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Renowned gay rights attorney and environmentalist self-immolates at Brooklyn park

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By Brittany Martinez

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Notable gay rights lawyer and environmental activist David Buckel was discovered burned to death in an apparent suicide in popular Brooklyn park early Saturday morning.

A jogger on a run through Prospect Park at around 6:15 a.m. spotted a fire on the grass, police sources said.

The jogger flagged down a New York Police Department cop who then approached the blaze and discovered a person was burning, the sources said.

Before self-immolating, Buckel,60, stowed his identification and a suicide note nearby, the sources added.

In the noted Buckel said his “early death by fossil fuel” was a protest against damage to the environment, according to the New York Daily News.

The location where Buckel decided to take his own life was only a few blocks away from his home just off the park.

Buckel earned acclaim when he championed a lawsuit involving a transgender man named Brandon Teena who was slain in Nebraska.

The man’s life story was adapted to the big screen in the indie film hit “Boys Don’t Cry,”

He also spearheaded same-sex marriage cases in numerous states around the country.

Lamda Legal, where Buckel served as its project director, released a statement calling the counselor “a visionary.”

“This is a tremendous loss for our Lambda Legal family, but also for the entire movement for social justice,” according to the statement. “David was an indefatigable attorney and advocate, and also a dedicated and loving friend to so many. He will be remembered for his kindness, devotion, and vision for justice.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


Man killed in apartment 'explosives laboratory'

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By Brittany Martinez

iStock/Thinkstock(BEAVER DAM, Wis.) — A Wisconsin man blew himself up inside his apartment, which was allegedly loaded with white supremacist literature, weapons, explosives and highly volatile chemicals.

Investigators say Benjamin Morrow, 28, was found lifeless underneath his electric kitchen stove inside his unit at Village Glen Apartments in Beaver Dam last month. They also pulled from the rubble white supremacist literature, long guns and pistols, ammo, a large capacity magazine, and explosives, according to an unsealed warrant according to a report in ABC News station WISN.

It’s alleged that Morrow also hoarded 13 medium-sized jars of traicetone triperoxide or “TATP explosive material” in in the fridge inside the kitchen, which the warrant claimed doubled as an “explosives laboratory,” according to Wisconsin crime investigator Kevin Heimerl’s warrant application.

The contents of Morrow’s unit were considered to be so “highly volatile” that officials decided to destroy the entire 16-unit structure in a controlled fire.

Morrow, who according to WISN was a food company quality control technician who had previously worked as an associate scientist at pharmaceutical company, appears to have had strong white supremacy leanings.

“Within his bedroom, literature has been found concerning white supremacy groups,” Heimerl wrote in the warrant citing what was found after probing Morrow’s laptop computer and electronic devices.

The March 5 explosion that killed Morrow coincidentally occurred at the same time when package bomber Mark Anthony Conditt was detonating devices and terrorizing Austin, Texas — before law enforcement caught up to Conditt and he committed suicide.

Despite the cache of weapons that included explosive targets and ballistic helmets and a vest, it remains unclear whether Morrow was hatching anything operational.

“At this point to link him to one thing or another would be speculative and conjecture,” Beaver Dam police Lt. Terrence Gebhardt told WISN.

The explosive compound Morrow was manufacturing, TATP, is nicknamed “Mother of Satan” and is made from easy-to-buy items that don’t necessarily merit attention from authorities.

Heimerl said in the warrant applicattion that he found other containers of TATP stored inside Morrow’s garage along with instructions found on the manufacture of homemade explosives.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


Two black men walked out of a Starbucks in cuffs for 'trespassing'

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By Brittany Martinez

Twitter(PHILADELPHIA) — Two black men were handcuffed and paraded out the door of a downtown Philadelphia Starbucks for allegedly refusing to leave when asked by staffers and police in an incident captured in a video was posted on social media.

The video, posted by Melissa DePino, took place at around 4:30 p.m. on Thursday inside of a Starbucks on Spruce Street near South 18th Street.

DePino’s footage immediately went viral on Twitter, racking up more than 4 million views.

In an interview with ABC News, DePino, a 50-year-old writer and mother of two, said a Starbucks barista shouted from behind the counter at the two men to make a purchase or leave.

“They were sitting quietly minding their own business, and waiting for their friend to come,” she said.

DePino said she was so appalled by the incident, she refuses to go back to Starbucks.

“Plenty of other local places to go,” she said.

The Starbucks arrest caught on video caused the City of Brotherly Love’s mayor to come out criticizing the incident.

Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted: “I’m very concerned by the incident at Starbucks. I know Starbucks is reviewing it and we will be too. @PhillyPolice is conducting an internal investigation.”

On Saturday, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. posted a detailed account of the incident, in which he defended his officers’ actions.

In an almost 7-minute clip, the commissioner said a trespassing and disturbance matter led to Starbucks employees calling 911.

He assured the public that he has reviewed the facts and defended the cops, saying they “did absolutely nothing wrong.”

“I can tell you candidly these officers did a service they were called to do,” he said.

In Delpino’s tweet and attached video, she uses the Starbucks “@Starbucks” handle to put the company on notice that the two men who “hadn’t ordered anything” while waiting for a friend to arrive were arrested “for doing nothing.”

The video shows several police officers in bicycle helmets, and what appears to be a uniformed supervisor inside the coffee shop.

In the video, both men appear calm and cooperative as they are led outside by the police officers.

