News from
Monday, December 17, 2018

By Kate Feldman New York Daily News

STRASBOURG, France - A fifth victim succumbed to his injuries after last week’s terror attack at the Strasbourg Christmas market in France, the Paris prosecutor’s office said Sunday.

Barto Pedro Orent-Niedzielski, a 36-year-old Polish native, died after five days in a coma, his brother told the BBC.

His family kept him on life support long enough for friends and relatives to come say goodbye.

Orent-Niedzielski is the fifth victim — and fourth identified — to die after the Dec. 11 attack. Kamal Naghchband, a garage mechanic and father of three from Afghanistan. Anupong Suebsamarn, a 45-year-old Thai national on vacation with his wife, Antonio Megalizzi, a 29-year-old Italian journalist, and an unnamed 61-year-old retired bank worker have all died.

Gunman Cherif Chekatt, 29, was killed in a police shootout Thursday evening after a two-day manhunt of more than 700 officers.

Prosecutors believe that Chekatt had been radicalized during one of his stints behind bars — he did time in 2008 and 2013 for robberies in France, Switzerland and Germany — and his father said over the weekend that his son was an ISIS supporter.

Four members of his family were detained for questioning, but released on Saturday. Two other associates were let go on Sunday, according to the BBC.


©2018 New York Daily News

Monday, December 17, 2018

WDAF-TV, Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Two Kansas City officers were hurt late Sunday responding to an indecent exposure call that ended with one of the officers shooting and killing the suspect.

It happened around 11 p.m. near North 18th Street and Orville Avenue. As of 6 a.m., that intersection was still shut down.

According to police, responding officers found the suspect and began talking with them. During that conversation there was a struggle between one of the officers and the suspect. The suspect grabbed the officer's gun and shot him in the hand.

Shortly after that the second officer pulled his gun and shot and killed the suspect. Authorities have not yet released the suspect's identity.

Both officers who were injured are expected to recover.


©2018 WDAF-TV, Kansas City

Monday, December 17, 2018

By Associated Press

DARLINGTON, S.C. — Sheriff's deputies in South Carolina have shot and killed a woman armed with a knife.

Darlington County Sheriff's Lt. Robby Kilgo said in a news release that deputies were called to a home in Darlington late Sunday to check a report of a person "actively inflicting bodily harm."

Kilgo said as deputies entered, a person with a large, serrated knife confronted them. Kilgo said deputies shot the person, who was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Sheriff Tony Chavis has asked the State Law Enforcement Division to investigate. SLED spokesman Thom Berry says the armed person was a woman, and he says that she has died.

Berry said two officers were involved. Their names have not been released.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH, Minn. - The Duluth Police Department has added another resource in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

Jessica McCarthy started last Tuesday as the department’s first opioid technician, a role that will help respond to overdose victims, provide chemical dependency referrals and develop and coordinate outreach and training.

Opioid overdoses — many involving illegal drugs like heroin and fentanyl and prescription painkillers like Vicodin — have risen dramatically in recent decades in St. Louis County and around the country.

The Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, headed by the Duluth Police Department, said its goal is “to not only apprehend opioid-related offenses but to save the lives of those who have become addicted and to educate the community about the dangers of opioid use and the downward spiral of addiction,” according to a news release Thursday.

McCarthy — who Police Chief Mike Tusken says will “allow us to have a dedicated resource who can meet people where they are at and together explore treatment options to return them to health” — was brought on through a grant.

"I have been sober going on 8 years,” McCarthy said in the release. “This position and program is an excellent opportunity to reflect the human aspect of addiction and drug use into policing. Hopefully this will work to change the stigma surrounding addiction and shine light on the fact that people overdosing in our community are in need of systems changes, not to be stigmatized as less-than citizens.”

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Welcome to the team, Jessica! "We are proud to have Jessica as our first-ever Opioid Technician. The experience she...

Posted by Duluth Police Department on Thursday, December 13, 2018


©2018 the Duluth News Tribune (Duluth, Minn.)

Monday, December 17, 2018

By Dana Littlefield The San Diego Union-Tribune

ENCINITAS, Calif. - A sheriff’s deputy was hospitalized Saturday while attempting to arrest a man seen hitting a red-light camera with a baseball bat, authorities said.

