Review Category : National News

Video Shows 15-Year-Old Girl Being Pepper-Sprayed by Police

Hagerstown Police Department(NEW YORK) — Maryland police Thursday defended the restraining and pepper-spraying of a 15-year-old girl they said was not cooperating after a traffic accident, saying that the actions of officers involved an appropriate amount of force.

The Hagerstown Police Department released bodycam videos that show officers attempting to restrain the girl and later, one officer pepper-spraying the teen as other officers attempt to close the door of the police car they have put her in.

On Sunday afternoon, police found the 15-year-old girl to be at fault for hitting a moving vehicle with her bicycle, according to the Hagerstown Police Department.

Police said that during the investigation, “the juvenile had to be detained” and that she began to be “assaultive” during the arrest, which is why she was pepper-sprayed.

The girl, whose identity was not released, was charged with disorderly conduct, two counts of second-degree assault, possession of marijuana and failure to obey a traffic device, police said. The matter was referred to the Department of Juvenile Services.

In the almost 15 minutes of videos released by police, firefighters and the girl are on the scene when the first officer arrives. The officer asks the firefighter to “grab” the girl’s information while he grabs the driver’s. As the teen sits on her bike, the firefighter tells the officer that she does not want to be treated because she says she’s not injured.

The driver then tells the officer he was coming down the street while the light was green when the girl came around the corner, didn’t stop and hit the side of his car. The officer then takes a picture of the damage to the driver’s side of the black sedan and asks for his license and registration.

“She didn’t want to stay,” the driver then tells the officer. “We almost had to forcibly keep her here.”

The video posted by ABC News begins at the point where the officer wearing the bodycam walking toward the girl, who is with another officer. The officer behind wearing the bodycam tells her to “come here.” The girl responds, “Nah, don’t touch me. Don’t f—ing touch me,” before she walks away and gets on her bike, saying she doesn’t want her parents to be called.

“Yeah, we are calling your parents,” an officer says.

As she bikes away, it appears that the officer wearing the bodycam stops her, grabbing her backpack and pulling her off the bike. She’s told that she’s being detained for not cooperating in an investigation.

“Get off of me,” the girl tells the officers as she tries to break free.

As the girl continues to struggle with the officers, one of them tells her: “You’re gonna get hurt. Stop.”

“Get the f— off of me,” she tells them. “I’m not going nowhere.”

One of the officers then instructs a bystander to “get back” multiple times as he tries to mediate the escalating situation.

“You let that badge go to your head, man,” the bystander tells the officer.

The officer then tells the girl to get her hands behind her back and tries to handcuff her, reminding her that she’s “being detained right now” when she asks why.

“Get that s— off of me,” she says as she wiggles away.

The officers grab her, telling her to “stop,” and she begins to scream, saying to the officers that they were hurting her.

The girl then sits on the ground and doesn’t respond as police ask for her name. The officer wearing the bodycam places his hand on her shoulder, saying that they’re “trying to help” her.

“I’m not f—ing hurt,” she screams.

The officer explains that they need her parents to come to the scene, but she responds that they can’t come because they’re watching a football game.

“Well, that’s not an excuse for them not to come down here,” he responds.

The teen then asks to “get off the ground,” but the officer tells her she’s “staying right there.” She continues to say that she doesn’t want to get in trouble.

“You need to calm down, OK?” the officer tells her. “Take a seat.”

The officers then pick her up, and the frame goes black as she kicks the bodycam off the first officer. The video, as provided by police, picks back up using the footage from the bodycam of another officer arriving at the scene, beginning with an image of two officers carrying the girl horizontally to a squad car. The car involved in the initial accident is still on the scene, and onlookers have gathered on various street corners.

As the officers put the girl in the back of the car, they tell her to “get her feet in” and to “stop resisting.” She continues to cry and struggle, and an officer asks her to calm down and inquires where her mom is.

“I just need to know where your mom’s at. That’s it,” an officer tells her. “You help me, I help you.”

The girl then says that she’s going to “tell her dad” and tells the officer to “die.”

“I’ll spray her, if you just want to step back,” one officer says.

“Put your feet in, or you’re getting sprayed,” the other officer says to her.

An officer then sprays the girl through the window, and following that, another officer closes the door. The teen begins to scream and cry, and can be heard saying: “I can’t breathe.”

