TIME Crime

Ambushed Houston Sheriff’s Deputy Was Shot 15 Times, DA Says

Shannon J. Miles is charged with capital murder and held without bond

HOUSTON — A man charged with killing a suburban Houston officer first shot the 10-year veteran in the back of the head and fired a total of 15 times, authorities said Monday.

Shannon J. Miles, who is accused of capital murder and whose criminal record includes convictions for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct with a firearm, appeared briefly in state District Court in handcuffs and shackles. The 30-year-old Houston resident said little, other than to answer the judge’s questions. He’s being held without bond.

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson would not comment on a motive, saying investigators were still trying to figure that out. When asked if it might be connected to heightened tensions around the country between law enforcement and civilians, Anderson said, “I have no idea whether it does or not.”

This weekend, Sheriff Ron Hickman said the attack was “clearly unprovoked,” and there is no evidence Goforth knew Miles. “Our assumption is that he (Goforth) was a target because he wore a uniform,” the sheriff said.

Anthony Osso, one of Miles’ two court-appointed attorneys, told The Associated Press that his client intends to plead not guilty.

“He had indicated to the investigating officers that he was not involved in the case,” Osso said in a telephone interview after Monday’s hearing.

Osso said Miles’ defense team is distancing itself from the sentiments expressed by the sheriff, the district attorney and others.

“What I want to do is investigate the case and defend my client based on the facts of the case and not opinion in the public eye or rhetoric that’s espoused on social media. It’s difficult enough to handle these types of cases,” Osso said.

In court, Anderson read the probable cause statement, saying that police first received a call at 8:20 p.m. Friday. When authorities arrived at the gas station in the Houston suburb of Cypress, they found Deputy Darren Goforth, face-down. He was already dead, she said.

Surveillance video from the gas station showed Goforth, 47, had just come out of a convenience store after he had pumped gas and that Miles got out of his red truck, she said.

“He runs up behind Deputy Goforth and puts the gun to the back of his head and shoots. Deputy Goforth hits the ground and then he continues to unload his gun, shooting repeatedly into the back of Deputy Goforth,” Anderson said.

Goforth was shot 15 times and a witness saw the shooting, Anderson said. She added that the shell casings match the .40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun found at Miles’ home.

Miles’ next court date is Oct. 5.

The killing evoked strong emotions in the area’s law enforcement community, with Hickman linking it to heightened tension over the treatment of African-Americans by police. Goforth was white and Miles is black.

The nationwide “Black Lives Matter” movement has sought sweeping reforms of policing. Related protests erupted in Texas recently after Sandra Bland, a black woman, was found dead in a county jail about 50 miles northwest of Houston three days after she was arrested on a traffic violation.

“We’ve heard Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter. Well, cops’ lives matter, too,” Hickman said Saturday.

Houston Police Lt. Roland De Los Santos, a childhood friend of Goforth’s, called the deputy a “simple guy” who was focused on providing for his family, noting that Goforth’s wife is a teacher and the couple has a 12-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son. Goforth’s funeral is planned for Friday, he said.

Miles’ criminal record stretches from 2005 to 2009, with three convictions for resisting or evading arrest, as well as convictions for disorderly conduct with a firearm, criminal mischief and giving false information to police. Records show he was sentenced to several short stints in jail, anywhere from six to 10 days.

___

Associated Press writers Seth Robbins in San Antonio and Alan Scher Zagier in St. Louis contributed to this report.

TIME History

Menu From Titanic’s Last Lunch Is Going to Auction

Titanic Money Boat Artifacts
Lion Heart Autographs/AP Titanic's last lunch menu.

It could bring in as much as $70,000

A menu of the last lunch offered on the Titanic, which was saved by a passenger on a rescue boat, is going to auction, where it is expected to bring in $50,000 to $70,000.

