Review Category : National News

Michael Brown’s Parents ‘Taken Aback’ by Darren Wilson’s ‘Clean Conscience’

Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, standing outside the Ferguson Police Department Monday night. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)(FERGUSON, Mo.) — The family of slain Ferguson teenager Michael Brown is hurt and “taken aback” by Officer Darren Wilson’s statement that he has a “clean conscience” and couldn’t have done it any differently.

Brown’s parents appeared in New York with the Rev. Al Sharpton and the families of other African Americans who were killed by police. Sharpton said it would be the first Thanksgiving for these families “with an empty seat at the table.”

They spoke a day after Wilson emerged publicly for the first time in months and told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos his version of what happened on Aug. 9 when he shot and killed Brown following a confrontation.

Earlier this week Wilson was cleared by a St. Louis County grand jury of any criminal activity in Brown’s death.

At one point during the interview with Stephanopoulos, Wilson said he doesn’t believe he could have done anything differently that day and that he had a clean conscience. “The reason I have a clean conscience is because I know I did my job right,” he said.

Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the Brown family, said on Wednesday the parents have been doing media interviews in New York and he said it is hard “listening to them break down over and over again” as they discuss Wilson’s comments about their son.

“It was very hurtful to the parents when he said he had a clear conscience… They were taken back… They thought he had no regard for their child,” Crump said.

The lawyer said that Wilson “tried to villify” Brown, who was 18, by saying the teenager had a fierce look and that Brown had stared at the officer “like he was trying to intimidate me.”

“I expected him to say my heart is heavy, my conscience is troubled. He didn’t say that,” Crump said.

Sharpton said that in Wilson’s grand jury testimony, which has been released, the officer said the area where the shooting occurred was a high crime area. “That shows prejudgment… It goes to his state of mind,” Sharpton said.

In the interview with ABC News, Wilson said, “I’m sorry that their son lost his life. It wasn’t the intention of that day. It’s what occurred that day. And there’s no … nothing you could say that’s going to make a parent feel better.”

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Video of Police Shooting Cleveland Boy with Toy Gun Is Released

File photo. (iStock/Thinkstock)(CLEVELAND) — The video of a Cleveland police officer shooting a 12-year-old boy who had a toy gun was released on Wednesday after the department consulted with the boy’s family.

Police initially withheld the video from the public while discussing handling of the disturbing footage with the family of Tamir Rice, the boy who was shot in a playground on Saturday.

“The family did not initially want the video to be released, but after reviewing it…expressed their wish to us” to release it, a police spokesman said on Wednesday.

The spokesman urged the public and the media to be cautious in the handling of the video: “I want people to bear in mind this is a 12-year-old boy…The family will have to view it over and over.”

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The Most Popular, Non-Turkey Thanksgiving Dishes, by State

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — For just about everyone, Thanksgiving means a turkey on the table. But if you live in Colorado, Idaho or Nevada, you’re probably also looking forward to a big-‘ol helping of frog eye salad on the side. Or maybe some persimmon pudding if you’re a Hoosier, or pineapple casserole if you live in the Palmetto State.

Those are some of the most popular, non-turkey Thanksgiving dishes, by state, according to a survey by The New York Times.

The newspaper enlisted Google’s help to do it, asking the Internet search authority to scour Thanksgiving week data going back 10 years, by state, to find the most searched-for, most distinct non-turkey dishes. The New York Times then compiled the data, listing not only the most popular, but also the top 10 contenders.

Not all of the results are bizarre-sounding to out-of-staters: there are lots of hits for familiar Thanksgiving dishes like pumpkin pie, candied yams, meat loaves and stuffings. There are also signs of the times, with frequent searches for meatless or gluten-free versions of holiday favorites.

Folks in Tennessee love their spinach maria — essentially, a cheesy spinach casserole — but regional desserts like Coca-Cola cake and Butterfinger cake also make their list.

If you dine in Utah on Thursday, expect some equally cheesy funeral potatoes on the side.

Washington state, not surprisingly, loves their smoked salmon dip, and while pumpkin whoopie pie is popular in lots of New England states, it’s nowhere more popular than in Maine and Vermont.

The New York Times has the entire survey broken down as an interactive list with links to recipes and other info, as well as a handy map of the U.S. that shows the most popular results, by state, at a glance.

