National Headlines

bernardbodo/iStock(ANNAPOLIS, Md.) -- While some states have pushed back against the implementation of red-light cameras, one councilmember from Montgomery County, Maryland, thinks current photographic deterrents are not enough.

Councilmember Tom Hucker is seeking to gain permission from the Maryland state legislature to install highway cameras that would record what drivers are doing inside their vehicles, in an attempt to curb distracted driving.

“Maryland is facing an epidemic of serious crashes from distracted driving," Hucker told ABC News. "We have over 38,000 crashes a year and they result in far too many fatalities and serious injuries."

According to government records, Montgomery County saw only 20 homicides in 2018 compared to 27 fatal car crashes the same year -- one reason Hucker is arguing for such drastic action to be taken.

Although Maryland banned the use of handheld devices while driving in 2013, officials say the fines associated with being caught -- $75 dollars for the first offense, $125 for the second offense and $175 for subsequent offenses -- are not enough, and previous attempts to raise the fines have failed.

“If we’re serious about traffic safety, we need to look at using the best available technology to keep people safe and use the best tools at our disposal,” Hucker said. “This is a new tool that is available on the market. But we don’t have the authority to use it yet.”

The goal of the cameras, Hucker argues, is to increase the effectiveness of existing laws by catching drivers in the act of using their phones and then following through with some sort of punishment, like a fine or a written warning of some kind, he told ABC News.

Opponents of the plan are skeptical that this degree of surveillance is necessary.

“It’s really invasive,” John Townsend, public relations manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic, said in a phone interview with ABC News. “It’s like a peeping Tom. Not just violators, but everyone who drives by that camera will be recorded.”

Townsend said they were also concerned that such practices could lead to future violations of privacy and that lawmakers may alter the legislation in the future in an attempt to make more money.

“It’s a very slippery slope,” Townsend said. “Are they really doing this for traffic safety reasons or because there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?”

Hucker responded to these concerns by asserting that the same questions were asked about red-light cameras back when they were first being considered, and that they are now widely used and proven to be extremely effective in deterring dangerous driving.

“Opponents then alleged that municipalities were [installing red-light cameras] to raise revenue,” Hucker said. “All we’re doing is seeking the authority to consider having a program, and you can set up any program you want.”

If Montgomery County were to adopt this policy, it would be the first program of its kind in the country and among the first in the world.

Ultimately, the council decided to postpone taking a position on the bill until the legislative session begins in January.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



undefined undefined/iStock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- The discovery of recording devices in some guest rooms of the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Minneapolis has prompted an investigation by police.

Authorities confirmed to ABC News that they're looking into the matter.

A spokesperson for Wisconsin's Madison Metropolitan School District told Minneapolis ABC affiliate KSTP-TV that some of their students found hidden cameras in their Minneapolis hotel rooms while on a school trip.

Per protocol, a school staffer who was accompanying the students on the trip was put on administrative leave as a precaution, the spokesperson said.

"The safety and security of guests and colleagues is a top priority at Hyatt Regency Minneapolis," Mark Bastic, general manager of the Minneapolis Hyatt Regency, told KSTP in a statement. "As soon as we learned about this situation, we contacted local authorities immediately and conducted a thorough property-wide search for unauthorized recording devices; no additional devices have been found."

"Per local authorities at this time, it does not appear that anyone associated with the hotel was involved," the statement continued. "The hotel continues to fully cooperate with Minneapolis Police Department on their investigation."

A police spokesman told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that authorities were unsure if the devices recorded any guests.

“We have not mined any data from those as of yet,” Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder told the paper. “We are working to ascertain what it is that we have.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Baltimore Police Department(BALTIMORE) -- The state’s attorney for Baltimore announced a 32-count indictment against a veteran police sergeant who allegedly engaged in a "pattern and practice of harassment and intimidation," according to prosecutors.

Authorities opened an investigation into Baltimore Police Department Sgt. Ethan Newberg in May when he allegedly assaulted a bystander during an arrest, prosecutors said Thursday.

The incidents in question occurred between July 1, 2018 and May 30, 2019, the Office of the State's Attorney for Baltimore City said in a statement Thursday.

"The indictment alleges that Sergeant Newberg acting beyond the scope of his authority, in a common pattern and practice, did knowingly, intentionally, and unlawfully harass, detain and assault citizens who were engaged in lawful conduct for the improper purposes of dominating, intimidating and instilling fear in the citizens, in violation of the common law of Maryland; against the peace, government, and dignity of the state," the statement said.

