TIME Crime

Ferguson Community Shocked at Cop Shootings, Senator Says

Senator Claire McCaskill says protestors are "disappointed" by shooting of two police officers

The Ferguson community has “come together” in outrage and disappointment a day after two officers were shot in a demonstration in front of the city Police Department, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill said Friday.

“Many of the protest community have spoken out in very dramatic terms about how disappointed they are that some thug would come to a peaceful protest site and commit a violent criminal act like this against police officers who are doing their jobs,” she said, echoing Attorney General Eric Holder, who called the at-large perpetrator, a “damn punk.”

The shootings came the morning after the town’s chief of police, Thomas Jackson, resigned following a Department of Justice report that found widespread racial bias among the city’s police. The city manager and a judge have also resigned after the damning report ordered by Holder after the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer in August.

Ferguson remained calm overnight Thursday despite the shootings. A few hundred protesters gathered peacefully outside the police department and no fights broke out, as they had before the shootings, according to the Associated Press. The AP reports that the two officers, who were released from the hospital Thursday, were the first shot in more than seven months of protests in Ferguson.

McCaskill said Friday that the racial tension enraging Ferguson isn’t unique. “This is a bigger issue than Ferguson,” she said on the Today show. “We have a disconnect between some communities in this country and law enforcement. And law enforcement only works if the people of this country believe in it. So we’ve got to back to the drawing board [and] get back to community policing models. There is healing going on in Ferguson and there is reform going on in Ferguson. And that needs to be happening in many communities across this country.”

McCaskill’s office said she was drafting legislation to address these issues, prioritizing federal resources for body cameras for police officers and providing more oversight of federal grant and equipment programs that critics claim have militarized the nation’s police force.

TIME

Carjacking Victim Recalls ‘Terrifying’ Night at Boston Bombing Trial

In this courtroom sketch, Dun Meng, far right, testifies with a translator at his side during the federal death penalty trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Boston on March 12, 2015.
Jane Flavell Collins—AP In this courtroom sketch, Dun Meng, far right, testifies with a translator at his side during the federal death penalty trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Boston on March 12, 2015.

Older Tsarnaev brother apparently admitted his crimes during the incident

The man carjacked by the accused Boston Marathon bombers in April 2013 recalled the “terrifying” experience on Thursday during testimony in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Dun Meng told a federal court that Dzhokhar’s older brother, Tamerlan, got into his car on April 18, 2013, and pulled out a gun, Reuters reports. After flashing the magazine of the loaded weapon, Meng added, Tamerlan asked if he was familiar with the attack earlier in the week that left three people dead and more than 200 injured.

“I said, ‘Yes, I know.’ He asked, ‘Do you know who did it?’ I said, “No, I don’t.’ He said. ‘I did it and I just killed a policeman in Cambridge,'” Meng said.

The Tsarnaev brothers are accused of shooting dead MIT police officer Sean Collier before commandeering Meng’s car, from which he escaped when the brothers stopped at a gas station.

“This seems the most terrifying moment, most difficult decision in my life,” Meng said, adding that Tamerlan told him he wouldn’t be killed at the time. “I was struggling, should I trust him about that? Or should I take this chance by myself to run away?”

A gunfight with police afterward is said to have culminated with Dzhokhar driving off in Meng’s Mercedes and directly over Tamerlan, killing him. Police would find him hidden in a drydocked boat in nearby Watertown the next night.

When the trial opened last week, the legal team for Dzhokhar, 21, said their client carried out the bombing but, in a bid to spare him the death penalty, charged that Tamerlan was the mastermind. If he is found guilty by a jury, he could be sentenced to death.

[Reuters]

TIME justice

Ferguson Activists Worry About Aftermath of Shooting

Police officers stand on alert during a protests outside the Ferguson Police Department on March 11, 2015 in Ferguson, Mo.
Michael B. Thomas—Getty Images Police officers stand on alert during a protests outside the Ferguson Police Department on March 11, 2015 in Ferguson, Mo.

