National News

NYC Mayor Asks Protesters to Pause Until After Cops' Funerals


iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for protesters to put their activities on hold until after the funerals of the two NYPD police officers who were shot to death in Brooklyn Saturday."I think that's the right way to try to build towards a more unified and decent city," the mayor said at a Monday afternoon news conference.Earlier in the day, de Blasio had urged people to set aside politics and protests to support and comfort the families of the two slain NYPD officers who are “suffering unspeakable pain.”It’s time for those of different viewpoints to “put aside political debates, put aside protests, put aside everything we will talk about in due time while two families try to piece their lives back together,” he said at a gathering of the Police Athletic League before Monday afternoon's news conference.The remarks were the mayor’s first public comments since the police union said he had blood on his hands over the Saturday shooting deaths of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. De Blasio avoided a direct confrontation over the incendiary rhetoric.He said the Liu and Ramos families “experienced the worst possible moment a family could.”He called the incident "an attack on democracy, an attack on our values, an attack on every single New Yorker."The mayor and New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton also visited the families of the fallen officers earlier on Monday, three days after both men died in the attack in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.The pair did not speak to reporters as they entered and exited Ramos' home.The Ramos family said they would welcome de Blasio at Ramos’ funeral in spite of an effort started by the largest police union last week -- before the shootings -- to have officers sign petitions to keep the mayor from their possible funerals.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had stopped by Liu's home moments before de Blasio and Bratton.Meanwhile, Ramos' funeral service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at Christ Tabernacle Church in the Queens neighborhood of Glendale, after the viewing service there Friday evening.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

NYC Mayor: No Politics Amid Cops' Families' 'Unspeakable Pain'


iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday urged people to set aside politics and protests to support and comfort the families of the two slain NYPD officers who are “suffering unspeakable pain.”It’s time for those of different viewpoints to “put aside political debates, put aside protests, put aside everything we will talk about in due time while two families try to piece their lives back together,” he said at a gathering of the Police Athletic League.The remarks were the mayor’s first public comments since the police union said he had blood on his hands over the Saturday shooting deaths of Officers Wenlian Liu and Rafael Ramos. De Blasio avoided a direct confrontation over the incendiary rhetoric.He said the Liu and Ramos families “experienced the worst possible moment a family could.”He called the incident "an attack on democracy, an attack on our values, an attack on every single New Yorker."The mayor and New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton also visited the families of the fallen officers on Monday, three days after both men died in an attack in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.The pair did not speak to reporters as they entered and exited the home.The Ramos family said they would welcome de Blasio at Ramos’ funeral in spite of an effort started by the largest police union last week -- before the shootings -- to have officers sign petitions to keep the mayor from their possible funerals.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had stopped by Liu's home moments before de Blasio and Bratton.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Milwaukee Police Officer Not Charged in Fatal Shooting


iStock/Thinkstock(MILWAUKEE) -- A former Milwaukee police officer will not face criminal charges in connection with the killing of unarmed man in April, the county prosecutor announced Monday, determining that the shooting was a justified use of deadly force in self-defense.Dontre Hamilton, 31, was shot 14 times by Officer Christopher Manney, after the two got into a violent struggle in a downtown Milwaukee park.“This was a tragic incident for the Hamilton family and for the community,” concluded the report by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm. "But, based on all the evidence and analysis presented in this report, I come to the conclusion that Officer Manney’s use of force in this incident was justified self-defense and that defense cannot be reasonably overcome to establish a basis to charge Officer Manney with a crime.”The April 30 incident began with an employee of a Starbuck’s coffee kiosk calling police to complain about Hamilton sleeping in Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee.Two other Milwaukee officers had responded to the call and determined, after speaking with Hamilton, that he was not causing a disturbance. Manney later retrieved a voicemail referencing the complaints about Hamilton and went to the park to respond -- apparently unaware that the other officers had already contacted him.The prosecutor’s report cites more than a dozen witness accounts from bystanders who saw the majority of the incident, which apparently began while Manney was checking Hamilton for weapons, and then quickly escalated, though the accounts differ on which man was the aggressor.Manney claimed in his statement to investigators that Hamilton had been the aggressor -- lunging and punching at him as the officer was attempting to pat him down -- and ultimately gaining control of the officer’s baton, according to the cops account in the report.“[Hamilton] lunged at him and tried to strike him with a fist,” the report says in summarizing Manney’s statement. “Officer Manney blocked the punch and struck Hamilton with an open palm to the chin. Hamilton then grabbed Manney in the shoulder area, pulled him towards him and struck him [Manney] in the right head area. Manney felt he was losing control and decided to escalate to his intermediate weapon, a wooden baton.”Manney told investigators Hamilton then struck him in the neck with the baton and that he fired his weapon because he feared Hamilton would continue to attack him and that he “would be dead” as a result, according to the prosecutor’s report.The officer claimed the initial shots did not seem to have any effect on Hamilton, so he continued to fire “because he perceived Hamilton still to be a threat.”In a statement following the prosecutor’s announcement, Hamilton’s family said they are “extremely disappointed” with the prosecutor’s decision.The family is now calling on the Department of Justice to open a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting.“This is a case which cries out for justice, criminal charges against Christopher Manney, and accountability to Dontre Hamilton’s family,” attorneys for the family said in the statement.Manney was fired by the Milwaukee Police Chief in October, but not for use of excessive force. He was found to have violated department rules in the moments prior to the shooting. Manney had appealed his termination.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Visits Homes of Slain Officers


iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was joined by his wife and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton as they visited the home of slain officer Rafael Ramos Monday morning.Ramos was shot dead in his patrol car alongside his partner, Officer Wenjian Liu, Saturday in an attack in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.The pair did not speak to reporters as they entered and exited the home, although the family has already made it clear they would be open to hearing from the mayor.The Ramos family said they would welcome de Blasio at Ramos’ funeral in spite of an effort started by the largest police union last week -- before the shootings -- to have officers sign petitions to keep the mayor from their possible funerals.De Blasio, his wife, Chirlane McCray, and Bratton moved on to Liu's home after visiting the Ramos family. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had stopped by Liu's home moments before.The tensions between de Blasio and the police department were heightened this weekend after the shooting, and de Blasio will address the police athletic league Monday afternoon."There's a disconnect on the reality versus some of the rhetoric," Bratton told ABC News station WABC-TV."I think I work with a mayor that really cares about the cops and that needs to be said in a way that's understood," he said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

NYPD Cadets Advised Not to Wear Uniforms in Public


iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New York City police officials are now recommending that academy trainees not wear their uniforms in public, or any other clothing associating them with the NYPD.The cadets have been informed of this so-called soft recommendation in light of the shootings of two police officers Saturday, which police commissioner Bill Bratton described as "assassinations."Officials described the move as a common-sense precautionary step because they have also been assessing a number of copycat threats since the initial attack.Former Det. Sgt. Joe Giacalone, who spent one of his 21 years on the force training cadets directly, said many of the police academy cadets normally wear their uniforms to and from work but they, unlike full-time officers, are unarmed."It doesn't matter who is wearing the uniform. It's the uniform itself [that] is the target," Giacalone told ABC News. "The police department, because it's under siege, has to worry about protecting their own lives first."It's not just cadets in uniform who have to worry about being associated with the NYPD, Giacalone said, because NYPD T-shirts and hats are regularly worn by those not on the force.Giacalone said he told his father, who he said regularly wears an NYPD baseball hat to support his son, to keep the hat in the closet for the time being."I don't want anybody taking a potshot...and his only relationship is that he's my father," Giacalone said.The dress-code warning is not the only precaution the NYPD is taking on Monday. Auxiliary officers, who are unarmed, are not being used until further notice, and every patrol has been assigned two officers.The latter directive largely applies to foot patrols, now meaning that officers will go out in pairs when on those shifts.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Memorial Service Held Sunday for Slain NYPD Officers


Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Community leaders and family members gathered in Brooklyn Sunday night for a memorial service to remember the two NYPD officers who were shot point-blank and killed in their patrol car Saturday afternoon while patrolling Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot point-blank and killed while sitting in their parked patrol car.New York Police Commissioner William Bratton said Officers Liu and Ramos were sitting in their vehicle shortly before 3 p.m. when a man approached the car on the passenger side, took a "shooter's stance" and opened fire.Liu and Ramos may have not even seen the gunman before they were shot, Bratton said."Officer Liu and Officer Ramos never had the opportunity to draw their weapons," Bratton said. "They may never have actually seen their assailant, their murderer."Police said the suspect -- identified by police as Ismaayil Brinsley, 28 -- then ran to a nearby subway entrance, with cops in pursuit, the commissioner said.Brinsley went down into the subway and ran onto the platform, where he shot himself in the head, killing himself, Bratton said.Police believe Brinsley shot his ex-girlfriend in Baltimore earlier in the day, and then posted "anti-police postings" on her Instagram account, the police commissioner said.Police in Baltimore alerted the NYPD about Brinsley after finding the post and seeing that his phone pinged from Brooklyn, but their message arrived about the same time the shootings occurred, Bratton said.Authorities say Brinsley traveled to New York by Bolt Bus, a discounted fare coach.NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Sunday that moments before Brinsley shot and killed the two officers, he told bystanders to "watch what I'm going to do.”Liu, 32, had gotten married just two months ago. Ramos, who had just turned 40, was a police officer for two years, fulfilling what Bratton said was a lifelong dream of being a cop. Before joining the NYPD he had been a school safety officer.Brinsley has 19 prior arrests in his criminal history in the states of Georgia and Ohio. He also had what family described as "undiagnosed mental problems." His estranged mother said he had a troubled childhood, was violent, and she told police she "feared him."President Obama released a statement Saturday condemning the killing of the two officers. “Two brave men won't be going home to their loved ones tonight, and for that, there is no justification,” the president’s statement read.“The officers who serve and protect our communities risk their own safety for ours every single day -- and they deserve our respect and gratitude every single day. Tonight, I ask people to reject violence and words that harm, and turn to words that heal -- prayer, patient dialogue, and sympathy for the friends and family of the fallen," the statement concluded.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Slain Officer's Family Calls for 'Peaceful Coexistence' Between Cops and Public


Lucy Ramos, the aunt of slain police officer Rafael Ramos speaks at a news conference, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. (ABC News)(NEW YORK) — Family and friends of one of the New York police officers who were shot dead in what officials call an "assassination" this weekend spoke out Sunday night for the first time since the attack, praising him and calling for calm.Officer Rafael Ramos, who was fatally shot while sitting in his patrol car alongside his partner Officer Wenjian Liu, "will always be loved and missed by many," his aunt Lucy Ramos said Sunday.She, like other community leaders who appeared with her at a press conference, called New Yorkers and police to come together "so that we can move forward and find an amicable path to a peaceful coexistence."Juan Rodriguez, who was a friend of Officer Ramos' for 20 years and serves as the community council president for the 75th precinct, said he doesn't "want the city of New York to think everyone is against the police department."Though he didn't go as far as the leader of the city's largest police union -- who has been in an escalating standoff with Mayor Bill de Blasio and who Saturday said that the mayor has "blood on his hands" for the deaths of these officers -- Rodriguez was critical of de Blasio and urged him to "please show your leadership."Tensions have been rising between police and de Blasio ever since he spoke at length after the Eric Garner grand jury decision about the ways that he taught his biracial son to approach police tentatively."What about if that was your son who got shot in the police car? What if it was your son who got shot in the head?" Rodriguez said at Sunday night's press conference.Rep. Nydia Velasquez, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and other community leaders also spoke at the press conference, which was held in front of Ramos' home.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Missing College Student Shane Montgomery's Keys Found in Schuylkill River