The deputy, whose name has not been released, was being treated for multiple broken bones.

The incident started shortly after 2:30 p.m. after the Sheriff’s Department received reports from witnesses who said they saw the man on a ladder striking the traffic-light camera at the intersection of North El Camino Real and Encinitas Boulevard.

A deputy who was driving by saw the man hitting the camera. The deputy stopped his vehicle and contacted the man, ordering him to stop and drop the baseball bat, the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

The man refused to comply with the deputy’s order, and the deputy fired his Taser at the suspect in an attempt to incapacitate him, the department said, but the Taser malfunctioned.

The suspect then swung the bat at the deputy, the department said, prompting the deputy to take out his baton and hit the suspect.

He ran and the deputy chased him for a short distance into the parking lot of a nearby Shell gas station on Encinitas Boulevard. When the deputy caught up to the suspect, the man “turned around and attacked the deputy,” according to the Sheriff’s Department.

As they fought, other deputies arrived and the suspect was detained and handcuffed. The suspect, identified later as Frederick Gramcko, 55, was restrained with a device known as the WRAP, then taken to a hospital for treatment.

Gramcko was arrested and booked into the Vista jail on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer.


©2018 The San Diego Union-Tribune

Monday, December 17, 2018

By Associated Press

NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio — A police officer in a Cleveland suburb posted a message on social media after ticketing an 18-year-old for driving 100 mph (161 kph) in a 65 mph (105 kph) zone.

The officer wrote on Facebook Sunday that he didn't feel bad about writing the ticket because the teen needs to slow down before causing a fatal crash.

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To the 18 year old kid I stopped on SR 10, You’re welcome. I’d like to believe that you were minutes away from creating...

Posted by North Ridgeville Police Department on Sunday, December 16, 2018

The officer says the reckless teen driver "seemed like a really nice kid who made a bad decision."

Sunday, December 16, 2018

By Verena Dobnik Associated Press

NEW YORK — The New York City police commissioner said Friday that a more complicated and "chaotic" story is emerging from a witness video that went viral showing a tug-of-war between a New York mother with a toddler and police yanking the boy from her.

Police said an internal review found that Jazmine Headley had used the child as a shield to avoid arrest on Dec. 7 at a Brooklyn social services office.

According to the review — based on information from witnesses and officers at the scene with body cameras — the 23-year-old woman became verbally abusive and bit the arm of a security employee at the Human Resources Administration who tried to remove her after she sat on the floor, blocking others. She then took the child from his stroller and refused to budge, flailing when approached, witnesses cited in the review said.

The Internal Affairs Bureau said two police officers were trying to calm the situation but failed, finally taking the child. They remain on active duty.

Witnesses later told police that it was two city security officers who first escalated the confrontation with the woman. They're on modified duty.

"This incident was chaotic and difficult to watch, and clearly something went wrong," Police Commissioner James O'Neill said Friday. "The NYPD has conducted a strenuous review of what happened, because the public deserves answers, and we must take every opportunity to continuously strengthen how the NYPD serves the people of New York City."

In the wake of this incident, the commissioner said the department is looking to improve both its own procedures and coordination with fellow city agencies.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

By Zachary Hansen The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

DECATUR, Ga. — A DeKalb County police dog, who was shot in the head while hunting down a suspect accused of shooting and killing a DeKalb officer, has been released from a veterinary hospital, police said.

K-9 Officer Indi, 7, lost his right eye after being shot above his right ear Thursday afternoon, DeKalb County police said in a news release Sunday.

Brandon Taylor is accused of shooting Indi after shooting and killing Officer Edgar Flores, 24, following a traffic stop, previously reported. Taylor was also shot and killed by responding officers after allegedly shooting Indi.

Indi was removed from the scene by his handler, Officer Norman Larsen, and was taken to the Blue Pearl Emergency Pet Hospital in Sandy Springs, the release said.

The incident happened around 5 p.m., so evening commute traffic delayed how quickly Indi could get to the hospital, the release said. Sandy Springs police helped by holding traffic at intersections and clearing roadways to help speed up the critically injured dog’s transport.