Newberg, who has been with the department for 24 years, could face up to 110 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

He now faces 32 counts stemming from nine separate incidents, including the May 30 encounter in which he allegedly arrested a man without legal cause, according to a 17-page indictment handed down by a grand jury.

Newberg, 49, was checking on a warrant for a suspect when a bystander made a comment about the suspect being forced to sit on the wet concrete. Newberg then pursued the bystander as he was walking away from the scene and forced him into custody, according to the indictment.

When the bystander challenged Newberg's authority to make the arrest, Newberg told him to "just go to jail and take your charge like a man," the indictment states.

The man then asked again, "What am I going to jail for?" to which Newberg replied "Because you don’t know how to act."

Prosecutors claimed Newberg had a history of unlawfully detaining citizens who appeared to question his conduct.

“Several of Newberg’s unlawful detentions and assaults occurred as a direct result of citizens sitting or standing idly nearby [as] Newberg was conducting other police business, causing no disturbance nor creating any threat to Newberg or his colleagues," the indictment states. "Several occurred as citizens openly, from a distance, called into question what Newberg was doing to or with another citizen; others occurred when citizens attempted to video record what Newberg was doing to or with another citizen."

In a another incident, Newberg allegedly arrested a man who was standing by while the officer interrogated a suspect. Newberg ordered the man to walk away and he complied.

But Newberg began to follow him, saying, "You don't make the rules out here, we do. All I want to hear from you is, 'You're right.'" It wasn't until the individual apologized that Newberg released him from custody.

As the man was being released, Newberg added: "Hey, don't play me … You owe me … Don't mess with me."

In a separate case, Newberg illegally detained a man who was sitting on the steps of a house and accused him of interfering with a traffic stop, according to the indictment.

"I don't know what your problem is. Why are you testing me? Do you know me? Have you seen me out here before? Ask around … I'm the sergeant they talk about," Newberg said, according to body camera footage.

In all, Newberg faces 11 counts of second-degree assault, 11 counts of false imprisonment, 10 counts of misconduct in office and one count of misconduct in office by way of a common scheme to commit unlawful acts.

Newberg’s attorney, Joseph Murtha, did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



ABC News(JERSEY CITY) -- As bullets whizzed by within inches of him, David Lax said he dove to the floor of a Jewish deli in Jersey City, New Jersey, and when two suspected killers dressed in black barged through the door with guns blazing, he thought his life was about to end.

"I'm just thankful that I lived to see another day," Lax told ABC News on Thursday, two days after a man and a woman committed what authorities described as an act of domestic terrorism at the Jersey City Kosher Supermarket, killing three people before police gunned them down in a hail of gunfire.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said that the suspects were apparently motivated by sentiments of "anti-Semitism and anti-law enforcement" and targeted the market shortly after killing a Jersey City police detective, Joseph Seals, 39, the married father of five children, in a nearby cemetery.

Lax said he was at the market about 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, picking up some lunch when he suddenly heard "a lot of big bangs."

He said it took him a moment to realize the noise was gunfire.

Lax said that when the attack commenced, he was standing near the front door of the store near the salad bar.

"I thought it's over," he said of his life. "I mean, bullets flying all over."

Investigators identified the shooters as David Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50.

"They came to kill, and they didn’t come to spare anyone," Lax said.

Lax and three other people, including two workers and another customer, were inside the store when the attack began. He was the only one to make it out alive.

He said he dove to the floor as the male gunman, Anderson, wielding what authorities described as an AR-15 style rifle, stormed in firing.

"Like everyone, I jumped on the floor," Lax said.

As he tried to hide, one of the shooters dressed in a black raincoat walked by him.

He said that as the gunman passed, he stood up only to come face-to-face with the second assailant, Graham, who authorities said was holding a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun.

Lax said that as Graham swung the barrel of the gun toward him, he managed to push the weapon away and made a beeline for the front door.

"I thank God I had the courage, I had the right mind," Lax said. "I just re-directed her arm and ran out of the store."

He said he ran as fast as he could in a zigzag pattern, dodging the shots being fired at his back.

Lax said that once he made it outside to the street, he encountered a child near a neighboring synagogue.

"He’s very brave, very smart," he said of the child, who appeared to be alone. "We met like on the corner of the street. I was running faster than him, so I passed by him and then I was turning around and I saw him. He started talking to me, so I said, 'You know what, you’re coming with me. So that’s basically it."

Killed inside the store were 33-year-old Mindy Ferencz, the wife of the kosher supermarket owner and mother of five, and 24-year-old Moshe Deutsch, a Yeshiva student. Also shot dead was Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, 49, who worked at the store.

