Reported by ABC7 Chicago
Family and friends are gathering for a vigil Sunday for a teen who was fatally shot by police in Zion.
Investigators are collecting evidence after witnesses say Justus Howell, 17, from north suburban Waukegan, was running from police when an officer spotted what he thought was a gun. The officer fired two shots, reportedly hitting the victim in the back around 2 p.m. Saturday at 24th and Galilee. The teen was pronounced dead at Victory Hospital. Police say a handgun was recovered at the scene of the shooting.
Investigators have not identified the officer who fired the shots or any other details from the investigation, including whether Howard fired any shots.
Word of the shooting traveled quickly in the small community and many residents side with Howard. They say they believe police had no reason to shoot.
Reported by Chicago Tribune
The family of a man who died a week ago in the Lake County Jail has filed a federal lawsuit, claiming jail employees used excessive force and caused his wrongful death.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Hammond, claims that Gregory Thomas Smith, 39, of Hobart, died on March 25 from a cardiac arrest caused by jail employees using a stun gun on him.
John Bushemi, attorney for Sheriff John Buncich, said the sheriff has not been served with the lawsuit yet but said the case is still being investigated.
“The preliminary investigation indicates proper procedures were used in this case,” Bushemi said Wednesday afternoon.
The sheriff’s department said in a press release Monday that Smith had been arrested on a battery warrant out of Crown Point and was taken to the jail. As jail employees tried to move Smith to another section of the jail, he became violent, the sheriff’s department said, which is when jail officers used a stun gun on him.
The lawsuit, filed by the Jaime Smith, the mother of Smith’s two children, disputes that account however, instead claiming that he was emotionally unstable but was not acting aggressively toward the jail officers.
The sheriff’s department said he was treated by two jail nurses at the scene and was then taken to Methodist Hospitals Southlake in Merrillville, where he was pronounced dead.
The lawsuit names Lake County, Sheriff John Buncich and unidentified officers as defendants.
Along with the excessive force and wrongful death claims, the lawsuit also makes a state battery and two indemnification claims. The lawsuit does not request any specific damages.
Reported by ABC 15
PHOENIX – A suspect wanted by police for a probation violation was shot and killed Wednesday after pulling out a gun in front of officers in Tempe, according to authorities.
A second man, who was with the suspect and caught in the crossfire, was also shot and taken to a local hospital where he died, police confirmed.
Officials said the U.S. Marshal Task Force initially tried to take Salvador Muna into custody on Tuesday, but were unsuccessful. On Wednesday, that task force went to a different location and found Muna.
Police said Muna hopped into a vehicle driven by his friend, Joaquin Hernandez, and fled eastbound on Baseline Road.
Witnesses said authorities conducted a maneuver to pin the suspects’ vehicle near the 48th Street intersection.
Authorities said Muna pulled out a gun, pointed it at officers and that’s when four officers, one from Tempe, one from Chandler and two from Mesa, opened fire. Witnesses reported hearing at least six shots. It is unclear at this time if Muna actually fired his weapon.
Police confirmed that Muna died at the scene. Authorities say Muna has various felony violations, including drug and weapons charges.
Hernandez was hurt in the crossfire and taken to a local hospital. He died a short time later.
Authorities said no officers were injured in the shooting.
Air15 video showed several vehicles, some appearing to be undercover police vehicles, crowded around several other vehicles near 48th Street and Baseline Road.
Reported by The Free Thought Project.com
Burlington, IA — A Burlington Police officer, supervising a domestic dispute, shot and killed a woman in front of her house Tuesday morning.
The victim has been identified as 34-year-old Autumn Steele. The Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI), who is leading the investigation, has not released the name of the officer who shot her.
There is no indication that Steele or her husband were armed or that they posed a threat to the officer involved.
According to court records Steele was arrested Monday night on a misdemeanor charge of domestic abuse. She was released from the jail and told that she could not return to the home without a police officer escort in order to gather her belongings.
Steele then returned to the home with her police officer escort, the same person that would later kill her.
As her husband, Gabriel Steele, was loading up their 4-year-old son, Steele came out of the house and got into an altercation with him. She was followed by the dog.
When the escort officer saw the disturbance he went to break it up. Witnesses say that at this time the dog was being playful, but apparently still threatened the officer which caused him to draw his pistol and begin shooting.
One of the shots fired struck Steele in the chest.
“The dog startled the officer. The officer began shooting at the dog. The officer was still shooting when he fell down in the snow,” one witness told The Hawk Eye Newspaper.
“It appeared he was shooting at the dog when (the officer) fell to the ground. It’s my belief the woman was shot accidentally,” said another witness.
Seconds after the shooting another Burlington officer arrived on the scene and both officers tried to calm Gabriel Steele, who wanted to help his wife.