Courtesy Montgomery Family(PHILADELPHIA) — Keys belonging to a missing college student in Pennsylvania were discovered in the Schuylkill River, his uncle said Sunday.The family of Shane Montgomery, 21, confirmed to ABC station WPVI-TV that divers found the keys near the river bank -- the first physical clue to emerge in Montgomery’s Nov. 27 disappearance.“They discovered a set of keys in the water. They brought them to the surface and brought them to us. I identified them as Shane’s,” his uncle Kevin Verbrugghe told WPVI-TV.The keys were recovered in the river -- not in a nearby canal where earlier searches were concentrated, Verbrugghe said.The keys were attached to an Eagles lanyard.“It’s just a piece to the puzzle. The puzzle is definitely not done,” Verbrugghe told WPVI-TV.Montgomery, a student at West Chester University, hasn’t been seen since leaving a bar in Philadelphia’s Manayunk section early Thanksgiving morning after a night out with friends. The reward in Montgomery’s disappearance is now $65,000.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Florida Teen Recovering Following Bear Attack


Stockbyte/Thinkstock(EASTPOINT, Fla.) — A Florida teen is recovering Monday morning after being attacked by a bear.Leah Reeder, 15, sustained injuries to her legs, back, neck and face, her mother Sherry Mann told ABC affiliate WMBB.“Even as I sit here now, I can’t believe it happened,” Mann said. “The bears are all over the place, and I know how hard I would fight to protect my kids, but a momma bear can do so much more damage than me with just one swipe.”The attack happened near dusk Sunday in Eastpoint, Franklin County, on Florida’s panhandle. Mann told WMBB that her daughter was walking her dog when the bear attacked, dragging the teen into a ditch.Her daughter “played dead” and the bear retreated, Mann said. The girl sustained deep wounds across her face, but Mann said her daughter remained upbeat.“She managed to crack a few smiles at me before she went in for surgery,” Mann told WMBB.Florida Fish and Wildlife authorities received a report of the encounter and worked to trap the bear Sunday.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Suspect Accused of Fatally Shooting Florida Police Officer, Then Running Him Ove


iStock/Thinkstock(TARPON SPRINGS, Fla.) — Residents of Tarpon Springs, Florida, dropped off bouquets of flowers at their local police station Sunday to memorialize an officer who was shot and killed earlier in the day.Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says veteran Tarpon Springs Police Officer Charles Kondek, a father of five, was shot around 2 a.m. while responding to a noise complaint about a man banging on doors at an apartment building complex.According to investigators, when Kondek arrived and exited his vehicle, the suspect, identified as 23-year-old Marco Antonio Parilla, walked towards the officer and opened fire.Sheriff Gualtieri said Officer Kondek was wearing a bullet-resistant vest but “the round went in high above the bullet-resistant vest in his neck area, hit his spine and that was it.”Police say Parilla got behind the wheel of a car and ran over Kondek as he fled the scene.  Officer Kondek, 45, died from his injuries at a local hospital.Parilla, who has a lengthy criminal record, was caught after a brief police chase and charged with first-degree murder.The Tarpon Springs Police Department said Kondek was a 17-year veteran of law enforcement who had previously served five years with the New York Police Department before moving to Florida.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lightning Strike Injures 11 at NFL Game


Cliff McBride/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) — Eleven people were hurt Sunday afternoon by a lightning strike in the parking lot of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa at the conclusion of an NFL game between the Buccaneers and the Green Bay Packers.Authorities say it wasn’t a direct hit but was close enough to people leaving the stadium to knock several down.A spokesman for Tampa Fire-Rescue said four of the injured drove themselves to the hospital while the other seven were transported by ambulance.The injured ranged in age from 20 to 70.Green Bay won the game.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Surge in Cop Killings in 2014


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The killing of two NYPD officers and a Florida police officer this past weekend appears to be part of a grim increase of officers killed in the line of duty.Craig Floyd, chairman of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, says there's been a 23-percent increase in officers killed in the line of duty compared to last year.Floyd says 123 officers have been killed nationwide as of Sunday, compared to 100 at the same time last year.Floyd says the number of officers killed by gunfire has increased by 58-percent over last year's figure.  Forty-nine officers have been killed by gunfire in 2014.The NYPD says the two officers killed in Brooklyn were ambushed as they sat in their parked patrol car.  Floyd says 12 police officers have been killed this year in ambush-style attacks.The 2014 surge in cop killings comes after two years of decline in the number of deaths. Last year’s total of 100 officers killed nationwide was the lowest fatality figure since 1944.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Cop-Killer Told Bystanders 'Watch What I'm Going to Do'


Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A man who fatally shot two New York police officers before killing himself told bystanders to "watch what I'm going to do" moments before the attack, according to police investigators.The man, identified as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, approached two strangers in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood on Saturday afternoon, asked them about their gang affiliation, told them to follow him on Instagram, and then told them to watch his actions, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Sunday.He then approached a parked police patrol car and fired four shots, fatally hitting officers Wenjain Liu and Rafael Ramos.A clearer picture of Brinsley started to emerge as Boyce released details about the shooter's troubled history and his attack on his ex-girlfriend in Maryland that started the violent day, which ended with his suicide on a subway platform.Boyce said that Brinsley gained access to his ex-girlfriend's apartment in the early hours of Saturday morning using a key "he's not supposed to have."The ex-girlfriend, who Baltimore County Police identified as Shaneka Thompson, called her mother during the confrontation with Brinsley and she overheared part of the argument, but the call ended before Brinsley shot Thompson in the abdomen, Boyce said.Brinsley fled the scene with Thompson's phone and proceeded to call Thompson's mother multiple times in the coming hours. Investigators have since spoken to Thompson's mother who says that he told her "he shot her by accident and that he hopes she lives," Boyce said.The young woman's mother contacted Baltimore police and they were able to track his journey based on the route of her phone as he took a BoltBus to Manhattan, the chief of detectives said.Boyce said Brinsley discarded the phone at 12:07 p.m., a little over an hour after arriving in New York. That left police with a less than three-hour gap in his activity between the time he ditched the phone and the moments before he shot the police officers.In addition to finding records of 19 arrests in two states -- Georgia and Ohio -- investigators have spoken to a number of Brinsley's relatives, many of whom said they were estranged from the 28-year-old.Brinsley's mother lives in Brooklyn and said that he had a troubled childhood and was often violent, Boyce said.His mother said that he had attempted suicide in the past and she had not spoken to him in the past month. She also indicated to police that she believes he has undiagnosed mental problems and she did not know whether he was on medication.According to Boyce, she told police that she was afraid of him.Boyce said that while Brinsley's social media accounts showed posts expressing anger at the government, flag burning and explicitly mentioning the names Michael Brown and Eric Garner, police do not believe that he had any gang affiliation. He was raised in a Muslim family but his mother told police that he did not show any extremist inclinations.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Teen Saves 4-Year-Old Sister From Alleged Kidnap Attempt in Southern California


iStock/Thinkstock(LANCASTER, Calif.) -- Police say a 13-year-old Southern California boy is their "hero for today" after he stepped in to save his 4-year-old sister from a would-be kidnapper.According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office, deputies were patrolling a street in Lancaster, Calif., Saturday when they were flagged down to investigate a reported possible kidnap attempt.Sgt. Eric Metten said the suspect, who was seen pacing near a home, asked a 4-year-old girl her name, reached down and grabbed her, then started to walk away. But the girl's 13-year-old brother intervened quickly, grabbing her arm and yelling for someone to dial 911.Police caught the suspect, Earl Williams, 61, of Lancaster, while he was still in the neighborhood. He was arrested and charged with kidnapping. He was being held Sunday on $100,000 bail, and is scheduled for a court appearance Tuesday."It's a kidnapping charge -- not attempted -- because he actually picked her up and walked away with her," Metten said.Police say the girl was not injured."Just startled, very scared," Deputy Amber Leist said, adding that she was a "smart little girl"Police also praised her brother for his quick response."He was definitely quick on his feet," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Mighuel Ruiz told ABC's Los Angeles station KABC-TV. "He's very responsible for his family and obviously his 4-year-old sister. So at this point, he is our hero for today."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

New York Police Officer Shooting Denounced by Families of Eric Garner, Michael B


Michael Graae/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The families of both Eric Garner and Michael Brown condemned the fatal shooting of two New York City police officers in what is believed to be retribution for their deaths, which have sparked national protests."I'm standing here in sorrow about losing those two police officers. That was definitely not our agenda. We are going in peace," Garner's mother Gwen Carr said at a news conference Sunday.Carr stood alongside Rev. Al Sharpton and her son's widow, each reiterating that while they want protesters to make a point, they must do so peacefully."My husband was not a violent man, so we do not want any violence connected to his name," Esaw Garner said Sunday.Michael Brown's family issued a statement through their lawyers just hours after the shooting in Brooklyn, sending their thoughts and prayers to the families of officers Wenjian Liu and Raphael Ramos, who police say were shot and killed by Ismaayil Brinsley."We reject any kind of violence directed toward members of law enforcement. It cannot be tolerated. We must work together to bring peace to our communities," the statement said.Garner died after an officer put him in a chokehold while stopping him for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, while Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, over the summer.Sharpton has been in touch with both families and revealed that now he has become a target himself.Sharpton said that he began receiving threatening phone calls Saturday evening, and he played one of the messages at the news conference, saying that he has notified the FBI.The recording accused Sharpton of being responsible for the deaths of "innocent people.""We are now under intense threat from those who are misguided ... from [targeting] civil rights leaders to the mayor, rather than dealing with an ugly spirit that all of us need to fight," Sharpton said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Texas Meteorologist Shooting: Witness Grabbed Paper Towels to Help Stop Bleeding


