TIME Washington

Hundreds Protest Washington Police Wounding of 2 Unarmed Suspects

Hundreds of people protesting a police shooting gather outside of City Hall in Olympia, Wash., on May 21, 2015
Rachel La Corte—AP Hundreds of people protesting a police shooting gather outside of city hall in Olympia, Wash., on May 21, 2015

The officer reported he was being assaulted with a skateboard early on Thursday before the shooting

(OLYMPIA, Wash.) — Hundreds marched peacefully in Washington state’s capital city to protest a police shooting that wounded two unarmed stepbrothers suspected of trying to steal beer from a grocery store.

The officer reported he was being assaulted with a skateboard early Thursday before the shooting that left a 21-year-old man in critical condition and a 24-year-old man in stable condition. Both were expected to survive.

The stepbrothers are black, and the officer is white, but Olympia Police Chief Ronnie Roberts said, “There’s no indication to me that race was a factor in this case at all.”

Protesters who turned out Thursday evening held signs that read “Race is a Factor” and “We Are Grieving.”

The two men were identified as Andre Thompson, 24, and Bryson Chaplin, 21, both of Olympia.

“It was terrible,” the young men’s mother, Crystal Chaplin, told KIRO-TV. “It’s heartbreaking to see two of my babies in the hospital over something stupid.”

The shooting is being investigated by a team of detectives from several agencies. Brad Watkins, chief deputy of the Thurston County Sheriff’s Department, said two skateboards were recovered from the shooting scene and an investigation will likely take three to six weeks. The young men had no guns, investigators said.

The crowd of demonstrators rallied first at a park, then marched about a mile to a building that houses the Olympia police headquarters and City Hall. Protesters chanted “Black Lives Matter,” ”No Justice, No Peace” and the names of the young men who were shot.

Olympia police tweeted their thanks to marchers “for keeping the event nonviolent.”

“We are committed to helping our community work through this difficult circumstance and help us understand this tragic event,” the police chief told a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Officer Ryan Donald was among those who responded around 1 a.m. Thursday to a call from a Safeway store, Roberts said. Employees said two men tried to steal beer and then threw the alcohol at workers who confronted the pair.

Officers split up to search for the men. Donald encountered two men with skateboards who fit witnesses’ descriptions, and moments later, he radioed in that shots had been fired, the police chief said.

In radio calls released by police, Donald calls dispatchers once he spots the men, and again to report that he fired shots.

“I believe one of them is hit, both of them are running,” Donald said.

He tells dispatchers that one of the men “assaulted me with his skateboard.”

“I tried to grab his friend,” Donald said. “They’re very aggressive, just so you know.”

He says he has one man, then both, at gunpoint and asks for help.

Seconds later, he shouts, “Shots fired! One down,” and asks for more backup units. He then says the second man has been shot.

The police chief said Donald wasn’t injured but an officer “has the right to defend himself” if a suspect wields an object that could be used as a deadly weapon.

Donald, 35, who is on administrative leave pending the investigation, has been with the department for just over three years. No residents have filed complaints against him, and he was recently recognized by the agency for being proactive on investigations, Roberts said. He worked previously as an Army police officer, the chief said.

The shooting follows a string of high-profile killings of unarmed black men by police, including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City, which set off weeks of protests and a national “Black Lives Matter” movement that has gained momentum across the country.

Olympia Mayor Stephen H. Buxbaum called for calm in the community.

“It deeply saddens me that we have two young people in the hospital as a result of an altercation with an officer of the law,” he said. “Let’s come together to support their needs, the officer’s needs, the needs of the families and our community’s needs. Let’s not be reactive.”

Merritt Long, a retired chairman of the state’s liquor control board, was one of several residents to attend the news conference Thursday.

“Does the punishment fit the crime?” he asked afterward. “Given the seeming epidemic of this happening not only here but in our country, it makes you pause and wonder what’s going on.”

TIME Race

Topless Women Stage #SayHerName Rally Against Perceived Police Brutality

Campaigners want to raise awareness of the deaths of black women and girls at the hands of police

A group of black women staged a topless protest Thursday, blocking traffic in downtown San Francisco to draw attention to the killing of black women and children by police.

The demonstration was part of a nationwide day of action to protest the deaths of Aiyana Jones, Tanisha Anderson, Yvette Smith, Rekia Boyd and other women and girls killed by law-enforcement officers, reports USA Today.