“I’m a combat veteran,” he screamed. “What are you guys (police) doing? Let me help.”
Steele was eventually taken by ambulance to the Great River Medical Center where she later died of the gunshot wound to the chest.
This is a tragic case of police incompetence. The very government agency who claims the authority to carry deadly weapons into all situations often disregard this heavy responsibility and end up hurting those they ostensibly protect.
Reported by Inquisitr
Tommy McClain had just “liked” a post on the Facebook page of a cousin whose home he shared, when he became the latest victim of a controversial police shooting early Wednesday morning. Now the family and friends of 22-year-old Tommy McClain want answers from the Eureka, California, police who claim that the young man reached for a gun just before they opened fire.
McClain’s family says that’s not true. And that’s not all. Nichole Mottern, wife of McClain’s cousin Josh Mottern, says that the cops tasered her husband when he saw McClain’s lifeless body lying face down in his front yard and became distraught.
The police shooting — which follows several other police killings of unarmed or apparently unarmed young men in recent weeks — happened at about 12:30 am on the morning of Wednesday, September 17, when McClain was outside on the porch of the home he shared with the Motterns and their two children. Originally from Fresno, McClain became part of the Mottern family, Nichole Mottern said, when he came to live with them in Eureka “to get away from the Fresno lifestyle.”
Nichole Mottern said that she was talking with McClain on the porch of their Eureka home after midnight on Wednesday morning, but soon went inside to check on her husband, who’d had a few drinks too many that evening.
When inside, she looked out a window and saw a police officer in her back yard. When she went back outside, according to Mottern’s mother-in-law Corinna Ward who was also present, there were “five or maybe six” officers in a semi-circle around McClain.
“A cop yelled, ‘He’s got a gun.’” Mottern said, describing what happened next. “They all fired. I saw him getting shot from all different angles. First one fired and then they all fired. It wasn’t one cop. It was them all. There were a lot of cops. He crumpled down into the ground.”
Mottern said that McClain had nothing in his hand, bit Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills said the next day that investigators recovered a gun from the scene. But Mills said that he would not describe the gun until forensic investigators had a chance to examine it.
A neighbor who witnessed the incident, but did not want to be identified, said there “there was an object in (McClain’s) hand” when he was shot.
At a vigil in Eureka for McClain on Friday, Andrew Evans — a friend of Tommy McClain — described the slain man as “a mellow, kind kid. I could never see him being violent.”
A “Justice For Tommy McClain” Facebook page has been created by supporters of McClain’s family, calling for a full investigation into the police shooting death of Tommy McClain.
Police were searching for two men with outstanding felony warrants, but it was not clear whether Tommy McClain was one of those men.
Reported by Huffington Post
Police body camera video shows that a Salt Lake City police officer was justified in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man in August, prosecutors in Utah say.
Dillon Taylor died in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven on Aug. 11 after Officer Bron Cruz responded to reports of an armed man in the area. Police said Cruz approached Taylor and two of his friends because they matched the description he was given.
Although no weapon was found on Taylor, Cruz was cleared of wrongdoing in the case Tuesday. Prosecutor Slim Gill said that the shooting was justified because Cruz thought Taylor had a weapon and that he would use it against him.
Video of the incident (above) shows Taylor walking away with his hands in his waistband under his shirt.
“Get your hands up, now!” Cruz is heard yelling in the video.
“No, fool.” Taylor replies, continuing to walk away.
When Taylor turns around and removes his hands from this waistband, Cruz shoots him twice, striking him in the chest and abdomen.
A deposition obtained by KSL Tuesday noted that Cruz became emotional when he recounted the incident, and said that although he “wasn’t about to shoot [Taylor] in the back,” he was “100 percent convinced when I saw him turn around it was gonna be a gunfight.”
“Nothing that Mr. Taylor did assisted in de-escalating the situation,” Gill told the Salt Lake Tribune. “If anything, it escalated things.”
“Officer Cruz’s belief that Dillon Taylor was armed with a gun and intended to use it against the officers was reinforced by Dillon’s actions and the acts of others,” Gill wrote in a letter to Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank obtained by the newspaper. “By the time Dillon drew his hands from his waistband, Officer Cruz’s belief that Dillon was presenting a weapon [and … would use the weapon against officers] was reasonable.”
Officials said Taylor’s blood alcohol level was .18 percent when he was shot, according to Fox Salt Lake City. Days before his death, Taylor posted Facebook statuses that indicated he was emotionally distressed, the station reported.
Kelly Fowler, the attorney for Taylor’s family, told the Salt Lake Tribune that the prosecutor’s decision indulges police hostility and paranoia in dealing with the public.