The menu, which was saved by passenger Abraham Lincoln Salomon, listed items including corned beef and dumplings, the Associated Press reports. The menu is signed on the back by another passenger named Isaac Gerald Frauenthal. It’s believed the two first-class men had lunch together on that day.

Salomon was on a lifeboat that was known as the “Money Boat” in the press, based on allegations that the passengers bribed crew members to row away to safety rather than go back and save others.

On Sept. 30, auctioneer Lion Heart Autographs is offering the menu and other artifacts from the lifeboat. The objects being auctioned are from the son of a man who was given them by a direct descendent of one of the survivors.

[AP]

TIME Crime

Mother Charged With Murdering Her Twin Sons

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Mugshot of Mireya Lopez on Aug. 30, 2015.

Police said the mother confessed to drowning her 2-year-old sons

Arizona police said they were holding a mother on charges of murder after she confessed to “intentionally” drowning her twin sons in a bathtub.

Emergency responders found Mireya Alejandra Lopez’s twin 2-year-old sons lying unresponsive on a bed, after responding to a family member’s 911 call from inside the house, The Arizona Republic reports. Authorities said Lopez, 22, confessed to drowning her sons and attempting to drown a third child before other members of the household intervened.

“We won’t officially say it’s a drowning until they go through an autopsy,” said Avondale police Sgt. Brandon Busse.

TIME Solutions That Matter

See How Kids Are Getting 3D-printed Hands for Free

A global network of almost 6,000 volunteers is making it happen

With standard prosthetic hands costing anywhere from several thousand to a hundred thousand dollars, convincing insurance companies to buy new hands and arms for growing kids every couple of months is an impossible task.

After watching a YouTube video about 3D-printed prosthetics, RIT professor Jon Schull had an idea. With one YouTube comment, he harnessed an online community of volunteers and problem-solvers to work toward one goal—providing free, 3D-printable prosthetics to kids in need.

Two years later, Schull has taken his idea and turned it into a global network of almost 6,000 volunteers. To date, the e-NABLE network has printed over 1,500 devices in 50 countries, and the network continues to grow at a rapid pace.

e-NABLE’s wrist and elbow actuated prosthetics cost only $30-$50 apiece, and require up to three days worth of printer time and assembly. Schull’s volunteers are matched with a child in need, and provide the customized, completed hand or arm at no cost to the child’s family. e-NABLE’s network is currently working on making the devices available in other countries, as well as printing the hands with different skin tones and with different materials that will make the hands look more similar to the human hand.

While e-NABLE’s volunteers are spawning new variations of hands and arms faster than he can keep up with, Schull hopes to be able to expand his model to help solve new problems. He sees heads-up displays, text-to speech translators, and even gene printing in e-NABLE’s future.

“I believe we… have proven that there are probably hundreds of thousands of digital humanitarians ready willing and able to lend a metaphorical hand for the global good,” Schull said. “And so the…goal is to figure out what iceberg this is the emerging tip of.”

TIME conflict

See a Close-Up of General MacArthur’s Plan for the End of World War II

The military leader negotiated the ceremony that would take place on Sept. 2, 1945

Museum of World War II Boston

Though Japan announced plans to surrender in World War II within days of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it took weeks before the brutal war officially came to a close — the reason “V-J Day” is observed on a few different days. The time in between was consumed with the tricky logistics of negotiating the details of surrender. Representatives of Japan and of the Allied powers would need to meet but, at a time when Japanese partisans were perceived to remain a threat, General Douglas MacArthur was particularly concerned about the safety of his delegates.

“There was a lot of concern on MacArthur and his staff’s side that something dastardly could happen, that the initial party could get ambushed,” explains Kenneth Rendell, the founder and director of the Museum of World War II in Natick, Mass. MacArthur’s concern can be seen in the lengthy document he prepared instructing Japanese delegates about the steps that would need to be followed in order to bring the two sides together.

