Review Category : National News

Police Searching for Gunman Who Shot New Orleans Student in Terrifying Moment Caught on Video

New Orleans Police Department(NEW ORLEANS) — New Orleans police are searching for the gunman who shot a Tulane University medical student in the stomach, in a terrifying moment caught on camera.

The armed suspect was first caught on a surveillance camera dragging a woman down a street early Friday morning, according to video released by police.

Seconds later, Peter Gold, 25, a fourth-year Tulane medical student, drove up and “stepped out of his vehicle to intervene,” said Lt. Nick Gernon of the New Orleans Police.

That’s when the suspect pointed a gun at Gold and demanded money, police said. When Gold said he didn’t have any money, the suspect “became enraged,” police said, and shot Gold in the stomach.

The gunman tried to shoot Gold a second time, but the gun jammed, police said.

The gunman then took the woman’s purse and fled, police said.

The woman was not injured, and Gold was hospitalized in “guarded condition,” police said.

Tulane President Mike Fitts said in a statement Friday that Gold “was taken to University Medical Center where he is expected to make a full recovery.”

Gold was also an undergraduate student at Tulane, and his parents and sister attended the school, as well, Fitts said.

“I ask that you keep Peter and his family in your thoughts and prayers,” Fitts said. “He is an outstanding student who represents the best of Tulane in every possible way.”

Police urged the public to help identify the shooter, who police said should be considered armed and dangerous.

“Obviously the level of violence that we saw … is disturbing,” Gernon said.

Fitts said Tulane is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the suspect.

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Chicago to Release Fatal Shooting Video of Black Teen by Police: What We Know About the Footage

(Photo by Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images(CHICAGO) — The city of Chicago has announced that it will comply with a judge’s order to publicly release police dashcam video of a white officer fatally shooting a black teen.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Police Department had said just last week it would be inappropriate to release the video in the midst of a pending criminal investigation, the Chicago Tribune reported.

But a Cook County judge ruled on Thursday that the Chicago Police Department had until next Wednesday, Nov. 25, to release the dashboard camera video.

“It appears an officer violated [the public’s] trust at every level,” Emanuel said in a statement Thursday, adding that he hoped the video’s release “will provide prosecutors time to … bring their investigation to a conclusion so Chicago can begin to heal.”

Here’s what we know about the footage:

What Does the Video Show?

The police squad car dashcam video from October 2014 allegedly shows black teen Laquan McDonald, walking away from a group of police officers with a small knife in his hand, according to lawyers for Laquan’s family who said they have a copy of the video.

As McDonald, 17, is walking away, Officer Jason Van Dyke can be seen opening fire from about 15 feet and continuing to shoot even after McDonald fell to the ground, hitting McDonald a total of 16 times, Laquan’s family layers said.

Police have said officers were responding to a call about a person walking down a street with a knife, and that McDonald refused to drop the knife when ordered to do so by officers.

Van Dyke has been put on paid administrative leave since the shooting, police said.

When Will the Video Be Released?

Cook County Judge Franklin Valderrama has ordered the city to release the video by Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Who Wants the Video Released and Who Doesn’t?

Activists, journalists and attorneys have been pushing for the video’s release for several months.

Freelance journalist Brandon Smith filed a lawsuit earlier this year after the Chicago Police Department denied his request for the video under Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act, noting that releasing the video could hamper the shooting investigation.

However, under the Freedom of Information Act, the Chicago Police Department can deny a request only if it is conducting an internal investigation, Judge Valderrama ruled.

Lawyers for McDonald’s family said Thursday that McDonald’s mother has not seen the video but that she understands it’s crucial for the public to know the truth of what happened that night, The Chicago Tribune reported.

McDonald’s mother said she feared the video’s release could lead to potentially violent protests, like those in Baltimore and Ferguson, according to one of her lawyers, Jeffrey Neslund.

Dan Herbert, an attorney for Van Dyke, said he is concerned that someone could try to harm the officer because they do not understand the context in which the shooting occurred.

What Will Happen After the Video Is Released?

Neslund, one of the McDonald family’s lawyers, said a grand jury could convene as early as next week to consider whether to indict Van Dyke.

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Harvard University Police Investigating Hate Crime at Law School

janniswerner/iStock/Thinkstock(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) — The Harvard University Police Department is conducting a hate crime investigation after portraits of black law school professors were defaced with black tape on Wednesday night, the department said.

Students shared photos of the defacement — which comes as several schools have faced recent racial turbulence on campus — on social media Thursday morning.

