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Four people shot while at mall

Four people have been shot at an eastern Pennsylvania strip mall barbershop where another shooting happened a day earlier.

Reading (RED'-ing) police Chief Robert Heim says one person has been critically injured in the shooting while the other three have suffered minor injuries. Authorities say no one is in custody.

The Reading Eagle newspaper says the shooting happened Wednesday afternoon at the All Stars Hair Salon and Unisex Hair Studio. On Tuesday night, a gunman fired several shots into the shop.

The newspaper reports nearly a dozen people were in the shop Tuesday but no one was injured. That shooting remains under investigation.

The Canadian Press


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2 nights of unrest in Ferguson

Business owners and residents boarded up windows and cleared away debris Wednesday as Ferguson sought a tentative return to normal after two nights of unrest over a grand jury decision's not to indict a police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old.

Protesters continued to hold scattered demonstrations, including a group that rushed into City Hall in St. Louis, the city neighbouring Ferguson, screaming "Shame, shame." Police locked down the building and called in more than a hundred extra officers. Three people were arrested.

About 200 demonstrators marched through downtown St. Louis and held a mock trial of Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown during an Aug. 9 struggle.

The racially charged case has stoked passions nationwide, triggering debates over the relationship between black communities and law enforcement. Since the grand jury's decision was announced Monday night, protesters in cities throughout the country have rallied behind the refrain "hands up, don't shoot," and drawn attention to other police killings.

In New York City on Wednesday, Brown's parents joined the families of two other black men who were unarmed when they died at the hands of police. The families joined arms with civil rights leader Al Sharpton and prayed for justice at the Harlem headquarters of Sharpton's organization, the National Action Network.

As the tension in Ferguson eased somewhat, Wilson broke his long public silence, insisting on national television that he could not have done anything differently in the Aug. 9 confrontation. The officer testified during the grand jury hearings that he felt threatened and that Brown tried to grab his gun, something the Brown family has said they don't believe.

An influx of guardsmen — reserve troops that state governors can call up during emergencies — helped make Tuesday night much calmer, although there still were 58 arrests, and demonstrators in Ferguson set fire to a squad car and broke windows at City Hall.

Many residents hoped that the relative calm of the daylight hours would last through the night and into Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday.

A few hours after nightfall, National Guard troops with rifles were posted at intersections and in several parking lots in the area where stores were looted and burned Monday into Tuesday. But there were no protesters in sight.

Earlier in the day, about a dozen people painted over boarded-up windows on businesses in the St. Louis suburb's historic downtown, where National Guardsmen were stationed every few feet and some looked down from rooftops.

Also Wednesday, authorities said a 20-year-old man whose body was found inside a car in Ferguson after Monday night's riots had been intentionally set on fire.

The death of Deandre Joshua is being investigated as a homicide, but police have not said whether it's connected to the violence that broke out after the grand jury announcement. An autopsy determined that Joshua was shot once in the head.

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Link to grand jury documents: http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/_documents/ferguson-shooting/ .

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Associated Press writers Andale Gross, Alan Zagier and Phillip Lucas also contributed to this report.

The Canadian Press


Man shoots FBI agents

A man who fatally shot his mother and wounded a suburban St. Louis police officer and two FBI agents is dead, authorities said Wednesday.

Police Det. Sgt. Fredrick Lemons said Major Washington, 33, died early Wednesday after police were called to a home where he was hiding. Lemons declined to say how Washington died.

Police say Washington broke into the home of his mother, 55-year-old Donna Washington, Monday night, and killed her. He shot a responding police officer in the chest. The officer, Zachary Hoelzer, is hospitalized in serious but stable condition. He is a five-year veteran of the department.

Detectives then received a tip that Washington might be hiding in a different home, and went there shortly before 3 a.m. Wednesday. Lemons said Washington was barricaded inside alone.

FBI agents provided tactical support and two were shot — one in the leg and one in the shoulder. Their injuries are not life-threatening, FBI spokeswoman Rebecca Wu said. Names of the agents were not released.

