2-yr-old dies after accidental shooting inside home

 

CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) – A 2-year-old that was accidentally shot inside a Lincoln Street home on Tuesday has died, according to police.

Police said the shooting happened at the home around 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday. Police reported on Friday the child had died.

Detectives believe the child located an unsecured firearm inside the home. The firearm was then accidentally discharged, causing the child’s death. The investigation is continuing.

Police urge gunowners to make sure their firearms are secured and kept in a place not easily accessed by children.

 

City appeals decision to reinstate fired officers

SHREVEPORT, La. — The City of Shreveport is appealing a decision by the local civil service board to reinstate three police officers who were fired earlier this year for forging sick leave forms and getting paid when they were not ill.

A Police Department investigation concluded that, early in the coronavirus outbreak this past spring, five healthy officers decided to start taking paid sick leave. Investigators said the officers created bogus doctor’s excuse forms, including some from a clinic that was closed. Three officers wound up being fired and two others resigned.

Officers Rickey Daughtrey, LaDarious Ford and Deonquanita Smith appealed their firings by Police Chief Ben Raymond. The Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board this week overturned the firings and also ordered the three reinstated with back pay to when they were initially suspended without pay in May. Some board members said the officers deserved to be fired but the police chief made “procedural” errors by suspending them without pay and then firing them, therefore imposing two disciplinary actions.

No criminal charges were filed against any of the officers. Caddo District Attorney James Stewart took the position it was a personnel matter, not a crime. Raymond disagreed, saying the officers ought to be prosecuted.

One of the officers had been submitting fraudulent doctor’s excuse since 2018 and had received more than $9,000 in sick pay, investigators said.

In its appeal of the Civil Service Board’s decision, the city has asked a Caddo District Court judge to overturn the board’s decision to reinstate the three officers.

The Civil Service Board, which has civilian members and representatives from the police and fire departments, voted 4-2 to reinstate the officers.     

The district attorney and police chief have different interpretations of what led to criminal charges not being filed.

“They (the Police Department administration) did submit a file for review,” Stewart said, “They made a verbal request for us to defer to their administrative process, which ultimately we did.” 

Raymond said his administration deferred to a general request from the D.A.’s office to submit cases against police officers to prosecutors for review before charges are filed.

“Going forward, our investigators and officers will make probable cause arrests when the situation warrants,” Raymond said.

Stewart said he has changed his office’s policy on criminal investigations of police officers.

“They have to clear any internal investigations that they want to submit to us with the city attorney to certify that this is something they actually want us to go forward with a criminal charge,” Stewart said.

China accuses Australia of interfering with MAJOR police investigation – tensions erupt

The ABC’s Bill Birtles and the Australian Financial Review’s Mike Smith saw themselves at the centre of a deadlock between China and Australia. It happened when both journalists sought help from Australian officials after Chinese state security approached them.

They were not allowed to leave China until they underwent an interrogation regarding a fellow Australian journalist who was accused of jeopardising national security.

The two correspondents eventually agreed to answer the questions and Australian diplomats ensured the men could leave China.

However, on Thursday night, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian condemned Australia’s decision to shelter the journalists.

He said doing so while the two countries were still holding discussions was “an interference in China’s internal affairs and judicial sovereignty”.

He added: “Australia’s actions in organising the two journos to hide in the embassy completely exceeds the scope of consular protection and in fact is interference in a Chinese legal case.

“This practice is inconsistent with the status and identity of the Australian embassy in China.”

Australian and Chinese officials engaged in talks for several days before Beijing agreed to let the correspondents leave in exchange for their cooperation with the inquiry.

Senator Simon Birmingham spoke in defence of the Australian government following China’s accusations of interference.

READ MORE: USA to block key exports from China amid claims of forced labour

“We go through actions fully in accordance with our own laws, transparently so, our agencies are accountable for how they conduct their operations.”

It comes after Mr Zhao revealed on Wednesday that four Chinese journalists working in Australia were raided.

He said the four journalists were “interrogated on the grounds of a possible breach of Australia’s anti-foreign interference laws.”

The Chinese spokesman said they were asked questions and had their phones, computers and even their children’s tablets seized.

He said: “I would like to stress that the journalists of the Chinese media in Australia have strictly observed local laws and regulations.”