In response to yesterday’s protests, cowards have covered the faces of Harvard Law’s Black professors w/ black tape.

— the other one (@imfromraleigh) November 19, 2015

While the identity of the perpetrator is unknown, Leland Shelton, president of the Harvard Black Law Students Association, said he believed the crime was committed by a “coward.”

“[This person] wasn’t brave enough to say these types of things in a classroom discussion, to raise [his or her] racist ideas. [He or she] crept in in middle of the night and did this.”

Harvard police would not comment beyond confirming that a hate crime investigation was underway, according to spokesman Steven Catalano.

The law school’s dean, Martha Minow said in a statement the school is determined to “improve the community.”

“Expressions of hatred are abhorrent, whether they be directed at race, sex, sexual preference, gender identity, religion, or any other targets of bigotry,” she said.

More than 300 concerned students, faculty and staff met Thursday at noon to discuss the incident after students pressured the administration, Shelton said in a statement.

“Recent events at the University of Missouri, Yale, and campuses across the country remind us that racism persists and encourages us to continue to fight with a sense of urgency for meaningful change in our institutions and in our country,” Shelton said.

Prior to the defacement, HLS students participated in a “Day of Activism” with neighboring universities to stand in solidarity with black college activists nationwide.

Ronald Sullivan, clinical professor of law at HLS, had his portrait defaced. The director of the Criminal Justice Institute said the incident exposed what he said were underlying issues at Harvard.

This is my portrait at the Harvard Law School. All faculty of color woke up to the same thing this morning.

— Ronald S. Sullivan (@ProfRonSullivan) November 19, 2015

“It is some form of erasure and I can really empathize with the students,” he said. “I knew I’d be fine but they don’t feel that their voices are at all valued. It was symbolic: we don’t value you, we don’t value people that look like you.”

Hours after the defacement, the black tape was replaced with Post-It notes featuring positive messages about the professors of color.

I love my HLS students! They’ve replaced the act of defacement with “love notes” to all the black faculty.

— Ronald S. Sullivan (@ProfRonSullivan) November 19, 2015

Student Body President Kyle Strickland said student organizations will hold separate meetings in the next few weeks to address the issue.

“We need people literally from all walks of life to enter this discussion and we need folks out there disagreeing,” Strickland said. “This is going to be a heated debate, but it’s only going to be inclusive if we make sure every voice is included. This is not going to be something that is swept under the rug.”

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Princeton University Agrees to Consider Removal of Woodrow Wilson’s Name from Programs, Buildings

Alex Kagansky/iStock/Thinkstock(PRINCETON, N.J.) — After a 32-hour sit-in at the office of the President of Princeton University, the school and a group of concerned students reached an agreement to consider renaming the university’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

The protest began Wednesday when a group of students demanded the removal of the former U.S. president’s name from programs and buildings over what they claimed was his history of racism. Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber agreed with the students that Wilson was racist, but said that it was important to balance his racism with his contributions to the country.

After 32 hours, the two sides agreed to “collect information on the campus community’s opinion on Woodrow Wilson School name and then make a decision regarding the name.” Eisgruber also agreed to email members of the university community to effort the removal of a mural of Wilson hanging in the school’s Wilcox Dining Hall and to initiate conversations about Wilson’s legacy and his place on campus.

The agreement, reached during a meeting attended by the school’s Black Justice League, Eisgruber, Princeton Vice President for Campus Life Rochelle Calhoun and Dean of the College Jill Dolan, also calls for the designation of specific rooms for Cultural Affinity Groups, enhanced cultural competency training for staff members, and no formal discipline against the students for their sit-in.

“We appreciate the willingness of the students to work with us to find a way forward for them, for us and for our community,” Eisgruber said in a statement. “We were able to assure them that their concerns would be raised and considered through appropriate processes.”

Not long after the school announced the agreement, the university’s Public Safety Department issued campus safety alert. It later said that a threat made against the university was deemed not credible.

Public Safety has issued campus safety alert. Details emailed to students, faculty and staff.

— Princeton University (@Princeton) November 20, 2015

Update: The #PrincetonU Dept. of Public Safety reports that last night’s threat against the University has been deemed not credible.

— Princeton University (@Princeton) November 20, 2015

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Airport, Rail Security Being Beefed Up for Thanksgiving Travel

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Brace yourself, holiday travelers. Airports and train stations across the U.S. are expected to implement additional layers of security for this year’s Thanksgiving travel.