Reported by KTLA5
An innocent homeowner was mistakenly killed and a parolee was fatally shot by deputies early Saturday after an hourslong hostage situation and standoff in Pico Rivera, authorities said.
During the search, Ramirez ran out of a home, jumped a back fence and then broke into a home in the 9000 block of Rosehedge Drive, which was occupied by an unknown number of residents at the time, according to the release and Lt. John Corina of the Sheriff’s Department.The incident began around 4:30 p.m. on Friday when deputies were searching for 24-year-old Cedric Ramirez, who was wanted on two felony warrants, a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
While in the backyard of the home, Ramirez exchanged gunfire with deputies, the release stated.
“Within seconds of their exit, an adult male suddenly appeared in the doorway,” Chief Bill McSweeney, of the Sheriff’s Department’s Detective Division, said at a Saturday evening news conference.Deputies were able to open the front door and started escorting multiple people from the home. However, as they were being taken out, the Ramirez allegedly shot a second time at deputies, who then returned fire and retreated to the front yard, according to Corino.
“Believing the man was Ramirez, a deputy fired two shots at that man,” who then dropped to the ground, unconscious, McSweeney said. He was later recognized to be 54-year-old Frank Mendoza, a resident of the home.
Preliminary evidence indicated that the two shots “likely” struck Mendoza, according to McSweeney. Deputies were able to rescue him and get him to the paramedics, but he later died of his injuries.
Family members told KTLA that Mendoza owned the home and was just three months shy of retirement.
Hours after the hostage situation started, the SWAT team entered the home and a deputy-involved shooting occurred, Corina said.
Ramirez was shot and pronounced dead at the scene. A weapon was recovered, according to the release.
Lorraine Mendoza was rescued and taken to a local hospital for examination, the release stated.
It did not appear Ramirez knew the victims who lived inside the home, according to Corina.
KTLA’s Tracy Bloom and John A. Moreno contributed to this report.
Reported by TheDesMoinesRegister
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will personally review information about the death of Brandon Ellingson at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks while he was in police custody, Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said Friday.
“I’m sure you agree that whenever an individual’s death is alleged to have been caused by federal or state law enforcement officers, the matter deserves a thorough, independent investigation, including by federal authorities if necessary and appropriate,” Grassley wrote in a letter to Holder on Friday.
In a news release, Grassley said the attorney general told him that he would review the information before providing it to staff attorneys at the U.S. Justice Department.
Ellingson, 20, of Clive was detained on suspicion of boating while intoxicated May 31. He drowned in the lake while handcuffed and in the custody of a Missouri state trooper.
A jury ruled the death an accident during a coroner’s inquest in September.
Ellingson’s parents have filed two federal lawsuits accusing the Missouri State Highway Patrol of negligence, claiming the arresting officer improperly secured a life vest on Ellingson, then drove the patrol boat at a “dangerously high speed,” which ejected the young man into the water. The life vest came off moments later.
Grassley said he has spoken with Ellingson’s family and their attorney about the case and told them that he would forward to the attorney general any information they provided. He did so Friday.
“According to some reports in the media, there continue to be important unanswered questions about, among other things, whether the officer involved in his arrest was properly trained for water safety, whether he gave Brandon a floatation device that was appropriate for an individual in handcuffs, whether the speed of the police boat and Brandon’s positioning on the boat caused him to fall into the water, and whether all efforts were made to save Brandon’s life afterward,” Grassley wrote in the letter to Holder.
“In addition, questions persist in the media about whether Missouri officials conducted a thorough and impartial investigation into Brandon’s death.”
Grassley asked Holder to give materials provided to him by an attorney for Ellingson’s family “all due consideration and expect that you will call forth the full authority and resources of the Department to investigate whether any federal civil or criminal laws were violated.”
Reported by USAToday
DES MOINES, Iowa — An Ames, Iowa, police staffer twice suggested that an officer back off his pursuit of a 19-year-old man who allegedly stole a truck Monday from a work site where he and his father were working, according to dispatcher audio obtained by The Des Moines Register.
The officer, identified as Adam McPherson, continued his pursuit of Tyler Comstock onto the Iowa State University campus, according to the audio.
Minutes later, the truck Comstock was driving stopped, and officers commanded him to shut off the vehicle. Instead, Comstock revved the engine, and McPherson fired six rounds at the truck, police said.
Comstock died from two gunshot wounds, one each to his head and chest, according to the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s office.
McPherson, an eight-year veteran of the Ames department, was placed on leave while the shooting is investigated.
Ames police have not yet reviewed whether the chase followed department policy, Cmdr. Geoff Huff said. An investigation into the shooting, led by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, will be completed first, he said.