The officer wearing the bodycam then radios in, “Female just got pepper sprayed,” and walks over to the driver of the car that got hit to get his account of what happened.

“Officers throughout this country and our community are often placed in very difficult situations each and every day,” said Hagerstown Police Chief Victor Brito in a press conference today. “It’s their job to act in the interest in our community.

Brito said the officers “applied their training and responded within the guidelines of the Hagerstown Police Department.”

“The officers used the appropriate amount of force to detain a juvenile who was not being cooperative,” Brito said.

The police chief said the girl refused to give her identity, which is required in a traffic accident, “whether you’re 15 or you’re 50.”

Brito said that officers used the “minimal amount of force necessary” because the outcome would have been worse if a more than 200-pound officer had used physical force to get her into the car. The officer who pepper-sprayed the girl used “one burst,” Brito said.

The officers “recognized the fact that she was a juvenile” and tried to use their “best adult tone to calm the situation down,” he said.

“Sometimes the actions that we take aren’t pretty,” Brito said. “Sometimes they can look a little ugly. But, they follow policy, pattern and procedure for the Hagerstown Police Department.”

The teen’s family plans on speaking in a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Police reported a group of protesters causing increased traffic and congestion in Hagerstown Wednesday night.

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Woman Finds Dog Tags While Antiquing, Tracks Down Veteran’s Widow 3,000 Miles Away

radiuoz/iStock/Thinkstock(CLOVIS, Calif.) — A woman in California found a set of dog tags while antiquing and returned them to the widow of the veteran they belonged to across the country in New Jersey.

Kim Vincent, 47, told ABC News Thursday that she found the dog tags at an antiques shop in Clovis, California. She then turned to the internet to track down their original owner.

“I just had his name on the dog tag, so I Googled that, and it was an obituary that came up,” Vincent said. “So I looked up his wife’s name from the obituary, not even knowing if it was the right lady, on Facebook.”

Vincent said the dog tags had the name Terry Peiffer, along with his social security number. In the obituary she was able to track down the late veteran’s wife, Linda Peiffer, of Robbinsville, New Jersey, whom she then messaged on Facebook.

“She hadn’t responded for a week, so I sent the same message to all of the kids in the obituary,” Vincent added.

She said eventually she got in contact with one of the daughters, who was able to get the messages to Linda Peiffer, who then gave Vincent a call.

To confirm it was going to the right family, Vincent asked one of the family members for the last four digit’s of Terry Peiffer’s social security number, which matched those on the dog tags.

Vincent then sent the dog tags in the mail with an American flag and a long note.

Linda Peiffer told local ABC-owned station WPVI-TV of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that she is “in shock” after receiving her late husband’s tags.

“Touching something that belonged to him. It’s still, like I said, I’m in shock,” Peiffer said.

“Getting the dog tags was almost a message from him that I’m not coming back. I’m gone and it was time for me to move on,” the widow added.

Peiffer told WPVI-TV that her husband Terry had served with the U.S. Coast Guard in Vietnam and passed away in 2008. Peiffer said she will wear the dog tags for a while and then pass them on to Terry’s children and grandchildren. “To me, Kim is an absolute angel with what she’s trying to do,” Peiffer added.

Vincent said she has now become good friends with Peiffer and they talk on the phone at least once a week.

“The journey of finding new friends, completely across the nations, was just an outstanding experience and I would do it over and over again,” Vincent said.

Vincent added that she found two other sets of dog tags at the same antiques store, and is currently in the process of trying to track down the family members.

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No ‘Definitive, Visual Evidence’ in Cop Shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, Chief Says

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Thursday said it plans to show video of Tuesday’s fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott to the man’s family. But Police Chief Kerr Putney said the footage he has reviewed does not provide “definitive, visual evidence that would confirm that a person is pointing a gun.”

“I did not see that in the videos that I reviewed,” Putney said at a news conference Thursday. “So what I can tell you, though, is when taken in the totality of all the other evidence, it supports what we’ve heard and the version of the truth that we gave about the circumstances that happened that led to the death of Mr. Scott.”

While the police department is working to accommodate the Scott family’s request to see the body-cam footage, Putney reiterated that he has no plans to publicly release the videos, arguing that it would jeopardize the integrity of the investigation.

“We release it when we believe it is a compelling reason, but I’m not going to jeopardize the investigation,” the police chief told reporters.