Lemons said Washington was found dead inside the home.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Washington was released from prison in March for a 2011 case that began when he threatened a relative at his mother's home. He pointed a gun at arriving officers and police shot him during that incident. Details of his injuries from that shooting were not available.

Washington pleaded guilty to two counts each of second-degree assault on a law-enforcement officer and armed criminal action and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Washington had convictions in 2003 for drug possession, escape from custody, assault a law-enforcement officer and resisting arrest, the Post-Dispatch reported.

The Canadian Press




Cop who shot boy on video

A 12-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun that looked like a real firearm was ordered three times to show his hands before he was fatally shot by an officer, Cleveland police said Wednesday as they released surveillance video of the confrontation and identified the officers involved.

The compressed video shows the confrontation in stuttered images but lacks sound. Police said it was being released as requested by the family of the boy, Tamir Rice. They also released audio of a 911 call reporting a gun and a dispatcher directing officers to the scene.

"This is not an effort to exonerate. It's not an effort to show the public that anybody did anything wrong," Deputy Chief Edward Tomba said. "This is an obvious tragic event where a young member of our community lost their life. We've got two officers that were out there protecting the public that just had to, you know, do something that nobody wants to do."

Tomba refused to comment on what the officers said in their statements, including whether Tamir made any comments to them.

Police identified the responding officers as 26-year-old Timothy Loehman, who was appointed to the force this year and was identified as the officer who fired on Tamir, and 46-year-old Frank Garmback, who's been with the department since 2008.

Police say Tamir was told to raise his hands three times, then reached into his waistband for what appeared to be a firearm. Police later determined it was an airsoft gun — which shoots small plastic pellets — that did not have an orange safety indicator at the end of the barrel.

The boy was shot Saturday as officers responded to a call about someone with a gun at a Cleveland playground. Police said Tamir was given first aid less than 4 minutes after the shooting, and emergency medical personnel arrived three minutes after that.

He died at a hospital the next day.

The video of the shooting was to be made available to media later.

The shooting has led to an investigation of the officer's use of force and protests referencing this and other police-involved shootings.

The officers involved have been interviewed, and police have obtained statements from several other people, Tomba said. He said police are monitoring social media for any indications of other potential witnesses and are pleading for people to come forward if they have information related to the case, even if it is just a tidbit.

The Canadian Press


Cops Steal Comics

Two Houston-area investigators are accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in rare comic books while working an embezzlement case.

A Harris County grand jury on Tuesday indicted Dustin Deutsch, 41, with felony theft by a public servant and tampering with evidence, the Houston Chronicle reported. Deutsch and his former partner at the Harris County District Attorney's Office, 39-year-old Lonnie Blevins, are accused of stealing the comics from a storage unit in 2012.

Both men were assigned to investigate attorney Anthony Chiofalo, who stole about $9 million from a crane-manufacturing company. He was sentenced to 40 years in May after pleading guilty to first-degree felony theft.

Chiofalo bought hundreds of collectibles with the stolen money, including a first-edition Batman comic valued around $900,000 and a baseball helmet signed by former Cincinnati Reds player Pete Rose.

The FBI said Deutsch had keys to a storage unit that held the vintage comics, and that Deutsch gave the rarities to Blevins, who sold them in Chicago.

The Canadian Press


Cops don't like banana gun

A man is facing a felony menacing charge after two western Colorado sheriff's deputies say he pointed a banana at them and they thought it was a gun.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports 27-year-old Nathan Rolf Channing, of Fruitvale, was arrested Sunday.

According to an arrest affidavit, Mesa County deputies Joshua Bunch and Donald Love said they feared for their lives even though they saw that the object was yellow. Bunch wrote in the affidavit that he has seen handguns in many shapes and colours.

He wrote that Love was drawing his service weapon when Channing yelled, "It's a banana!"

The deputies say Channing told them he was doing a trial run for a planned YouTube video and he thought it would "lighten the holiday spirit."