Activists who have been protesting the police in Ferguson, Mo., are concerned that the shooting of two officers on Wednesday will cause renewed problems and derail their efforts.

In the wake of the shootings, the St. Louis County Police and the Missouri State Highway Patrol are returning to Ferguson Thursday evening to provide security for protests until further notice.

The two agencies were among the outside law enforcement brought in during the wave of protests that erupted shortly after the shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer, but they left after a state of emergency expired in December.

On a press call hosted by the Advancement Project on Thursday, activists who have been involved in the demonstrations since August say the return of the county and state police does not instill confidence that there will be a “measured” response as protests continue.

“We have seen this change in responsibilities before and what it ended up with was tear gas and tanks and hornets nests being thrown in the crowd,” said activist and author Rev. Osagyefo Sekou. “This change in role and responsibility has not yielded much for our democracy. “

Activists say they will continue engaging in non-violent protests, as they have for the past 200 days since the death of Michael Brown drew national attention to the small Missouri municipality.

“We are committed to non-violence,” Sekou said Thursday.

Thursday’s shooting couldn’t have come at a worse time for activists, who were just beginning to feel like they were reaching a tipping point after months of demonstrations. Last week, the Department of Justice released a report that affirmed what they’d been arguing: that unfair targeting of African Americans within the Ferguson community by police officers was at the root of the summer’s lasting unrest. On Wednesday, activists had gathered to celebrate the news that Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson had resigned when an unknown person fired wounding two police officers.

“After over 200 days we’re finally at a place where we’re beginning, just beginning to see the possibility of progress,” said Rev. Traci Blackmon, a pastor at the Christ the King Church of Christ in Florissant, Mo. “I see this as having the potential of taking our attention off of where our focus must remain.”

She added, “ That’s why we are adamant and completely committed to not letting this derail the work that is in front of us.”

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: March 12

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Protecting whistleblowers protects national security.

By Mike German at the Brennan Center for Justice

2. Could we treat pain by switching off the region of the brain controlling that feeling?

By the University of Oxford

3. Small businesses are booming in China, and it might save their economy.

By Steven Butler and Ben Halder in Ozy

4. Not so fast: Apps using Apple’s new health technology could require FDA approval. That doesn’t come quick.

By Jonathan M. Gitlin in Ars Technica

5. We might feel better about driving electric cars, but they’re still not good for the environment.

By Bobby Magill in Quartz

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME justice

Ferguson Police Chief Resigns After Damning Justice Dept. Report

Protestors and elected officials have been calling for Thomas Jackson's resignation

The police chief of Ferguson announced Wednesday he is resigning his post, after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old resulted in an excoriating Justice Department report on his department.

Thomas Jackson submitted his resignation letter on Wednesday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. “I believe this is the appropriate thing to do at this time,” Jackson told the newspaper. “This city needs to move forward without any distractions.”

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said at a news conference on Wednesday that Jackson and the city had agreed to a “mutual separation” that will take effect on March 19. Jackson will receive severance payment and health insurance for one year.

“He felt that this was the best forward, not only for the city but for the men and women serving under him,” Knowles said.

The Department of Justice issued a report last week that found systemic racial bias in Ferguson’s police department as well as a court system driven by profits. The report cited racial profiling by police officers and alleged that the court system functioned as a money-making enterprise that targeted the poor and minorities.

Protestors and some of Missouri’s top elected leaders had previously called on Jackson to step down from his post as police chief in the St. Louis suburb for his handling of the August shooting of teenager Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. The shooting provoked days of often violent unrest in Ferguson, and inspired protests across the U.S.

Two police officers, a court clerk, the municipal judge and the city manager have either been fired or resigned since the shooting.

[St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

TIME justice

See Evidence From the Boston Bombing Trial

Including a bullet-ridden 'manifesto' and new surveillance footage

The writings were allegedly scribbled in pencil by Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev inside the boat where he hid before his arrest. “I am jealous of my brother who has received the ward of Jannatul Firdaus (inshallah) before me,” the writing states. “I do not mourn because his soul is very much alive.” Jannat ul Firdaus refers to the highest level of paradise in Islam.

