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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota are bracing for more clashes with police after the arrest of more than 120 demonstrators last weekend.

Protesters said heavily armed law enforcement officers unleashed pepper spray on a crowd of unarmed demonstrators on Saturday, while officials say the protesters were illegally trespassing and the pepper spray was deployed as a preventative measure. Demonstrators justified their presence by citing an 1851 Treaty that they say specifies that the land was designated for Native American Tribes.

Police arrested 127 protesters, bringing the total number of protest-related arrests since mid-August to 269 people, according to the Morton County Sheriff's Department.

Following this weekend's showdown, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe called on the Department of Justice to investigate increased instances of violence between law enforcement and protesters pushing to block the four-state crude oil pipeline near the tribe's reservation in North Dakota.

The Standing Rock Sioux on Tuesday criticized the "militarization of law enforcement agencies” that has caused "escalated violence at the campsite.” Witnesses say local police were heavily armed and equipped with militarized vehicles.

The tribe called on the Department of Justice to investigate "law enforcement abuses, including unlawful arrests, of peaceful protesters protecting sacred places and water from the Dakota Access pipeline."

“I am seeking a Justice Department investigation because I am concerned about the safety of the people,” Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said in a statement.

Wyn Hornbuckle, the deputy director of public affairs for the U.S. Department of Justice, told ABC News in a statement that the department was "taking the situation in North Dakota seriously."

Hornbuckle added that department employees have "been in communications with state and local law enforcement officials, as well as tribal representatives and protesters, to facilitate communication, defuse tensions, support peaceful protests, and maintain public safety. The department has also offered technical assistance and community policing resources to local law enforcement in support of these goals."

Morton County Chairman Cody Schulz defended the Sheriff’s Department, saying, “The claim that law enforcement is escalating this situation is simply untrue. The law enforcement personnel from across the state, and now across the country have shown incredible professionalism and unbelievable restraint in the face of more and more aggressive tactics and illegal activity from the protesters. As we have stated from the very beginning, we fully respect the 1st Amendment rights of all protesters. The protester’s rights are just as important as those of the citizens of Morton County. But they are not more important.”

Danny Grassrope, 24, told ABC News Thursday that he was arrested at the protest site and witnessed police officers spraying protesters while they were praying.

"This weekend we went to go demonstrate with peaceful action. We went to go pray," Grassrope said. "Then while we were praying, the cops came and told us we couldn't be there. We were just standing there and then this police officer came and opened up with some pepper spray. We weren't antagonizing them or anything, we were just praying."

Grassrope said he was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing and engaging in a riot, and was held for six hours before a group of friends paid his bail. Grassrope has not yet entered a plea.

"I don't understand why it was a riot, the police were in riot gear we were just praying," Grassrope added.

Grassrope said he has been living on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation for the past five years. His mother is Standing Rock Sioux and his father is Lower Brule Sioux.

"We're not going to be silent anymore,” Grassrope said. “We are not going to be pushed in a box anymore, our people have been oppressed enough.”

Donnell Hushka, the public information officer for the Morton County Sheriff's Office, confirmed to ABC News that protesters including Grassrope had been arrested and charged with engaging in a riot and criminal trespassing, both class B misdemeanors. Hushka said there were about 300 protesters who trespassed onto private property, but the sheriff’s office was not disclosing the number of law enforcement that were at the scene.

"Protesters attempted to breach the police line and did not follow the officers’ instructions," Hushka said. "Officers did utilize pepper spray, to protect police officers."

"There are no issues if they want to protest peacefully and legally, but on numerous occasions they have engaged in illegal action by trespassing on private property,” Hushka added.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Firefighters performed a dramatic rescue dozens of feet above the ground Thursday, pulling a man from the window of a burning building in New York City's Upper East Side.

The New York Fire Department responded to the six-alarm blaze that started around 3:30 a.m. on Thursday, reports WABC-TV, ABC's local affiliate. The fire quickly ripped through all five floors of an apartment building and burst through the roof, killing one person and leaving another in critical condition. Two other people and two firefighters reported minor injuries.

Witnesses saw a heroic rescue as a firefighter was lowered down by rope from the burning building's roof to rescue a man hanging out of a fifth floor window.

“You couldn’t see anything over the edge, there was so much smoke and flames going out the window,” Jim Lee, of the FDNY's Rescue 1 unit, later told WABC.