iStock/Thinkstock(WACO, Texas) -- An eyewitness recounted how he rushed to his truck to get paper towels to help stop the bleeding for a Texas meteorologist who was shot outside his television station earlier this week."He said 'I've been shot. I've been shot. I'm in terrible pain. Help me please!'" Richard Dieter told ABC News of the moment he saw Patrick Crawford early Wednesday."[I] went and got some paper towels out of my truck and we held those on his wounds and five to six minutes later, the state trooper showed up," Deiter said.Deiter's account comes shortly after the reward was increased to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest in the shooting. Crawford, a meteorologist at KCEN-TV in Waco, Texas is still recovering, as law enforcement officials search for his attacker.More ABC News Videos | ABC World NewsThe Falls County Sheriff's Office announced Saturday that an anonymous donor had donated $5,000 in addition to the $5,000 that had already been offered by authorities for information leading to an arrest in the case."We're going to do everything we can to find this person," said KCEN producer Crystal Pratt. "Someone knows who this person is."KCEN News Director Jim Hice described the sound of the shooting, saying he "never thought it would happen here.""I heard the 'pop, pop, pop, pop,'" he added.Crawford was able to drive away and flag down help even though he had been shot twice. He remained at an area hospital Sunday, where he was recovering from his injuries.The Texas Department of Public Safety said they hope the reward and sketch will help them track down the gunman."It's a good thing because we can get information out there quicker than we could 15, 20, 30 years ago," D.L Wilson, a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety, told ABC News affiliate KXXV-TV in Waco, Texas. "We still want people to keep calling in because this is what's going to help us solve the case."Law enforcement is asking that anyone with information related to the shooting call Falls County Crime Stoppers at (254) 883-3105.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Slain Officers 'Brought Back Horrible Memories,' Says Former NYPD Commissioner


Andrew Burton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The shooting deaths of two city police officers "brought back horrible memories" for former New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, he told ABC News Sunday.Kelly said that Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has been criticized in the wake of the deaths of officers Wenjian Liu and Raphael Ramos, "set off this latest firestorm" of anti-police sentiment after talking about how he trained his biracial son to deal with authorities."Quite frankly the mayor ran an anti-police campaign ... at a time when police had a 70 percent approval rating," said Kelly, who was the police commissioner when de Blasio was running for mayor.While it has been three years since an NYPD officer was killed on the job, Kelly said police shootings were far more frequent decades ago."We have a history in this city, in the 70's, of these sorts of assassinations of teams of police officers and we saw more coming down the pike," said Kelly, an ABC News consultant. "Actually, in 1972, there were 12 police officers killed."Kelly said that "we don't know" if Saturday's shooting will lead to copycat attacks.While the NYPD announced that at least two police vehicles will respond to every call as a security precaution, Kelly suspects that will not stay in place for long."I think cooler heads will prevail. As I said, there was a lot of emotion last night," Kelly said. "You may see a little of that early on here ... but I think that will cool down pretty quickly."The former police commissioner also pushed back against the presumption that police may recoil after the shooting."I've never seen officers back off from their sworn duty," he said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

New York Police Shooting Suspect Promised Attack Ahead of Time


Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The man accused of killing two New York City police officers execution-style as they sat in their patrol vehicle promised his attack ahead of time, indicating on social media that he was doing so because the police-involved deaths of two African-American men earlier this year.Ismaayil Brinsley shot officers Wenjian Liu and Raphael Ramos with "no warning, no provocation" shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, said NYPD Commissioner William Bratton.Police believe Brinsley, 28, shot his ex-girlfriend in a suburb of Baltimore earlier in the day and then posted "anti-police postings" on her Instagram account, said Bratton."I'm Putting Wings On Pigs Today," read the post, which included a picture of a handgun. "They Take 1 Of Ours...... Let's Take 2 Of Theirs."The post also mentioned Eric Garner and Michael Brown, two men whose deaths have led to heavy criticism against police nationwide. In New York, Garner died after an officer put him in a chokehold while stopping him for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, while Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, over the summer.More ABC News Videos | ABC World NewsIn a statement, Brown's family condemned the killings."We reject any kind of violence directed toward members of law enforcement. It cannot be tolerated. We must work together to bring peace to our communities," read the statement from the family. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the officers' families during this incredibly difficult time."Rev. Al Sharpton, who has supported protests against police in recent weeks, also spoke out against the killings."We have stressed at every rally and march that anyone engaged in any violence is an enemy to the pursuit of justice for Eric Garner and Michael Brown," he said, according to the Associated Press.Police in Baltimore alerted the NYPD about Brinsley after finding the post and seeing that his phone pinged from Brooklyn, but their message arrived about the same time the shootings occurred, Bratton said.The last Facebook post made by Brinsley seemingly foreshadowed a violent ending, reading: "I Always Wanted To Be Known For Doing Something Right....... But My Past Is Stalking Me And My Present Is Haunting Me."After shooting the two NYPD officers, Brinsley went down into the subway and ran onto the platform, where he shot himself in the head, killing himself, Bratton said.Records show Brinsley has been arrested several times in New York, Georgia, and Ohio, with charges including robbery and assault.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

NYC Mayor de Blasio Criticized After Cop Killings


Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for RFK Ripple Of Hope(NEW YORK) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was criticized by New York Police Department union leaders Saturday night, after two officers wree killed as they sat in their car in Brooklyn.Officers Wenjian Liu and Raphael Ramos were sitting in their vehicle in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn shortly before 3 p.m. when a man approached the car on the passenger side and opened fire. Both officers later died."The blood of 2 executed police officers is on the hands of Mayor de Blasio. May God bless their families and may they rest in peace," the Sergeants Benevolent Association tweeted. The blood of 2 executed police officers is on the hands of Mayor de Blasio. May God bless their families and may they rest in peace.— SBA (@SBANYPD) December 21, 2014 De Blasio created controversy with his response to demonstrations about police relations with minorities, after a grand jury declined to indict an NYPD officer in the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died after he was put in a chokehold during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes.The mayor, whose wife is black, said he has spoken to his mixed race teen son about how he should act if he is stopped by police.In speaking about protesters who were arrested and charged with assaulting police during a demonstration in New York, de Blasio used the word "allegedly," which some in the NYPD seemed to take as a slight.Patrolmens Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch and de Blasio have been locked in a public battle over treatment of officers following the grand jury's decision.Earlier this week, Lynch suggested police officers sign a petition demanding that the mayor not attend their funerals should they die on the job.Some officers turned their backs on de Blasio tonight as he walked into the hospital where the two officers were taken after the shooting.Lynch said at a news conference tonight that there is "blood on many hands," explicitly blaming the mayor and protesters."We tried to warn it must not go on. It cannot be tolerated," he said. "That blood on the hands starts on the step of City Hall in the office of the mayor."When these funerals are over, those responsible will be called on the carpet and held accountable," Lynch said.At the news conference, de Blasio, appearing with NYPD Commissioner William Bratton, wiped tears away as he spoke, and said the city is "in mourning.""I don't think it's the time for politics or political analysis," he said. "It's a time to think about families that just lost their father, their husband, their son."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Reward Doubled in Shooting of Texas Meteorologist


