Review Category : National News

Denver PD Defends Its Officers Who Confiscated Blankets from the Homeless

iStock/Thinkstock(DENVER) — Widely-circulated videos showing Denver police confiscating blankets and tents from the homeless in freezing temperatures are shining a spotlight on the national issue of policing homelessness.

The two videos, posted on Facebook on Nov. 28 and Nov. 29, show police officers taking away survival gear, including blanks and tents, from homeless individuals in Denver and issuing citations for unauthorized camping. The Denver Police Department released a statement Thursday defending its officers and explaining the situation shown in the videos, saying the blankets were collected as “evidence.”

“The situation in the video occurred after individuals chose to illegally camp on the public right-of-way outside of the Denver City and County Building as a means of protest after being cited for unauthorized camping at a separate location. In both cases, officers on scene offered services and shelter to those individuals. After they refused the police officers’ assistance, the individuals were advices that they were violating the law and needed to move,” the Denver Police Department said in the statement. “After several warnings, during an approximately four-hour period outside the Denver City and County Building, three protesters chose to remain and were therefore cited. Officers collected items as evidence of the violations.”

The department’s statement comes just days after Denver mayor Michael Hancock announced that he had directed police to stop taking camping equipment when enforcing the city’s unauthorized camping ordinance. The mayor’s office also insisted that homeless shelters in Denver “absolutely have space open.”

“Urban camping — especially during cold, wet weather — is dangerous and we don’t want to see any lives lost on the streets when there are safe, warm places available for people to sleep at night. Every night, we have beds open for people to sleep and every day we have safe places and resources to help people experiencing homelessness,” Hancock said in a statement on Dec. 10. “Every step we take is intended to connect people with safe and warm places and critical supportive services. We never intended to take the belongings that people need to keep warm.”

According to the mayor’s office, the people who were shown in the videos last month are the only individuals who have had blankets or tents taken from them. The city of Denver and its partners have placed 995 homeless people into housing over the past 24 months and police have issued nine citations to seven people when enforcing the urban camping ban over the past two weeks, the mayor’s office said.

The videos shared on social media have triggered outrage from rights groups and advocates calling for an end to the criminalization of homelessness. A day prior to the mayor’s announcement, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Colorado responded to the videos by sending a letter to Hancock and the Denver City Council, urging them to repeal the city’s urban camping ban or, at the very least, suspend it through the winter months and direct police officers to cease confiscating survival gear from the homeless.

“The City of Denver is exhibiting a level of cruelty that should bring deep shame to Mayor Hancock and other city officials,” Nathan Woodliff-Stanley, executive director of ACLU of Colorado, wrote in the letter dated Dec. 9. “Denver’s shelters are simply unable to serve all people in the Denver area experiencing homelessness, even in the short term, much less as a long-term solution. Until real solutions become Denver’s priority, the city’s ongoing policing-first approach to homelessness is a cruel waste of funds, curtailing fundamental constitutional rights, causing deep human suffering, and endangering lives.”

There were 5,728 homeless individuals counted in the greater Denver area on a single night in January 2016, according to a report by the Metropolitan Denver Homeless Initiative. But the issues of homelessness and policing these individuals, particularly during the colder temperatures, isn’t unique to Denver.

In March, attorneys in Los Angeles filed a lawsuit on behalf of four homeless people whose property was allegedly confiscated and destroyed by the city without a warrant. One plaintiff, Judy Coleman, was hospitalized for pneumonia after her tent, blanket and other items to protect her from the elements were confiscated, according to court documents obtained by ABC News. The Los Angeles City Council is now considering a revised ordinance that would allow a homeless person to keep some possessions during an encampment cleanup on the city streets, according to ABC affiliate KABC-TV.

According to a survey of homeless Hawaiian residents conducted in June 2015 by the University of Hawaii-Manoa’s Department of Urban Planning, almost 60 percent of homeless individuals reported losing personal identification, 40 percent reported lost tents and 21 percent said they lost medicine during city sweeps of homeless encampments.

Citywide bans on camping have increased 69 percent in the last decade, according to a report released this year by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty that surveyed 187 U.S. cities.

