're not supposed to be around alcohol and they're not supposed to be around drugs.”

The sheriff’s office said the bar has been under surveillance for months due to a history of rule-breaking. The owners have not been charged, but are under investigation.

"Pretty much everybody is doing what they want out there and that's not going to be tolerated," Yeager said.

Dozens arrested during party for local rapper released from prison. The public invitation which tipped off police.. https://t.co/upw73DXZqX pic.twitter.com/f8NR0HhqNb

— Chris Jose (@ChrisJoseWSB) June 19, 2017

Hoops Bar & Grill is closed following weekend police raid. Cops founds drugs, arrested dozens for probation violations. Live @ 6:15 @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/A8hRzGtB8a

— Chris Jose (@ChrisJoseWSB) June 19, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Toronto chief to cops: No uniforms allowed at first responders Pride event

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:45

By PoliceOne Staff

TORONTO — Toronto’s police chief told officers they are free to attend a Pride event geared toward first responders as long as they’re not in uniform.

Officers were told Monday if they plan on attending the First Responders Unity Festival this weekend, they must do it on “their own time and without their uniform,” CTV News reported.

Festival organizer Bryn Hendricks said the festival aims to include LGBTQ police, firefighters, paramedics, correctional services, TTC workers and military personnel. It was created as an alternative to the Pride Toronto festival, which voted in January to remove armed, uniformed officers and police floats from marching in the parade. Pride Toronto’s Executive Director Olivia Nuamah told CTV that officers are free to take part in the official Pride parade, but without their weapons, uniforms or patrol cars.

Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormack said he’s “not surprised the chief said no to officers partaking in a private event in uniform,” but is excited about an invitation from the Gay Officers Action League welcoming uniformed officers walk in New York Pride.

“The Toronto Police Association will be marching in uniform at New York City Pride where we are being welcomed in the spirit of full inclusion,” McCormack said. “We have received an enormous outpouring of support from our fellow first responders and we wish our colleagues well as they celebrate Pride.”

The LGBT liaison for the Toronto police says she would have liked to march in this weekend's Pride parade: https://t.co/2JhkYu5bqv pic.twitter.com/Xc4J4uqfD8

— CBC Toronto (@CBCToronto) June 23, 2017


Categories: Latest News

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