Lax said that when the shooting started, Ferencz was sitting near the cash register, while Rodriguez was in the back of the store. Authorities described Deutsch as a customer.

Lax said that after he and the child were out of harm's way, police arrived on scene and a massive gunbattle erupted.

Grewal said Thursday that "several hundred" shell casings were found at the scene.

Anderson and Graham were both shot to death in an hourslong gunfight with police.

"Obviously, it’s just a miracle ... because as far as I know, it’s hard to miss with a shotgun at such a close range," Lax said of surviving the attack.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



iStock(NEW YORK) -- A Connecticut judge has set a trial date for families of victims of the Sandy Hook school massacre to face the manufacturer whose guns were used in the deadly 2012 shooting.

The trial is set to take place September 2021, nearly a decade after 20-year-old Adam Lanza stormed into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, with a Remington Bushmaster AR-15 and killed 26 people, including 20 students. The tragedy is one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.

The relatives of nine victims and one survivor filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Remington Arms in 2015, accusing the country's oldest gun-maker of illegally marketing the military-style semiautomatic weapon to at-risk young men.

"After nearly five years of legal maneuvering by Remington, we will finally discover what went on behind closed doors that led to the company’s reckless marketing of the Bushmaster AR-15," Josh Koskoff, a lawyer for the victims, told Reuters in a statement. "The families’ faith in the legal system has never wavered and they look forward to presenting their case to a Connecticut jury."

The 2021 trial date was decided after nearly two hours of talks between attorneys on both sides of the argument. Connecticut's top court ruled that the families could sue Remington back in March.

The North Carolina-based company filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court last month, but the court declined to hear the appeal.

Remington did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



iStock(HOUSTON) --  The two-day manhunt for a 21-year-old fatal hit-and-run driver, who allegedly killed a Texas sergeant during a traffic stop, ended on Thursday afternoon without incident.

Moments after Tavores Dewayne Henderson allegedly mowed down Nassau Bay Police Sgt. Kalia Sullivan on Tuesday evening, his mother and her boyfriend took him into hiding, prosecutors said at a press conference on Thursday evening.

Henderson bolted from a traffic stop on Tuesday evening when Sullivan and another officer attempted to arrest him for an outstanding warrant for a misdemeanor assault allegedly against a family member. As officers went to make the arrest, Henderson allegedly resisted, got free, went back into the vehicle and drove off, knocking Sullivan to the ground, police said.

Sullivan, a 16-year veteran, was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. She was 43.

A manhunt ensued for Henderson, who was allegedly asleep inside a hotel nearby the 2000 block of San Sebastian Court crime scene, prosecutors said.

Meanwhile, Harris County police officers went to Henderson's mom's home seeking her son's whereabouts and "she lied," prosecutors said.

The mom, who authorities have not identified, was seen on surveillance video -- 30 minutes prior to telling the alleged lie -- dropping off Henderson at the hotel, prosecutors said.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez posted a tweet during the search efforts, warning anyone aiding a fugitive that they will be prosecuted.

"I made it crystal clear that if you are hindering apprehension of a fugitive you will be charged ... we are not playing around with that," said Gonzalez at the press conference.

Henderson's mom and her boyfriend were arrested and are charged with hindering prosecution, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said at the press conference. The boyfriend's identity was not released by authorities.

As the search for Henderson continued on Wednesday, a $20,000 reward was offered for his arrest and a "Blue Alert" was issued when Henderson was allegedly spotted in Missouri City, Texas, heading to Louisiana with a man identified as "Anthony."

The Harris County Police Department announced on social media Thursday that Henderson was "taken into custody without incident" from a home on the 4200 block of Heritage Trail Drive in Houston, Texas.

"His demeanor was cooperative. We had no problems with him as we got him in to custody," police said.

Ogg said that Henderson is being charged with capital murder.

Henderson allegedly made a full confession to police on Thursday and could not explain why he did not stop the car when Sullivan was "hanging partially out," police said.

The Nassau Bay Police Department mourned their fallen officer at a candlelight vigil on Wednesday evening, local affiliate ABC13 reported. Sullivan was a resident of Friendswood, Texas, and the national president of the Sisters Eternal Woman's Motorcycle Club of Texas.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



iStock(ERIE COUNTY, Ohio) -- What looks like a small little pinecone on your Christmas tree may actually be something you don't want in your house.

The state of Ohio put out an interesting warning for the holiday season about potential insects that could be waiting to hatch inside your home.