Mr Zhao added that Australia’s actions “seriously interferes with the normal reporting duties of the Chinese media… and causes serious damage to the physical and mental health of the journalists and their families.”

Liberal senator James Paterson has cast doubt over whether Chinese journalists should be allowed into federal parliament.

Sen Birmingham argued that the nationality of accredited journalists should not matter as long as they observed the regulations and requirements.

He said: “When it comes to our parliament, we should be open to any journalist who meets the standard to be able to be there.”



China accuses Australia of interfering with MAJOR police investigation – tensions erupt

The ABC’s Bill Birtles and the Australian Financial Review’s Mike Smith saw themselves at the centre of a deadlock between China and Australia. It happened when both journalists sought help from Australian officials after Chinese state security approached them.

They were not allowed to leave China until they underwent an interrogation regarding a fellow Australian journalist who was accused of jeopardising national security.

The two correspondents eventually agreed to answer the questions and Australian diplomats ensured the men could leave China.

However, on Thursday night, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian condemned Australia’s decision to shelter the journalists.

He said doing so while the two countries were still holding discussions was “an interference in China’s internal affairs and judicial sovereignty”.

He added: “Australia’s actions in organising the two journos to hide in the embassy completely exceeds the scope of consular protection and in fact is interference in a Chinese legal case.

“This practice is inconsistent with the status and identity of the Australian embassy in China.”

Australian and Chinese officials engaged in talks for several days before Beijing agreed to let the correspondents leave in exchange for their cooperation with the inquiry.

Senator Simon Birmingham spoke in defence of the Australian government following China’s accusations of interference.

READ MORE: USA to block key exports from China amid claims of forced labour

“We go through actions fully in accordance with our own laws, transparently so, our agencies are accountable for how they conduct their operations.”

It comes after Mr Zhao revealed on Wednesday that four Chinese journalists working in Australia were raided.

He said the four journalists were “interrogated on the grounds of a possible breach of Australia’s anti-foreign interference laws.”

The Chinese spokesman said they were asked questions and had their phones, computers and even their children’s tablets seized.

He said: “I would like to stress that the journalists of the Chinese media in Australia have strictly observed local laws and regulations.”

Mr Zhao added that Australia’s actions “seriously interferes with the normal reporting duties of the Chinese media… and causes serious damage to the physical and mental health of the journalists and their families.”

Liberal senator James Paterson has cast doubt over whether Chinese journalists should be allowed into federal parliament.

Sen Birmingham argued that the nationality of accredited journalists should not matter as long as they observed the regulations and requirements.

He said: “When it comes to our parliament, we should be open to any journalist who meets the standard to be able to be there.”



Officer used excessive force, borderline criminal

HAMMOND – A damning report accompanied with a video from a booking room dust-up in 2017 was leaked to the WBRZ Investigative Unit and is raising questions about why nothing happened to some of the officers seen in the video using extraordinary force on a man who was handcuffed.

Hammond Police approached Kentdrick Ratliff in 2017 for obstructing a sidewalk. Officers initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle which led to Ratliff’s arrest after officers found pill bottles inside the car. The police report notes that the bottles contained Xanax, Marijuana, and a so called legend drug. Ratliff was taken to a booking room where things took a dramatic turn.

Click here to see the full surveillance video

The audio and video of what happens next were captured from the booking room. The report that accompanies that video from an independent consultant out of Texas is raising questions about whether there should be better training.

“I first saw it two weeks ago,” Attorney Ravi Shah said.

Shah represented Ratliff in the criminal case Hammond Police levied against his client.

Shah said since the incident occurred in 2017, he’s been trying to get his hands on the video. He finally got it last month.

“When I brought this to the attention to the district attorney’s office and requested the video of the incident in booking, they relayed to me that they had an email from someone at Hammond PD that the video did not exist,” Shah said.

Shah now calls the video disturbing.

THE VIDEO

In the booking room, Ratliff said he made a bad decision to reach for his pills that were sitting on a desk as officers were booking him. Following Ratliff trying to reach for his pills, Sergeant Edwin Bergeron immediately punches Ratliff five times with a closed fist. Ratliff then becomes jammed between the computers.