Lee pulled the man from the window and held on as they were both lowered safely to the ground.

“I told him to stay calm and when we got down, I said, 'hope you enjoyed the ride.' he sort of smiled and he was thankful,” Lee said.

The man suffered serious burns and was rushed to New York Presbyterian Hospital – Cornell in critical condition, WABC reported.

“The chief told me he was in critical condition, but he was able to talk to me,” Lee said of the rescued man.

After they got to the ground, the rope they had been hanging from broke, the result of flames shooting out of the building's windows.

“This is the type of rescue that is really extraordinary,” FDNY Chief of Department James Leonard told WABC. “He really put his life at risk. It doesn’t happen that often in this department, maybe once every couple years, that we have a member who puts his life in this position and save a life because of their teamwork, their training and their bravery.”

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Rawpixel Ltd/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The federal investigation into the death of Eric Garner is under new scrutiny two years after the Department of Justice announced that it was launching a civil rights probe.

The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., is reviewing the case, according to sources familiar with the investigation. The case has been primarily handled by the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York.

“This is kind of like doing due diligence on the investigation,” said Richard Frankel, an ABC contributor and former FBI agent who oversaw the federal Garner investigation when the feds first came in.

Garner died on July 17, 2014, after being placed in a chokehold by Officer David Pantaleo during an arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes in New York City.

The incident, which was caught on video, was one of a number of high-profile incidents of unarmed black men killed by white police officers that have sparked outrage and protests across the country and a flashpoint in the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I can’t breathe,” which Garner can be heard saying in the video, became one of the movement's rallying cries.

The New York Police Department said today that its own investigation into the incident is ongoing, but that at the request of DOJ, it is waiting to move ahead with administrative proceedings.

“We are continuing to watch the situation, standing by on what we will do, and we are waiting to hear from them [federal prosecutors] at this point,” said Deputy NYPD Commissioner Larry Byrne.

What Does This Mean?

One possibility is that federal prosecutors closest to the investigation don’t believe there is enough evidence to bring charges, but are being pushed by DOJ in Washington, D.C., to continue the investigation and bring a case forward, according to civil rights attorneys who spoke to ABC News.

Even if the Justice Department decides to bring charges, a grand jury still needs to indict for the case to move ahead.

Another concern may be that the federal prosecutors in New York could be too close to the issue and people involved to impartially evaluate the case.

Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that disagreements over whether to bring charges had caused a shake-up among the prosecution team.

If someone wants there to be a trial, a shuffle within the prosecution team indicates that this is more likely, according to Barry Friedman, professor of law at New York University.

However, it’s possible that other factors resulted in an additional review.

"Reasonable minds could easily differ in a case like this because of the nature of the legal standard,” said Daniel Richman, professor of law at Columbia Law School.

The Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the case.

Where Does the Case Stand?

When former Attorney General Eric Holder announced the launch of the civil rights investigation, he said, “We must seek to heal the breakdown in trust that we have seen.”

Last year, Garner's family settled with New York City for $5.9 million, but so far criminal charges have been stalled.

In 2014, a grand jury on Staten Island decided not indict Pantaleo in connection to the death of Garner. That decision meant that the only potential criminal charges would come from the pending federal investigation.

At that point, FBI agents in New York, NYPD investigators and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office formed a team to begin the civil rights investigation, according to Frankel.

"Two years is long, but not unheard of," for a case like this, he said.

A review by DOJ could be a way of "dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s," he added.

How Likely Are Charges?

In order to convict in the federal civil rights case, prosecutors need to show that officers willfully violated Garner’s constitutional rights.

But stepping over the line of appropriate behavior doesn’t necessarily mean a willful violation, according to attorneys familiar with case law.

The video helped the investigation, but it's not conclusive, according to Frankel. "The problem with video is you never see everything," he said.

Pantaleo’s attorney, Stuart London, told ABC News that the DOJ should accept the recommendation not to indict Pantaleo “rather than impair the integrity of the investigation by allowing politics to replace the rule of law."

"This matter has been thoroughly investigated by a state grand jury as well as experienced FBI agents and assistant U.S. attorneys. The recommendation is apparently that there was no civil rights violation. It is unprecedented to continue shopping for new FBI agents who support a predetermined result," he said in a statement.