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Exclusive: Police Officer Darren Wilson Discusses Firing Deadly Shot

ABC News(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson discussed his account of the moment he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown in an exclusive interview with ABC News.

Wilson said Brown was charging at him, disregarding the officer’s instructions.

“I started backpedaling, ‘cause he’s just getting too close and he’s not stopping,” Wilson told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.

“After I fired the second round of shots, he gets about eight to 10 feet [away]. And as he does that, he kinda starts to lean forward like he’s gonna tackle me. And eight to 10 feet is close and what I saw was his head. If he’s gonna tackle me, he’s gonna tackle me at that point. And I looked down my barrel of my gun and I fired,” he continued.

The Aug. 9 shooting sparked months of protests, drawing national attention to the St. Louis suburb.

Wilson said he was driving to get lunch by himself — just a normal day, he says — when he encountered Brown and a friend walking in the middle of the street, “single-file on the double-yellow line.”

Wilson, 28, says he instructed the pair to walk on the sidewalk.

The first person, Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson, ignored Wilson, the officer said.

“And then Michael Brown came next and he had to exchange some explicit words with me,” Wilson said. “He had said, “F*** what you have to say.”

“First words to you?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“Yeah,” Wilson responded.

At that point, Wilson says he noticed cigarillos in Brown’s hand, noting that Brown and Johnson matched the description, he says, of suspects in the theft of cigars from a nearby convenience store earlier that day. Wilson said he wasn’t sure whether Brown was armed.

“I got on the radio and I asked for assistance,” Wilson said.

Wilson said he parked and tried to get out of his vehicle, when Brown again cursed at the officer and slammed the officer’s car door.

“I…again taken aback because I’ve never been trapped in my car,” Wilson said. “I use my door to try and push him back and yell at him to get back. And again he just pushed the door shut and just stared at me.”

“So you’re staring each other down?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“Yeah, he stared at me, like almost over top of me…looked like he was trying to intimidate me,” Wilson said. “And as I looked back at him, all of a sudden punches started flying…He threw the first one and hit me in the left side of my face.”

Wilson said he doesn’t believe he could have done anything differently that day, and says he has a clean conscience.

“The reason I have a clean conscience is ’cause I know I did my job right,” he said.

Following Monday’s announcement that a grand jury declined to bring charges against Wilson, Brown’s relatives released a statement, saying, “We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequences of his actions.”

Wilson said he feels remorse about the outcome of the altercation.

“I think those are grieving parents who are mourning the loss of their son,” Wilson said.

“Nothing you could say, but, again, you know, I’m sorry that their son lost his life. It wasn’t the intention of that day. It’s what occurred that day. And there’s no…nothing you could say that’s gonna make a parent feel better,” he added.

Watch George Stephanopoulos’ full interview with Darren Wilson below:

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Snow, Rain Threatening Millions of Thanksgiving Travelers

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Wintry weather is expected to bring travel delays for millions of Americans on Wednesday, causing problems on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

More than 46 million Americans are expected to travel more than 50 miles away from home in the coming days, the country’s highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2007, according to AAA.

Residents along the East Coast should expect heavy rain on Wednesday from a nor’easter, with the rain changing to snow during the afternoon. Snow is expected across parts of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and interior New England.

Some areas off the Atlantic coastline could see 4 to 8 inches of snow.

Snow is also expected in the plains and Midwest, affecting parts of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as the northern Rockies. Heavy, occasionally pounding rain is expected in the Pacific Northwest.

The East Coast storm is expected to pass through by Thursday, leaving travelers hopeful that their return trips will be uneventful.

But Wednesday’s travel outlook remains problematic. Nearly 2,500 flights were delayed by 8 a.m. ET, with another 555 canceled, according to the flight-tracking company FlightAware. Those numbers are slated to rise drastically in the coming hours as the storms bear down.

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Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters in Ferguson; At Least 44 Arrested

Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Police fired tear gas at protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, overnight after a police car was set on fire, as violence erupted in the city for the second consecutive night.

Police arrested at least 44 people overnight, including at least four on felony charges, St. Louis County Police chief Jon Belmar said at an early-morning news conference.

“The majority of those arrests were misdemeanors,” Belmar said. “Most of those were either failure to obey a lawful order or failure to disperse. We did make four felony arrests…one was an unlawful use of a weapon, and the [others] were assaults against police officers.”