The rally followed the release of a report Wednesday by the African American Policy Forum named Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women, which highlights the stories of black women who have suffered from alleged police brutality.

Protesters held signs with the hashtag #SayHerName and posters with the names and pictures of black women who have died.

“We also understand that we live in a country that commodifies black women and black bodies but ignores the death of black women and black girls,” said Chinyere Tutashinda, founding member of the BlackOut Collective and a member of the Bay Area chapter of Black Lives Matter.

Campaigners said rallies raising awareness of police brutality in the wake of the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and others had focused on black men who had died, and overlooked the many black women who have suffered the same fate.

Protests and vigils took place in cities across the country including New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and New Orleans, two months after an officer was acquitted for the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Boyd.

[USA Today]

TIME Crime

Colorado Triathlon Canceled in the Wake of Multiple Shootings and Sniper Fears

Bicyclist Fatally Shot
Jason Pohl — AP Windsor Police investigate the area where a cyclist was fatally shot in Windsor, Colo.

Federal agents join investigation into possible serial shooter

A popular triathlon in northern Colorado has been canceled following a rash of shootings near the small town of Windsor, which has left one person dead and another injured.

John Jacoby, 48, was shot dead earlier this week while cycling along a stretch of road just outside of Windsor, reports ABC News. The incident occurred in close proximity to an earlier shooting late last month, when a 20-year-old woman survived being shot in the neck while driving along Interstate 25 outside of nearby Fort Collins.

Local officials are working in tandem with federal investigators, who are scrambling to see if the two events are connected. In the wake of the shootings, organizers of Pelican Fest Sprint Triathlon have canceled the race slated for this weekend because of security concerns.

“My decision was based on the overall safety of all the athletes, volunteers, traffic control personnel, spectators and vendors,” wrote Dennis Vanderheiden, the race’s director, in a post published online. “The proximity of the shooting death and the bike course gave me real concerns.”

TIME Washington

Suspect in Killings of Wealthy D.C. Family Arrested

APTOPIX DC Mansion Fire Slayings
Manuel Balce Ceneta—AP A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigator walks out of the fire-damaged multimillion-dollar home in Washington on May 20, 2015

Police have not said why Wint would want to kill 46-year-old Savvas Savopoulos

(WASHINGTON) — A week after authorities said the family was killed in their mansion and it was set on fire.

Daron Dylon Wint, 34, was arrested in northeast Washington shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday, said David Neumann, a U.S. Marshals Service spokesman. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier also confirmed that Wint was in custody.

Police have not detailed why Wint would want to kill 46-year-old Savvas Savopoulos; his 47-year-old wife, Amy; their son, Philip; and housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa. Three of them had been stabbed or bludgeoned before the fire.

Police said Thursday that Wint, a certified welder, worked for Savopoulos’ company American Iron Works in the past. Savopoulos was the CEO of American Iron Works, a construction-materials supplier based in Hyattsville, Maryland, that has been involved in major projects in downtown Washington.

Wint was convicted of second-degree assault in Maryland in 2009 and sentenced to 30 days in jail, court records showed. He also pleaded guilty in 2010 to malicious destruction of property, and a burglary charge in that case was dropped.

Wint was born and raised in Guyana and moved to the United States in 2000, when he was almost 20 years old, according to court records filed in Maryland. He joined the Marine Corps that same year and received an honorable discharge for medical reasons, the records show. Following his discharge, he worked as a certified welder, the records show.

Savopoulos moonlighted as a martial arts instructor and had planned to open a martial arts studio in northern Virginia.

The Savopouloses lived in a $4.5 million home in Woodley Park, where mansions are protected by fences and elaborate security systems and local and federal law enforcement officers are a constant presence, in part because Vice President Joe Biden’s official residence is nearby.

Text messages and voicemails from the Savopouloses to their confused and frightened household staff suggest something was amiss in the house many hours before the bodies were found. Their blue Porsche turned up in suburban Maryland. It too had been set on fire.

TIME Education

Mom Attends High School Graduation in Late Son’s Place

A Chicago area woman sat among students at Thornton Fractional North High School's graduation in honor of her son who died in a car crash

A mother mourning the loss of her son took his place at the high school graduation ceremony on Wednesday that he was supposed to attend.

