Review Category : National News

Newly Released Dash Cam Video Shows Officer Slager Moments Before Deadly Shooting

City of North Charleston Police Department(NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.) — Dash cam video released Thursday shows Police Officer Michael Slager moments before he shot and killed Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, in North Charleston, South Carolina, on Saturday.

The video begins as Slager pulls over Scott’s Mercedes and asks for his license and registration. Slager says he stopped the car because a brake light was out.

After Slager goes back to his cruiser, Scott starts getting out of his car and Slager tells him to stay there.

Scott then jumps out of his car and runs away, out of the frame of the camera.

The video captures audio of someone yelling, presumably Slager, but the video doesn’t show Slager running after Scott.

Slager was charged with murder after a witness stepped forward with another video that appeared to show the moment when Slager fatally shot Scott as Scott was running away from Slager. The victim’s family attorney, who gave the video to ABC News, said he believes it could prove that the officer used excessive force.

During his next call on the police radio, Slager said: “Shots fired and the subject is down, he took my Taser,” the police report noted.

Slager was arrested on Tuesday and has been dismissed from the police department. Slager has yet to enter a plea. Over the weekend, Slager was represented by attorney David Aylor, who gave a statement to WCIV saying that the incident was “tragic” but that Slager “followed all the proper procedures and policies.” Following the release of the witness video, that attorney told ABC News on Tuesday he is no longer representing Slager.

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South Carolina Police Officer’s Mom Speaks Out in Tearful Interview

ABC News(NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.) — The mother of the South Carolina police officer who is seen in a video fatally shooting a man said that she cannot bring herself to watch the video.

“I just can’t,” Karen Sharpe, the mother of now-fired Police Officer Michael Slager, told ABC News. “Maybe to some people, ‘Well, you’re being in denial,’ but I’m sorry I just can’t. I just I know how Michael is.”

Slager, 33, was arrested Tuesday and charged with the murder of Walter Scott, 50, in North Charleston on Saturday morning after Slager pulled Scott over due to a broken tail-light, authorities said. A witness recorded the encounter between the two men and Slager is seen firing eight shots at Scott as he runs away from the officer.

Sharpe said that her son “loved being a police officer” and she is struggling to hold their family together. Slager’s wife is eight months pregnant and Sharpe told ABC News that she had to accompany her daughter-in-law to an appointment with her doctor as a substitute for her son now that he is in jail.

“He has a little baby on the way, due next month, and they worked so hard for this baby,” Sharpe said. “I know he would go to all the appointments, all the OB appointments, and he had to miss it today.”

“She was just so sad because he was not there and I know that he would not do something purposeful to not be able to be with his wife during the delivery. They just tried so hard for this,” Sharpe said.

In an emotional interview Thursday afternoon, Sharpe said that she has been praying for the Scott family.

“Their life will never be the same again and my life will never be the same again,” Sharpe said. “Even though they’re not the same things that have happened, I know there are changes in both their family and my family…and that’s the part that bothers me. They’ve changed forever.”

“I just have to let it be and hope God takes care of everybody involved — not only my family but the Scott’s family — because I know they’re grieving just like I’m grieving,” she said.

Slager has yet to enter a plea. Over the weekend, Slager was represented by attorney David Aylor, who gave a statement to ABC affiliate WCIV-TV in Charleston, saying that the incident was “tragic” but that Slager “followed all the proper procedures and policies.” That attorney told ABC News on Tuesday he is no longer representing Slager.

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Read Leelah Alcorn’s Last Words Inspiring White House to Support Petition

lazerprincess/tumblr(NEW YORK) — “The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was [and that] they’re treated like humans with valid feelings and human rights.”

That line is from a suicide note Ohio teen Leelah Alcorn wrote on Tumblr in December shortly before she stepped in front of a tractor-trailer and died in a Cincinnati suburb.

Alcorn, 17, explained in the note that she was taken to Christian therapists by her mom, Carla, who, she said, “reacted extremely negatively” when Alcorn told her she was transgender.