The Canadian Press


Wilson finally breaks silence

Hundreds of additional National Guard troops rolled into Ferguson on Tuesday, a day after protesters looted businesses and set fire to buildings in a night of rage against a grand jury's decision not to indict the white police officer who killed Michael Brown.

Meanwhile, officer Darren Wilson broke his long public silence, insisting on national television that he could not have done anything differently in the confrontation with Brown.

In the aftermath of Monday's violence, Missouri governor Jay Nixon more than tripled the number of Guard soldiers sent to the St. Louis suburb, ordering the initial force of 700 to be increased to 2,200 in hopes that their presence would help local law enforcement keep order in the St. Louis suburb.

"Lives and property must be protected," Nixon said. "This community deserves to have peace."

About 50 protesters converged on a barricade guarded by 30 Guard members. The group chanted "Whose streets, our streets," ''This is what democracy looks like" and "Hands up don't shoot."

Two protesters wearing masks were arrested after refusing to comply with police instructions to get out of the street.

During an interview with ABC News, Wilson said he has a clean conscience because "I know I did my job right."

Wilson had been with the Ferguson police force for less than three years before the Aug. 9 shooting. He told ABC that Brown's shooting marked the first time he had fired his gun on the job.

Attorneys for the Brown family vowed to push for federal charges against Wilson and said the grand jury process was rigged from the start to clear Wilson.

"We said from the very beginning that the decision of this grand jury was going to be the direct reflection of the presentation of the evidence by the prosecutor's office," attorney Anthony Gray said. He suggested the county's top prosecutor, Bob McCulloch, presented some testimony to discredit the process, including from witnesses who did not see the shooting.

During the protests that erupted after the grand jury's decision, 12 commercial buildings in Ferguson burned down, and firefighters responded to blazes at eight others, fire officials said. Other businesses were looted, and 12 vehicles were torched.

By Tuesday afternoon, several businesses along West Florissant Avenue were already closed.

Natalie DuBose, owner of Natalie's Cakes and More, planned to spend Tuesday night at her business, which is only about a block from the Ferguson Police Department.

"I have to be here because I have orders that I have to complete for tomorrow and for Thursday because of the holiday. I just couldn't do it today because of the cleanup."

A window at her business was busted out in Monday night's turmoil.

"This is my livelihood," she said. "This is the only source of income I have to raise my children."

Brown's parents made public calls for peace in the run-up to Monday's announcement, and on Tuesday, their representatives again stressed that the people setting fires were not on Michael Brown's side.

Videos that were widely circulated on Tuesday showed Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, standing on top of a car and breaking down as the announcement of the grand jury decision blares over the stereo.

Her husband, Brown's stepfather, comforts her, then begins angrily yelling "Burn the bitch down!" to a crowd gathered around him. Asked about the comment at a news conference, family attorney Benjamin Crump said the reaction was, "raw emotion. Not appropriate at all. Completely inappropriate."

Protests continued during the day on Tuesday. In Clayton, where the grand jury met, clergy members and others blocked morning traffic for several hours. In downtown St. Louis, where demonstrators swarmed the steps of a federal courthouse and stopped traffic, at least four people were arrested.

Many school districts cancelled classes out of concern for the safety of students travelling to and from school.

The Canadian Press


116 arrested in protest

Hong Kong authorities cleared street barricades from a pro-democracy protest camp in the volatile Mong Kok district for a second day Wednesday after a night of clashes in which police arrested 116 people.

People wearing red baseball caps and T-shirts that said "I (heart) HK" helped dismantle a first row of barricades made up mostly of wooden pallets after bailiffs issued a warning to the crowd that they would start enforcing the court-ordered clearance.

Police officers in helmets soon stepped in, using shears to clear further rows of metal barricades while others tore down tents and canopies and carried away other obstructions, including a sofa. Hundreds of other officers advanced slowly along the street while some stood by with backpack pepper sprayers.

Local media reports said 4,000 officers were on hand to enforce the court injunction granted to taxi drivers to remove obstructions from Nathan Road, a busy artery in Kowloon.