On the audio, an unidentified Ames police staffer can be heard saying that the driver’s identity is known.
A copy of the department’s chase policy, obtained by The Des Moines Register, requires ending pursuit “when the suspect’s identity has been established to the point that later apprehension can be accomplished.”
Huff said he could not comment on the dispatcher audio obtained by The Register. The audio is from Broadcastify, an Internet site that broadcasts dispatcher traffic.
“We have not released any audio or video about the incident,” Huff said. “We don’t know where they came from, so we wouldn’t comment on them.”
In the audio, an officer in pursuit of Comstock tells dispatch that the truck’s driver “just rammed me, he just rammed my vehicle.” A few seconds later the officer, who is not identified, says: “He blew the stoplight … he lost the trailer.”
At that point, the unidentified police staffer tells the officer: “If he’s that reckless coming into the college area, why don’t you back off.”
Moments later, the police staffer again suggests the officer cut off the pursuit. “We know the suspect. We can probably back it off.”
On the audio, there’s no indication that the officer responded to the suggestion.
On Monday, Huff had said police discussed ending their pursuit as it neared the ISU campus but decided to continue because of the driver’s dangerous behavior. The driver had shown a “disregard for all pedestrians in the area,” and police wanted to stop the truck before the driver hit anyone, Huff said.
Ames police Tuesday released a six-page policy on the pursuit of motor vehicles, created in 2004. According to the document, the policy requires:
— Officers and supervisors involved in a chase to “continually evaluate whether or not the seriousness of the offense justifies continuing the pursuit.”
— The pursuit be ended if the officers or supervisors believe the danger created by a pursuit outweighs the capture of the suspect.
— The pursuit be ended when the suspect’s identity is confirmed and the suspect could be apprehended at a later time.
William Moulder, a law enforcement consultant and retired Des Moines police chief, said it’s a standard rule in law enforcement not to shoot at a vehicle when the driver is inside, even if the vehicle is stopped.
“If the guy’s in a car, it can presumably drop into gear and go,” he said. “If you hit the driver, the car may continue moving and run into a pole or somebody, and you really increase the danger.”
In an officer-involved shooting, the officer will have to explain whether he believed someone’s life was in danger when he fired, Moulder said. Iowa law requires deadly force be used only to stop danger to another person.
When deciding whether to continue a chase, some departments have a policy that requires a police supervisor to monitor the chase, Moulder said. The supervisor then has the authority to call off the chase, if necessary.
Moulder cautioned that dispatch audio reveals only a portion of the events. A full investigation could reveal other details.
“It’s one of those things, you can’t really Monday-morning-quarterback it until you have all the facts,” Moulder said.
Reported by AZFamily.com
PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of an inmate at the Towers Jail early Sunday morning.
A sheriff’s officer found Felix Martinez Torres, 47, sitting upright but unresponsive in his cell shortly after midnight, according to MCSO spokesman Deputy Joaquin Enriquez. The officer called for assistance from medical staff.
Nurses and detention officers from the Towers Jail Medical Clinic responded within two minutes, according to Enriquez. CPR was administered until members of the Phoenix Fire Department arrived and took over.
Torres was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he later was pronounced dead.
Detectives interviewed Torres’ cellmates and family members, who said that he had a history of medical issues.
Enriquez said no suspicious circumstances are suspected. The medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
Torres was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on Sept. 30 on warrants stemming from driving on a suspended license and failure to appear in court.
Reported by HuffingtonPost
Police in Georgia say they had no choice but to shoot a man who was, according to his family, experiencing an adverse reaction to medication he took for his diabetes.
The family of Jack Lamar Roberson claims they called 911 on Friday for medical help and that the 43-year-old was not a threat at all. Police say Roberson was armed.
“They just came in and shot him,” Alcia Herron, Roberson’s fiance, told First Coast News. “He didn’t say nothing, the police didn’t say nothing, anything, it was like a silent movie. You couldn’t hear anything, all you could hear were the gun shots go off and I seen them going into his body and he just fell down.”
Waycross Police Chief Tony Tanner said Monday that authorities responded to a suicide threat and that Roberson approached them “aggressively armed with two items used as weapons,” according to the Florida Times-Union.
The chief refused to specify what those weapons were, according to the Associated Press.
Roberson’s mother insisted that her son was unarmed and that there were “no weapons in this house whatsoever.”
“I saw my son shot down,” she told the newspaper. “It was ‘Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.”
The officers involved were placed on administrative leave as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation reviews the case.
Reported by Afro.com
An immigrant from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angel Chiwengo arrived in the U.S. with only a few dollars in her pocket last year.
Chiwengo, 46, who joined her family in Baltimore, held a job and was soon to be a grandmother, was one of three killed in a fiery crash Sept. 24 that ended a four-mile police “pursuit.”