In this page from one draft of that document, which is in the museum’s collection, MacArthur’s handwritten notes can be seen making a slight change to the timing of one of those steps. (The document was in the papers of LeGrande A. Diller, MacArthur’s chief of staff for public relations, before it was acquired by the museum.) But even the most detailed plans don’t always work out: this document names August 31—exactly 70 years ago Monday—as the date on which the two sides would meet. But further complications pushed the signing of the surrender documents to Sept. 2.

More like this: See the Original Operations Orders for the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Read TIME’s original 1945 coverage of the surrender, here in the TIME Vault: “… Peace Be Now Restored”

TIME Courts

University of Texas Removes Jefferson Davis Statue

Jefferson Davis - Univesity of Texas
Eric Gay—AP A statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis is moved from it's location in front of the school's main tower the University of Texas campus onAug. 30, 2015, in Austin.

The UT student body had voted for the statue to be removed

The University of Texas at Austin removed a statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis on Sunday.

The move happened days after an appeal by a Confederate supporter group was rejected by a state district judge. The statue of Davis is expected to be placed in UT’s Briscoe Center for American History in about 18 months.

In March the UT student body had voted for the statue to be removed from its prominent spot on campus. The Sons of Confederate Veterans had sued to prevent UT from moving the statue, but lost.

As the AP notes, Confederate symbols nationwide have been a target of criticism in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C. The statue of Davis at UT was criticized as a symbol of racism.

TIME Crime

Parents of Slain TV Journalist ‘Cannot Be Intimidated’ on Gun Control

Alison Parker's parents say they have a new mission in life

The parents of a Virginia TV journalist who died in a grisly on-air shooting last week said in a new interview that they are committed to waging a campaign for more gun control measures in the wake of their daughter’s death.

“You can’t change the world in a day,” Barbara Parker, Alison Parker’s mother, told CNN in an interview. “But we cannot be intimidated, we cannot be pushed aside.”

 

A disgruntled former employee fatally shot Parker along with a co-worker during a live broadcast outside Roanoke, Va., a bloody act that has since spurred renewed calls for gun control legislation. The Parkers have become some of the most vocal advocates, saying that ending gun violence has become one of their missions in life.

Andy Parker, Alison Parker’s father, said he’s been speaking with influential gun control advocates, including Mark Kelly, the husband of shooting survivor and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, about pushing “sensible gun control legislation.” Like other gun-control advocates who have emerged from shootings like those at Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Co., the Parkers face an influential and well-funded gun lobby.

“Alison would be really mad at me if I didn’t take this on,” Andy Parker said. “And I promise you, these people are messing with the wrong family. We are going to effect a change.”

[CNN]

 

TIME weather

Florida Faces Flood Threat After Tropical Storm Erika

There could be "significant flooding of streets"

Flood warnings were in effect for most of Florida early Monday as the aftermath of Tropical Storm Erika was expected to bring at least five inches of rain.

The National Weather Service warned people in flood-prone areas to “take action to protect [their] property” after moisture was drawn northward following the storm that killed 20 people in the Caribbean last week.

There could be “significant flooding of streets” and rip currents causing dangerous boating conditions off the coast, the NWS said. Flash flooding and gusty winds were also possible, forecasters warned…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Culture

Self-Help Guru Wayne Dyer Dies at Age 75

Premiere Of "Ambition To Meaning: Finding You" - Arrivals
Angela Weiss—Getty Images Author Wayne Dyer attends the premiere of Ambition to Meaning held at the Lloyd E. Rigler Theater at the Egyptian on Jan. 8, 2009, in Los Angeles

Dyer authored the landmark 1976 book Your Erroneous Zones

Wayne Dyer, the author and speaker whose best-selling book Your Erroneous Zones (1976) offered millions a framework to potentially improve their lives, has died at age 75.

Dyer died in Maui, Hawaii, on Saturday, according to NBC News.

