Review Category : Top Stories

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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Tulsa Police Officer Shares Her Side of the Story in Terence Crutcher’s Shooting

Tulsa Police Department(TULSA, Okla.) — Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby, identified as the officer who shot 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on Friday night, has offered her side of the story in the fatal encounter.

In dashcam and helicopter video released by police, Crutcher appears to have his hands up moments before he is shot by Shelby. Shelby’s attorney, Scott Wood, maintains that Crutcher refused to follow more than two dozen commands and that he reached into the open window of the car before Shelby perceived a threat and shot him.

The Crutcher family’s attorneys Benjamin L. Crump and Damario Solomon-Simmons said the window was up, evidenced by the blood spattered on it when he was shot.

The Department of Justice is investigating Shelby’s use of force.

Here is Shelby’s side of the story, according to her attorney and the police department.

Shelby Was Responding to a Different Incident

At about 7:36 p.m. Friday, dispatchers received a 911 call about an abandoned SUV in the middle of a street, with the driver’s door open and the engine still running, Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said Monday. The caller said a man was running from the vehicle, saying it was “going to blow.”

Shelby and another officer were on their way to a domestic violence call when she came across the SUV, Jordan said.

On her way to that call, Shelby saw Crutcher standing in the middle of the road, looking down at the ground, Wood said, adding that she would have stopped and checked up on him had she not been on the other call.

She then saw the SUV parked in the middle of the street, obstructing traffic in both directions, Wood said. The engine was running when she got there, which she found odd because she assumed it was either disabled or broken down, he said.

The Encounter Started More Than a Minute Before What Is Shown on the Released Video

Wood said “it’s important to remember” that Shelby was on the scene with Crutcher for about a minute and a half before the start of the video clip released by police on Monday.

When Shelby approached the car, the doors were closed, and the windows were open, Wood said. She looked into the passenger’s side to make sure no one was on the floor of the car, and as she was getting ready to move to the driver’s side, she turned around and saw Crutcher walking toward her, Wood said.

Wood said that Shelby then said to Crutcher, “Hey, is this your car?”

Crutcher didn’t respond, simply dropping his head while continuing to look at Shelby, “kind of under his brow,” Wood said. Crutcher then began to put his hand into his left pocket, Wood said, adding that Shelby told Crutcher, “Hey, please keep your hands out of your pocket while you’re talking to me. Let’s deal with his car.”

Crutcher did not respond, Wood said, so Shelby ordered him again to get his hand out of his pocket. He then pulled his hand away and put his hands up in the air, even though he was not instructed to do so, which Shelby found strange, Wood said.

Shelby tried to get Crutcher to talk to her, but he simply mumbled something unintelligible and stared at her, Wood said. He then turned and walked to the edge of the roadway and turned to look at her, his hands still in the air, Wood said. He put his hands down and started to reach into his pocket again, Wood said, and she ordered him again to get his hands out of his pocket.

At this point, Shelby, a drug recognition expert, believed Crutcher was “on something,” Wood said, possibly PCP.

Shelby then radioed in that she had a subject “who is not following commands.”

“You can kind of hear a degree of stress in her voice when she says that,” Wood said.

Shelby then pulled out her gun and had Crutcher at gunpoint as she commanded him to get on his knees, Wood said. She pulled out a gun instead of a Taser because she thought he had a weapon, and she was planning to arrest him for being intoxicated in public and possibly obstructing the investigation, Wood said.

Shelby ordered Crutcher to stop multiple times as Crutcher walked toward the SUV with his hands up, Wood said.

But those orders cannot be heard in the audio from the dashcam video, which starts as another patrol car pulls up to the scene, showing Crutcher walking toward the SUV with his hands up as Shelby follows him, apparently with her weapon drawn and pointing at Crutcher.

Crutcher Allegedly Attempted to Reach Into the SUV

As the video from the helicopter begins, Crutcher was “angling” toward his car while Shelby repeatedly commanded him to stop, Wood said. His hands were still in the air.