Chiwengo, who was living with her brother in Reisterstown, was returning from her job as a housekeeper at a DoubleTree Hotel, and being driven home by a colleague, Andrew Baker, when a car carrying two men who police had been pursuing for four miles, slammed into the Jeep Baker was driving.
The resulting collision triggered a fire that killed the Chiwengo and the two men police were following and tied up the intersection of York Road and Northern Parkway for ten hours.
Baltimore police officials declined to say whether the pursuit was a chase in violation of police policy prohibiting all but authorized chases under the directive of a police commander. They also declined to say whether the pursuing car was a marked or unmarked police vehicle.
“We didn’t know anything,” Chiwengo’s brother-in-law, Nathan Franklin told the AFRO. “We had been calling her since 6 a.m. that morning because her daughter went into labor.”
Franklin said after driving to Chiwengo’s house, and not getting an answer at the door, he and his wife Pascaline began to worry.
“For some reason the crashed that happened earlier that morning popped in my head,” Franklin said. After he told his wife about the story, she instantly knew it was her sister.
“She became hysterical and was crying,” Franklin said of his wife.
According to police, officers were following the Honda occupied by the two men, later identified as Devell Johns, 36 and Terrell Young, 30, after they observed what officers described as “suspicious activity.”
Police said the occupants apparently disregarded police attempts to stop the car.
The pursuit ended four miles later.
“It was a very horrific scene, it was a very horrific crash,” Commissioner Anthony Batts said at a news conference. “Any loss of humanity in the city is tragic for us.”
Johns, Young and Chiwengo were pronounced dead at the scene. Baker is in critical condition at Johns Hopkins Bayview.
Batts said, “My heart is broken and it’s an impact to the organization.”
Now Franklin and Pascaline, want answers.
“She was a big part of me, we did everything together,” Pascaline told the AFRO. “That was my best friend.”
The last time they spoke with Chiwengo on Sept. 23. “We talked about normal everyday issues,” Franklin said. “We were just talking about life.”
“She was just a great person with a lot of life,” he said. “She was a mother, a sister, a friend and a grandmother—who wasn’t able to see her first granddaughter.” Her daughter delivered a girl several hours after the crash.
Just 20 days shy of qualifying for life insurance offered through her job, Chiwengo’s family seeks justice for their loss and seeks help for paying for funeral arrangements.
“No one has reached out to us,” Franklin said.
“Not the mayor, or councilman in my district has yet to contact us,” he said.
Franklin told the AFRO Commissioner Batts was scheduled to meet with he and his family on Sept. 30, however he never showed up.
“It was a no call no show,” Franklin said. “I called the office later on and I was told the Commissioner didn’t come due to scheduling mishap.”
“We want to know everything that happened. We want to see what is going on now,” he said. “It’s not fair to us, we want the truth.”
Pascaline said her sister came to the U.S. to be with her family and start a business. “She travelled the world, visiting China and Dubai, and she just wanted to be with family.”
“Now she is gone and we don’t know what happened.”
Franklin said the Bea Gaddy Foundation, Huber Memorial Church and Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens all stepped in and helped. He said Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens donated a plot, the opening and closing fees, the weekend facility charges fees and the vault holding the casket.
“It has been limitless to the amount of help they have provided,” Franklin said.
Chiwengo was a member of Christian Revival Church in Westminster. She was a mother of three, two daughters and one son.
The viewing will be held on Oct. 4 at Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home and the funeral will be held on Oct. 5 at NorthSide Baptist Church.
The family is in the “process of seeking legal advice.”
Reported by CNN
(CNN) — Police in North Carolina shot and killed a man running toward them Saturday morning — but he may have just been looking for help after a car wreck.
Officers responded to a “breaking and entering” 911 call at a home in Charlotte.
The homeowner told dispatchers that a man had been knocking on her door repeatedly.
Police say that when they got to the scene, a man matching the caller’s description ran toward them.
One of the officers fired his stun gun, but it was “unsuccessful.” Another officer then opened fire, police said.
Jonathan Ferrell died at the scene. He was shot several times.
He was unarmed.
Police now believe Ferrell was seeking assistance after crashing his car.
Ferrell was 24 and a former football player at Florida A&M University.
Police found a wrecked car nearby, indicating that he may have been trying to get help.
“It was a pretty serious accident,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe told CNN affiliate WSOC.
The crash was so severe that authorities now believe Ferrell had to climb out of the back window, affiliate WBTV reported.
He ran to the closest house for help.
The woman inside thought it was her husband.
“To her surprise, it was an individual that she did not know or recognize,” Monroe told WBTV. “She immediately closed the door, hit her panic alarm, called 911.”
