Review Category : National News

NYPD Cop in Critical Condition After Shooting; Suspect in Custody

tom hall/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A plainclothes New York Police Department officer was in critical condition Saturday night after he was shot by a man who opened fire on his unmarked car, city officials said.

Officer Brian Moore, a five-year veteran, was on duty with his partner Eric Jansen, 30, as part of an anti-crime unit in the Queens Village section of the city when he was shot at around 6:15 p.m., police said.

Moore and his partner were in their unmarked patrol car when they saw a man walking in the street adjust something in the waistband of his pants that appeared to be a gun, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said Saturday night.

When the officers told the man to stop, he turned, pulled out a gun and began shooting into the car, Bratton said.

Moore, 25, was shot in the face, and was rushed by police cruiser to Jamaica Hospital Center, where he was visited by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Mayor @BilldeBlasio is at Jamaica Hospital Center, where an NYPD Officer was taken after sustaining a gunshot wound this evening.

— NYC Mayor’s Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) May 3, 2015

Please keep the injured police officer, his family, and the entire New York City Police Department in your thoughts tonight.

— NYC Mayor’s Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) May 3, 2015

“It is a painful day for all of us,” said de Blasio.

Moore listed in critical but stable condition after undergoing surgery.

The suspect fled on foot, sparking a massive manhunt through the neighborhood, with officers searching houses, on roofs, in backyards, and checking under cars.

Witnesses told police that a man matching the suspect’s description had gone into a house, and the suspect, identified as Demetrius Blackwell, was arrested there, Bratton said.

Bratton said Blackwell has a long arrest record.

NYPD Commissioner William Bratton tweeted on Saturday night that the officer’s family was at the hospital.

Our injured officer who was shot tonight while keeping NYC safe is in our prayers. At Jamaica Hospital now with family.

— Commissioner Bratton (@CommissBratton) May 3, 2015

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Small Earthquake Shakes Los Angeles Area

Tomislav Zivkovic/iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — A magnitude-3.9 earthquake struck just outside Los Angeles Sunday morning.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was centered near Park-Windsor Hills, about seven miles west-southwest of Los Angeles, at 4:07 a.m. local time.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said no damage had been reported.

No damage has been reported. LAFD is no longer in earthquake mode.

— LAFD (@LAFD) May 3, 2015

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College Class Ring Lost in 1972 Found, Returned to Owner

Class Ring Stock Photo: Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Thinkstock(WILKES-BARRE, Pa.) — A man who lost his college class ring in a flood more than 40 years ago has it back, thanks to a police investigation into a series of Pennsylvania burglaries.

Roger Stout lost the ring in 1972. On Friday, however, the ring was returned to him. Police had been investigating a string of burglaries, and the ring turned up after they made an arrest.

Police, with the help of Wilkes University alumni officials, were able to track down Stout and return the ring.

“I wore that ring every day, so it’s good to have it back on,” Stout said. “I’m very happy all the way around.”

He wasn’t sure, though, how the burglar would have gotten the ring. “We live about a block from the river,” he noted, “so where it went after that, probably eventually came to rest on the river banks.”

Stout told ABC affiliate WNEP-TV that the ring was lost when it went through an open window during the 1972 flood.

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Hannah Graham’s Parents Create UVA Fund Honoring Her Passion for French Culture, Global Health

Charlottesville Police Department(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — The parents of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, who was found dead after she went missing in September, are launching an award in her honor at the Charlottesville, Virginia, college.

The 18-year-old sophomore disappeared Sept. 13, and more than a month later, her remains were found in a field about 10 miles from Charlottesville. Jesse Matthew Jr. has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with Graham’s death.

At a launch event for the memorial award, Graham’s father John Graham spoke to a crowd of friends, faculty and administrators as he expressed hope that the award could represent everything his daughter wanted to achieve, according to a UVA news release issued Friday.

The award will benefit students who share Graham’s passions, including French culture, global health and service work, according to the release.

The first recipient will get $10,000 for his or her commitment to participate in two semesters of related coursework at UVA and at least eight weeks of field work in a French-speaking developing country, the news release says.

“Hannah loved UVA, she loved Charlottesville and she would be honored I think to know this work is going to moving forward in her memory,” her mother Sue Graham said, according to ABC affiliate WIRC-TV in Richmond.