With the highest number of passengers expected to hitch a ride on U.S. airlines on Thanksgiving since 2008, security officials are on heightened alert to protect our nation’s skies and railways.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey tells ABC News it is on heightened alert in light of the deadly attacks in Paris. The Port Authority will be increasing patrols and inspections in New York City-area airports, bridges, tunnels, railways and the World Trade Center. Travelers, as usual, are being asked to report any suspicious activities to police.

Railway passengers nationwide will also see a significant increase in security.

Amtrak says it is working with local, state and federal law enforcement to gather intelligence and establish robust security measures not just at the stations, but on trains and along the tracks.

An Amtrak spokesperson tells ABC News additional K9, uniform personnel and long guns have been deployed at various points of Amtrak’s service and employees have been debriefed with guidance regarding active shooter incidents.

The Transportation Security Administration is not divulging specifics beyond the ordinary, but says it has measures in place, both seen and unseen, to protect the millions of Americans traveling nationwide.

Passengers at busy airports such as LaGuardia and JFK in New York can expect longer waits, even with additional staffing at checkpoints.

According to TSA officials, the security administration screens nearly two million passengers daily and on the days leading up to Thanksgiving that number is expected to increase nearly 40 percent nationwide. That influx would spell the busiest travel season in its history.

Significant additional layers of security are routine during the American holiday season, but the recent events in France are sure to contribute.

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Arrest Made in Murder of 7-Year-Old Kentucky Girl

iStock/Thinkstock(SCOTTSVILLE, Ky.) — A man has been arrested in connection with the killing of 7-year-old Gabriella “Gabby” Doolin, who was found dead after going missing last Saturday at a football game in Scottsville, Kentucky, according to police.

The man, Timothy Madden, 38, of Scotsville, was taken into custody by the Kentucky State Police about 65 miles northeast of Nashville, Tennessee. Scottsville is a town of just 4,000 people.

Trooper Barry Eaton said the man knew the Doolins. It was not clear what charges he faced.

“I know they were acquaintances, I don’t know how in-depth but they do knew each other,” he said.

The Doolins were at a pee-wee football jamboree on Saturday when Gabby went missing at 7:40 p.m., according to the Kentucky State Police. Just 25 minutes later, a search volunteer spotted her body in a wooded area on the edge of the Allen County Scottsville High School, about 400 yards from the school’s football field where she was last seen alive, police said.

A preliminary autopsy report ruled the girl’s death a homicide. The cause of death was not immediately available.

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POLL: Terrorism Fears Rise Post-Paris; Most Back Force, Oppose Refugees

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — With terrorism fears near a post-9/11 high in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, majorities of Americans back increased use of military force — including ground forces — against the Islamic State, and more than half oppose admitting Mideast refugees to the United States.

Seventy-three percent support increased U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State, or ISIS, and 60 percent back more ground forces — double the level of support for ground forces from summer 2014. One reason: Eighty-one percent see a major terrorist attack in the United States in the near future as likely, a level of anxiety that’s been higher just once since 9/11.

See a PDF with the full results here.

Fifty-four percent oppose admitting refugees from Syria and other Mideast countries, while 43 percent are in favor. Opposition in part reflects skepticism about the U.S. government’s ability to screen out terrorists; 52 percent are dubious, and they’re especially likely to oppose entry.

That said, if refugees are admitted, an overwhelming 78 percent of Americans say all should be considered equally, without regard to their religion. Just 18 percent favor special consideration for Christians, proposed by Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz.

Perhaps most fundamentally, 59 percent of Americans in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, say the United States is at war with radical Islam — little changed from a poll earlier this year, but another indication of the public’s mindset in the post-9/11 world.

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What We Know About the Syrian Refugees

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — As the debate heats up over whether states will accept Syrian refugees, Republican presidential candidates have doubled down on objections to allowing them asylum in the United States, expressing concern that terrorists may also slip in among the innocent civilians seeking to escape a 3-year-long civil war in their homeland.

From Ben Carson’s making a comparison between some refugees and rabid dogs to Donald Trump’s saying he would ban all Syrian refugees, the debate has only intensified, with more than 30 state governors saying they oppose having Syrian refugees in their state.

Here is a look at who the refugees are and what we can expect from those already here.

Who are the Syrian refugees?

Overall, more than four million Syrians have registered with the United Nations refugee agency. Of those, nearly 40 percent are children under the age of 11, according to the agency. Overall, 76 percent of all registered refugees are women and children.