The man stood outside and “continued to attempt to gain the attention of the homeowner,” a police statement said.
Police have charged Officer Randall Kerrick with voluntary manslaughter — a felony. He turned himself in Saturday afternoon and was released Sunday on $50,000 bond.
Police used “charged” and “ran” and “advanced” in their description of what Ferrell did.
There were three officers at the scene, but Kerrick was the only one to use a gun.
He fired several times, police said.
“The evidence revealed that Mr. Ferrell did advance on Officer Kerrick and the investigation showed that the subsequent shooting of Mr. Ferrell was excessive,” police said in another statement issued late Saturday night. “Our investigation has shown that Officer Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter. ”
All three officers have been placed on paid leave.
A charge of voluntary manslaughter means the person used excessive force in self-defense, or carried out the act without intent to kill.
Police called the incident “unfortunate.”
“It has devastated a family as well as caused a great deal of sadness and anxiety in our organization,” a statement said.
Kerrick’s first court appearance is scheduled for Monday at 1:30 p.m., the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office said.
“In every case, the District Attorney’s Office evaluates the evidence available and works to achieve a fair and just outcome,” the office said in a statement.
Friends expressed grief on social media, calling Ferrell a “brother” and demanding “justice.”
He had at least one brother, Willie, who played with him at Florida A&M.
The university said it was “deeply saddened” at the loss. In a statement, Michael Smith, interim athletic director, said Ferrell played safety and was part of the 2010 championship team. “Our hearts and prayers go out to his family during their time of bereavement,” Smith said.
Ferrell was engaged.
“We loved him. Our family loved him,” his fiancee’s mother told WSOC.
He would have turned 25 next month.
Reported by ireport.cnn.com
On September 5, 2013, Jessica Spinney drove home from work without any indication that her life was about to be flipped upside down. When she pulled up to her home in Lynn, Massachusetts she encountered many flashing sirens on police cars and yards of yellow caution tape surrounding her home. The only piece of information Jessica knew was that her fiancé, an Iraqi war veteran, and their 5-year-old son were in the house that was surrounded by this chaos.
When Jessica ran frantically towards her home, she prayed that her family was safe and unharmed. However, on September 5, 2013, Jessica’s fiancé Denis Reynoso was pronounced dead and their 5-year-old child was left covered in his own father’s blood.
The first question that would come into anyone’s mind when someone’s life is taken away is “why did this happen?”. Even though a month has passed this question still remains unanswered. No one is giving answers as Jessica is left to raise two children alone as a single mother. Jessica Spinney has been forced into being a single mother without a choice, while what is left of this family has to deal with the trauma of this tragedy.
Denis Reynoso was murdered by a public figure that everybody in Lynn, Massachusetts is supposed to trust. The Lynn Massachusetts Police Department holds Reynoso’s blood on their hands.
On September 5th Lynn police officers entered Reynoso’s home without a warrant after supposedly receiving a noise disturbance complaint call. When they got inside, Reynoso’s 5-year-old son witnessed his father being gunned down by men everybody was taught to trust. After Reynoso was shot 3 times, the policeman tore up his home for drugs and weapons. They found nothing.
The Lynn police have denied accusations of any unlawful events occuring inside Spinney and Reynoso’s home. They claim that they entered the home in response to the noise complaint. But the question on everybody’s mind is how this noise complaint left a war veteran to be murdered in front of his 5-year-old son?
While Lynn Police claim that Reynoso had grabbed an officers gun, resulting in them gunning him down, others question if a trained war veteran would ever grab a police officer’s gun in the first place. If the police officers came in to his home in response to a noise complaint, why would Reynoso be standing close enough to an officer to want to steal his weapon?
Jessica Spinney lives with the torment of having to bury her fiancé on the day they were to be wed. Her children have no father and cannot understand why their dad’s life was taken away when he had spent years serving the United States of America.
This story boils down to corruption in the Lynn Police Department. A war veteran has died with no logical explanation. Children are left without a father and a mother is left without a husband. Questions are unanswered as Lynn Police try to keep the story as quiet as possible.
As Jessica has many supporters who are trying to get answers, the Lynn Police Department is trying to keep this story a secret. Their story is vague and confusing, and they do not give logical answers to Jessica or her family.The world needs to hear about this. Jessica Spinney and her children should not have been left without Denis Reynoso.
He served his duty to America and now it is time to give back to Reynoso. We need justice for Denis and we need answers as to why 3 police officers have gunned down Reynoso in his own home as the result of a noise complaint. Please help us spread this story to America. This war hero needs justice…
Reported by Knoxnews.com
LOUISVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The owner of an East Tennessee rental property that had been the scene of thefts and break-ins has been fatally wounded by a sheriff’s deputy conducting a property check.
