Review Category : National News

Protesters Tangle in Cleveland Outside Republican Convention

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) — Protesters from different political and ideological backgrounds clashed early on the second day of the Republican National Convention, as Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ, and Christian activists butted heads with each other as well as Donald Trump supporters on the streets of Cleveland.

Tensions have started to run high in Cleveland, after what appeared to be a quiet start to the convention. Many analysts speculated that RNC would prove to be a lightning rod for protesters, given the passionate reactions generated by the party’s presumptive nominee, but that had not proved to be the case until now.

Tensions begin to run high in Public Square as protesters clash about #BlackLivesMatter #Trump and #LGBTQ #RNCinCLE pic.twitter.com/YWc5XT9pQu

— Linsey Davis (@LinseyDavis) July 19, 2016

A mostly white crowd yelled for Black Lives Matter protesters to “get a job” when they arrived in the area outside of the convention Tuesday, and some mocked them, asking how many people had been killed on the streets of Chicago last week.

First time we are starting to see police in riot gear #RNCinCLE #ClevelandPolice pic.twitter.com/iYXoWh6WjD

— Linsey Davis (@LinseyDavis) July 19, 2016

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, who frequently spark of controversy at events such as these, descended in the same space to protest homosexuality. They sang songs together.

Police in riot gear were first spotted in Cleveland this afternoon. Other officers with bicycles, created walls with their bodies in order to keep protesters apart.

#ClevelandPolice create walls with their bikes to keep protesters apart #RNCinCLE pic.twitter.com/LGW7QsoSts

— Linsey Davis (@LinseyDavis) July 19, 2016

The protests by all accounts remained peaceful, but the crowd outside of the Quicken Loans convention center has begun to grow in recent hours, multiplying from dozens to hundreds. No arrests have been made, according to police.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Kansas City Police Captain Dies After Shooting, Some Suspects At Large

iStock/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) — A police captain has died after he was shot while responding to a call in Kansas City, Kansas, Tuesday afternoon, police said.

One suspect is in custody, but others were at large, a Kansas City police representative said.

The incident began when an armed disturbance was reported; the caller said he was being shot at by people in a car, police said.

When police arrived, three or four suspects fled from the car, police said.

An officer took one of the suspects into custody, police said. When the other officer “attempted to make contact with another suspect, multiple shots were fired, and we were advised ‘officer down,'” police said.

Capt. Robert Melton was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, a trauma surgeon said.

This story is developing. Check back for more updates.

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Kansas City Police Captain Shot and Killed After Responding to Call, Police Say

iStock/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) — A Kansas City, Kansas police captain was shot and killed after responding to a call Tuesday afternoon, police said. One suspect is in custody, but several others were at-large, a Kansas City police spokesperson said.

One suspect is in custody, but several others were at-large, a Kansas City police spokesperson said.

The incident began when an armed disturbance was reported; the caller said he was being shot at by people in a car, police said.

When officer arrived, three or four suspects fled from the car, police said.

An officer took one of the suspects into custody, police said. When the other officer “attempted to make contact with another suspect, multiple shots were fired and we were advised ‘officer down,'” police said.

This story is developing. Check back for more updates.

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Kansas City Officer in Critical Condition After Shooting; Several Suspects At-Large

iStock/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) — A police officer is in critical condition after he was shot while responding to a call in Kansas City, Kansas, Tuesday afternoon, police said.

One suspect is in custody, but several others were at-large, a Kansas City police spokesperson said.

The incident began when an armed disturbance was reported; the caller said he was being shot at by people in a car, police said.

When officer arrived, three or four suspects fled from the car, police said.

An officer took one of the suspects into custody, police said. When the other officer “attempted to make contact with another suspect, multiple shots were fired and we were advised ‘officer down,'” police said.

Police were expected to provide an update at 5 p.m. ET.

This story is developing. Check back for more updates.