“Laws that criminalize homelessness are expensive, counterproductive, potentially unconstitutional – and just plain wrong,” said Maria Foscarinis, executive director of the law group headquartered Washington, D.C. “Any government that is serious about ending homelessness will focus its energy and resources on housing homeless people, not criminalizing them.”

According to an annual report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 549,928 people were homeless on a single night in 2016, with 32 percent of those living without shelter. The figure is widely deemed to be an underestimation.

Individuals living without shelter are in danger of hypothermia when external temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s a leading cause of injury and death among those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. An estimated 700 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness die from hypothermia each year in the United States, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. Hypothermia happens when a person’s core body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Homeless service providers and governments have the responsibility to protect their homeless citizens through state and citywide winter plans and increased shelter availability,” the National Coalition for the Homeless said in a 2010 report that included interviews from homeless coalitions and shelters nationwide about cold-weather services offered in each area. “Though many of the providers we interviewed had impressive winter services, many others were inadequate in some way. In some cases, this is a challenge that must be met by providers themselves; in others, it is the result of a lack of funding.”

Colorado Coalition for the Homeless spokeswoman Cathy Alderman said the Denver-based organization is “disappointed in the aggressive enforcement actions taken” throughout the city, leaving many members of the homeless community without their belongings and no place to go.

“We agree with the city that no one should be forced to sleep on the streets but simply moving people along is not a solution. The city needs to immediately invest in adequate and appropriate shelter space and services to compassionately help those people experiencing homelessness and find more robust ways to address our affordable housing crisis,” Alderman told ABC News. “Housing, not police enforcement, is the only solution to homelessness.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Two Homeless Women, 10 Dogs Rescued After Stranded on Island in River

KABC-TV(LOS ANGELES) — Crews with the Los Angeles County fire and sheriff departments rescued two homeless women, four adult dogs and a litter of six puppies from a small dirt island in the middle of the San Gabriel River in South El Monte, California, Friday morning.

The island that the women and dogs were found on is actually part of the river’s bed, which is usually dry, according to Los Angeles County Fire inspector Richard Licon.

“A lot of homeless people have recently moved into that river bed area,” Licon told ABC News Friday. “The city is concerned with how to get them out and move them to a safer area.”

Heavy rains Friday morning caused water in the river bed to rise, trapping the women and dogs, Licon said.

A Los Angeles County Fire Department crew responded to the scene, but the rising waters raised concerns about a rescue. The team called the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department air crew for assistance.

The sheriff’s department air crew was able to hoist the two women and all 10 dogs back to dry land via helicopter, Licon said. He added that they were all deemed OK, and the dogs have been taken in by the county’s animal control department.

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Winter Storm to Wallop Midwest, Northeast with More Snow, Ice, Arctic Cold

ABC News(NEW YORK) — A winter storm that has blanketed the Pacific Northwest with snow and ice continued its journey across the country Friday, threatening more snow and bitter cold temperatures from the Rocky Mountains through the Great Lakes region.

The storm is forecast to arrive in Minneapolis around 6:30 p.m. ET and could leave behind 6 to 10 inches of fresh snow in the area. The coast-to-coast weather system is expected to sweep into the Northeast region after midnight, where inland areas could see over 6 inches of snow locally, according to ABC News meteorologists.

By Saturday morning, New York City could have 2 to 3 inches of fresh snow while Boston is expected to receive 3 to 5 inches. But that won’t be the end of the storm’s wrath. A second arctic front is forecast to bring frigid cold and another burst of snow to the Midwest region Saturday night, from Chicago to Kansas City to Oklahoma City, according to ABC News meteorologists.

Wind chills, or “feels-like” temperatures, will be below freezing for much of the country by Sunday morning, with the coldest of -49 degrees Fahrenheit expected to be in Minneapolis, according to ABC News senior meteorologist Max Golembo.

“Behind this snowstorm, we have even colder temperatures for the Midwest and the South this time,” Golembo said.

As of Friday morning, 38 states were under winter weather alerts, including Texas and Arizona, which usually boast warmer climes.

As the winter storm moves east, ABC News meteorologists said moderate to heavy rain is in store for much of southern California and parts of southern Arizona Friday.