iStock/Thinkstock(WACO, Texas) -- A $10,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest in the shooting of a Texas meteorologist earlier this week.Patrick Crawford, a meteorolgoist at KCRN-TV in Waco, Texas is still recovering, as law enforcement offcials search for his attacker.The Falls County Sheriff's office announced on Saturday that an anonymous donor had donated an additional $5,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case, making the total reward $10,000. The Falls County Crime Stoppers had already donated a $5,000 reward.Crawford was shot twice by an unknown assailant after leaving his office on Tuesday, police said. He was able to drive away and flag down help.Crawford was able to work with a police sketch artist to give a possible image of his attacker. He was at an area hospital where he was recovering from his injuries.The Texas Department of Public Safety said they hope the reward and new sketch will help them track down the suspect."It's a good thing because we can get information out there quicker than we could 15, 20, 30 years ago," D.L Wilson, a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety, told ABC News affiliate KXXV-TV in Waco, Texas. "We still want people to keep calling in because this is what's going to help us solve the case."Law enforcement is asking that anyone with information related to the shooting call the Falls County Crime Stoppers at (254) 883-3105.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Rare White Lion Euthanized at Ohio Zoo


iStock/Thinkstock(CINCINNATI) -- A rare white lion was euthanized this week after zoo keepers found he had age-related health issues.The lion named Future, was one of two male African white lions at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. The two were loaned permanently to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden by Siegfried and Roy in 1998.At age 17, the rare lion's ability to move had been compromised according to zoo officials."Future's ambulatory condition had deteriorated and his quality of life was a significant concern. Euthanasia was the most humane course of action," said Mark Campbell, Cincinnati Zoo's director of animal health, in a statement.The average life span for a white lion is 16.8 years, when living in a zoo, according to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden."Future was a wonderful cat," said Future's zoo keeper, Michael, Land. "He was easy going as lions go and let (his brother) Sunshine do all the worrying. We will miss him.""Future was our Brother; he will be sorely missed, especially since we are in the midst of the Holiday Season. We wish him a Magical Journey -- SARMOTI -- Siegfried & Roy," the two performers wrote.White African lions are rare in the wild and in October the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the African lion, including the white lions, as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Two NYPD Cops 'Assassinated' in Brooklyn Ambush


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two New York City police officers were "assassinated," shot "execution-style" as they sat in their patrol vehicle in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, city officials said.NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said the two were shot with "no warning, no provocation.""Two of New York's finest were shot and killed, with no warning, no provocation," Bratton said. "They were quite simply assassinated."New York Mayor Bill de Blasio described the shooting of the two as they sat in a critical response vehicle in a Broklyn housing project as being carried out "execution style."The suspect in the shooting was also dead, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the officials said.Two Police Officers have been shot in the 79 pct. please pray for them— NYPD 121st Precinct (@NYPD121Pct) December 20, 2014The gunman walked up to the officers sitting inside a patrol car and opened fire shortly before 3 p.m., officials said.The suspect ran into a nearby subway station and shot himself.Hours after the shooting, dozens of police in tactical gear cordoned off a roughly three-block area around the site of the shooting, while other officers watched over the scene from rooftops in the area.The shooting comes at a time when police nationwide are being heavily criticized for the deaths of unarmed black men. In New York City, Eric Garner, a black man who was stopped by police for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, died after an officer put him in a chokehold."I can't breathe" -- words Garner could be heard gasping during his arrest, which was captured on an amateur video -- have become a rallying cry for demonstrators across the country.Former NYPD Commissioner and ABC News Consultant Ray Kelly isn't ready to connect the tragedy to recent protests over Garner's death."We don't know if it's part of plot of a plot or a trend do more things like this," Kelly said. "I mean we've seen this before in our history."One city councilman told ABC station WABC-TV in New York that the shooting in Brooklyn was "the worst thing that could have happened."It was the first fatal shooting of an NYPD since December 2011, when Peter Figoski, a 22-year veteran, responded to a report of a break-in at a Brooklyn apartment and was shot in the face by one of the suspects hiding in a side room. The triggerman, Lamont Pride, was convicted of murder and sentenced in 2013 to 45 years to life in prison.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Two NYPD Cops Killed in Ambush in Brooklyn