Nearly 20 seconds later, more officers arrive and Ratliff is tazed. Sergeant Thomas Mushinsky then delivers a kick to the inside of the suspect’s leg.

More help eventually arrives and a minute later another officer is seen kicking Ratliff in the head with his foot. The entire time that Ratliff was subdued, one of the officer’s heavy leather tactical boot was on Ratliff’s neck. Another officer kneeled on him.

“I got beat, stomped, kicked in my groin,” Ratliff said.

Out of the nearly dozen officers that were in the booking room that night, only one faced discipline. Sergeant Thomas Mushinsky got disciplined for kicking Ratliff.

THE REPORT

In 2018, Mushinsky and his attorney commissioned the Use of Force Consultants Inc., out of McKinney, Texas to review the case. The report used for Mushinsky’s defense shows that the kick that was used was a trained distraction technique.

Those analyzing the video noted that the force that Officers Dunn and Sergeant Bergeron used was “excessive and borderline criminal.”

The report notes that their training, “HFRG/PPCT does not advocate strikes to the face on a handcuffed subject. There were six strikes delivered by Sgt. Bergeron and three strikes by Officer Dunn. Ratliff was of no threat to either officers at this time.”

“What shocked me is that they would so blatantly lie and tell another officer of the court that the video did not exist, and it did at one point and clearly still exists now showing what happened to my client,” Shah said.

Nearly a year after the incident, Sgt. Bergeron was promoted to Hammond Police Chief.

CITY OF HAMMOND RESPONSE

The WBRZ Investigative Unit requested an interview with Chief Bergeron. He told the WBRZ Investigative Unit he was not authorized to speak to the media, and we had to go through the city. A spokesperson said there would be no interviews. Instead, she called this situation irrelevant.

In a follow-up email request, the following response was sent by Lacy Landrum, the Director of Administration for the City of Hammond.

“Shortly after the December 2017 incident occurred, James Stewart, the Hammond police chief, reviewed the incident video and reports in detail and recommended an internal investigation of one of the officers with regards to excessive force. He did not recommend an investigation of the other officers. The investigation resulted in the mayor imposing discipline of a 60-day suspension and additional training for the officer. That officer appealed the discipline to the Hammond Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board. As part of his appeal, the officer presented the report you cited to the board. The report’s author was hired and paid by the officer to support his appeal. The report went directly to the board and was never presented to the city. In April of 2018, the police chief provided the incident video and reports to the FBI for their review, and after that review, the FBI took no action against any of the officers.

In addition to the above, this incident was the subject of public discussion and review in connection with the appointment of Edwin Bergeron to police chief in March of 2019.”

COMMUNITY OUTRAGE

When the dust finally settled, the 13 serious charges like disarming a police officer, resisting an officer violently, and criminal damage to property that Ratliff faced were all dismissed except for two. One was a misdemeanor drug charge and the other, resisting arrest. Ratliff said it was easier to plea than continue to fight. He was set free the next day, after sitting in jail for nearly four months.

Community activists are demanding change.

“You have a situation where an officer got away with beating a handcuffed African American through a desk and became police chief, if that’s not concerning, I don’t know what is,” Jermaine Luckett said.

Luckett is now speaking up for Ratliff as the full video and the report comes to light.

“First note that there are people that are on the force that are great,” Luckett said. “This is not an attack on police. This is saying that if something is wrong in the department, the citizens have the power to stand up do it the right way and get them out of office.”

Luckett believes the video and report should have been made public when the incident happened. Now, he along with a handful of officers in the Hammond Police Department are all working together in hopes of getting some answers.

“An effective solution in my mind is to restart the investigation completely,” Luckett said. “Investigate the cover-up, exactly what happened, and let the law justly decide. Bring justice for Mr. Ratliff.”

Former Police Chief James Stewart was so disturbed by the case, he turned it over to the FBI. The city said the feds reviewed the case and took no action against any of the officers.

Robinhood is reportedly under SEC investigation, could pay $10 million fine

Popular trading platform Robinhood is under investigation related to its disclosures around its practice of selling clients’ orders to high-frequency traders, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s probe into the Silicon Valley start-up is at an advanced stage and could result in a fine of more than $10 million if the company agrees to settle, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Selling order flow is not illegal in itself and most brokerages do it. However, more of Robinhood’s overall revenue comes from the practice than other brokers.