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Father of Murdered NYC Jogger: ‘We’ve Got to Find This Guy’

NYPD(NEW YORK) — The father of Karina Vetrano, the New York City woman who was killed this summer after she went for a jog, told ABC News’ Good Morning America that he goes back to the site where his daughter was murdered “every day.”

“I go back there daily, some times two to three times a day,” Phil Vetrano said. “It’s actually a peaceful place for me. I can think when I’m there and I’m just hoping maybe that guy comes back. And that’s why I sit there.”

Karina Vetrano, 30, was strangled to death on Aug. 2 while jogging alone on a path where she and her father often ran together in Howard Beach, New York. The murder case remains unsolved more than five months after her body was found.

Phil Vetrano said he is now fighting for the state to authorize familial searching of New York’s DNA data banks, which would allow authorities to use DNA evidence from the crime scene to find a blood relative of the perpetrator.

“There is no policy. There’s nothing for them to change. There is no law. There is no policy. It’s just not done,” Vetrano said. “No law has to be legislated to have it done, they just have to do it.”

Vetrano said DNA from the crime scene had been run through the state’s database to find a match. The search was unsuccessful.

However, familial searching would “run the same DNA through the same database, only this time they’re looking for a partial match, which would be a blood relative,” Vetrano added. “They can get the killer that way.”

“It’s important because it will find a relative of the killer. A brother or father or son,” Vetrano said. “And again there is no law against it.”

Familial DNA testing “will give the police another tool,” according to Vetrano.

Vetrano said that he does not have any inside knowledge from local police.

“Basically all I know is they’re working on the case, they’re working diligently. But I’m not privy to inside information,” he added.

He did say the New York Police Department told him that it has received “hundreds of tips. Literally hundreds.”

“Every time there is some kind of news about it, the tips come in, we get more tips, which is a good thing,” Vetrano noted.

He continued, “If you know something, say something. Even if you think you might know a little something, even if you don’t think you know something, it’s okay to let them check it out, because let them check it out. Let the cops know. Because we’ve got to find this guy.”

The NYPD released a statement on Thursday seeking community assistance in identifying the person who assaulted Vetrano.

“The person who assaulted Karina is still at large … and the person who committed the assault is likely familiar with the park and may have spent time there,” according to the statement. Authorities are urging anyone with information to contact the NYPD.

Last week, the Queens County District Attorney Richard A. Brown called on the state to authorize familial searching of New York’s DNA banks to help find the person who murdered Vetrano.

“This tragic murder has been exhaustively investigated using every tool currently available, but it remains unsolved. The killer remains at large, the public remains in danger, and the suffering of the victim’s family is amplified by law enforcement’s inability to yet solve this most awful crime. The victim, her family, and the public deserve justice and we have an obligation to use every means at our disposal to identify the murderer. I believe that familial searching can be a powerful investigative tool in this case,” Brown said in a letter to Michael C. Green, the executive deputy commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice and chairperson of the New York State Commission on Forensic Science.

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Four Inmates Escape Tennessee Jail in Deputy’s Vehicle; Two Still at Large

iStock/Thinkstock(DANDRIDGE, Tenn.) — Four inmates escaped a jailhouse in rural Tennessee in a deputy’s vehicle early Friday morning, authorities said.

Deputies were treating an inmate, 24-year-old Adam Lethco, at the Jefferson County Work House in Dandridge for a hand injury. As the deputies exited the prison cell, four inmates assaulted them and stole the keys to a deputy’s vehicle before fleeing the jailhouse at around 12:15 a.m. local time, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

The stolen vehicle, a black Chevy, was spotted by a volunteer firefighter on Highway 411 and later found abandoned on a road in Sevierville. Soon after, Sevier County deputies took one of the escaped inmates into custody, 22-year-old Jimmy Moore. Then at around 3:45 a.m. local time, deputies from Sevier and Jefferson counties took another escaped inmate into custody, 26-year-old Richard Lorenz, deputies said.

Moore and Lorenz were transported back to Jefferson County jail and charged with aggravated assault on an officer and escape. Two inmates, Lethco and 27-year-old Matthew Porter, are still on the run. Both men were last seen in the Sevier County area of Highway 411 wearing white shirts with black and white striped pants, deputies said.