Katherine Jackson’s son, 18-year-old Aaron Dunigan, died in a weekend car crash in suburban Chicago after his senior prom, NBC Washington reports. Dunigan was the passenger in a vehicle that crossed over a median and collided with another car; the driver of the car Dunigan rode in was charged with DUI causing death, as well as reckless homicide with a motor vehicle.

On Wednesday, Jackson took her son’s spot among the graduates of Thornton Fractional North High School and walked the stage to receive his diploma.

“[My son] knows his mom never walked the stage,” she said. “I’m going to be his legs and he’s going to be my wings and we’re going to go up there and get our diploma.”

Dunigan, a quarterback, was set to play football at Southern Illinois University in the fall.

[NBC Washington]

TIME Prison

Aaron Hernandez Shows New ‘Lifetime’ Tattoo After Reported Prison Fight

Sporting a new neck tattoo, former New England Patriots NFL football player Aaron Hernandez sits at the defense table during his arraignment on a charge of trying to silence a witness in a double murder case against him by shooting the man in the face at Suffolk Superior Court on May 21, 2015, in Boston.
Stephan Savoia—AP Sporting a new neck tattoo, former New England Patriots NFL football player Aaron Hernandez sits at the defense table during his arraignment at Suffolk Superior Court on May 21, 2015 in Boston.

He's serving a life sentence without parole for the murder of Odin Lloyd

Former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez has reportedly gotten into a fight in prison a month into his life sentence for first degree murder.

Hernandez, 25, was in a brawl involving two other inmates, according to ABC News. “It was two-on-one, he was part of the two,” a prison official told the news agency. Another source said that the ex-NFL star beat a man in his cell and that the incident was gang related.

“The victim in the fight was some absolute nobody. He was just trying to show he’s down with the Bloods, a scared man looking at life in prison,” the source told ABC news.

The former NFL player was photographed Thursday with a new tattoo on his neck – a five-point star that says “Lifetime,” which may be a symbol of the Bloods gang.

Hernandez is serving a life sentence without parole for the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée. He will also go on trial for a double murder that took place outside of a Boston nightclub in 2012. He has pleaded not guilty.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME LGBT

Federal Judge Says Gay Couples in Alabama Have Right to Marry

The judge placed her decision on hold until the Supreme Court rules next month

(MONTGOMERY, Ala) — A federal judge has ruled that gays and lesbians have the right to marry in all Alabama counties, but placed her decision on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling on same-sex marriage.

U.S District Judge Callie Granade said Thursday that Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and enjoined probate judges from enforcing it. However, she stayed enforcement of her order citing the expected decision this summer.

Granade in January ruled that Alabama’s gay marriage ban was illegal. Gay couples married for three weeks until the state Supreme Court ordered probate judges to stop.

The latest ruling came in a class-action lawsuit by gay couples across the state.

David Dinielli, deputy legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, called the ruling a definitive victory for gay marriage.

TIME Environment

Biologists Eyeing Extent of Damage After California Oil Spill

It could be weeks before the beach near Santa Barbara is cleaned up

Two days after a ruptured oil pipeline spewed crude into the waters off of California — tainting 9 miles of ocean teeming with coastal creatures — environmentalists are scrambling to assess how mucked up the ecosystem is.

This much is clear: It could be weeks before the beach near Santa Barbara is cleaned up, and even years before the damage to the water and wildlife is realized, scientists say.

But there is some relief that this spill, at 105,000 gallons, is on a smaller scale when compared to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico or the previous 1969 spill off Santa Barbara

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

TIME celebrities

Josh Duggar Responds to Child Molestation Claims: ‘I Acted Inexcusably’

19 Kids and Counting star responds to accusations

Josh Duggar, the eldest son in the family chronicled in TLC’s series 19 Kids and Counting, has spoken out after it emerged he had been accused of child molestation in the past.

“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” Duggar, who was accused as a teenager of molesting five underage girls, told PEOPLE in a statement. “I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation.”

Duggar, 27, who has since resigned from his role at the Family Research Council, said his parents took him to the authorities and later arranged for him and his victims to receive counseling. In a statement to PEOPLE, his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, reaffirmed their support for their son and called the events “one of the most difficult times of our lives.”