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New York Safari Owner ‘Trampled’ to Death by Antelope in Park, Officials Say

iStock/Thinkstock(VARYSBURY, N.Y.) — The 81-year-old owner of an animal safari park in western New York was killed this week by an antelope from the park in a “tragic accident” that has left his family in shock.

Hans Boxler Sr. had been out feeding animals in a fenced section of his Varysbury, New York, park — Hidden Valley Animal Adventure — on Monday evening, when he was unexpectedly “trampled by a Nilgai Antelope that somehow had gotten out of its pen,” the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office told ABC News in a statement.

“Family members located the Antelope near its pen with an open door and secured it when they came looking for Mr. Boxler when he did not return home at his usual time,” the sheriff’s office said. “Mr. Boxler had been around animals all of his life and actively took care of and fed animals daily.”

Boxler’s death was determined to be accidental, according to the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office. The office said that Boxler suffered multiple blunt force injuries that ultimately caused his death.

Boxler’s family told ABC News in a statement Tuesday that the 81-year-old park owner “respected the innate nature of his animals, and therefore followed a routine daily, which is why this tragic accident is such a shock.”

“We will never know exactly what happened,” they said. “Clearly it was something out of the ordinary that caused the animal’s reaction.”

Despite the tragedy, the family said they and the rest of Hidden Valley’s employees would “continue to take every step we can to uphold the ideals of care that Hans Sr. lived by during his long life.”

A private “Celebration of Life” for Boxler has been scheduled for next Wednesday, the family said. Boxler’s beloved Belgian horses “will carry him for “one final ride” to his funeral mass at a local church before he is buried, they said.

In the meantime, Hidden Valley Animal Adventure will be closed to the public from Monday through Wednesday to honor Boxler’s passing.

“We apologize for the untimely inconvenience this may cause many visitors,” the family said, “We appreciate your support at this very difficult time.”

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Alton Sterling’s Aunt Prays with Dad of Slain Baton Rouge Cop

Lana Zak/ABC (BATON ROUGE, La.) — The aunt of Alton Sterling and the father of a slain Baton Rouge police officer met, embraced and prayed together at a growing makeshift memorial in the city on Monday evening — a powerful scene that was caught on video by ABC News.

The two are both no strangers to grief.

Hosea Jackson lost his son, Baton Rouge Police Officer Montrell Jackson, in a shooting on Sunday that left two other city police officers dead and three other officers injured. Sandra Sterling lost her nephew, Alton Sterling, just 13 days before that shooting. He was shot and killed by a city police officer.

Despite the differences in the ways both lost their loved ones, the two came together Monday evening and expressed love and support for one another.

Sandra Sterling told ABC News that she was “hurting” for the families of the slain police officers.

“I know what they’re going through,” she said. “I want to hug them and let them know that I know and understand.”

Sandra Sterling added that though she and her family were going to continue peacefully protesting for justice for her nephew, she wanted people to continue praying for the families of the slain and injured police officers in the city.

Hosea Jackson told ABC News he “had a great loss losing Montrell,” who “died doing what he loved — police work.”

“He was a gentle giant,” he said. “I love him so much, and I miss him so much.”

But the death of Alton Sterling also hit home for the father of the slain cop. Hosea Jackson said he lived only one block away from where Alton Sterling was shot and killed by police.

“I feel so sorry and so hurt, and I see how this unfolded,” he said. “And now it’s my son a couple weeks after that. … It’s just awful. It hurts.”

Both Hosea Jackson and Sandra Sterling told ABC News they wanted to see an end to the violence in their city.

Denise Marcelle, a Louisiana state representative who joined the two at the memorial on Monday, told ABC News she wanted to ask people “to please stop the violence, please stop.”

“Violence shouldn’t beget violence,” Marcelle said. “It doesn’t serve any purpose. Just as [Alton Sterling’s] family is hurting, now we have many [the families of the slain officers] hurting.”