Lethco is serving an eight-year sentence for aggravated burglary, theft and vehicle theft. Porter is serving the first year of a six-year sentence for reckless endangerment and evading arrest. He is also wanted in Alabama for violating probation and is to serve 12 years in prison there, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

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Grand Juror Who Saw Original Evidence in JonBenet Ramsey Case Speaks Out

Courtesy John Ramsey(BOULDER, Colo.) — To this day, the mysterious 1996 murder of JonBenet Ramsey remains unsolved.

The 6-year-old beauty queen, who lived in Boulder, Colorado, with her parents and brother, was found dead in the family home’s basement on the day after Christmas in 1996. JonBenet had been strangled and hit on the head with enormous force, according to Boulder, Colorado, authorities.

Her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, vehemently denied that they or their son Burke had anything to do with JonBenet’s death.

Many in the Boulder Police Department believed they had enough evidence for the district attorney to charge JonBenet’s parents with her murder.

In late 1998, then-Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter presented the case to a grand jury of eight women and four men. The grand jurors are among the very few people who have seen all the evidence prosecutors presented in the case against John and Patsy Ramsey.

Grand jury proceedings in Colorado are secret, and the penalties for revealing testimony or evidence can be severe, including jail time.

Despite that threat, one member of the jury agreed to talk to ABC News’ 20/20. Given the possible repercussions, 20/20 agreed to withhold his name.

The juror said he knew “very little” about the murder of JonBenet before he saw evidence in the case.

“I saw that there was a little girl dressed up with, in my opinion, a sexual persona, and it disgusted me. And I turned off the TV,” the juror told 20/20.

Over the course of more than a year, the juror said he and the other grand jurors grappled with testimony from dozens of witnesses and even took a field trip to the Ramsey home, where they went down into the basement to see the crime scene with their own eyes.

“In the basement where she was found, it was actually kind of an obscure layout,” the juror said. “You come down the stairwell and you had to go into another room to find a door that was closed. It was a very eerie feeling. It was like, ‘Somebody had been killed here.’”

The juror said he believes that there was enough evidence to indict John and Patsy Ramsey for a crime, but he doesn’t think they would have been convicted.

“There is no way that I would have been able to say, ‘Beyond a reasonable doubt, this is the person,’” the juror said. “And if you are the district attorney, if you know that going in, it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars to do it.”

Still, he says the grand jury did recommend charges against John and Patsy Ramsey, indicating the jurors believed they placed JonBenet in a situation resulting in her death.

But, in an astonishing turn of events, the prosecutor nullified the findings of his own grand jury, saying he and his prosecution task force believed they did not have sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of charges against anyone who had been investigated at that time.

Much later, in 2008, then-Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy wrote a letter saying she was clearing the Ramseys of any involvement in JonBenet’s death. Patsy Ramsey died of ovarian cancer in 2006.

The investigation into JonBenet’s death is still considered open and active.

Watch the full story on ABC News’ 20/20 on Friday, Dec. 16 at 10 p.m. ET.

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Washington Police Officer Critically Wounded During Standoff, Suspected Shooter in Custody

iStock/Thinkstock(MOUNT VERNON, Wash.) — A police officer in Washington state is in serious but stable condition after being shot in the head Thursday after responding to a domestic disturbance, police said.

The suspected shooter, who barricaded himself in a home in Mount Vernon, was taken into custody after midnight Friday. The suspect was not identified.

Law enforcement officials initially said that the suspect — described by police as a 44-year-old Mount Vernon man — had taken hostages, but they later said that was not the case.

Two other men are also in police custody. Officials described them as “persons of interest.”

“He is a violent offender and well-known to law enforcement,” Washington State Patrol Sgt. Keith Leary had told reporters Thursday night of the suspected shooter.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded, as did negotiators, KOMO reported.

Police officers in Mount Vernon responded to a domestic disturbance around 5:30 p.m., ABC affiliate KOMO reported, citing Washington State Patrol.