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two New York City police officers were killed Saturday when they were ambushed as they sat in their patrol vehicle in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, city officials said.The suspect in the shooting was also dead, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the officials said. Two Police Officers have been shot in the 79 pct. please pray for them— NYPD 121st Precinct (@NYPD121Pct) December 20, 2014The gunman walked up to the officers sitting inside a patrol car and opened fire shortly before 3 p.m., officials said.The suspect ran into a nearby subway station and shot himself.Hours after the shooting, dozens of police in tactical gear cordoned off a roughly three-block area around the site of the shooting, while other officers watched over the scene from rooftops in the area.The shooting comes at a time when police nationwide are being heavily criticized for the deaths of unarmed black men. In New York City, Eric Garner, a black man who was stopped by police for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, died after an officer put him in a chokehold."I can't breathe" -- words Garner could be heard gasping during his arrest, which was captured on an amateur video -- have become a rallying cry for demonstrators across the country.Former NYPD Commissioner and ABC News Consultant Ray Kelly isn't ready to connect the tragedy to recent protests over Garner's death."We don't know if it's part of plot of a plot or a trend do more things like this," Kelly said. "I mean we've seen this before in our history."One city councilman told ABC station WABC-TV in New York that the shooting in Brooklyn was "the worst thing that could have happened."It was the first fatal shooting of an NYPD since December 2011, when Peter Figoski, a 22-year veteran, responded to a report of a break-in at a Brooklyn apartment and was shot in the face by one of the suspects hiding in a side room. The triggerman, Lamont Pride, was convicted of murder and sentenced in 2013 to 45 years to life in prison.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Two NYPD Cops Dead After They Were Shot in Vehicle


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two New York City police officers were killed Saturday, both shot as they sat in their patrol vehicle in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, city officials said.The suspect in the shooting was also dead, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the officials said. Two Police Officers have been shot in the 79 pct. please pray for them— NYPD 121st Precinct (@NYPD121Pct) December 20, 2014The gunman walked up to the officers sitting inside a patrol car and opened fire shortly before 3 p.m., officials said.The suspect ran into a nearby subway station and shot himself.Hours after the shooting, dozens of police in tactical gear cordoned off a roughly three-block area around the site of the shooting, while other officers watched over the scene from rooftops in the area.The shooting comes at a time when police nationwide are being heavily criticized for the deaths of unarmed black men. In New York City, Eric Garner, a black man who was stopped by police for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, died after an officer put him in a chokehold."I can't breathe" -- words Garner could be heard gasping during his arrest, which was captured on an amateur video -- have become a rallying cry for demonstrators across the country.One city councilman told ABC station WABC-TV in New York that the shooting in Brooklyn was "the worst thing that could have happened."It was the first fatal shooting of an NYPD since December 2011, when Peter Figoski, a 22-year veteran, responded to a report of a break-in at a Brooklyn apartment and was shot in the face by one of the suspects hiding in a side room. The triggerman, Lamont Pride, was convicted of murder and sentenced in 2013 to 45 years to life in prison.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

One NYPD Cop Dead, Another Critical After They Were Shot in Vehicle


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- One New York City police officer is dead and another was in critical condition Saturday after they were shot as they sat in their patrol vehicle in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, city officials said.The suspect in the shooting was also dead, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the officials said. Two Police Officers have been shot in the 79 pct. please pray for them— NYPD 121st Precinct (@NYPD121Pct) December 20, 2014The shooting occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m. Hours after the shooting, dozens of police in tactical gear cordoned off a roughly three-block area around the site of the shooting, while other officers watched over the scene from rooftops in the area.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sony Says Alternate Means of Releasing "The Interview" Under Consideration


dan_alto/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Sony Pictures said Friday that while it has cancelled the theatrical release of The Interview following the hack that the FBI has attributed to North Korea, the idea of an alternate means of releasing the film is not out of the question."Sony Pictures Entertainment is and always has been strongly committed to the First Amendment," the statement read. "For more than three weeks, despite brutal intrusions into our company and our employees' personal lives, we maintained our focus on one goal: getting the film The Interview released." "Free expression should never be suppressed by threats and extortion," the statement added.Still, on Thursday, after threats of an impending attack on theaters showing the film were leveled by hackers, Sony told theater chains that they did not have to show the film. Several of the largest chains, including AMC and Regal, told Sony that they would not be screening The Interview, which prompted Sony's decision to cancel the Christmas Day theatrical release."The decision not to move forward with the December 25 theatrical release of The Interview was made as a result of the majority of the nation's theater owners choosing not to screen the film," Sony said Friday. "This was their decision.""Let us be clear," Sony said. "The only decision that we have made with respect to release of the film was not to release it on Christmas Day in theaters, after the theater owners declined to show it. Without theaters we could not release it in the theaters on Christmas Day. We had no choice."Still, Sony maintains that alternate releases are possible. "After that decision, we immediately began actively surveying alternatives to enable us to release the movie on a different platform." The statement also said that "it is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Exclusive: Newly Released Ray Rice Video Shows Aftermath of Elevator Incident


Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Turns out there’s even more surveillance video Ray Rice doesn’t want you to see.ABC News on Friday exclusively obtained a copy of the security-camera video that shows the ugly aftermath of the assault earlier this year when Ray Rice punched his now-wife in an Atlantic City casino and knocked her unconscious.The nearly 45 minutes of never-before-seen footage shows a clearly distraught Janay Palmer, Rice’s then-fiancée and now wife, unwilling to talk to him after the NFL star had punched her inside an elevator on Feb. 15 at the now-closed Revel casino.Palmer is seen physically pushing Rice away from her when he approached her immediately after the incident. Palmer was then protected by hotel security guards as Rice attempted to move closer.The video then shows Palmer going through something of an emotional evolution in the middle of the night. Almost immediately after the assault, she appears angry. Soon after, Palmer begins to cry. And by the time she and Rice are both escorted into an elevator -- handcuffed -- she appears to kiss and nuzzle the one-time NFL star.Both Rice and Palmer were arrested that night and charged with one count of assault each. The charge against Palmer was later dropped for “insufficient evidence,” while the charge against Rice was upgraded to aggravated assault.The former Baltimore Ravens running back is a sports celebrity in New Jersey because of his college career at Rutgers. He was admitted to a probationary program that would allow the criminal charge to be dismissed next year. Once a video of the assault appeared online, the Ravens cut Rice and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. The league’s penalty was later overturned.Rice went to court to stop ABC News from obtaining the recording, but lost. Rice’s attorney, Peter Ginsberg, was disappointed that the new video was made public.“This is a time of healing and he, quite naturally, doesn’t want another media showing of what must have been the worst event of his life,” Ginsberg said in an interview Friday. “What the media ought to be focusing on is the issue of domestic violence and why the NFL never did anything to construct a personal conduct program that works and why the NFL ignored the issue of domestic violence. Showing yet another Ray Rice video is simply a distraction.”During a two-hour hearing in Trenton, N.J., on Wednesday, Ginsberg said that Rice “literally does not talk to me about the events [at the casino] without crying -- to this day.”The new video shows hotel staffers concerned with Palmer’s condition, bringing a wheelchair to her in case she had trouble walking and then giving her first aid. It shows Rice agitated at times, being kept at a distance from Palmer and talking on the phone at one point.By the time cops and hotel security are prepared to move the player out of the lobby area, Rice is handcuffed and led away by the arm. A cop can be seen pulling the hood of his sweatshirt over Rice’s head.The startling moment comes in the elevator – the same or similar elevator as the one where the assault occurred – when Palmer stretches her neck so she can kiss and nuzzle Rice. The two are then walked separately to waiting police cars.The new video was turned over to ABC News in response to a public-records request filed with the N.J. Gaming Enforcement Division.Since winning his appeal of the NFL’s indefinite suspension, Rice has started re-emerging into public life. He appeared on NBC last month. On Thursday night, aware that the new video would be released, Rice appeared at a charity event in Baltimore and talked about the incident."I made a horrible mistake in my life, but if you truly believe in second chances, they will forgive me,” Rice said at the event. “I think all the fans have looked deep into who I am.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

UVA Holds Board of Visitors Meeting Regarding "Rolling Stone" Article


Alessandro Drago/iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- In the weeks before the University of Virginia was made the subject of a scathing magazine piece about campus rape, the school’s public-relations team raised issues about an alleged incident this year that, they said, didn’t happen, according to documents released Friday.What was not discussed, though, was the shocking 2012 fraternity-house gang rape that Rolling Stone magazine focused on in a now-discredited November piece.U.Va. officials declined to discuss the documents, emailed to ABC News Friday in response to a public-records request. And Rolling Stone also had no comment.At one point in the 104-pages of emails released, university spokesman Anthony de Bruyn wrote to a Rolling Stone fact-checker that an issue had already been raised with the article’s author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely.“As I mentioned to you, we have expressed our concern to Sabrina regarding what we believe to be her mischaracterization of facts about a case that occurred in Spring 2014,” de Bruyn wrote on Nov. 13, a week before the story ran. “I recall I mentioned this to you on the phone. It has been brought to our attention by a few students that Sabrina has spoken to that she is referencing an incident where a male student raped three different women and received a one-year suspension. This is in fact objectively false.”De Bruyn declined to say more in the exchange, citing student confidentiality laws. And he would not say anything after the U.Va. governing board met in Charlottesville Friday.“The university remains focused on the well-being of all students, and especially, any survivor of sexual assault,” he said in an email. “There is important work ahead regarding efforts to strengthen student safety, and the university respectfully declines comment on the records released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.”Rolling Stone’s spokeswoman said an internal review of the story is continuing. But the magazine has backed away from key points after acknowledging that Erdely did not contact a key person in the narrative at the request of the article’s central figure, rape victim “Jackie.”From the emails released Friday, it appears that Erdely explained in writing her story in the broadest of terms.On Sept. 5, Erdely wrote to Associate Dean of Students Nicole Eramo: “I'm writing an article about rape/rape culture on college campuses, and would very much like to talk to you about the ways in which sexual assault is handled at University of Virginia.”The emails give little additional information about Erdely’s reporting process, except to show she engaged in fairly typical discussions about arranging meetings with officials and balking at perceived interference from public relations staffers. Interactions between U.Va. officials and the magazine’s fact-checker were also pretty standard.Rolling Stone’s reporting processes and standards have come under brutal criticism from both people inside the media and out. The sentiment was the first topic discussed earlier Friday when the university’s Board of Visitors convened for a special session on the main campus.Chairman of the Board, Rector George Keith Martin, called the reporting "a massive failure of journalistic ethics" and a piece of "drive-by journalism" that has unfairly tarnished the University's reputation.Rector Martin said that the university has “nothing to fear from the truth” and wants to bring "the full truth to the light of day."Following the rector’s remarks, President Teresa Sullivan presented a progress report on safety measures, resources and short, medium and long-term goals.By January 15, 2015 -- the first day of fraternity recruitment -- the university will upgrade its security camera system on campus and work with merchants on "The Corner" to install security cameras. Lighting on crosswalks on and adjacent to campus will also be enhanced along with intensified University Police Department patrols.Sullivan said she also plans to reach out to high school students, noting that 50 percent of students who enter college at the University of Virginia are drinking regularly and have experienced a form of sexual trauma.In the long-term, Sullivan emphasized the importance for the school to examine students' social life. She said she hopes the culture can change by talking more openly about healthy sexual relationships and by changing the mindsets brought with new students from high school.Follow @ABCNewsRadio//




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