“As a police officer, you have to wonder — why would someone ignore commands at gunpoint to get to a certain location?” Wood said.

Crutcher’s arms came down, and he turned to face the car, Wood said, and he reached into the driver’s side window with his left hand. That’s when Shelby fired one shot and a fellow officer, Tyler Turnbough, deployed a Taser, Wood said.

Shelby believed that when Crutcher attempted to reach into the car, he was retrieving a weapon, Wood said. In her interview with homicide detectives, she said, “I was never so scared in my life as in that moment right then,” according to Wood.

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Terence Crutcher’s Family Calls for National Day of Justice in Tulsa

iStock/Thinkstock(TULSA, Okla.) — The last time Tiffany Crutcher spoke with her twin brother Terence was through a text message last week. Terrance, who had just enrolled in classes at Tulsa Community College, told his sister he loved her and that he was going to make her proud.

“But because of a serious error in judgment, he won’t get that chance,” Crutcher said at a news conference in New York City Wednesday.

Crutcher, 40, was fatally shot by a police officer after his SUV stalled on the road in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Friday. Dash-cam video of the incident released on Monday appears to show the black man with his hands raised in the air moments before the white officer fired her weapon.

Now, the Crutcher family is calling for a National Day of Justice in Tulsa next week.

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NYC Top Cop Defends FBI’s Handling of Bombing Suspect in 2014

WABC-TV(NEW YORK) — A top New York Police Department official on Wednesday offered an unwavering defense of the FBI over how the agency handled its review two years ago of Ahmad Rahami, who is now a suspect in an apparently al-Qaeda-inspired bombing spree around New York and New Jersey.

Rahami “was handled to the extent that the law, the system and the guidelines that we operate under would allow,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller told a House panel.

His comments come one day after the FBI acknowledged it conducted a low-level review of Rahami two years ago, but found no reason to believe he posed a threat at the time.

A neighbor prompted the 2014 inquiry, after he told authorities who were inquiring into a dispute at the Rahami home that he had heard the father call his son a “terrorist” and that Rahami’s associates overseas may have been trying to procure explosives.

“He seems like many suspects who came into contact with the system at various times,” Miller, who heads his department’s counterterrorism and intelligence efforts, told the House Homeland Security Committee. “People have somewhat of a misconception about our ability to put someone under surveillance [and] leave them there indefinitely.”

Miller noted that Rahami didn’t raise any more flags after the FBI’s 2014 review.

“It’s not realistic to say every time someone comes on the radar, you’re going to be able to follow them … for an extended period of time, while you have investigations that are on the front burner involving people who are demonstrably dangerous,” Miller added.

Nevertheless, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., suggested the FBI could inform local police about even low-level assessments they conduct so “street cops” can be told to “keep your eyes and ears open on this guy in case you hear something about him.”

Miller said he thought federal guidelines and his own department’s guidelines would allow such a move.

The FBI first became aware of Rahami in the summer of 2014, when local law enforcement contacted the agency’s New Jersey field office about him, sources said.

“The FBI conducted internal database reviews, interagency checks, and multiple interviews — none of which revealed ties to terrorism,” the statement said.

The FBI also interviewed Rahami’s father, who told agents his son had traveled to Pakistan and was interacting with “bad people,” according to sources, and added that his son had injured and beaten members of his immediate family.

However, Rahami’s father later told the FBI he didn’t mean to suggest his son was a terrorist, but that he was hanging out with “undesirables,” the U.S. official said.

The FBI never interviewed Rahami himself and a grand jury declined to file charges against him.

The FBI’s ability to assess potential terrorists came under intense scrutiny earlier this year after Florida native Omar Mateen opened fire in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub in June, killing 49 people and injuring scores more.

In May 2013 the FBI had obtained sufficient information to open a preliminary investigation into Mateen — coworkers told authorities that Mateen had made terrorism-related comments at work. But after 10 months of investigation, including two interviews with Mateen, the FBI determined there wasn’t enough information to indicate he was “possibly a terrorist,” as FBI Director James Comey said after the Orlando attack.