When officers arrived, the suspected shooter barricaded himself inside a home and started to shoot at officers, Washington State Patrol Sgt. Leary said.

An officer was shot in the back of the head, and initially transported conscious and alert to nearby Skagit Valley Hospital, Sgt. Leary said. The officer was then airlifted to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center.

Neighbors were evacuated to a nearby church, Sgt. Leary said.

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US Department of Justice Sues Michigan City for Religious Discrimination

iStock/Thinkstock(STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich.) – The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit Thursday against the city of Sterling Heights, Michigan, alleging that the city discriminated against a local Muslim community center “on the basis of religion” when it denied the center’s special land use approval application to build a mosque.

The American Islamic Community Center (AICC)– which is currently located in Madison Heights, Michigan — has been hoping “to build a mosque in Sterling Heights because the location is more convenient for its members and its current space has become inadequate for its religious, educational and social needs,” the DOJ said in a news release Thursday.

In July 2015, the AICC submitted a special approval land use application with the city to build a 20,500-square-foot mosque, according to a complaint filed by the DOJ in federal court.

A vote on the application was scheduled for Aug. 13, 2015, but was postponed to Sept. 10, 2015, after 50 members of the public spoke out at a Sterling Heights City Planning Commission meeting against the proposed mosque, the DOJ said in the complaint.

“Many of the comments were directed at the religion of the Petitioner [an AICC board member], including a plea to ‘Remember 9/11,’ statements that Christians would not be allowed to build a church in Iraq and statements that property values would drop if a mosque were built in the neighborhood,” the complaint read.

Before the Sept. 10, 2015, vote, numerous members of the public attended other city meetings and made “anti-Muslim statements” against the AICC’s application, the DOJ wrote in the complaint.

At one city council meeting, a resident “held up a picture of a woman wearing a garment that covered her head and stated that he did not want to ‘be near people like this,'” the DOJ said. During the same meeting, the DOJ said another resident suggested the mosque “might be used as a facility to store weapons,” and a city councilman stated that while “I respect [Muslims] … there are certain sects of them that shouldn’t be in this country.”

The Sterling Heights City Planning Commission “unanimously voted” to deny the AICC’s application to get a special land use approval to build the mosque, the DOJ said.

The DOJ added that the city’s decision was “based on anti-Muslim bias” and violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA), which “contains multiple provisions prohibiting religious discrimination and protecting against unjustified burdens on religious exercise.”

In response to the lawsuit filed by the DOJ, the city of Sterling Heights released the following statement:

“Sterling Heights has a solid reputation for inclusiveness and tolerance reflected in a wide variety of places of worship across the City, including two existing Mosques, a Sikh Temple, a Buddhist Temple, Christian churches of various denominations and a BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. Sterling Heights will continue to foster faith-based inclusiveness and understanding with local partners including our city’s school districts, religious organizations and other community groups.

“With the above in mind, the City has cooperated fully with the Department of Justice in this matter, and is surprised and disappointed in its decision to initiate this lawsuit at this time. The City maintains that the AICC application for special approval land use to construct a mosque was considered and denied by the City’s Planning Commission based on established land use criteria including the incompatibility with adjoining uses, insufficient parking, as well as overall size and height of the building, and not emotional feelings tied to religious beliefs either for or against the applicant.”

The AICC did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for comment on the lawsuit Thursday.

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VA Secretary ‘Most Difficult’ Position to Fill, Transition Team Official Says

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – President-elect Donald Trump made veterans’ issues a centerpiece of his presidential campaign. But selecting a leader for the Department of Veterans Affairs will be one of the final decisions to round out his cabinet.

Transition sources say Trump is still considering a number of different candidates, from Trump loyalists to retired military officials, ahead of a self-imposed goal of the end of the week to finalize his cabinet.

Contenders for the VA job include former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin; former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown; Pete Hegseth, the former chief executive of the conservative Concerned Veterans for America; and Adm. Michelle Howard, the first African-American woman to command a U.S. Navy ship.

A senior Trump transition official says the president-elect has also interviewed retired Gen. Ann Dunwoody, who served as the Army’s first female four-star general.

Hegseth, who is an Army veteran and Fox News contributor, has met with Trump twice, most recently on Thursday at Trump Tower.