Erie County wrote on Facebook, "PSA: If you happen to see a walnut sized/shaped egg mass, on your Christmas tree, don’t fret, clip the branch and put it in your garden. These are 100-200 preying mantis eggs!"

And for those who don't believe it ... a Virginia veterinarian experienced a nightmare last Christmas when dozens of praying mantises roamed her home.

More than 100 praying mantises hatched from an egg case hidden under the branches of the Christmas tree Springfield resident Molly Kreuze bought for the holiday season, ABC Washington D.C. affiliate WJLA reported.

The bugs moved freely through the house, "crawling on the walls, crawling on the ceilings," Kreuze told the station, adding that they gravitated toward light. Video taken by WJLA showed the insects hanging from the ceiling and crawling on the windows.

This year, Kreuze planned on buying a fake one, she told the local station.

So if you haven't taken a close look at your tree, double check behind the bigger ornaments just in case!

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



kali9/iStock(NEW YORK) --  An 18-year-old college student was stabbed to death in New York City, police said.

Tessa Rane Majors, a Barnard College student, was found unconscious with multiple stab wounds near Morningside Park in Upper Manhattan Wednesday evening, police said. She was rushed to Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to a statement from the New York City Police Department.

The 18-year-old was walking through the park, right by the campuses of Barnard and Columbia University, when she was engaged by an unknown number of suspects, NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison told reporters at a news conference.

During a struggle, one of the suspects pulled out a knife and stabbed Majors several times, Harrison said. A knife was recovered from the scene, but it is unclear if it is the weapon used in the stabbing.

After Majors pulled herself out of the park, a school public safety officer at his post at 116th Street and Morningside Drive "came to her aid immediately upon recognizing that she was injured," according to a statement from Columbia University, which called reports that the security guard was not at his post "inaccurate."

"Officers stationed at this location do not make rounds that cause them to leave their post," the statement said.

One to three people are believed to have been involved in the stabbing, and several minors are being questioned, Harrison said.

There have been no arrests so far, police said. The NYPD is increasing patrols near Morningside Park and Columbia University.

A person of interest was being questioned on Thursday in connection with the case but has since been released, according to two police sources.

Majors was a first-year student at Barnard College, a private women's liberal arts college in Manhattan that sits just outside Morningside Park, alongside Columbia University.

 

Majors' family said in a statement that they "lost a very special, very talented, and very well-loved young woman."

"Tess shone bright in this world, and our hearts will never be the same," the family said.

 

The school's president, Sian Leah Beilock, said in a statement that Majors "was fatally injured during an armed robbery that occurred off campus in Morningside Park."

"Tessa was just beginning her journey at Barnard and in life," Beilock said. "We mourn this devastating murder of an extraordinary young woman and member of our community. This is an unthinkable tragedy that has shaken us to our core."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio described the stabbing as "horrifying" in a news conference Thursday morning, while NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea called it an "absolute tragedy."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



iStock(TAMARAC, Fla.) -- A deputy sheriff was fired after being seen on cell phone video allegedly slamming a teenage boy's face on the pavement.

Broward County, Florida, Sheriff Gregory Tony announced Wednesday that Christopher Krickovich was terminated for excessive force despite the state's Professional Standards/Human Rights Committee's (PSHRC) recommendation to exonerate him of any wrongdoing for the April 18 incident.

"When my deputies do the right thing, I will always support them and have their back. But I will not stand idly by while anyone violates his or her sworn duty to protect," said Tony in a press release. "Even a singular incident of excessive force by one of our deputies creates distrust between the community and our organization, and that is something I will not allow."

Krickovich was seen on camera allegedly pepper-spraying and slamming a 15-year-old student's face onto the ground outside of a McDonald's in Tamarac, Florida, during an arrest. Officer Gregory LaCerra was also present and allegedly involved in the violent arrest.

Afterwards, prosecutors claimed, the two officers filed false charges against the teen in order to cover up the attack.

After the video was posted on social media, the pair was variously charged in July 2019 with misdemeanor crimes including battery, falsifying records and conspiracy to falsify records, prosecutors said. A third officer was also charged in the attack but was found not guilty after a jury trial in September 2019 for one count of falsifying records.

Krickovich and LaCerra both have entered not guilty pleas and their criminal cases are ongoing.

Jeff Bell, president of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association, previously told the Associated Press that the Tamarac area is a hot spot for after school incidents with students threatening and harassing the mostly elderly clientele. Bell did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News.