The money is provided by the Hannah Graham Memorial Fund, which was established by the university last year and is supported by the Grahams and their family, according to the UVA news release. The award money could go to more than one student as funding increases, the news release said.

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Will Be ‘Really Tough to get Convictions’ in Baltimore Cop Case, Legal Analyst Says

Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images(BALTIMORE) — The defense for the six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray will likely claim that the decision to indict was based on politics, not facts, a legal analyst said Saturday.

The death of Gray, 25, a week after he was taken into custody, was ruled a homicide Friday, and Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced criminal charges against six officers connected to the case.

The charges vary for each officer, but include several counts of manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment, among others. The most serious charge is second-degree depraved heart murder, which only Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr., the driver of the police van, faces.

ABC’s Chief Legal Analyst Dan Abrams said he believes “the rush to judgment is going to be the heart of the defense.”

Gray was injured while in police custody on April 12. He died on April 19. An investigation was launched that resulted in charges in less than two weeks, while there were daily protests in the city that occasionally turned violent.

“I mean that’s what the defense is going to be here, which is that not enough time was taken to allow the prosecutor to fairly and objectively evaluate the evidence,” Abrams said. “The defense is going to [say] that charge was because of the riots.”

The other officers charged besides Goodson are: Officer William G. Porter, Lt. Brian W. Rice, Officer Edward M. Nero, Officer Garrett E. Miller and Sgt. Alicia D. White. And according to Abrams, part of the defense strategy will be evaluating each of the officers separately.

“The allegations against each of them are totally different, so you’re not going to be able to lump all of them in together and say did they collectively do something,” Abrams said. “Each one of those officers is going to have a separate defense where they’re going to say wait a second, why am I being charged with X crime — in many of these cases manslaughter — and then going through moment by moment what that officer did or didn’t do. And I think they’re going to be some very powerful defenses.”

Abrams says it will be tough to convict the officers.

“Some of the lesser convictions will likely stick in certain cases. But I think some of the more serious charges, most of the more serious charges, it’s going to be really tough to get convictions on a lot of these charges. I think it is fair to say that this prosecutor as a legal matter has overreached,” Abrams said.

“Two officers here are charged with manslaughter, who come on the scene later and don’t do enough, according to prosecutors. That may be wrong but getting a jury to convict them of manslaughter for simply not helping enough is going to be very, very tough,” he added.

Mosby, who comes from a long line of police officers herself, defended the indictments at a press conference.

“My job a prosecutor is to follow and uphold the law… that means equally applying justice to those with and without a badge,” she said.

But, the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police doubts Mosby’s office’s ability to be objective. In an open letter to Mosby Monday, the FOP asked her to appoint a special independent prosecutor, saying the organization has “very deep concerns about the many conflicts of interest presented by your office conducting an investigation in this case.”

However, Abrams says he doesn’t think that the conflicts of interest will “be a serious claim here.”

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Magnitude 4.2 Earthquake Shakes Midwest

Tomislav Zivkovic/iStock/Thinkstock(GALESBURG, Mich.) — A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit west of Detroit on Saturday, causing tremors to be felt from Chicago to Toledo, Ohio.

The quake struck shortly after 12 p.m. Saturday about five miles south of the town of Galesburg. The epicenter was about 3.7 miles underground, 15 miles southeast of Kalamazoo and 57 miles southwest of Lansing.

The midwest is an infrequent target for earthquakes, though the U.S. Geological Survey says that when they do strike in the area, they are often felt over a wider region than quakes west of the Rocky Mountains.

Paul Caruso with the USGS notes that Saturday’s quake could cause “slight damage,” referencing a similar quake — magnitude 4.6 — that hit the area in 1947.

“We have reports that the quake has been felt throughout the state of Michigan,” Caruso said. “We have reports from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Northern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.”

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Hawaiian Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing After Smoke Odor

MMADIA/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(KAHULUI, Hawaii) — A Hawaiian Airlines flight bound for Oakland, California, on Friday was forced to return to the ground shortly after takeoff due to an odor of smoke.

The crew declared an emergency soon after takeoff, the airline says, and returned to Kahului Airport. All 224 passengers on board were evacuated using the plane’s emergency slides. Two passengers were hospitalized with minor injuries.