One senior transition official told ABC News the position of VA secretary is proving to be the “most difficult” cabinet position to fill.

Trump’s pick will be responsible for managing the government’s second-largest department and a national health care system that serves more than six and a half million veterans and beneficiaries each year.

Some veterans’ advocacy groups have expressed frustration that Trump has not met personally with them to discuss the selection, instead meeting with a mix of celebrities and CEOs.

“He’s met with Kanye West and Leonardo DiCaprio, but hasn’t met with the American Legion or IAVA [Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America],” said Paul Rieckhoff, CEO and founder of IAVA.

Asked about Trump’s focus on selecting a VA secretary, transition officials say the president-elect is taking the issue seriously.

“This is an area he cares deeply about, reforming the VA,” spokesman Sean Spicer said on a call with reporters Thursday. He said that this is “an area that’s near and dear to his heart and one that he really wants to make sure is addressed appropriately, quickly and successfully.”

Some veterans organizations have urged Trump to keep current VA Secretary Bob McDonald in his administration. But a senior transition official says that idea has not been embraced in Trump Tower.

“Transforming an agency as large and diverse as VA will take a continuous commitment from leadership over the course of many years,” a coalition of 20 veterans groups wrote in a letter to Trump and the transition team. “As you make your selection for VA Secretary, then, we advocate for an approach that recognizes and builds upon current progress. Given the challenges we face, we cannot afford to start over.”

Trump has proposed making it easier for secretaries to fire VA employees, creating a commission to investigate fraud in the agency and creating a 24/7 White House hotline for veterans’ complaints.

In interviews, top veterans’ advocates say Trump has much in common with McDonald, a registered Republican and former CEO of Proctor & Gamble.

“They’re both businessmen from outside the government that have a different perspective,” said Gary Augustine, the executive director of Disabled American Veterans. “If he wasn’t already secretary, president-elect Trump would probably be looking at him.”

Bill Rausch, the executive director of Got Your 6, said keeping McDonald would allow the Trump administration to hit the ground running in January to pass reforms with a GOP-led Congress.

“If we bring in a new VA leader who is going to take a year, two years to get up to speed,” he said. “We could miss that window of opportunity.”

It’s not clear if McDonald and Trump have been in contact with each other, but those who have spoken to the current secretary said he would consider serving in a Trump administration.

ABC News’ request for comment from McDonald’s office was not immediately returned.

“I think he would say yes,” Rausch said. “His answer has been that he’s a member of the Veterans Party and he’ll do what’s best for veterans.”

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DOJ to Review St. Anthony Police Department

iStock/Thinkstock(ST. ANTHONY, Minn.) – The Department of Justice will provide a review of the St. Anthony Police Department in Minnesota, more than five months after officer Jeronimo Yanez fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop this past July.

The DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services announced its review of the department on Thursday, following a request made in October by the City of Saint Anthony Village, the suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, where Castile was shot, officials said.

Community Oriented Policing Services Offices director Ronald Davis told the press on Thursday that the DOJ will release a public report detailing its findings about the department, along with a set of recommendations for improvement.

“It takes a lot of courage to ask for this,” Davis said.

He added that his office will work with the department for 18 months following the report to see that the recommendations are implemented.

“I applaud the cities of Saint Anthony Village, Lauderdale, and Falcon Heights and the Saint Anthony Police Department for taking steps to improve department operations to achieve 21st century policing,” Davis said of the decision to collaborate with the DOJ. “The findings and recommendations from this assessment will enable the department and the community to work together to hold the department accountable to the best standards of the law enforcement profession.”

On Wednesday, attorneys for Yanez asked a court to dismiss the charges against the officer.

Prosecutors argued last month that Yanez had acted unreasonably and was not justified in using deadly force.

Waves of protest followed Castile’s death. Its aftermath was streamed on Facebook Live by his fiancé, Diamond Reynolds, and was widely seen — a phenomenon that helped to fuel a sense of outrage against the department and Yanez.

The city of St. Anthony briefly reinstated Yanez in August, but decided to change the officer’s status “after reviewing concerns and other feedback from the community,” officials said in August.

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