Pending Tony's investigation -- that included results from PSHRC which "investigates employment, housing and public accommodations discrimination, ethics, Wage Recovery, Living Wage, and Cone of Silence violations," according to their website -- Krickovich and LaCerra were suspended without pay.

"Like most people who watched the video evidence, I was disgusted by the obvious abuse of authority, but it is important for us to follow due process," said the sheriff, who made his decision after an internal affairs investigation.

Sue-Ann Robinson, one of the civil attorneys representing the teenager and his family, held a press conference to explain that Krickovich's termination is not a "win" -- "but it's definitely a step in the right direction," she said.

"As a society we cannot allow abuse on our most vulnerable. The separation of one of the officers from the Sheriff’s Office for slamming [a 15-year-old's] head into the ground and filing false charges to cover it up -- is a step in the right direction," wrote Robinson on her Instagram account Thursday to accompany a clip of the press conference.

Tony was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in January 2019 to an acting role as the head of the department after the former sheriff, Scott Israel, was fired from the post, accused of mishandling the department's response to the February 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Once Tony was in his position, he launched further investigations into the Parkland shooting, firing two more deputies in June 2019 for failing to respond to the scene and stop the alleged gunman.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



iStock(PENSACOLA, Fla.) -- Federal investigators have determined that the shooting at a Florida air base that killed three people was likely a "terror" attack inspired by radical Islamic ideology, three sources briefed on the ongoing investigation told ABC News.

On Dec. 6, Mohammed Alshamrani, 21, a second lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force, allegedly opened fire inside a classroom at Air Base Pensacola, killing three U.S. Navy personnel and injuring another eight people. Alshamrani was shot and killed by Escambia County Sheriff's deputies at the scene.

Alshamrani was in the United States for flight training and purchased the Glock 9 mm pistol he used in the attack about four months ago by taking advantage of a federal gun exception that allows foreign nationals to legally purchase weapons for hunting, authorities said.

Alshamrani allegedly followed radical Islamist content online, including sermons by the American-born cleric Anwar al Awlaki, who was killed in 2011 in a CIA-led drone strike.

Alshamrani traveled to New York city shortly before the attack, authorities said, but the travel was likely related to his training and not an effort by him to seek out potential targets.

The U.S. Department of Defense has since suspended operational training for all Saudi students in the wake of the shooting.

The FBI has not officially designated the shooting as a terror attack, saying only that it is being investigated with the "presumption" that it was an act of terror.

Federal investigators are also probing a report that Alshamrani watched mass-shooting videos in the presence of some friends in the days leading up to the attack, two sources briefed on the probe told ABC News.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



iStock(JERSEY CITY, N.J.) -- Religious writings on hate could be key to learning what motivated a pair of rifle-wielding suspects to kill three people in an attack on a Jewish market in Jersey City, New Jersey, after they allegedly gunned down a police detective in a cemetery, law enforcement sources told ABC News.

The suspects, David Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50, were killed in a shootout with police on Tuesday but left a trail of potential evidence investigators are combing through to determine why they allegedly killed Jersey City Detective Joseph Seals and targeted the Jersey City Kosher Supermarket, officials said.

In a stolen U-Haul van, the suspects parked in front of the market just seconds before launching a rifle attack. Investigators found a pipe bomb and religious writings, including a handwritten note reading, "I do this because my creator makes me do this and I hate who he hates," multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News.

Anderson and Graham are believed to have been members of the Black Israelites, a group that espouses hatred toward Jews and is known for anti-government and anti-police sentiments, sources told ABC News. Authorities in New Jersey did not have the Black Israelites on their radar as a violent group, more a nuisance at public events, the sources said.

At a news conference on Wednesday, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal declined to speculate on a motive for the violence perpetrated by the suspects. But Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, the grandson of Holocaust survivors, told reporters "there is no question this is a hate crime."

Grewal has scheduled a news conference for later Thursday to update the community on the case. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey are also involved in the investigation.

Meanwhile, thousands of members of the Jewish Orthodox communities in Jersey City and Brooklyn, New York, gathered at cemeteries Wednesday night to mourn and bury two of the victims, 33-year-old Mindy Ferencz, the wife of the kosher supermarket owner and mother of five, and 24-year-old Moshe Deutsch, a Yeshiva student.

Deutsch's father, Abe Deutsch, is a member of the United Jewish Organization's board of directors, said Rabbi David Niederman, president of the organization.

“A few hundred bullets went into the body of a 24-year-old child ... how can we as a community, as people, bear that?” Niederman said of Moshe Deutsch, during a news conference Wednesday at City Hall in New York City.