The cause of death has not yet been revealed, although Dyer was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2009 — which he claimed to have treated with “psychic surgery” by Brazilian spiritualist João Teixeira de Faria, as well as through regular exercise and positive thinking, NBC says.

His best-known work, Your Erroneous Zones, was based on the philosophies of Siddha Yoga founder Krishna Rau, who was better known as Swami Muktananda. The book surged to the top of the best-seller list and catapulted Dyer to instant fame. He would go on to appear on every major talk show in the U.S. and became a fixture on television network PBS for over 40 years.

His death prompted an outpouring of condolences from those he had made an impact upon, including celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres (whose wedding he officiated) and Oprah Winfrey.

Dyer had eight children and was separated from his third wife when he died.

[NBC News]

Read next: 30 Self-Help Books That Permanently Changed My Life

Listen to the most important stories of the day

TIME milwaukee

Milwaukee Mayor Wants All Police to Wear Body Cameras

06 Feb 2014, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA --- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett speaks at a news conference for the 300-year-old Stradivarius violin that was taken from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's concertmaster in an armed robbery after it was recently recovered, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin February 6, 2014. The Stradivarius violin worth millions of dollars, which was stolen from a concert violinist in an armed robbery last week, has been recovered from a suitcase in the attic of a Milwaukee house, law enforcement officials said on Thursday. REUTERS/Darren Hauck (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY) --- Image by © DARREN HAUCK/Reuters/Corbis
Darren Hauck—Reuters/Corbis Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett speaks at a news conference in Milwaukee on February 6, 2014.

The proposal would cost about $1 million per year

(MILWAUKEE)—All Milwaukee police officers on the street would be wearing body cameras by the end of 2016 under a proposal announced Sunday by Mayor Tom Barrett.

The proposal, first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, comes after tense episodes between police and Milwaukee’s African-American community and fatal shootings by police in Ferguson, Missouri; Cleveland; and North Charleston, South Carolina, that sparked discussion nationwide about race and policing. Last year, 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton was fatally shot by a Milwaukee police officer in a downtown park.

According to Barrett’s preliminary budget, body cameras for 1,200 Milwaukee street officers — including storage of video information — would cost $880,000 in 2016 and about $1 million a year beginning in 2017.

The estimated cost is about what it would cost to add 12 officers to the department’s ranks of 1,880 sworn officers, Barrett told the newspaper.

“The question is: Is it worth 12 officers?” the mayor asked. “That’s a legitimate public policy debate.”

He added: “I embrace it wholeheartedly, both from a fiscal standpoint and from a policy standpoint.”

Both Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn and the president of the Milwaukee Police Association, Mike Crivello, support the initiative.

“If that’s OK with (citizens), it’s sure OK with us because, from the average officer’s point of view, it’s going to overwhelmingly put in context what they’re dealing with, what they try to do and what actually happens,” Flynn said at Marquette University last week.

“We’re looking forward to getting them,” he said.

Appearing with the mayor on Sunday, Flynn said Milwaukee police officers will have discretion to turn off the cameras for certain sensitive calls as part of a new department policy on use of the devices.

“This is new territory for American citizens as well as for police departments, and balancing a reasonable expectation of privacy when you summon the police department to deal with a family crisis has to be balanced with our need to be accountable and transparent,” Flynn said.

Crivello said there is “no doubt” the cameras “will absolutely depict the professionalism that our officers display on a daily basis.”

If Barrett’s proposal is approved, Milwaukee would join a growing number of police departments nationwide that are considering the use of body cameras or already outfitting some officers.

Attorney Robin Shellow represents some of the more than 60 people who have filed civil rights lawsuits against the City of Milwaukee and the Police Department alleging improper strip and cavity searches. While Shellow said she supports body cameras for police, she thinks more needs to be done.

“Yes, I believe in body cameras, but more importantly I think we should have police officers with college educations,” Shellow said. “I think that would do a lot more to reduce unconstitutional interactions.”

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