Rioting occurred at Ferguson’s city hall building, with windows broken and the police car vandalized, leading officers to fire the tear gas — the only place where tear gas was used, Belmar said.

Other incidents were reported near a memorial for slain teen Michael Brown, as well as an attempted looting at a Walgreen’s store, Belmar said.

More than 2,000 National Guardsmen were deployed to Ferguson Tuesday, helping to restore some level of peace in the city. Questions lingering over whether the National Guard troops should have been in place Monday, with Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III calling the delay “deeply disturbing.”

“It’s hard to speculate if the National guard came out Monday night, that things would have turned out differently,” Belmar said. Belmar said the violence from Monday night and Tuesday morning reached a scale that “fortunately we’ve seldom seen here in this country.”

Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson said authorities were caught off guard by the level of violence following a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting of Brown, who was unarmed.

“None of us could have imagined what had happened Monday night,” Johnson said. “If we had a crystal ball, maybe we would have done things differently.”

One factor that hindered firefighting efforts Tuesday morning was gunfire, authorities said. Few gunshots were reported Wednesday morning, Johnson said.

The situation in Ferguson has drawn national attention, with rallies and protests held across the country following Monday’s grand jury decision. In Oakland, California, 39 people were arrested for crimes ranging from failure to disperse and public intoxication to burglary and assaulting a police officer.

The Christmas in St. Louis Foundation postponed the Ameren, Missouri, Thanksgiving Day Parade, citing unrest in the community.

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Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters in Ferguson; At Least 44 Arrested

Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Police fired tear gas at protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, overnight after a police car was set on fire, as violence erupted in the city for the second consecutive night.

Police arrested at least 44 people overnight, including at least four on felony charges, St. Louis County Police chief Jon Belmar said at an early-morning news conference.

“The majority of those arrests were misdemeanors,” Belmar said. “Most of those were either failure to obey a lawful order or failure to disperse. We did make four felony arrests…one was an unlawful use of a weapon, and the [others] were assaults against police officers.”

Rioting occurred at Ferguson’s city hall building, with windows broken and the police car vandalized, leading officers to fire the tear gas — the only place where tear gas was used, Belmar said.

Other incidents were reported near a memorial for slain teen Michael Brown, as well as an attempted looting at a Walgreen’s store, Belmar said.

More than 2,000 National Guardsmen were deployed to Ferguson Tuesday, helping to restore some level of peace in the city. Questions lingering over whether the National Guard troops should have been in place Monday, with Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III calling the delay “deeply disturbing.”

“It’s hard to speculate if the National guard came out Monday night, that things would have turned out differently,” Belmar said. Belmar said the violence from Monday night and Tuesday morning reached a scale that “fortunately we’ve seldom seen here in this country.”

Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson said authorities were caught off guard by the level of violence following a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting of Brown, who was unarmed.

“None of us could have imagined what had happened Monday night,” Johnson said. “If we had a crystal ball, maybe we would have done things differently.”

One factor that hindered firefighting efforts Tuesday morning was gunfire, authorities said. Few gunshots were reported Wednesday morning, Johnson said.

The situation in Ferguson has drawn national attention, with rallies and protests held across the country following Monday’s grand jury decision. In Oakland, California, 39 people were arrested for crimes ranging from failure to disperse and public intoxication to burglary and assaulting a police officer.

The Christmas in St. Louis Foundation postponed the Ameren, Missouri, Thanksgiving Day Parade, citing unrest in the community.

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Ferguson Protesters Gather at Police Station Amid New National Guard Reinforcements

ABC NEWS(FERGUSON, Mo.) — A crowd of several hundred people gathered outside the Ferguson, Mo., police station Tuesday night, and after a calm start, a police car was set on fire, after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon deployed more than 2,000 National Guardsmen to the streets.

The city, the site of looting and burning after a grand jury cleared a white officer of shooting an unarmed teen Monday, had been mostly calm Tuesday night.

Several arrests were made, including two people from Oklahoma charged for unlawful assembly and resisting arrest, according to the St. Louis County Police. There were no reports of arson or stores being robbed.

“The violence we saw last night cannot be repeated,” Nixon said earlier. He called the aftermath a “heartbreaking sight,” and said “seniors are afraid to leave the house and children are afraid to go out and play….We must do better and we will.”

The governor’s move came shortly after Ferguson Mayor James Knowles criticized the governor’s decision to wait to send the National Guard into the protests after the grand jury decision was announced to clear Police Officer Darren Wilson in the death of teenager Michael Brown.