Police say Scott, 43, was holding a handgun, which investigators recovered from the scene, and posed a threat because he was not obeying police orders to not exit his vehicle and drop the weapon. Scott’s family, however, has said he was not armed and was holding a book while waiting for his son to be dropped off from school.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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NYC Bombing Suspect’s Wife Back in US, Somewhat Cooperative, Official Says

Obtained by ABC News(NEW YORK) — The wife of New York and New Jersey bombing suspect Ahmad Rahami is back in the U.S. after being questioned by the FBI and local authorities in the United Arab Emirates. A senior law enforcement official said the woman, Asia Bibi Rahami, has been cooperative “to a certain degree.”

The official said that information provided by Asia Rahami could be of “immense value” in clarifying the motive for her husband’s alleged bombings and attempted bombings.

The FBI told ABC News Wednesday that Asia Rahami voluntarily submitted to questioning while in transit through the U.A.E.

Ahmad Rahami is still believed to be in a New Jersey hospital, where he was taken after being shot by police Monday. Rahami is suspected of planting two bombs in New York City — one of which exploded, injuring 31 people — and several others in New Jersey. One of the bombs in New Jersey exploded but didn’t kill or injure anyone, and the rest failed to detonate before police recovered them. He has been charged with a litany of crimes related to the bombings, in addition to attempted murder charges for allegedly opening fire on police Monday just before he was apprehended.

A journal that officials say was found on Rahami contained anti-American writings and praise for well-known terrorist figures including al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, American-born al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and ISIS spokesperson Abu Muhammad al-Adnani.

Authorities are still trying to determine whether Rahami acted alone. Investigators are also attempting to identify two men who were spotted on a surveillance video purportedly taking a suitcase that house one of the bombs on New York’s 27th street. The men are considered “witnesses” and are not in danger of being arrested, officials said Wednesday.

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Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts Considering Curfew After 2nd Night of Violence

Sean Rayford/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts said she’s considering imposing a curfew Thursday after two nights of violent protests have rocked the North Carolina city.

“We certainly are going to talk about that today. We did sign a statement last night to declare a state of emergency, which gives us that authority,” Roberts said in an interview Thursday on ABC News’ Good Morning America.

“I will be consulting with our city manager and our police chief and other leaders in our response team to see if that might be a good idea for tonight.”

The city unraveled into chaos after a police officer fatally shot a black man at an apartment complex Tuesday. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Kerr Putney said the man, identified as 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, was holding a handgun, which investigators recovered from the scene, and posed a threat because he was not obeying police orders to not exit his vehicle and drop the weapon.

Scott’s family, however, has said he was not armed and was holding a book while waiting for his son to be dropped off from school.

Protests broke out after news of Scott’s death. At least 16 police officers were injured while trying to quell angry demonstrators Tuesday night, and multiple police vehicles were damaged. At least one person was arrested, according to Putney.

The protests continued for the second day and the scene grew violent again as night fell on Charlotte. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said four of its officers sustained injuries Wednesday night, all non-life threatening.

One person was shot during the protests and is on life support, city officials announced on Twitter. Earlier, the city tweeted that the person had died and that the shooting was “civilian on civilian.”

In addition to declaring a state of emergency, the unrest also prompted North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to call in the National Guard. Charlotte Mayor Roberts said she spoke with President Obama on Wednesday, who offered to provide federal resources to help keep the city safe.

During the interview with GMA Thursday morning, Roberts called on Charlotte citizens to have peaceful protests and work together. Still, officials are getting ready for the worst, she said.

“This is not the Charlotte that I grew up in, the Charlotte that I know,” Roberts said. “We are preparing for this evening and we know that a peaceful protest and many folks who do want to express their view peacefully turned into something else last night.”

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Charlotte Rocked by Second Night of Violence, One Protester Shot as State of Emergency Declared

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — The city of Charlotte woke up Thursday for the second day to the aftermath of violent protests and a shooting, as a prayer vigil in honor of a black man shot and killed by police on Tuesday turned chaotic, resulting in another person being shot amid reports of vandalism and looting.

The scene grew tense after 8 p.m. Wednesday as demonstrators marched in a commercial area in uptown Charlotte. As the night wore on, police clad in riot gear fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators, who threw bottles and rocks at police and passing cars, blocked an interstate highway, surrounded and jumped on vehicles, looted businesses and stormed the entrance of a Hyatt hotel, injuring two of its employees.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said four of its officers sustained injuries, all non-life threatening.