DeKalb officers held a vigil for Indi Thursday night at the hospital, which was also attended by K-9 handlers from Sandy Springs, Brookhaven and Doraville, the release said.

Aside from losing his eye, Indi is expected to make a full recovery, the release said. On Friday, DeKalb police Chief James Conroy said Indi could eventually return to duty.

“The dog was very helpful in apprehending and locating the subject in this case,” Conroy said.

Indi has been with the department for five years. In that span, he helped catch a suspect in a brutal home invasion, which was featured on in November 2016.

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©2018 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Associated Press

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A 7-year-old girl who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border with her father last week died after being taken into the custody of the U.S. Border Patrol, federal immigration authorities confirmed Thursday.

The Washington Post reports the girl died of dehydration and shock more than eight hours after she was arrested by agents near Lordsburg, New Mexico. The girl was from Guatemala and was traveling with a group of 163 people who approached agents to turn themselves in on Dec. 6.

It's unknown what happened to the girl during the eight hours before she started having seizures and was flown to an El Paso hospital.

In a statement, Customs and Border Protection said the girl had not eaten or consumed water in several days.

The agency did not provide The Associated Press with the statement it gave to the Post, despite repeated requests.

Processing 163 immigrants in one night could have posed challenges for the agency, whose detention facilities are meant to be temporary and don't usually fit that many people.

When a Border Patrol agent arrests someone, that person gets processed at a facility but usually spends no more than 72 hours in custody before they are either transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement or, if they're Mexican, quickly deported home.

The girl's death raises questions about whether border agents knew she was ill and whether she was fed anything or given anything to drink during the eight-plus hours she was in custody.

Immigrants, attorneys and activists have long raised issues with the conditions of Border Patrol holding cells. In Tucson, an ongoing lawsuit claims holding cells are filthy, extremely cold and lacking basic necessities such as blankets. A judge overseeing that lawsuit has ordered the agency's Tucson Sector, which patrols much of the Arizona-Mexico border, to provide blankets and mats to sleep on and to continually turn over surveillance footage from inside the cells.

The Border Patrol has seen an increasing trend of large groups of immigrants, many with young children, walking up to agents and turning themselves in. Most are Central American and say they are fleeing violence. They turn themselves in instead of trying to circumvent authorities, many with plans to apply for asylum.

Agents in Arizona see groups of over 100 people on a regular basis, sometimes including infants and toddlers.

Arresting such groups poses logistical problems for agents who have to wait on transport vans that are equipped with baby seats to take them to processing facilities, some which are at least half hour north of the border.

The death of the 7-year-old comes after a toddler died in May just after being released from an ICE family detention facility in Texas, and as the administration of Donald Trump attempts to ban people from asking for asylum if they crossed the border illegally. A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked that ban, but the administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate it Tuesday.

Cynthia Pompa, advocacy manager for the ACLU Border Rights Center, said migrant deaths increased last year even as the number of border crossing dropped.

"This tragedy represents the worst possible outcome when people, including children, are held in inhumane conditions. Lack of accountability, and a culture of cruelty within CBP have exacerbated policies that lead to migrant deaths," Pompa said.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

WGHP-TV, Greensboro

LUMBERTON, N.C. — A Lumberton police officer has died after being struck by a car while investigating a crash on I-95 early Saturday morning.

WTVD reported that Officer Jason Quick was responding to a wreck on I-95 Northbound near Exit 22 just after 6 a.m.

Officer Quick was hit by a car shortly before 7 a.m., according to authorities. Quick was taken to Southeastern Regional Medical Center where he died.

REST IN PEACE: North Carolina Police Officer Jason Quick was hit and killed this morning along I-95 in Lumberton while responding to a crash. Officer Quick, you are a hero. Praying for his wife and children @WRAL

— Mikaya Thurmond (@WRALMikaya) December 15, 2018

The North Carolina Highway Patrol and the Investigator for the Robeson County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the crash scene.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Officer Jason Quick,” the Lumberton Police Department said on Facebook.

©2018 WGHP-TV, Greensboro