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Crane Collapses Across New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge

WABC-TV(NEW YORK) — A crane collapsed across Tappan Zee Bridge in New York Tuesday, and remarkably, no vehicles were hit.

Video from helicopter footage taken by local ABC-owned television station WABC shows the crane sprawled across multiple lanes of the bridge.

New York State Troopers Troop T told ABC News that one minor accident was caused as a result of a driver rear-ending another motorist who spotted the falling crane and stopped.

Several contractors suffered minor injuries, according to the State Troopers.

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Critically Injured East Baton Rouge Deputy Is ‘Fighting for His Life’

East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office(BATON ROUGE, La.) — An East Baton Rouge deputy who was shot in the head and stomach by a gunman who “intentionally targeted and assassinated” cops “is currently fighting for his life,” according to Louisiana officials.

Nicholas Tullier, 41, of the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, was listed in critical condition after the Sunday morning shooting that killed three of his fellow officers.

Tullier works in the Uniform Patrol Traffic division and has 18 years of service with the office, officials said.

Meanwhile, community leaders with the group Together Baton Rouge are expected to address the deaths of the three officers at a news conference Tuesday at a local church.

East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said Monday the gunshots caused “extensive damage” to Tullier.

“He is currently in ICU, and there is a machine helping him breathe,” Gautreaux said. “He is in very, very critical condition.”

Gautreaux said he spoke with both surgeons that worked on Tullier.

“Their biggest concern is the head trauma,” Gautreaux said.

“He’s been in and out, so to speak,” Gautreaux said. “His vitals have gone up and down.”

“We’re just praying for him. It’s in God’s hands and we have to see what happens,” he said. “But he’s not in good shape at all.”

“We ask for your continued prayers, for his healing and for his family,” Gautreaux said.

Louisiana State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson said the gunman, former U.S. Marine Gavin Long, who was killed by a Baton Rouge police S.W.A.T. team, ignored civilians in the area and “intentionally targeted and assassinated” cops. Edmonson called it a “calculated act.”

Three local law enforcement officers were killed and three were injured, including Tullier.

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Obama Pens Letter to Police: ‘We Have Your Backs’

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama told the law enforcement community that he fully supports them and promised, “We have your backs” in the wake of deadly attacks on cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The comments came in a letter penned to the “brave members of our law enforcement community,” posted Monday on the Fraternal Order of Police’s Facebook page, followed by a declaration that flags will be flown at half-mast at The White House and federal buildings, in honor of the police officers killed.

“As you continue to serve us in this tumultuous hour, we again recognize that we can no longer ask you to solve issues we refuse to address as a society,” Obama wrote in the open letter. “We should give you the resources you need to do your job, including our full-throated support.”

In recent days, Obama has attempted to ease tensions that exist between departments and minority communities and, at the same time, has insisted the nation has the ability to come together. He promised that the country has the ability to move past this tense point and alleviate racial tensions, while building stronger relationships between law enforcement and the communities that they serve.

“This is a time for us to reaffirm that what makes us special is that we are not only a country, but also a community,” he continued.

“With that understanding — an understanding of the goodness and decency I have seen of our Nation not only in the past few weeks, but throughout my life — we will get through this difficult time together,” the president said.

In his letter, Obama acknowledged the danger police officers face on the job and reaffirmed that the job they do is appreciated.

“Every day, you accept this responsibility and you see your colleagues do their difficult, dangerous jobs with equal valor. I want you to know that the American people see it, too,” he wrote. “We recognize it, we respect it, we appreciate it, and we depend on you.”

The president acknowledged that there is some mistrust of police officers within communities; he has previously received some criticism that he had deepened the divided feeling between police and communities through his comments following recent events. He addressed the notion that these events could be used by some to further drive a wedge between the two.

“Some are trying to use this moment to divide police and the communities you serve. I reject those efforts, for they do not reflect the reality of our Nation,” he wrote. “We will do it with the good will of activists like those I have sat with in recent days, who have pledged to work together to reduce violence even as they voice their disappointments and fears.”