“I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions,” Duggar added. “I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”

Read more at PEOPLE

TIME Law

The Strange Story Behind the Fight Over JFK Assassination Relics

John Krueger Paul Bentley's 32nd Degree Masonic Ring

Why a city in Minnesota is holding onto the ring that cut Oswald during his arrest

On Nov. 22, 1963, Dallas police Detective Paul Bentley hit Lee Harvey Oswald in the face while arresting him in Texas Theatre in Dallas, barely more than an hour after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Pictures of Oswald after his arrest show a cut over his eye caused by a Masonic ring Bentley was wearing that day.

That ring is now at the center of a dispute over its rightful owner—a fight that spans two states and has embroiled Bentley’s relatives along with a collector who bought the ring last year.

More: An End to Conspiracy? Rare Photo of Lee Harvey Oswald’s Arrest Suggests Why He’s Guilty

The argument over the ring just came to light in a civil suit filed on behalf of the ring’s current owner, a Minnesota collector named John Krueger, 68, who buys and sells historical items through his website, Military Warehouse. Krueger is suing the city of Cambridge, Minn. to ensure that the ring, and two Smith & Wesson police service revolvers that Detective Bentley was carrying the day he helped arrest Oswald, remain in Minnesota while Texas authorities in Kaufman County investigate where the items rightfully belong.

Two Smith & Wesson police service revolvers Detective Bentley was carrying the day he helped arrest Lee Harvey Oswald
John KruegerTwo Smith & Wesson police service revolvers Detective Bentley was carrying the day he helped arrest Oswald

Krueger himself has not been charged with any crime, and said he has a notarized statement that the items were gifts and that there was “no question of title,” he told TIME. According to Krueger’s affidavit, it all began when he and his wife were on vacation in Texas in February 2014. While in Dallas, Krueger got a call from a woman who had seen an advertisement he’d posted on the Internet expressing interest in buying war relics. She told him her friend Jerry Holder had something he might be interested in: The masonic ring that had belonged to his brother-in-law, Detective Paul Bentley, who died in 2008.

“This intrigued me because I was in high school when Kennedy was assassinated. We all remember that moment much like today’s generation remembers 9/11,” Krueger said. “When I had an opportunity to help preserve some of the history of that time, I jumped at the chance to do that.”

As Krueger tells it in the affidavit, Detective Bentley’s widow, Mozelle Bentley, had given the guns and the ring to Holder, who was her sister’s husband.

After receiving a notarized letter of authenticity, and a picture of Mozelle Bentley signing the letter, Krueger bought the three items and other Oswald-related artifacts for $10,000 in the fall of 2014.

Then, a few months later, in April of 2015, Krueger got a call from Detective Bentley’s grandson, David Ottinger, insisting that the items he’d bought were “fakes.”After Krueger explained that he had proof of their authenticity, Ottinger admitted they were real, but insisted that the notarized letter of authenticity, and the picture of it signed by his grandmother, had been forged. Ottinger then made a vague threat that he had “‘family friends’ who were in law enforcement in Texas” who could help him get the items back, according to the affidavit.

In May, two Cambridge, Minn. police officers, armed with a search warrant, requested that Krueger hand over the items, which he did. Krueger was not charged with stealing the items, but one of the Cambridge detectives told him that the case might appear before a “property judge” in Kaufman County, Texas, and that the officer handling the case intended to “drive to Minnesota to pick up the items.”

The combination of Ottinger’s vague threat, and the odd insistence by the Texas officer that he drive to Minnesota to get the items, made Krueger worry that the items would end up in Texas and never be seen again, even if he could prove he was the rightful owner, according to his attorney, James Magnuson. After surrendering the items to the city of Cambridge, Krueger filed suit to ensure that the city would hold onto them until the investigation in Texas is resolved. “We didn’t request the items be returned to my client. We requested that they be held pending the investigation down in Texas,” Magnuson told TIME. Kruger hopes he’ll eventually be able to keep the items. “I have 10,000 invested, plus a lot of time,” he said.

A message was left at the listed number for Bentley’s widow, Mozelle Bentley. Working numbers could not be found for Ottinger and Holder. The Kaufman County police department could not immediately be reached. Jay Squires, the attorney for the city of Cambridge, did not return a call seeking comment.

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