The person who was shot during the protests on Wednesday is on life support, the City of Charlotte announced on Twitter. Earlier, the city tweeted that the person had died and that the shooting was “civilian on civilian.”

The unrest prompted the governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, to declare a state of emergency and call in the National Guard.

“Upon a recent request of Chief Putney, the National Guard and State Highway Patrol are sending in resources to further help the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department,” the governor said in a statement. “Any violence directed toward our citizens or police officers or destruction of property should not be tolerated. I support and commend the law enforcement officials for their bravery and courage during this difficult situation.”

Charlotte mayor Jennifer Roberts said officials from the White House and the Department of Justice were also making their way to Charlotte, ABC affiliate WSOC reported.

The North Carolina NAACP State Conference also announced in a statement that it “will be in Charlotte to talk with the family, key members of the community and City leaders” on Thursday, followed by a press conference in the afternoon.

NC NAACP statement on officer involved Shooting in Charlotte #KeithLamontScott

— NC NAACP (@ncnaacp) September 22, 2016

Roy Cooper, North Carolina’s attorney general, said in statement, “Violence will not bring justice … We must come together as a community to get answers and find a better path forward.”

WSOC reported that looters hit a Charlotte Hornets team store, which the NBA team confirmed. The Hyatt House hotel in the city’s downtown also said protesters broke the property’s windows and attacked two employees.

The protesters’ wrath extended into cyberspace, as well: WSOC reported that the city of Charlotte’s website had been hacked Wednesday evening.

Before midnight, protesters descended onto Interstate 277, which they blocked. According to WSOC, protesters also threw objects at passing vehicles.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department spokeswoman Cindy Wallace said Wednesday night of the shot protester, “Officers responded to North College Street and East Trade Street to an ADW [assault with a deadly weapon] call for service at approximately 8:31 p.m. One person was located with an apparent gunshot wound and transported to CMC Main [Carolinas Medical Center]. This is all the information I have at this time.”

The wife of the man fatally shot by police at an apartment complex Tuesday — Keith Lamont Scott — issued a statement Wednesday afternoon addressing the protesters, and urging them to exercise restraint against law enforcement officers.

“As a family, we respect the rights of those who wish to protest, but we ask that people protest peacefully,” the statement read. “Please do not hurt people or members of law enforcement, damage property or take things that do not belong to you in the name of protesting.”

Hundreds of protesters Wednesday night shouted slogans, including “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and “Black Lives Matter” while filling the streets of downtown Charlotte.

The EpiCentre, a shopping complex in the uptown area of Charlotte at the center of the street confrontations, announced it will not open on Thursday.

Citing, “ongoing civil unrest,” Bank of America, whose corporate headquarters are in Charlotte, told its employees not to come to work in its uptown offices, the Charlotte Observer reported.

Public transportation will be operating normally Thursday morning after experiencing disruptions overnight.

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ISIS Figure Referenced in NYC Bomber’s Purported Journal

House of Representatives(NEW YORK) — In a bloody page in the journal purportedly found on Ahmad Rahami when he was captured, the New York and New Jersey bombing suspect appears to praise major terrorist figures, including the main spokesman for ISIS.

A reference to “Brother Adnani,” presumably referring to the late Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, is the first public evidence that ISIS, as well as al-Qaeda, may have inspired Rahami’s alleged violent acts.

“I looked for guidance and [praise be to God] guidance came. Sheikh Anwar[,] Brother Adnani … said it clearly attack the kuffar [unbelievers] in their backyard,” the page says. “Sheikh Anwar” is likely a reference to influential American-born al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike five years ago.

Elsewhere in the journal, Rahami purportedly praised al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden and 2009 Fort Hood shooter Nadal Hasan, according to a criminal complaint filed against Rahami late Tuesday, which doesn’t mention al-Adnani.

The Pentagon said al-Adnani was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Syria in late August. Before his death, he served as the primary spokesman for ISIS and often encouraged Western Muslims to conduct attacks in their home countries.

“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European … then rely on Allah and kill them in any manner or way, however it may be,” Adnani said in an audio message two years ago.

ISIS has not released any claim of responsibility for the bombings in New York, where 31 people were injured, and New Jersey, where no one was hurt.