The Blount County sheriff’s office said 68-year-old Henry C. Taylor was shot Wednesday night when 22-year-old Deputy Ernest Ti Ragland went to the property in Louisville (LOO’-ihs-vill) and found a broken garage window. A news release Thursday said Ragland saw a man inside with a handgun. He said he gave verbal commands and fired multiple shots, striking Taylor and killing him.
The sheriff’s office had responded to the property twice this week, including earlier Wednesday. Ragland took that report and told Taylor’s wife he would check the property throughout the night.
Sheriff James Lee Berrong called the incident “tragic.”
Ragland, who has been employed with the sheriff’s office since December, is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of investigations.
Reported by myfox9.com
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) –
A 101-year-old St. Paul woman has died after being hit by a St. Paul police squad car on Aug. 16.
Police identified the woman as Roza Sakhina on Thursday.
Friends of Sakhina told FOX 9 News the Russian immigrant took a daily walk and was crossing the street to return to her apartment when a police SUV backed into her.
Sakhina suffered a head injury in the crash that led to her death at Regions Hospital on Wednesday.
The driver’s identity has not been released.
Several times a week, a group of Russian immigrants gathers on the patio of the high-rise where they live to chat about the news of the day. On Thursday, they were sharing stories about a good friend and neighbor who is no longer with them.
Friends say even though Sakhina was 101, she was still active and loved to walk around her neighborhood, using a walker the last few years.
“She wanted to be independent, wanted to do everything herself,” Sava Balaym told FOX 9 News. “She was a very balanced, very quiet person.”
Charlene Jerue lived on the same floor as Sahkina for 15 years.
“You should have seen her little eyes. She would put her head on my shoulder and say, ‘I just love you,’ and I’d say, ‘I just love you too,'” Jerue recalled. ” I felt like it was my grandma.”
Jerue said Sahkina often walked for hours and had just celebrated her 101st birthday in June. She was still living on her own after coming to the U.S. from Russia in the early 90s.
Friends tell FOX 9 News it’s a shame that a woman who survived so much — including the siege on Leningrad in WWII — would lose her life doing something so mundane just a few feet from her home.
Reported by KTLA
SANTA ANA, Calif. (KTLA) — The Santa Ana Police Department revealed Wednesday that a man shot and killed by an officer was unarmed at the time of the shooting.
Police responded to a disturbance call in the parking lot of a McDonald’s restaurant near Harbor Boulevard and McFadden Avenue around 3 p.m on Tuesday.
As police approached the man, identified as Hans Arellano, there was a short foot chase and an altercation, according to Corp. Anthony Bertagna.
Hans Arellano was unarmed when a Santa Ana police officer shot him.Arellano, 22, was shot in front of a juice shop at 622 S. Harbor Blvd. He was declared dead at the scene.
Arellano was homeless and a father of two children, according to Celine Lopez, who said she was romantically involved with Arellano.
The officer who fired the fatal shot was a 13-year veteran of the force, according to Chief Carlos Rojas of the Santa Ana Police Department.
Reported by Austin Chronicle
At a press conference Monday afternoon, Austin Police Assistant Chief Brian Manley acknowledged that the fatal shooting Friday of Larry Eugene Jackson Jr. by an APD detective was more complicated than initially described, and that it involved not simply a “foot chase,” but a search in a private car commandeered by the detective.
Manley said police are “confident” that Jackson – shot and killed by APD Detective Charles Kleinert on Friday afternoon – had come to the Benchmark Bank where the detective was investigating an earlier (unrelated) robbery to “commit a fraud,” and not to conduct any legitimate business.
Jackson reportedly misidentified himself when he was questioned by the bank manager that afternoon, outside the bank on West 35th Street. Jackson had previously tried to enter the bank, police said, but the door was locked because of the ongoing robbery investigation. Jackson left briefly, police said, then returned and tried again to enter the bank before he was confronted by the manager; the manager then told Kleinert, who was inside the bank conducting a follow-up investigation of the morning robbery, about the exchange. Kleinert went outside to talk with Jackson and after a two- or three-minute conversation – captured by surveillance cameras – Jackson fled, police said.
Police said that Kleinert, dressed in plain clothes and displaying his APD credentials on his shirt collar, took off on foot after Jackson – why he decided to pursue him immediately remains unclear. (With video of Jackson and info about his “fictitious” ID, it would seem Jackson could be found later.) Manley said that Kleinert’s reasons for taking immediate action would be explored during the department’s criminal and administrative inquiries into the shooting. The department will “have a better idea [of] what his intentions were” and “what was his mindset” as the investigation proceeds, Manley said. And although it’s not illegal to do so, it’s “really not a good idea to run from police,” he said. Manley also provided a bit more information about that pursuit – including that although Kleinert did initially follow Jackson on foot, he later stopped a “motorist and employ[ed] their aid,” which is legal under state law.