Two months later, in July 2014, the FBI took another look at Mateen because his name “surfaced” in a separate terrorism investigation, Comey told reporters. Mateen was interviewed again, but authorities found no reason to continue tracking him.

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FBI Searching for Two Men Related to Bombing Investigation

FBI(NEW YORK) — The FBI Wednesday released a surveillance image of two unidentified men who apparently made off with a bag that had contained one of the explosive devices allegedly planted by Chelsea bombing suspect Ahmad Rahami.

A “seeking information” poster circulated by the FBI says the men “allegedly located a piece of luggage on the sidewalk, removed an improvised explosive device from the luggage, and then left the vicinity leaving the device behind but taking the luggage.”

The suitcase had been left at the location on 27th street by Rahami just minutes before and right around the time that another explosive device detonated on 23rd street injuring 31 people, according to a criminal complaint filed against Rahami late Tuesday. The 27th street bomb never exploded.

“The FBI is interested in speaking to these individuals and recovering the luggage,” the poster says.

Police previously said they believe the two men were “just strolling up and down 7th avenue at the time” and did not appear to be related to the plot.

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Wildfire Near Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Rages On

iStock/Thinkstock(LAMPOC, Calif.) — A wildfire near Vandenberg Air Force Base in California continues to rage, growing in size to around 12,272 acres as of early Wednesday morning, authorities said, noting that the fire is 45 percent contained as of early Wednesday morning.

The fire boundary is relatively stable as of late Tuesday night, as the fire continues to burn along part of the south-east ridgelines, Air Force base fire officials said. The fire is not likely to spread beyond containment lines, Vandenberg Air Force Base officials added in a statement this morning.

“Overnight tonight, a specially equipped aircraft will survey the fire boundary to determine its size and location,” Air Force base officials said in a statement. “Using infrared heat detection, the aircraft will gather data that is used to build a map of the fire. Fire officials are hopeful the flight tonight will show gains made over the course of the day.”

The wind is forecast to blow northwest, according to authorities at the base, and that wind is expected to aid firefighting efforts by directing the fire towards already burned areas.

About 1,000 firefighters have been deployed to fight the fire and “steady progress” has been made, officials said, though “hot spots” will likely linger for several days.

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Charlotte Police Gave Keith Lamont Scott ‘Clear’ Warnings Before Shooting

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Police in Charlotte, North Carolina, said they gave Keith Lamont Scott “loud, clear, verbal commands” to not exit his vehicle and drop his weapon before they fatally shot him on Tuesday. But it’s still unclear whether the man actually pointed the gun at the officers, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Kerr Putney.

Scott’s family has said he was not armed and was holding a book while waiting for his son to be dropped off from school. Putney told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that Scott was holding a handgun, which investigators recovered from the scene, and posed a threat because he was not obeying police orders.

“The officers gave loud, clear, verbal commands which were also heard by many of the witnesses,” Putney said. “Mr. Scott exited his vehicle armed with a handgun as the officers continued to yell at him to drop it.”

An officer subsequently fired his weapon, striking Scott, who was later pronounced dead.

The investigation into Scott’s death is ongoing.

“I don’t know that he definitively pointed the weapon specifically towards an officer,” the police chief told reporters.

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Details on NY, NJ Bombing Suspect Emerge in Federal Charges

Union County Prosecutor’s Office(NEW YORK) — A federal complaint released Tuesday night against the suspect in a series of bombings and attempted bombings in New York and New Jersey this weekend appears to highlight his radicalization.

Steps he took prior to the incidents paint a picture of what seems to be a calculated plotter aggrieved at his adopted home country and concerned over the possibility of being apprehended before he was able to commit acts of terror.

According to the complaint, the suspect, Ahmad Khan Rahami, spent months gathering materials he ordered on eBay, while leaving a trail of writings that expressed sympathy for terrorists and admiration for jihad, or holy war.