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Charlotte Protest Turns Violent as Police Fire Tear Gas at Bottle-Throwing Protesters

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — A prayer vigil in honor of Keith Lamont Scott turned into a violent protest Wednesday night in Charlotte, North Carolina, as riot gear-wearing police fired small canisters of tear gas at bottle-throwing protesters.

Scott is the armed man fatally shot by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police at an apartment complex Sunday in the North Carolina.

Picture outside Omni Hotel. Apparently people protesting tried to flood lobby. Tear gas used in the area. @wsoctv

— Tina Terry (@TinaTerryWSOC9) September 22, 2016

Scott’s wife issued a statement Wednesday afternoon addressing the protesters, and urging them to exercise restraint against law enforcement officers.

“As a family, we respect the rights of those who wish to protest, but we ask that people protest peacefully,” the statement read. “Please do not hurt people or members of law enforcement, damage property or take things that do not belong to you in the name of protesting.

Hundreds of protesters Wednesday night shouted slogans, including “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and “Black Lives Matter” while filling the streets of downtown Charlotte.

WATCH LIVE: @PaulBoydWSOC9 at Epicentre where police are now in riot gear, talking to security expert about march

— WSOCTV (@wsoctv) September 22, 2016

After protesters rushed riot gear-wearing police, they responded by firing tear gas at the protesters to disperse the crowd.

This story is breaking. Please check back for updates.

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Sacramento Police Release Video in Fatal Cop Shooting of 50-Year-Old Joseph Mann

Sacramento Police Department(SACRAMENTO. Calif.) — The Sacramento Police Department has released video in connection to an officer-involved shooting of a man in July, which resulted in his death.

On July 11, emergency dispatchers received a 911 call at 9:25 a.m. indicating a man had a gun in his waistband and a knife in his hand, police said in a news release. Another witness called in at 9:30 a.m. describing the same thing.

Three minutes later, Joseph Mann, 50, was “squaring off” with officers, the knife still in his hand, according to the news release. Police described him as “hostile” and said he was throwing things at them.

At 9:36 a.m., officers fired 18 shots, 14 of which struck Mann, Sacramento Police Department Public Information Officer Bryce Heinlein told ABC News today.

A gun was never found on Mann, Heinlein said, but authorities found a knife at the scene, police said.

Mann was pronounced dead at a hospital, Heinlein said. The officers who discharged their weapons are on modified duty, meaning they are not on patrol but working in the office, police said.

Dashcam video shows Mann zig-zagging in the street and performing karate moves in the middle of the street. Officers are heard yelling at Mann to “get on the ground,” and he walks away, turning around twice to look at the officers as he moves away from them.

An officer then announces over the loudspeaker of his patrol car: “Sir, with the black backpack, stop, put your hands in the air, and drop the knife.”

“We will not hurt you. Drop the knife,” the officer later says over the loudspeaker.

Mann then stops in the middle of the street and crouches while the officer continues to tell him to drop the knife, the video shows.

More squad cars with their sirens on arrive at the scene, and Mann begins to run. He stops behind a building, appearing to lean over to catch his breath, and continues to run as police yell at him to drop the knife.

Two officers on foot can then be seen with their guns out, pointing them in Mann’s direction. Several gunshots can be heard, but neither the officers nor Mann are visible. Several officers can then be seen running over to Mann.

In surveillance video taken from a nearby building, Mann can be seen falling as two officer point their guns at him.

The Sacramento County coroner would not release the autopsy or toxicology records because it has classified Mann’s death as a homicide, the coroner’s office told ABC News.

Last month, attorneys filed a federal civil lawsuit on behalf of Mann’s family against the city of Sacramento and the two officers who discharged their weapons, saying that police should not have used lethal force because Mann displayed “overt signs of being in the midst of mental crisis” during the incident.

The lawsuit says Mann’s civil rights were violated when officers used deadly force against him and deprived family members of their constitutional right to a familial relationship with him.

Mann’s family is seeking both survival and wrongful death damages as well as the “reasonable value” for funeral and burial expenses and loss of financial support.

The officers “violated their training” and engaged in “poor tactics,” which effectively squandered their ability to bring the situation to a conclusion without the use of deadly force, the lawsuit alleges.

The Sacramento Police Department declined to comment on the lawsuit because it is pending litigation. The Sacramento Police Officers Association and office of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

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