Recent attacks on police officers in Baton Rouge and Dallas left eight dead and 10 wounded. Obama honored the fallen police officers from Dallas and Baton Rouge and praised police officers as a group for keeping the country safe in the letter.

“Thank you for your courageous service. We have your backs,” he concluded.

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Largely Peaceful Protests Show Wide Swath of Anger in Cleveland

Meghan Keneally/ABC News(CLEVELAND) — The first day of the Republican National Convention brought with it growing groups of peaceful protesters, only about half of whom were there to vent about Donald Trump.

At one of the protests in Cleveland Monday, there were groups with varying interests, from vocal anti-Islam protesters, to Trump supporters, to civil rights activists. A number of local activists were on hand at the late morning protest in Public Square, which also included others like Gary Mathes, who came to Cleveland from Alaska with a tall cross in tow with no political interests other than spreading his belief in Jesus. There was even one woman offering free hugs and prayers for police officers.

A significant, more organized crowd didn’t form until sometime after, and in a neighboring square near the city’s war memorial. That gathering had more of a focus, summed up with large banners reading “Dump Trump.”

“I’m a disgusted American,” said Terry Kaye, a Cleveland resident who attended the protest while dressed as his version of Uncle Sam. “I’m a normal American who can’t believe it has come to this.”

He called Trump “a failed businessman, a terrible reality actor, [and] a misogynist,” among other epithets.

The more than 200 protesters who gathered included various groups, with some protesting what they believe are assaults by Republicans on immigration, unions, women and minorities, among other causes. They started marching toward the Quicken Loans Arena, where the convention is being held, and many said they expect to be here all week.

That’s true for Jack and Andy, two 18-year-olds from upstate New York who traveled to Cleveland to be a part of the protests. They wouldn’t share their full names and had black handkerchiefs covering half their faces, but they wanted to be at the protests because, “I just want to be able to say that if Trump’s elected, I was a part of the opposition,” Jack told ABC News.

Andy from Buffalo, left, and Jack from Rochester, right, came to be a part of the protests against Trump. pic.twitter.com/k54eBEChTv

— Meghan Keneally (@mkeneally) July 18, 2016

There were signs of the tension that has mounted around convention security concerns: Local police were a regular presence along with the Indiana State Police, who are some of the many law enforcement groups that have been called into Cleveland ahead of the convention this week.

There were also snipers clearly visible on the rooftops of the buildings surrounding the second, larger protest near the war memorial.

In spite of the controversy surrounding Ohio’s open-carry laws, which allows licensed gun owners to carry their weapons freely in public, there was only one man who was proudly displaying his long gun at a protest in the city’s Public Square. Jesse Gonzalez had the gun strapped around his back and pointed out to reporters that it was not loaded and he did not have a magazine attached.

“I didn’t put too much thought into it. I just knew I could do it,” said Gonzalez, a Trump supporter.

Kim Snyder, a non-denominational minister from nearby Parma, Ohio, wearing a “Free Hugs” T-shirt, said that the recent attacks on police in Baton Rouge and Dallas drove her out to the demonstrations to “pray for” the police officers on duty and to help “deescalate” any tension.

Kim Snyder came to the protest in Public Square to “pray for the police and to de-escalate” pic.twitter.com/EfggzFStT1

— Meghan Keneally (@mkeneally) July 18, 2016

All told, the first day of the RNC ended up being fairly tame, according to figures released by city officials this evening.

The mayor’s office confirmed that there were no arrests directly related to either of the two larger scale protests that happened Monday and included about 500 people total.

The only arrest that did occur was one of a woman who was picked up on a felony warrant who faces misdemeanor charges of obstruction and resisting arrest. Her name has not been released and Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said at this evening’s press conference said that she had not yet been booked.

Police recovered a small knife, a gas mask and a slingshot. There was no property damage reported in downtown Cleveland, Williams said.

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