The note and Alcorn’s tragic death quickly spurred a formal petition to the White House to “ban all “LGBT+ conversion therapy.”

President Obama and the White House responded Wednesday night, supporting the petition but noted a national ban would “require congressional action.”

Carla Alcorn declined to comment Thursday.

Alcorn said she felt like a “girl trapped in a boy’s body” ever since she was 4 and just tried to do “traditionally ‘boyish’ things to try to fit in.” At 14, she said she learned what “transgender meant and cried of happiness” but was unsupported by her family, which her friends confirmed to ABC News.

Alcorn doesn’t use the term “conversion therapy” in the note, but she did say that after coming out, her mom would only take her to “very biased” Christian therapists.

“I never actually got the therapy I needed to cure me of my depression,” Alcorn said. “I only got more Christians telling me that I was selfish and wrong and that I should look to God for help.”

On her 16th birthday, Alcorn said it “broke [her] heart” when she realized she’d have to wait until she was 18 to start any transitioning treatment because her parents wouldn’t give her consent.

“The longer you wait, the harder it is to transition,” she wrote, adding that she cried herself to sleep. “I felt hopeless, that I was just going to look like a man in drag for the rest of my life.”

Alcorn then wrote she came out as gay at school in the hopes that it would ease “coming out as trans,” but though her friends were positive, her parents were “pissed.”

“They felt like I was attacking their image, and that I was an embarrassment to them,” she said. “They wanted me to be their perfect little straight [C]hristian boy, and that’s obviously not what I wanted.”

Alcorn’s parents took her out of public school, took away her laptop and phone and forbid her from going on social media for five months, she said.

After the difficult summer of “loneliness” she experienced, she said she decided she’d had enough.

“People say ‘it gets better’ but that isn’t true in my case,” Alcorn wrote. “It gets worse. Each day I get worse.”

She ended the note with a call for her death “to mean something.”

LGBTQ+ youth in grades seven to 12 are more than twice as likely to attempt suicide as their heterosexual peers, according to the Centers for Disease Control, which added that one study with 55 transgender youth found 25 percent reported suicide attempts.

“Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better,” Alcorn wrote. “Fix society. Please.”

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Remains Found in Search for Missing Virginia Teen Anjelica Hadsell

Norfolk Police Department(NORFOLK, Va.) — Human remains have been found in a search for missing college student Anjelica “AJ” Hadsell, according to police in Norfolk, Virginia.

The remains found in Southampton County have been sent to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office to be identified and to determine the cause of death, police said.

The FBI is now involved in the investigation, police said.

Hadsell, 18, had been missing since March 2, according to the Norfolk police. She was a freshman at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, and was home for spring break in Norfolk when she disappeared, police said.

Two days later, Norfolk police received a tip that Hadsell had been seen on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, two hours away from where she was last seen by her family.

A new tip last week led police to search a pond in Carrsville, Virginia, about 40 miles away from Norfolk.

Investigators have said there is no evidence of foul play, but her family and friends have said she wouldn’t disappear on purpose.

“This is not Anjelica,” her friend Andre Barr told ABC News. “We all know her, we know how she would act and this is not — this is out of character.”

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Wisconsin Man Arrested for Allegedly Trying to Join ISIS

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A Wisconsin man is in federal custody, accused of traveling to the Middle East in an attempt to join ISIS.

Joshua Ray Van Haften, 34, was arrested at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport Wednesday night after returning on a flight from Turkey, where it appears he was already in custody.

“Van Haften traveled overseas for the alleged purpose of joining and attempting to provide material support to ISIL,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin said in a statement Thursday.

Authorities say Van Haften left the U.S. for Istanbul on Aug. 26, 2014 and intended to travel into Iraq or Syria to join ISIS. He has been charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to the militant group.

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Wisconsin Man Arrested for Allegedly Trying to Join ISIS

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A Wisconsin man is in federal custody, accused of traveling to the Middle East in an attempt to join ISIS.