The mayor also asked that there be stepped-up protections Tuesday night.

“We must be prepared ahead of time. We must be prepared for the absolute worst,” he said.

Knowles said the National Guard was not deployed ahead of time Monday night, a move he said cost the city.

“Unfortunately as unrest grew and further assistance was needed, the National Guard was not deployed in enough time to save all of our businesses,” said Knowles, adding it’s “deeply concerning.”

He said that by waiting to send in the National Guard to provide assistance for the law enforcement officers already on the ground, protesters were able to do more damage to private property and local businesses.

“Some of these businesses have been hit twice,” Knowles said.

At least a dozen businesses were burned along with a couple of police cars during Monday night’s protests, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said earlier Tuesday.

“We reached out both through unified control and through political channels to make it known we needed more assets,” Knowles said of his office’s efforts to get the National Guard sent in as soon as property began being attacked.

St. Louis is postponing its Thanksgiving Day Parade because of the unrest.

Protests are also continuing in other cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Atlanta. In New York, the protesters stopped near the Lincoln Tunnel, stalling rush-hour traffic. Several arrests were also reported in New York.

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UVA Promises New ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy on Sexual Assaults

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — The University of Virginia said Tuesday that it has adopted a zero-tolerance policy in dealing with sexual assaults on campus, after an explosive report about rapes that took place on campus prompted a meeting of the school’s governing board.

But school officials did not reveal details of the zero-tolerance policy, noting in a statement that the new rules will be “refined in the near term.”

Tuesday’s meeting of the Board of Visitors came after Rolling Stone published a story about a student identified as Jackie who was allegedly gang-raped during a frat party when she was a freshman. School officials have since come under fire for the way they handle sexual assault cases.

According to Rolling Stone, 183 people have been expelled from UVA for honor code violations like lying or cheating on an exam, but not one person has been expelled for sexual assault.

“To Jackie and her parents, I say I am sorry…to the survivors of sexual assault and their families, I am also sorry,” Rector George Keith Martin said at Tuesday’s board meeting, according to the press release.

“This type of conduct will not be tolerated at the University of Virginia. The status quo is no longer acceptable,” Martin said.

In the wake of the article’s publication, fraternities and sororities at the school were suspended until January, and there have been protests on campus calling for action by the administration.

“I write you in great sorrow, great rage, but most importantly, great determination,” university President Teresa Sullivan wrote earlier in a statement sent to the University of Virginia community. “Meaningful change is necessary, and we can lead that change for all universities.”

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Ferguson Area to Get More than 2,000 National Guardsmen Tuesday Night

ABC NEWS(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will deploy more than 2,000 National Guardsmen Tuesday night to prevent a recurrence of the rioting that rocked the city of Ferguson after a grand jury cleared Police Officer Darren Wilson in the death of teenager Michael Brown.

“The violence we saw last night cannot be repeated,” Nixon said sternly.

“The National Guard presence is to be ramped up significantly,” he said. He will deploy 2,200 Monday night, Nixon said.

He called the aftermath a “heartbreaking sight,” and said “seniors are afraid to leave the house and children are afraid to go out and play….We must do better and we will.”

The governor’s plan came shortly after Ferguson Mayor James Knowles criticized the governor’s decision to wait to send the National Guard into the protests after the grand jury decision was announced.

The mayor also asked that there be stepped-up protections Tuesday night.

“We must be prepared ahead of time. We must be prepared for the absolute worst,” he said.

Knowles said the National Guard was not deployed ahead of time Monday night, a move he said cost the city.

“Unfortunately as unrest grew and further assistance was needed, the National Guard was not deployed in enough time to save all of our businesses,” said Knowles, adding it’s “deeply concerning.”

He said that by waiting to send in the National Guard to provide assistance for the law enforcement officers already on the ground, protesters were able to do more damage to private property and local businesses.

“Some of these businesses have been hit twice,” Knowles said.

At least a dozen businesses were burned along with a couple of police cars during Monday night’s protests, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said earlier Tuesday.

“We reached out both through unified control and through political channels to make it known we needed more assets,” Knowles said of his office’s efforts to get the National Guard sent in as soon as property began being attacked.

Tuesday night, protesters and law enforcement in Ferguson are still clashing. One person has been arrested and officers in riot gear are pushing crowds back.

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