Police said that the 116 people arrested as of early Wednesday were held for offences including unlawful assembly and assaulting or obstructing police. One man was arrested for possessing offensive weapons including an axe, hammer and crowbar.

The arrest toll was likely to rise after police were seen detaining several more people as the operation got underway, including student leaders Joshua Wong and Lester Shum, according to the Hong Kong Federation of Students' Facebook page.

Nine officers were hurt in the scuffles.

Protesters have been camped out on major thoroughfares since Sept. 28 demanding greater democracy in the semiautonomous Chinese city. The standoff has continued with no end in sight as neither the government nor the student-led protesters have shown any willingness to compromise.

The demonstrators demand that Hong Kong's government scrap a plan mandated by China's communist leaders to use a panel of Beijing-friendly elites to screen candidates for top leader in inaugural 2017 elections.

The chaotic scenes overnight underscored the challenge Hong Kong authorities face in trying to shut down the protest site in gritty, working-class Mong Kok. It's home to a more unruly and aggressive crowd compared with the main protest site next to government headquarters, where protesters last week put up little resistance to a separate court order to remove a handful of barricades.

The Canadian Press


Cop shot child from 10 feet away

A Cleveland officer was less than 10 feet away when he fatally shot a 12-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun near a playground, and video of the shooting is clear about what happened, police said Monday.

The boy was confronted Saturday by officers responding to a 911 call about a male who appeared to be pulling a gun in and out of his pants.

The 911 caller said the gun was "probably fake," then added, "I don't know if it's real or not." Deputy Chief Edward Tomba said Monday that he didn't know whether a dispatcher shared that information with responding officers.

The president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association has said the officers weren't told the caller thought the gun might be fake.

Police say Tamir Rice, who died Sunday, had an "airsoft" gun that appeared indistinguishable from a real firearm. Airsoft guns fire spherical plastic pellets and have orange tips to show they aren't real firearms, but police said the one the boy had didn't have the bright safety indicator.

Authorities said the boy was told to raise his hands and was shot when he pulled the pellet gun from his waistband, though he hadn't pointed it at police or made verbal threats.

"Our officers at times are required to make critical decisions in a split second," Chief Calvin Williams said. "Unfortunately this is one of those times."

Tomba said surveillance video of the shooting is "very clear" about what occurred, but he wouldn't discuss details of what it shows.

People representing the boy's family viewed the video Monday, but police didn't release it publicly because it is considered evidence and because they want to be sensitive to the family, the community and the officer, who is distraught, officials said.

The shooting has led to an investigation of the officer's use of force. It also contributed to a state lawmaker's plan to propose legislation requiring all BB guns, air rifles and airsoft guns sold in Ohio to be brightly colored or have prominent fluorescent strips.

The two officers involved in the shooting were put on administrative leave under standard procedure. Police haven't publicly identified them.

The Canadian Press


Protesters storm courthouse

Video from Monday night's riot and Tuesday morning clean up:

Tuesday Update:

Protesters angry about the grand jury decision to not indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson have overturned barricades and swarmed the steps of the federal courthouse in downtown St. Louis.

About 300 people marched from a park to the courthouse during the lunch hour Tuesday. Organizers gave them tips beforehand to anyone who was planning to be intentionally arrested.

Those who swarmed the courthouse steps chanted "You didn't indict. We shall fight."

It was one of several protests in the St. Louis area Tuesday over Monday's grand jury decision not to indict Wilson for killing 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9.

Several Ferguson businesses were burned during the protest that erupted after the grand jury decision was announced Monday night.

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The Canadian Press


Apartment building collapses

An apartment building in Egypt's capital collapsed Tuesday, killing at least 17 people as rescuers and neighbours frantically dug through rubble with their hands to find survivors, authorities said.

The collapse in Cairo's eastern Matariya district highlights the longtime problem of shoddy construction across Egypt, as neighbours said the seven-story building had several floors illegally added onto it. Egyptian developers seeking bigger profits frequently build without permits amid a nationwide housing shortage, rampant corruption and lax government oversight.