The jury also saw newly released surveillance footage of the attacks, which identify Tsarnaev at the scene, and heard witness testimony from victims and police officers.

Read next: See the Final Moments Before Boston Bombing Suspect Was Arrested

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Companies

Tylenol Maker Admits to Selling Liquid Medicine Contaminated with Metal

Recalled over-the-counter medicines distributed by the McNeil Consumer Healthcare division of Johnson & Johnson including St. Joseph's Aspirin tablets, lot AMM365, Motrin Junior Strength tablets, lot APM303, Tylenol Extra Strength caplets, lot AMA008, and Rolaids Freshmint tablets, lot AFA293, are displayed for a photograph in New York, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 15, 2010. Johnson & Johnson expanded its recall of products possibly tainted with a wood chemical to include Rolaids, Motrin, Children's Tylenol and St. Joseph's Aspirin along with some lots of Benadryl allergy tablets and Tylenol caplets as a "precautionary action" after consumer reports of moldy, musty and mildew-like odors in some of the pills. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Daniel Acker—Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Johnson & Johnson subsidiary will pay $25 million after pleading guilty to a federal crime

The maker of Tylenol pleaded guilty in a Federal Court on Tuesday to selling liquid medicine contaminated with metal.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, pleaded guilty in a Federal District Court in Philadelphia to a criminal charge of manufacture and process of adulterated over-the-counter medicines. The company agreed to a $25 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The company launched wide-ranging recalls in 2010 of over-the-counter medicines including Infants’ Tylenol and Children’s Motrin.

Those recalls came on the heels of others from 2008 to 2010 that involved hundreds of millions of bottles of Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl and other consumer products. Metal particles contaminated the liquid medicines, which also suffered from moldy odors and labeling problems.

A spokeswoman for McNeil Consumer Healthcare said the plea agreement “closes a chapter” and that the company has “been implementing enhanced quality and oversight standards across its entire business,” Reuters reports.

Read next: 8 Things You Don’t Know About Supplements

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME White House

Loretta Lynch’s Long Wait May Soon Be Over

President Barack Obama listens at right as US Attorney Loretta Lynch speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington on Nov. 8, 2014.
Carolyn Kaster—AP President Barack Obama listens at right as US Attorney Loretta Lynch speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington on Nov. 8, 2014.

Her nomination process has been one of the longest in recent history

The long-stalled confirmation of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch will soon be over. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that the Senate will hold a vote on whether to confirm Lynch next week, ending the over 100-day delay.

In February, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Brooklyn prosecutor’s nomination in a 12-8 vote. Three Republicans—Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona—joined all of the committee’s Democrats in supporting her then.

The vote came nearly a month after Lynch’s generally seamless confirmation hearing, which was peppered with questions about President Obama’s immigration executive action. And though Senators found little fault with her overall qualifications, her refusal to denounce the order that would allow millions of undocumented immigrants to stay in the country temporarily without risk of deportation gave many Republican Senators pause.

Democrats and some Republicans, however, have argued that the role of Attorney General is too important to get caught up in the brouhaha over immigration. “We hope we won’t see a replay on Loretta Lynch because [Republicans] care about repealing the president on immigration,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said Tuesday.

“No one has objected to anything about Loretta Lynch, her character, her history, what she’s done as U.S. Attorney,” he added.

President Obama nominated Lynch to replace retiring Attorney General Eric Holder over 121 days ago. If confirmed, she would become the first African-American woman to hold the position in our nation’s history, a fact that wasn’t overlooked during the celebration this weekend of the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Ala., where civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton and Director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund Sherrilyn Ifill called for her swift confirmation.

On Sunday at Brown A.M.E. Church, where nonviolent protesters sought refuge after being bludgeoned bloody by Alabama state troopers en route to Montgomery some 50 years ago, Sharpton said racism was partly to blame for the delay on Lynch’s confirmation, which is among the longest in history. “You don’t think we notice that?” he asked the gathered crowd.