The third victim killed at the supermarket was identified by authorities as Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, 49, who worked at the store. Funeral arrangements for Rodriguez are pending.

A funeral for Seals, 39, a married father of five, is scheduled to be held next Tuesday.

The terrifying episode began to unfold about 12:38 p.m. on Tuesday when the Jersey City Police Department received a 911 call from an individual who discovered Seals's body in the Bayview Cemetery, about a mile from the kosher market, Grewal said on Wednesday.

He said investigators believe Seals was shot to death when he confronted the suspects in the cemetery. He said Anderson and Graham were prime suspects in the murder this past weekend of an Uber driver officials identified as Michael Rumberger.

Rumberger's body was found in the trunk of a Lincoln Town car around 10 p.m. Saturday, sources told ABC News.

Seals apparently had gone to the cemetery alone to meet the suspects and one of them may have been an informant he had worked with, possibly explaining why he felt comfortable meeting in the cemetery without backup or radioing in about the rendezvous, the sources said.

Seals, a plainclothes undercover detective, had been investigating the homicide, according to law enforcement sources.

After allegedly killing Seals in the cemetery, the suspects got into the stolen U-Haul van and drove to the kosher market, arriving about 12:43 p.m., Grewal said.

Security video, obtained by ABC News, shows the suspects parking directly across the street from the supermarket on Martin Luther King Drive, getting out of the vehicle holding rifles and calmly walking into the supermarket as passersby on the street scrambled for cover.

Grewal said four people, including the three slain victims, were inside the store when the suspects stormed through the front door. A lone survivor, who was shot and wounded, managed to escape, Grewal said.

Two foot patrol officers were about a block from the deli and responded as soon as they heard the gunfire, Grewal said. They were both shot and wounded in a gunfight with the suspects that involved other Jersey City police officers, he said.

The gunbattle lasted until about 3:47 p.m. when a police armored vehicle broke through the entryway of the supermarket and police found the bodies of the suspects and the three victims inside.

In addition to the two other officers wounded in the shootout, a third was hurt by shrapnel, officials said. The officers were all treated at a hospital and released.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



iStock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has proposed a new resource to serve as a suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai formally proposed the three digit number, 988, during an Open Commission Meeting on Thursday.

Under the new proposal, calls made to 988 would be directed to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a national network of 163 crisis centers available at 1-800-273-TALK & online, according to the FCC.

According to the FCC fact sheet, the proposed rule was conceived after Congress passed the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2018.

"The statute tasked the FCC -- with examining and reporting on the technical feasibility of designating a shorter number -- "a simple, easy-to-remember, 3-digit dialing code" -- for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline."

The official proposal starts the process of designating 988 as the 3-digit dialing code for this purpose, which the FCC said will "help increase the effectiveness of suicide prevention efforts, ease access to crisis services, reduce the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health conditions, and ultimately save lives."

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Arctic air is moving over the Great Lakes and the Northeast Thursday morning, bringing bitter cold wind chills and heavy lake effect snow from Michigan to New York.

In Western New York, more than 9 inches of snow fell in Erie County Wednesday due to the lake effect. Roads were slick Wednesday and lingering slick spots continue Thursday morning.

Wind chills are in the teens and single digits in the Great Lakes and the Northeast Thursday morning, and it feels like it’s below freezing all the way to Atlanta and Birmingham, Alabama.

In the meantime, a new storm system is developing in the Gulf Coast Thursday into Friday, and it will move up the East Coast Friday into Saturday with heavy rain.

By Friday, the storm system will spread heavy rain from Florida to the Carolinas.

By Friday night into Saturday morning, heavy rain is expected in the Northeast, with snow cover in some areas. Frozen ground and flooding is possible.

In the west, a series of storms and lots of Pacific moisture will bring heavy rain to the West Coast and heavy snow to the mountains.

Already, seven western states, from Washington to Colorado, are under winter weather alerts for heavy snow.

Snow and rain is already falling in the West Thursday morning, and will continue into the weekend.

Through the weekend, rainfall could reach 2-4 inches in Northern California and Southern Oregon, and snow in the mountains from Washington to Colorado could reach 2-4 feet.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Nick J./iStock(NEW YORK) -- In 2014, after serving in the Marine Corps for nearly three years, Jilmar Ramos-Gomez returned home to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was born and raised, and found himself struggling with post-traumatic stress, not able to adjust to his new life as a civilian.