According to Manley, Kleinert followed Jackson under the bridge near the Shoal Creek Trail and there a scuffle ensued; Jackson was shot once, in the back of the neck. He died just before 4:30pm, police said. Manley said police are still trying to determine what happened during the altercation and whether Kleinert’s gun was fired “intentionally or accidentally.”
More questions will certainly be raised about Kleinert’s one-man pursuit of Jackson. According to APD policy, mere “flight by a subject who is not suspected of criminal activity shall not serve as the sole justification for engaging in a foot pursuit without the development of reasonable suspicion regarding the individual’s involvement in criminal activity,” reads APD’s policy on foot pursuit. Deciding to “initiate or continue” a foot chase is a “decision that an officer must make quickly and under unpredictable and dynamic circumstances,” the policy continues. Foot chases place the officer and public “at significant risk,” and therefore, no officer “shall be criticized or disciplined” for deciding not to give chase, it reads. “Surveillance” – presumably including the video surveillance available outside the bank (and the same cameras that captured the movements of an alleged witness to the shooting) – and “containment” are the safest ways to track a fleeing suspect, reads the policy. Officers should “consider alternatives to engaging in or continuing a foot pursuit” under a number of specific circumstances, including when “the officer is acting alone” or when the fleeing person enters a “wooded or otherwise isolated area and there are insufficient officers to provide backup and containment.”
Manley declined to release any additional information about why police believe Jackson was there to defraud the bank – or how that would be done, especially with the bank closed – or to discuss any additional details about the confrontation that led to the shooting, saying there were additional “critical” witnesses yet to be interviewed. As of Tuesday, police said Kleinert had yet to give his formal statement about the incident to internal affairs investigators.
Manley said APD extends its condolences to Jackson’s family, though Jackson’s sister, LaKiza Sibley, wrote in an email to the Chronicle that police have not done so personally, and merely provided notification on Saturday evening, at 5:45pm, that Jackson was dead, the victim of a police shooting. (Manley is serving as acting police chief while Chief Art Acevedo is with his mother, who is in hospice care in California.) Jackson’s is the third fatality out of six officer-involved shootings this year.
Jim Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, says he is concerned that Austin police are overreacting and improperly using force when it is unnecessary. “These shootings seem to indicate that the police are not being properly trained and supervised and are overreacting in situations, to the peril of the citizens,” he said in a press release. “We cannot tolerate this constant use of deadly force. People should not have to fear for their lives when they are in a parking lot, stopped for a traffic offense, or go to the bank.” Harrington said TCRP intends to take the matter up with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Reported by Politix
A 95-year-old World War II veteran was killed by police when he refused medical treatment, and his family wants to know why.
John Wrana needed a walker to get around, according to the Chicago Tribune. When he resisted medical treatment at his retirement home in Park Forest, IL, staff called an ambulance and they brought police with them.
Police entered the room carrying riot shields. First they tased him, then they shot him in the stomach with a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with beanbag ammunition.
Wrana bled to death internally, according to the Cook County medical examiner, who ruled the death a homicide, according to the Southtown Star. Illinois State Police are investigating the incident.
The police version of events differs from that provided by family’s attorney Nicholas Grapsas. Police claim Wrana threatened staff with a metal shoehorn, a metal cane, and a 12-inch kitchen knife. But the assisted living home’s staff later told Grapsas that there was no such knife in Wrana’s room, according to the Tribune. They also said that Wrana was sitting in his chair and posed no imminent threat to staff.
Wrana’s stepdaughter Sharon Mangerson told the Tribune that she doesn’t believe her stepfather would have been a danger to anyone.
A senior police official gave the Tribune a different perspective: “We don’t know what information they had at that time. If you don’t have all of the facts, it’s hard to judge someone…Anyone can be dangerous.”
Reported by foxbaltimore.com
It’s been nearly three months since Tyrone West died in police custody, but his family is refusing to be silenced. The family of West protested in front of City Hall on Wednesday to get answers – whether it is an autopsy report or communication from police. West died in police custody on July 18 during a traffic stop. Police say West resisted and fought officers during the stop, but the family says it was police brutality. West’s family says police kicked and pepper sprayed him and at one point, 10 officers were trying to detain him. The state medical examiner’s office say the autopsy report is still pending. While the physical examination takes only a few hours, the toxicology reports typically take 60 to 90 days. They say anytime there’s an unexpected dead and it’s a young person in good health, every avenue needs to be explored. West’s family say they will protest every Wednesday until the silence is broken.