Robinhood made $180 million in trading revenue in the second quarter, roughly double from the prior quarter, as investors flocked to platform seeking to ride the historic market rebound.

“We strive to maintain constructive relationships with our regulators and to cooperate fully with them. We do not discuss or comment on our communications with our regulators,” a Robinhood spokesperson told CNBC.

The SEC declined to comment.

The millennial-favored app, which offers commission-free trades, saw a historic 3 million new accounts in the first four months of 2020.

— Click here to read the original WSJ story.

Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world.

Stolen mail bust on freeway leads to investigation

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A traffic stop led Harris County deputies to dozens of pieces of undelivered mail Saturday morning, which federal investigators are now looking into.

The video above shows the bags pulled out of the car surrounded by mail.

The driver was also intoxicated behind the wheel when he was stopped by Deputy Parrella at the Katy Freeway and Grand Parkway, according to a tweet by the sheriff’s office.

Mail theft is a felony under federal law.

There was no word on the identity of the driver.

Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.



Boris Johnson demands investigation into suspected poisoning of Alexei Navalny

He also linked episode to the murder of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko and the nerve agent attack on former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury. “I just think it’s incredible that we’ve had poisonings of people who have fallen out with the Russian regime and who’ve left Russia,” the Prime Minister said in a television interview yesterday.

He added: “We saw what happened to Alexander Litvinenko we saw, what happened to Sergei and Yulia Skripal in our country.

“And now we have the most extraordinary thing which is perhaps the leading domestic opponent of Vladimir Putin being poisoned in Germany.

“And you really have to ask yourself what has gone on here. I think what we want to see is a full, thorough, transparent investigation into the poisoning of Alexei Navalny and those who are responsible must be brought to justice.”

Earlier yesterday Mr Johnson spoke out about the issue on Twitter.

He said: “The poisoning of Alexey Navalny shocked the world. The UK stands in solidarity with him and his family.

“We need a full, transparent investigation into what happened.

“The perpetrators must be held accountable and the UK will join international efforts to ensure justice is done.”

Mr Navalny, a politician and corruption investigator who is one of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics, fell ill on a flight back to Moscow from Siberia on Thursday August 20, and was taken to a hospital in the city of Omsk after the plane made an emergency landing.

He is in a coma and has since been transferred to a German hospital where doctors said tests indicated that he was poisoned.

The Kremlin has rejected accusations of involvement in an alleged attack against the prominent figure.

Mr Johnson’s intervention follows calls from a host of senior MPs demanding an international investigation.

Tom Tugendhat, Tory Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, Chris Bryant, Labour chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Russia, and other select committee chairs last week wrote to the Russian ambassador in support of Mr Navalny and asked for a “full and independent investigation led by international investigating officers” into the allegations he was poisoned.

German chancellor Angela Merkel has already demanded a probe take place into what happened to the Putin rival after doctors in the country discovered “cholinesterase inhibitors” in his system following his transfer over the weekend to the Charite hospital in Berlin.

Cholinesterase inhibitors act by blocking the breakdown of a key chemical in the body, acetycholine, that transmits signals between nerve cells.

Mr Navalny is being treated with the antidote atropine.

Allies of the politician have claimed the Kremlin is behind the illness of its most prominent critic, with some demanding an investigation into whether Mr Putin was involved.

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier this week: “These accusations absolutely cannot be true and are rather an empty noise.

“We do not intend to take it seriously.”

The developments follow the poisoning and murder on UK soil of Mr Litvinenko in 2006, along with the Novichok attack on the Skripals in Salisbury two years ago.

British investigations into both incidents concluded that Russian agents were behind the attacks.



Husband, wife escape burning home in TN

MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) – A husband and wife were able to get out of their home on Calumet Trace after a fire in their garage quickly spread.

Murfreesboro officials say crews arrived on scene and saw smoke and flames coming from the home. Firefighters began attacking the fire in the garage and in the attic. 

The home sustained major fire, smoke and water damage. 




Murfreesboro Fire - Calumet Trace




Investigators believe the fire may have started in the garage and quickly spread to a bonus room on the second floor and the attic at around 10:21 a.m. Friday. 

While crews extinguished the fire, other firefighters were able to save several family photos. 

An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway. 

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