He says he reached a breaking point when he suffered a psychotic episode on Nov. 21, 2018, and was arrested by the Grand Rapids Police for trespassing on the roof of a local hospital.

Ramos-Gomez was not a patient but went there because he was struggling with his post-traumatic stress, according to Miriam Aukerman, his lawyer and a senior attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union in Michigan.

Following his arrest, Ramos-Gomez was booked into the Kent County Correctional Facility, a jail in Grand Rapids.

An ACLU lawsuit says he was then detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) without probable cause and held in a detention center for three days, despite his having -- and ICE knowing -- that he had multiple means of identification in his possession showing he was a U.S. citizen -- including a REAL ID driver's license and U.S. passport.

A statement later released by ICE says Jilmar Ramos Gomez allegedly told officials he was from a foreign country when he was in custody on Nov. 23, 2018. In its lawsuit, the ACLU asserts, however, that the evidence shows ICE officials had proof of his citizenship before and after they spoke to him.

ICE declined to comment on the case.

Ramos-Gomez is one of some 20,000 U.S. citizens detained by ICE over the past 10 years, according to the Cato Institute. ICE has declined to release any figures.

“There's been a ratcheting up of deportations and arrests by ICE over the last 10 years or so and these types of mistakes are to be expected but are unacceptable,” said Douglas Rivlin, director of communications for America's Voice, an immigrant rights advocacy group. “We expect very high standards from our federal officials but we are not getting the level of accuracy and competence that we need to get from our federal officials.”

The number is higher for lawful permanent residents, according to the Cato Institute. Data released by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a non-partisan organization that releases information about federal enforcement, show that, between 2008 and 2012, ICE issued detainer requests against 28,000 legal permanent residents.

Since ICE has not released documents or information on any of the detainer requests, the reasons behind issuing them are unknown.

“An LPR can be lawfully detained for removal purposes if they have a criminal conviction that makes them subject to deportation,” said Jennie Paquerella, director of immigrants' rights and senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Southern California. “The problem is that ICE often puts detainers on LPRs who do not have such convictions and sometimes no convictions at all.”

Pasquerella recently won a lawsuit that ruled that ICE's primary deportation program unconstitutional. The lawsuit, called Gonzalez v. ICE, is based on Gerardo Gonzalez, a natural born U.S. citizen who was issued a detainer request by ICE in 2012.

According to the complaint, ICE has subjected more than two million people to these unconstitutional arrests since the inception of the program in 2008.

“ICE is doing everything that they possibly can to prevent people who are in their custody from accessing attorneys, even from having their families know where they're being held,” Rivlin said. “It's a very secretive process.”

ICE declined to comment on the process federal officials have to follow when someone is detained. According to its website, facilities follow ICE’s National Detention Standards, which state that only “non-U.S. citizens who are apprehended and determined to need custodial supervision are placed in detention facilities.”

According to the ACLU lawsuit, when he was arrested, Ramos-Gomez not only had his U.S. passport and REAL ID driver's license, but also his Marine Corps identification tags. At the jail in Grand Rapids, the lawsuit says, an off-duty officer with the Grand Rapids Police Department emailed an ICE agent to check on his immigration status after seeing news of his arrest on TV.

The officer claimed he suspected terrorism but emails and exchanges between the GRPD officers and ICE officials published by the ACLU reveal, the group says, that the officer never indicated the issue was urgent or that it involved terrorism. In his email, the lawsuit says, he said only that he was concerned with Ramos’ immigration status.

The email resulted in ICE agents speaking to Ramos-Gomez in the Kent County jail, the ACLU says. And even though the agents reviewed his Real ID driver’s license and a database that listed Ramos’ birthplace as Michigan, the lawsuit says, he was nevertheless then sent to another immigration detention center in Michigan on Dec. 14, because ICE officials still believed he was undocumented.

“He's booked in and he has his REAL ID compliant license that shows he is a veteran and here lawfully,” said Aukerman, his attorney. “And while he's there, he does not get the care that he needs and so his mental health seriously deteriorates.”

When ICE started removal proceedings, the notice charges incorrectly stated that Ramos-Gomez was a Guatemalan citizen who arrived unlawfully in the U.S. While he was born in Michigan, his family is from Guatemala, but in their statement, officials did not provide an explanation for why they indicated he was not a U.S. citizen and, instead, from the Central American country. Before ICE could continue, Ramos-Gomez’s family attorney intervened.

An ICE agent then again reviewed and confirmed Ramos’ citizenship and he was released on Dec. 17, 2018, almost a month after his arrest.