Joshua Ray Van Haften, 34, was arrested at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport Wednesday night after returning on a flight from Turkey, where it appears he was already in custody.

“Van Haften traveled overseas for the alleged purpose of joining and attempting to provide material support to ISIL,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin said in a statement Thursday.

Authorities say Van Haften left the U.S. for Istanbul on Aug. 26, 2014 and intended to travel into Iraq or Syria to join ISIS. He has been charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to the militant group.

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NFL Hires First Female Line Judge

Stacy Revere/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Sarah Thomas has broken through the glass ceiling when it comes to women officiating a game in the National Football League.

Thomas will be a line judge during the upcoming 2015-16 NFL season, the league announced Wednesday.

Her resume includes eight years of officiating college games in Conference USA and taking part during the past two years in the NFL’s officiating development program.

The NFL’s first full-time female game official currently earns a living as a pharmaceutical sales representative.

She got her start in 1996 when she became the first woman in Mississippi to officiate a Division I-A high school football game.

Although Thomas actually learned the good news a week ago, it wasn’t made public until Wednesday.

Thomas told reporters during a conference call, “My goal literally is just to be the best official I can be. And I feel humbled and blessed to be part of the National Football League now.”

Dean Blandino, the NFL’s vice president of officiating, added that his new hire earned her job totally on merit.

In football, the line judge assists the head linesman at the other end of the line of scrimmage, looking for possible offside, encroachment and other penalties before the snap.

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Navy SEAL Imposter Suspect Arrested in Puerto Rico

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Anthony Harding/Released(WEATHERFORD, Texas) — A man faces extradition from Puerto Rico after he was accused in Texas of pretending to be an elite Navy SEAL.

Carlos Luna-Gonzalez once served in the Navy as an apprentice, but he aroused suspicion in Texas last year after allegedly dressing in a Navy lieutenant junior grade uniform with a Purple Heart, SEAL trident and jump wings, officials said.

Acting on a tip, Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler — himself a veteran — found military records showing Luna-Gonzalez never served as a SEAL, so Fowler teamed up with local gun shop owner Joey Blanton for an elaborate sting.

“We were going to award him with a firearm for his service,” Blanton said.

Luna-Gonzalez allegedly accepted an expensive assault rifle as a gift, and was arrested. But police say he jumped bail, fleeing to Puerto Rico. He was taken into custody Monday and has not entered a plea.

So-called “stolen valor” cases are common, says Doug Sterner, the curator of the Military Times Hall of Valor who helps expose imposters. “Stolen valor is not a harmless crime,” Sterner said. “It’s a lie. It’s deception.”

Fowler was pleased that Luna-Gonzalez was taken into custody.

“He couldn’t even shine the SEALs’ boots, as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

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Ferguson Elects Two Black Members of City Council

Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) — In the first election since a Department of Justice report found incidents of racism the Ferguson Police Department that led to the resignation of a number of city officials, citizens elected two black members of the city council.

The seven-member panel, which includes the city’s mayor, now has three black members. About 67 percent of the population of Ferguson is black.

The council will be responsible for approving replacements for the city officials who resigned in the wake of the DOJ report.

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Water Main Break Floods New York City Subway Station

John Davey/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A water main break caused subway problems in New York City.

The break happened near the 14th Street station for the 1, 2 and 3 trains, according to the New York City Transit subway service’s Twitter account. Video captured water flooding the subway tunnel.

Major water main break at 14th street station. 1, 2, 3 shut down. Station filling with water, luckily we got out!

A video posted by Jennifer Bostic (@jennybostic) on Apr 8, 2015 at 4:16pm PDT

….subway is flooding.

A video posted by John Powers (@johnpowersus) on Apr 8, 2015 at 4:17pm PDT

#ServAdv: n/b #1 trains express from Chambers St to 34 St, n/b #2 & #3 trains delayed due to a water main break at 14 St.

— NYCT Subway Service (@NYCTSubway) April 8, 2015

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