The building caved in around 1:30 a.m. as many inside slept, witnesses said. Bulldozers roared into the neighbourhood's narrow alleys after the collapse, removing chunks of cement, steel rods, scattered clothes and bloody bed sheets. Neighbors said workers looked for mattresses in the hope they'd find survivors nearby.

Mamdouh Abdel-Qader, the head of Cairo Civil Defence, said rescuers recovered 17 bodies from the collapse. The official MENA news agency said workers pulled eight residents out of the rubble alive. Neighbors said those still buried made desperate mobile phone calls, begging for help.

"A man with his daughter was calling me saying they are trapped in darkness," said a dust-covered Ali Abdel-Fattah Ali, a government employee who moonlights as a mechanic in a nearby car repair shop. "I tried to call back but there was no answer. I don't know what happened. His phone is still ringing."

Immediately after the collapse, Abeer Ismail, 25, called out the name of her mother-in-law, who lived on the second floor. Ismail said she had last visited the building on Sunday and could tell it was unsafe.

"You could see the steel rods popping out of the walls and cracks covered the walls," she said.

The son of the building's owner jumped off a balcony to escape the collapse, neighbours said. It's unclear who owns the building now as the owner died six months ago.

Officials and neighbours said that the building owner defied a court ruling issued five years ago and illegally built several extra floors atop the original four-story structure.

Abdel-Khaleq Abdel-Hadi, a resident who wasn't in the building at the time of the collapse, accused local authorities of accepting bribes to hold off the execution of the court order.

"This is extreme act of negligence by our government ... where souls of people are worth nothing," said Abdel-Hadi, whose family fled the building once they felt it shaking.

On its website, the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper quoted Matariya council housing official Salah Galal as saying a total of 37 other area buildings were ordered to be removed for being illegally built since 2012. Galal denied his staff took any bribes, saying police are responsible to execute such orders.

The Canadian Press


Female suicide bombers kill 30

Two teenage female suicide bombers blew themselves up Tuesday in a crowded market in Nigeria's northeastern city of Maiduguri, killing at least 30 people, according to witnesses and a security official.

Boko Haram, Nigeria's Islamic extremist rebels, are suspected of the bombings, as they have carried out many similar attacks. The bombings highlight Nigeria's ongoing insecurity in which 1,500 people have been killed by the militant's insurgency this year, according to Amnesty International.

The two girls dressed in full hijabs entered the busy marketplace and detonated their explosives, said Abba Aji Kalli, the Borno state co-ordinator of the Civilian Joint Task Force.

The first set off her explosives and killed about three women, said Kalli.

When others gathered around the scene, the second bomber screamed and blew herself up, killing about 30, he said.

"I am right here at the scene and I have before me 11 corpses ... many have been taken away by relatives, while others are taken to the state specialists' hospital," said Kalli.

Soldiers and police officers cordoned off the area while rescue workers helped survivors to the hospital. Nigeria's police have not yet issued a statement on Tuesday's blasts.

Today's blast is the first in Maiduguri since July 2 when 56 people were killed in the same market area when a car bomb hit a group of traders and shoppers.

Maiduguri is the provincial capital and largest city in Borno state, one of the three states in northeastern Nigeria that are under a state of emergency because of the extremist violence.

In April, Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, about 125 kilometres southwest of Maiduguri. The schoolgirls are still missing and their plight has aroused international concern and prompted the #BringBackOurGirls social media campaign.

The Canadian Press


Violence in Ferguson

Protesters smashed windows out of police cars and businesses, several of which were later set ablaze, and officers lobbed tear gas from inside armoured vehicles to disperse crowds Monday as violence overtook protests in Ferguson.

 

Some of the hundreds of people who gathered outside the Ferguson Police Department erupted in anger as St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch's announced that Officer Darren Wilson, who is white, wouldn't be indicted in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed.