Since his release, Ramos-Gomez says he is still suffering from the trauma of being detained and almost deported.

“If you had a judge who would have looked at this, who would have looked at the police reports and the information that was available, no judge would have signed off on a warrant,” Aukerman said.

Nearly a year after his arrest, the city of Grand Rapids settled a lawsuit brought by Ramos-Gomez, the city commission agreeing to pay him $190,000 for the department's involvement in his detention.

Following the settlement with the city, the ACLU along with attorneys at the Loevy and Loevy law firm filed a lawsuit and a complaint against ICE and the Department of Homeland Security alleging wrongful detainment of the Marine Corps veteran. The ACLU is seeking unspecified compensation for Ramos-Gomez and records pertaining to his detainment and data on other U.S. citizens and lawful residents who have been detained in the hopes this situation from happening to others.

“There needs to be accountability and transparency,” Aukerman said. “It’s unusual for ICE to actually acknowledge responsibility but with the lawsuit, they have a chance to decide whether they want to take responsibility for what they did or whether they want to fight it.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Alabama Law Enforcement Agency(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- An autopsy found that the body of Kamille "Cupcake" McKinney, the 3-year-old Alabama girl who was found dead in a dumpster after she was kidnapped from a birthday party, was given methamphetamine and a sedative before she was murdered, according to reports.

Prosecutors stated Tuesday during a preliminary hearing for Patrick Stallworth, 39, that he and his girlfriend, Derick Brown, 29, used candy to lure Kamille away from the birthday party on Oct. 12 and kidnap her, ABC Birmingham affiliate WBMA-TV reported.

Birmingham Police detective Jonathan Ross testified that he spoke to a 10-year-old at the birthday party who said he saw a man and woman in an SUV handing out candy and that he saw Kamille in the SUV crying, according to WBMA.

A middle school-aged girl also told Ross that earlier in the day the couple had offered her candy while she was leaving her cheerleading practice, he said at the hearing.

Surveillance video from a nearby gas station allegedly shows Stallworth getting out of an SUV and buying $18 worth of candy, Ross testified. Stallworth allegedly later bought an energy drink and a pill for sexual dysfunction at another gas station, Ross reportedly said.

After he was identified, Stallworth allegedly admitted to coming in contact with the cheerleader and handing out candy to children in the vicinity of the birthday party, but he did not mention anything about Kamille, Ross reportedly said.

Investigators also allegedly found child pornography on Stallworth's cellphone, Ross testified. The dumpster where Kamille's body was later found was located near Stallworth's apartment complex, Ross reportedly said.

After Stallworth was arrested, he allegedly told Ross that he first saw Kamille with Brown when he arrived home to their apartment and that the two were sitting on the sofa and watching television.

According to WBMA, Ross testified that Stallworth said Brown wanted to "keep her" and then instructed him to sexually assault her. Stallworth then went outside to smoke a cigarette and accused Brown of putting her hand over Kamille's nose and mouth to kill her, Ross said.

Ross believes that the couple gave Kamille meth and another sedative to make her sleepy, according to the WBMA's report of the hearing. The sedative that was allegedly used, Trazodone, is an anti-depressant used to treat insomnia, and the levels of both drugs in Kamille's system indicated that she ingested them and was not just exposed to them, AL.com reported.

Kamille's family was in the courtroom during the hearing, according to AL.com.

The medical examiner ruled Kamille's cause of death as asphyxiation, prosecutors revealed in the couple's Oct. 25 arraignment hearing. Prosecutors said during Tuesday's hearing that they couldn't determine whether sexual abuse happened due to decomposition of her body, according to WMBA. Ross reportedly testified that a plastic mattress cover found in the apartment had a blood stain and DNA from Stallworth, Brown and Kamille.

Stallworth and Brown are both charged with capital murder of a victim less than 14 years old. Brown is expected to appear in court on Friday.

Stallworth's defense attorneys argued during court that the witness accounts were inconsistent and Stallworth was not with Brown for a portion of the day of the birthday party, according to WBMA. The attorney also said that the reason why Stallworth's phone pinged to the area is because Brown had it with her in the SUV, since hers was broken.

Stallworth's attorney, Derrick Collins, declined to offer a statement to ABC News, citing a court-ordered gag order.

The Jefferson County District Attorney's office and a public defender for Brown did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Local News

WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 12, 2019

A former Clymer Central School teacher recently convicted of child pornography involving a young child has been sentenced to 4-and-a-half years in federal prison.   U-S Attorney James Kennedy,...

Read More


Join Us Facebook