Under the Obama administration the office of Attorney General has been the cause of much contention between the Congress and the White House. Republicans have accused Attorney General Holder of politicizing the role of the nation’s top cop. His decisions not to enforce marijuana laws in states where the drug has been legalized and urging states attorneys general not to defend same-sex marriage bans drew the ire of many on the right. Holder is also the only sitting Attorney General to be held in contempt of Congress, a result of the investigation into a gun running scheme by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“In some ways it’s surprising that Republicans don’t want Holder out sooner,” says Michelle Schwartz of the Alliance for Justice.

Blocking the President’s immigration action, so it seems, is more important. But, Gregory Wawro, a political science professor at Columbia University says the consequences of blocking the first African-American woman to the post of Attorney General could be great. Republicans already have a strained relationship with black voters, having garnered less than 10% of the black vote during the 2012 election. Since that time, the GOP has been working to improve relationships with the community.

“She represents constituencies Republicans have problematic relationships with,” Wawro says. “Republicans have painted themselves into a corner.”

With reporting by Alex Rogers

TIME technology

Wikipedia Sues NSA Over Mass Surveillance Program

The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.
Getty Images The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.

Wikimedia Foundation files suit against the National Security Agency and DoJ

The Wikimedia Foundation, which runs the web-based encyclopedia Wikipedia, has joined forces with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a legal challenge to a government mass surveillance program it says strains the “backbone of democracy.”

In a lawsuit filed in a Maryland federal court on Tuesday, Wikimedia and eight other organizations accuse the National Security Agency and the Department of Justice of violating the First and Fourth Amendments through a practice known as “upstream surveillance,” which was disclosed in leaks by former NSA agent Edward Snowden.

Through upstream surveillance, the NSA is authorized to collect data on Internet users who communicate with “non U.S. persons” if it any way relates to national security or foreign affairs. Wikimedia says such data might include communications by its staff and users.

“Wikipedia is founded on the freedoms of expression, inquiry, and information. By violating our users’ privacy, the NSA is threatening the intellectual freedom that is central to people’s ability to create and understand knowledge,” Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Lila Tretikov said in a blog post.

The Supreme Court dismissed a previous challenge to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which permits the NSA to collect data on the web, because the plaintiffs did not have legal standing to bring the case. Wikimedia says it has legal grounds to present the case because a classified NSA presentation included a reference to Wikipedia and used their trademark.

“Because these disclosures revealed that the government specifically targeted Wikipedia and its users, we believe we have more than sufficient evidence to establish standing,” a blog post reads.

Read next: Meet the New Female Artists of Wikipedia

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Crime

Madison Police Urge ‘Calm’ After Shooting of Black Teen

The Friday police shooting of a 19-year-old black man has sparked protests

Police in Madison, Wisc., are urging locals to “exercise restraint” after the fatal police shooting of a 19-year-old black man on Friday sparked multiple protests, including a sit-in at city hall.

“In light of so much things that have happened not just across the country, but in our own community, it’s understandable that the reaction at the scene and of some of our citizens is extremely volatile, emotional and upsetting,” Police Chief Mike Koval said Saturday, the Detroit Free Press reports. “That’s absolutely appropriate under these circumstances. We would urge, obviously, that everyone exercise restraint, calm and allow the Division of Criminal Investigation to conduct their affairs.”

Koval said one officer was responding to reports of a man jumping into traffic and assaulting a pedestrian. The officer followed the man, whose mother identified him as Tony Robinson, to his apartment and forced his entry after allegedly overhearing a disturbance inside. The officer opened fire after Robinson allegedly assaulted him. Koval said preliminary evidence “did not reflect a gun or anything of that nature that would have been used by the subject.”

More than 100 people showed up at the crime scene chanting “black lives matter” before breaking up early Saturday morning. The Wisconsin Department of Justice will investigate the confrontation.

[Detroit Free Press]

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