Just over 2,100 Syrian refugees have been resettled in the U.S. since Jan. 1, 2012, according to the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

Senior Obama administration officials explained on a background call with reporters earlier this week: “Half of the Syrian refugees brought to the U.S. so far have been children. A quarter are adults over 60. Only 2 percent are single males of combat age.”

How Are They Checked?

Syrian refugees are subjected to “the most rigorous screening and security vetting of any category of people entering the United States,” according to senior administration officials.

The process often takes one to three years to complete and includes biometric testing and intensive overseas interviews with Department of Homeland Security experts.

DHS officials told ABC News that refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks of any category of traveler to the United States, “including the involvement of the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State and the Department of Defense. All refugees, including Syrians, are admitted only after successful completion of this stringent security screening regime.”

How Many Refugees Will the U.S. Allow In?

Donald Trump has also asserted that President Obama wants to allow 250,000 Syrian refugees to come to the U.S. But the administration has in fact only agreed to allow 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next year.

Secretary of State John Kerry announced in September that the United States will increase the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. from across the world from 70,000 to 85,000 in 2016 and up to 100,000 in 2017.

Since the inception of the U.S. refugee program in mid-1970s (post-Vietnam), nearly three million refugees have been relocated to 180 locations in almost every state across the United States, to include almost every state, according to the State Department.

But Are They Dangerous?

Of the 497 individuals charged with “homegrown terrorism” in the United States between 2001 and August 2015, nine had refugee status, while the vast majority, 320, were U.S.-born citizens, according to data from New America, a nonprofit, non-partisan think tank based in Washington, D.C.

When looking at only terrorism classified as “jihadist,” 80 percent were U.S. citizens at the time of the crime, but 50 percent were born in the U.S.

David Sterman, senior program associate at New America, explained that the group has not identified any Syrian-born actors in its data.

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Capitol Christmas Tree Arrives in DC, 4,000 Miles Later

YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Nearly one month and 4,000 miles later, the Capitol Christmas Tree has arrived in Washington, D.C.

The 74-foot Lutz spruce from Chugach National Forest in Alaska is the first tree selected for the ceremony from the 49th state.

The tree was cut down on Oct. 27, and shipped on a boat from Alaska to Tacoma, Washington. From there, the spruce was hitched to a flatbed truck and driven across the United States, making about a dozen stops along the way.

Organizers strapped a GPS to the flatbed so people could track the tree in real time.

John Schank, the Alaska Trucking Association’s “Driver of the Year” in 2014, drove the tree 4,000 miles across the country, the latest haul in his 40-year, 5-million-mile career.

“They figured I was the man for the job,” he said.

With his white beard and rosy cheeks, Schank resembles another jolly old soul from the north, a comparison he’s used to getting.

“Oh, yeah, kids enjoyed it,” he said. “I’ve even gotten comments: Here comes Santa!”

He plans to see the sights in Washington before heading home by air, courtesy of Alaska Airlines.

Workers spent Friday morning unhitching and preparing the tree for its position on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. It will then be decorated with thousands of ornaments from Alaska, and officially lit by new House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on Dec. 2.

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See Cow Run Through a Busy San Antonio Intersection

San Antonio Police Department(SAN ANTONIO) — Only in Texas do cows roam free through busy intersections and police officers corral them with ropes.

Early Tuesday morning, San Antonio Police officers encountered a cow running through an intersection while patrolling the area. They caught the ordeal on a dashcam video.

Police were able to wedge the cow between two patrol cars after chasing her for almost a half hour, according to a police report from the San Antonio Police Department.

An encounter like this in Texas is not surprising, Lisa Norwood, a spokesperson for Animal Care Services, told ABC News Friday.

“Number one, this is Texas and number two, San Antonio has an occasional roaming pet problem and unfortunately that sometimes extends to larger animals like cows, horses and goats,” Norwood said.

The shelter even has a separate area for livestock for situations like this, Norwood said. This cow is currently the only large livestock in the shelter’s care.

“She is calming down a little bit, but she’s not really happy to be contained or to be here,” Norwood said. “She’s a free spirit I guess, she wants to roam free.”

The police tied the cow up in a parking lot with a rope while waiting for animal control, Norwood said. This intersection is also one of the busiest in the city.

“She was doing the stereotypical pawing at the ground and lowering her horns and charging halfway at people,” Norwood said. “She charged a number of police vehicles and parked cars in various parking lots.”

Luckily, no one was hurt and only a patrol car was damaged, according to a police report from the San Antonio Police Department.

Norwood said that the cow may have come from one of the many “rodeo type facilities” in San Antonio and that animal control is following up on potential leads.

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