The first is a 20-something, bearded black man wearing navy sweatpants, white sneakers and an unzipped grey jacket.

His friend is then seen getting cuffed behind his back and wearing a dark sweatshirt and dark jeans.

“They didn’t do anything, I saw the entire thing,” said one white man, who started to question the arresting officers. “What did they do wrong?”

Clearly outraged, DePino wrote the treatment of the two men was racially unjust.

“All the other white ppl are wondering why it’s never happened to us when we do the same thing,” she wrote in the tweet.

Starbucks responded on Twitter, first saying it was reviewing the incident to see what “led to this unfortunate result” and later posted an apology.

“We apologize to the two individuals and our customers for what took place at our Philadelphia store on Thursday,” the tweet states.

The company said it was “disappointed this led to an arrest” and that they “take these matters seriously.”

The coffee company also stated in the tweet that it will begin to take a look at its policies to determine whether they need to be updated.

“We are reviewing our policies and will continue to engage with the community and the police department to try to ensure these types of situations never happen in any of our stores,” the tweet reads.

After the arrests, Starbucks decided not to press charges and the Philadelphia District Attorney also declined to pursue a case against the two men, who have since reportedly retained attorneys.

Still, in his account, the police commissioner’ said the officers’ actions were justified.

He said two Starbucks employees called 911, reporting both a trespass and disturbance inside of the establishment.

The employees allegedly told the two men they were not permitted to use the restroom since they weren’t paying customers.

“And so they asked the two males to leave and they refused to leave and the police were called,” Ross said in the video posted on the department’s Facebook page.

The two men were then allegedly told that the police would be called and allegedly responded, “Go ahead and call the police. We don’t care,” according to Ross’s retelling of the police officers’ account.

When the cops arrived at the Starbucks, Ross said, they also asked the men to leave and they again refused and one of them allegedly took a verbal jab at the cops saying, ‘You don’t actually know what you’re doing. You’re only a $45,000 a year employee,” Ross stated in the video.

Ross said the men were given several chances to leave, but they kept refusing.

“On three different occasions the officers asked the two males politely to leave the location because they were being asked to leave by employees because they were trespassing,” he said. “Instead the males continued to refuse as they had told the employees and they told the officers they were not leaving.”

Ross said that the police remained professional and they “followed policy and they did what they are supposed to do.”

The officers “got the opposite back,” the commissioner said.

He also noted that it was only while the men were being processed that they were alerted that Starbucks “no longer wanted to prosecute.”

The commissioner also stated that he was speaking “as an African American” beyond being the top cop and that he was “very aware of implicit bias.”

He said that he has made it a priority for his department — both rank and file as well as commanders — to receive racially-sensitive training that includes taking field trips to the National Museum of African American History and …read more

Source:: National News


Newly released accounts of Parkland shooting relate chaos and confusion

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Obtained by ABC News(PARKLAND, Fla.) — New documents released Friday paint the clearest picture to date of the chaos and confusion officers experienced in the early moments of the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The incident report includes 11 officers’ accounts of their responses in the first few minutes after school resource officer Scott Peterson screamed “Shots fired!” over the radio.

Despite being the first to report the gunfire, Peterson was accused of failing to enter the school building after hearing those initial shots. He claimed to have thought they were coming from outside the building.

In February, President Trump said the officer “did a poor job,” adding that he either “didn’t react properly” or was a “coward.” Peterson was suspended by the sheriff’s office in the weeks following the shooting. He resigned soon after amid public scorn.

In one account released by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, an officer said he headed toward a nearby Walmart following a dispatch that suggested the shooter was moving in a “westward” direction. Shortly after arriving, he learned the suspect was possibly already in custody.

“I then stayed at my new location … where I prevented any non-law enforcement traffic from entering the area of the school and assisted in directing traffic,” the officer said.

Armed with an AR-15-style rifle, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 people at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, according to authorities. Seventeen others were injured.

As the situation developed, another officer said, he did not inform his fellow officers that he would be responding to the scene due to “heavy radio transmissions” following the first mention of an active shooter. Instead, he arrived at the school and entered the building, possibly contributing to some of the uncertainty regarding the number of officers in the school and where they had entered the building.

“I attempted to enter building 12 from the west but was confronted by several law enforcement officers who had entered from the east end of the building,” said one officer. “To mitigate a crossfire situation, I exited the building and continued to hold cover to the south while the other deputies and officers worked to clear the building and treat the injured.”

Two officers both reported having accidentally switched off their body cameras in their rush to confront a suspect. They turned them back on later when they realized what had happened. One of them said that had happened several times.

“It should be noted that my [body camera)] was activated but was turned off accidentally by the ‘on’ and ‘off’ button being hit by possibly the rifle sling. Upon noticing it was off, I immediately turned it back on,” the officer said.

“This occurred more than once,” he added.

Earlier reports of the shooting also indicate confusion about which building the shootings were occurring in and where the assault rifle was left in its aftermath.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


Rockies' Nolan Arenado begins serving 5-game suspension

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By Brittany Martinez

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado has dropped his appeal and will begin serving his five-game suspesnion from Major League Baseball for his part in Wednesday’s scuffle with the San Diego Paders.

Arenado charged the mound after Padres pitcher Luis Perdomo threw a pitch behind his back during the Rockies’ 6-4 win.

A Rockies’ spokesman confirmed Arenado would start the suspension beginning with Saturday’s game against the Washington Nationals.

Arenado will be replaced at third base with Ryan McMahon.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Sports News


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