Protesters overran a barricade and taunted police. Some chanted "murderer" and others threw rocks and bottles. Gun shots rang out a several points during the night, though it was not immediately clear if anyone was hit or any arrests were made related to the gunfire.

The windows of a police car were smashed and protesters tried to topple it before it was set on fire, though some in the crowd tried to stop others from taking part in the violence. Officers responded by firing what authorities said was smoke and pepper spray into the crowd. St. Louis County Police later confirmed tear gas also was used.

A storage unit and a Little Caesar's pizza shop were among buildings that burned.

When McCulloch read his statement, a crowd gathered around a car from which the news conference was broadcast on a stereo. Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, sat atop the car. When the decision was announced, she burst into tears and began screaming before being whisked away by supporters.

A short time later, Brown's family issued a statement asking people to keep their protests peaceful.

"Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction," the statement said.

The Canadian Press


Ferguson protests across the US

Thousands of people rallied late Monday in U.S. cities including Los Angeles and New York to passionately but peacefully protest a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer who killed a black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri.

They led marches, waved signs and shouted chants of "Hands Up! Don't Shoot," the slogan that has become a rallying cry in protests over police killings across the country.

Activists had been planning to protest even before the nighttime announcement that Officer Darren Wilson will not be charged in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

The racially charged case in Ferguson has inflamed tensions and reignited debates over police-community relations even in cities hundreds of miles from the predominantly black St. Louis suburb. For many staging protests Monday, the shooting was personal, calling to mind other galvanizing encounters with local law enforcement.

Police departments in several major cities said they were bracing for large demonstrations with the potential for the kind of violence that marred nightly protests in Ferguson after Brown's killing. Demonstrators there vandalized police cars, hugged barricades and taunted officers with expletives Monday night while police fired smoke canisters and pepper spray. Gunshots were heard on the streets.

But police elsewhere reported that gatherings were mostly peaceful immediately following Monday's announcement.

About 100 people holding signs that read "The People Say Guilty!" blocked an intersection in downtown Oakland, California, after a line of police officers stopped them from getting on a highway on-ramp. Minutes earlier, some of the protesters lay on the ground while others outlined their bodies in chalk. A similar scene unfolded in Seattle as dozens of police officers watched.

Several hundred people marched through downtown Philadelphia with a large contingent of police nearby.

"Mike Brown is an emblem (of a movement). This country is at its boiling point," said Ethan Jury, a protester in Philadelphia. "How many people need to die? How many black people need to die?"

Several hundred people who had gathered in Manhattan's Union Square to watch the announcement marched peacefully to Times Square after the family of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man killed by a police chokehold earlier this year, joined the Rev. Al Sharpton at a speech lamenting the grand jury's decision.

In Los Angeles, which was rocked by riots in 1992 after the acquittal of police officers in the videotaped beating of Rodney King, police officers were told to remain on duty until released by their supervisors. About 100 people gathered in Leimert Park while others held a small news conference demanding changes in police policies.

A splinter group of about 30 people broke away and marched through surrounding streets, blocking intersections, but the demonstrations remained mostly small and peaceful.

Chris Manor, with Utah Against Police Brutality, helped organize an event in Salt Lake City that attracted about 35 people.

"There are things that have affected us locally, but at the same time, it's important to show solidarity with people in other cities who are facing the very same thing that we're facing," Manor said.

In Denver, where a civil jury last month found deputies used excessive force in the death of a homeless street preacher, clergy gathered at a church to discuss the decision, and dozens of people rallied in a downtown park with a moment of silence.

At Cleveland's Public Square, at least a dozen protesters held signs Monday afternoon and chanted "Hands up, don't shoot," which has become a rallying cry since the Ferguson shooting. Their signs referenced police shootings that have shaken the community there, including Saturday's fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who had a fake gun at a Cleveland playground when officers confronted him.

A few hundred people marched from Chicago police headquarters toward downtown after hearing the Ferguson decision, using profanity but causing no damage. Police on bicycles, horseback and in squad cars closed portions of roads along the protesters' route.

The Canadian Press




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