Airline officials say that they are investigating the source of the odor.

ABC affiliate KITV in Hawaii reports that Hawaiian Airlines apologized to its customers in a statement, saying that “safety is our highest priority and we were pleased with the swift and decisive actions of the crew.”

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Three Police Officers Injured in Clash with Protesters in Seattle

Antonprado/iStock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) — Three police officers were injured, two seriously, in a clash with protesters on Friday night, the Seattle Police Department said.

A tweet on the Seattle Police Department Twitter account, attributed to Capt. Chris Fowler, said that the situation “is no longer demonstration management, this has turned into a riot.” Police used flash bangs and tear gas to clear the streets. The crowd, police said, had thrown wrenches, rocks and at least one explosive object in the direction of police.

“This is no longer demonstration management, this has turned into a riot” -Captain Chris Fowler. #MayDaySea

— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) May 2, 2015

Crowd throwing wrenches and rocks at officers at Broadway and Howell. Officers responding w/pepper spray and pepper balls. #MayDaySea

— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) May 2, 2015

Explosive device thrown at officers at Melrose and Olive. #MayDaySea

— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) May 2, 2015

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray released a statement Friday evening, saying that the city of Seattle “celebrate free speech, the right to assemble and freedom of the press.” Still, he noted, while “people are raising their voices across the nation, working constructively to advance issues of racial equity and justice in our society,” Friday night’s incidents are “a very different story.”

“Tonight we saw assaults on police officers and senseless property damage,” Murray said, “which cannot be tolerated.” He vowed to work to disperse those groups threatening the safety of others and arrest those who take part in violent actions.

“During this moment in history, peaceful protest and civil disobedience can be effective vehicles of change,” Murray said. “The city of Seattle prepared extensively to protect the rights of peaceful protesters to express their anger at racism and injustice.”

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Baltimore Protesters Arrested for Defying Curfew

Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) — Baltimore police Friday began arresting people who defied a citywide curfew, including several at City Hall.

Most people complied with the 10 p.m. curfew, but those who resisted were met with swift police action.

Baltimore Police spokesman Sgt. Jarron Jackson said that there were 53 arrests made Friday – 38 were protest-related and 15 were for curfew violation.

Baltimore police tweeted that protesters remained at War Memorial Plaza, in front of City Hall, “in violation of the curfew,” and had been warned that the curfew was to begin by officers with bullhorns.

A group of protesters remain in front of City Hall in violation of the curfew.

— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) May 2, 2015

Officers are arresting protesters who refused to leave after the curfew went into effect.

— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) May 2, 2015

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Freddie Gray’s Family Is ‘Satisfied’ With Charges Against Police Officers

ABC News(BALTIMORE) — Freddie Gray’s stepfather said that the young man’s family is “satisfied” with the criminal charges announced Friday against six Baltimore police officers who took him into custody a week before he died.

Richard Shipley, who introduced himself as “one of Freddie’s two fathers,” urged calm and peace throughout Baltimore and told residents to get back to work.

“The last thing that Freddie would want would be the hardworking people of Baltimore to lose their jobs and businesses” because of time spent protesting Gray’s apprehension.

The State’s Attorney in Baltimore filed charges on Friday against six police officers who were involved with the apprehension and allegedly illegal arrest of Gray, who authorities said suffered a spinal injury while in police custody. Gray was unresponsive when he was taken to the police station and died a week later.

Billy Murphy, the attorney representing the Gray family, praised State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby and her team for their “unprecedented courage and their measured and professional response to this crisis.”

Murphy said that they learned about the charges after they were publicly announced, saying that “it was a good shock.”

Earlier on Friday, Michael Davey, the attorney hired by one of the officers, spoke on behalf of all six saying “these officers will be vindicated because they have done nothing wrong.”

“No officer injured Mr. Gray, caused harm to Mr. Gray, and [they] are truly saddened by his death,” Davey said during a news conference this afternoon with the police union.

The Fraternal Order of Police spokesmen have said that they believe that the State Attorney’s office has “many conflicts of interest” with this case and are calling for a special prosecutor.

Murphy repeatedly praised Mosby and her team, saying that he has confidence in this prosecutor and hopes that the case will be tried in Baltimore.

“I have the utmost confidence that justice can be had in Baltimore,” he said.

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