Federal investigators uncovered a social media account tied to the suspect Rahami. Posting under username “Yaafghankid78,” Rahami favorited posts praising jihad, including one translated in the complaint as “jihad is a martyr’s anthem.”

Rahami was born in 1988 in Afghanistan and is a naturalized U.S. citizen, according to the FBI.

Police also found a handwritten journal that Rahami carried at the time of his arrest, which the complaint states includes the passage, “You [USA Government] continue your [unintelligible] slaught[er] against the mujahidean, be it in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sham [Syria], Palestine…”

In what federal investigators called “an expression of concern at the prospect of being caught before being able to carry out a suicide attack,” a passage in the notebook reads “the F.B.I. & homeland security [unintelligible] looking for me … [unintelligible] my heart I pray to the beautiful wise ALLAH. To not take JIHAD away from. I beg [unintelligible] for shahadat [martyrdom].”

The complaint said his writings praised Nidal Hasan, who shot and killed 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas and referred to the former leader of al-Qaeda and author of the 9/11 terrorist attacks as “Brother Osama Bin Laden.”

The notebook made a reference to seeking guidance and wrote that it came in the form of “Sheikh Anwar” — which the federal agent filing the complaint believes to be a reference to the radical U.S.-born cleric Anwar Al Awlaki — who, according to the notebook, “said it clearly attack the Kuffar [non-believers] in their backyard.”

The notebook found on Rahami closes with the following chilling passage, “[God willing] the sounds of the bombs will be heard in the streets. Gun shots to your police.”

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Man Mugged While Playing Pokemon Go Captures His Attack on Live Video

PG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images(NEW YORK) — A man playing the popular augmented reality game Pokémon Go near Central Park in New York was mugged early Monday morning — and caught the violent attack on camera while he live-streamed his game activity.

Rickey Yaneza, 43, who frequents the park with other players, told ABC News he was attacked from behind on Central Park South after the alleged thief knocked him down with a punch, demanded he hand over the devices and took off running.

Yaneza wears three different devices at once, he said: one phone for the game, one for chatting and one to live-stream, so other gamers following his activity saw the attack unfold.

Yaneza’s friends commented live on the attack and his mugging video quickly went viral. He was treated at the scene and sustained only minor injuries with a bruise on his cheek and a scab on his elbow.

“I’m alive,” Yaneza said. “That’s all that matters really.”

Yaneza said he was in search of a creature called a snorelax at the time.

The location-based augmented reality app lets users track and capture virtual creatures through real-life locations. But the game’s popularity, which has led to players using the app while walking around in public areas has raised security concerns and caused problems for many participants.

In July, there was a string of incidents in Missouri where three teens were charged with armed robbery after allegedly staking out specific game locations and waiting for distracted players to arrive so they could rob them.

Another incident a month later, caught on police body cam footage, showed a distracted Pokémon Go player using the app while driving a vehicle that proceeded to crash into a parked police patrol car. The officers were standing beside the police vehicle and were unharmed. The driver immediately told officials the accident was a result of playing the game.

According to a new study released by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), if players use their cars to search for Pokémon, they can incur serious risk. The study cites 14 motor vehicle crashes within a 10-day span, which reportedly involved Pokémon Go.

Yaneza’s viral attack raises safety concerns and acts as a reminder for augmented reality users to be careful and stay vigilant.

Pokémon Go developer Niantic told ABC News in a statement that they take “safety seriously” and encourage players to be aware of their surroundings at all times.

“We’re glad to see that Rickey is safe and we’re sorry to hear that this has happened to him, but it’s heartening to see that despite this incident, his attitude remains upbeat and positive,” the statement reads. “We encourage all people to be aware of their surroundings and to play alongside friends or family, especially after dark or when exploring unfamiliar places. Please remember to be safe and alert at all times, don’t drive and play, abide by local laws, and respect the locations you visit and people you meet during your exploration. We ask parents and guardians to be mindful and monitor your child’s online and offline activities so it is a fun and safe experience for all.”

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