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ellisonphoto/iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Riders on a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority train in Boston were forced to climb out of train car windows Wednesday afternoon after smoke filled the air at Back Bay Station, resulting in three minor injuries, according to the MBTA.

At 4:39 p.m., the MBTA operations center learned of an issue with a train departing the Black Bay Station, resulting in visible smoke onboard the train, according to MBTA.

Three people were transported to a nearby hospital to be treated for injuries from the incident.

Videos from the scene show riders busting windows open, helping each other climb out of the train cars.

The MBTA says the doors on the train remained closed because the train had begun its departure from the platform, which does not constitute a malfunction. The motor person had begun promptly opening doors to allow passengers to evacuate safely, according to the transit agency.

By 4:57 p.m., the Boston Police Department evacuated the station. By 6:15 p.m. service was restored to Black Bay.

According to the MBTA, the cause has not yet been determined, but it is believed it related to the motor.

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ABC News(WINDSOR, Calif.) -- A California police department has launched an investigation after "offensive and racist" graffiti images were found spray painted Monday morning at a school with a "large Latino population," police said.

"TRUMP 2016" and "Build the WALL HIGHER" were among some of the messages found sprawled across the campus of Cali Calmecac Language Academy, according to photographs taken before a janitor covered them up with fresh paint, according to police and the school principal.

The "offensive and disrespectful graffiti" appeared to "have been directed at the large Latino population of that school," Windsor Police Chief Carlos Basurto said in a statement on Tuesday.

"It is extremely upsetting that the children had to be subjected to such hatred and bigotry," Basurto said. "Whether this was a prank or not does not diminish its effect on the emotions of the children of that school or the people of this community."

Basurto said his department "will continue to investigate this crime and attempt to identify those responsible." He added that the alleged crime was "unjustifiable" and that "this type of behavior and thinking is not indicative" of the town of Windsor.

The school's principal, Jeanne Acuña, told ABC News that when she first saw the graffiti she "very angry" and "really violated."

"Our school is a bilingual immersion school with Spanish as the second language," she said. "We have 1,112 students on campus, 75 percent of which are Latino. It just really felt like we were being targeted."

Acuña added, "It felt as though someone had just come into our school family's house and violated the sanctity of the school."

Though janitors were able to "cover up most of the offensive messages" before the official school day started, a few staff, students and parents who came to the school earlier in the morning did see the graffiti, according to Acuña.

The principal said the messages provoked "a flurry of reactions" from the school community and sparked lot of dialogue about the "inflammatory rhetoric" being used in the presidential campaign this year.

"Even our youngest of children who have no way of knowing all the ramifications of the inflammatory speech being used are feeling the fear," Acuña said. "I just talked to one of our kindergartners the other day and they told me they're kind of afraid that their family might be taken away."

Despite such "heartbreaking" fears, the principal said she has been encouraged by the "surprising and overwhelming outpouring of support and kindness from the community."

"Just the other day, a woman outside the school community organized people in our community to greet students at the door with signs of love," she said. "They held signs like 'Love the Kids at Cali' and 'Have a Good Day!' and they passed out heart stickers. It really meant a lot."

Acuña added, "In a way, this horrible thing has actually brought our community closer together, and it just proves the positive side always wins.

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artolympic/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Police body camera video obtained by ABC News shows the moment officers in Linden, New Jersey, first encountered Ahmad Rahami, the man accused of planting bombs in New Jersey and New York City in September.

Officers were called to the scene in Linden the morning of Sept. 19 -- the Monday after the weekend bombings -- when the owner of a Linden bar reported that someone was sleeping in a hallway of his establishment.

"You can't be sleeping on somebody's door," an officer is heard saying to Rahami from his patrol car in the video.

The video then shows officers exiting the patrol car and approaching Rahami, who is seen briefly in the vestibule of the bar.

Rahami tells the officers he doesn't have an ID and says he's homeless; he tells them he used to live in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, but lost his job and couldn't pay rent.

The body-cam video obtained by ABC News ends before the shootout between Rahami and police that left the suspected bomber in the hospital. The additional footage is considered evidence and was not released.

Rahami has pleaded not guilty to seven charges in connection to the New Jersey shootout with authorities: two weapons offenses and attempted murder of five officers.

Rahami also faces federal charges of using weapons of mass destruction. He has not yet entered a plea to those charges.

Rahami has been released the hospital and is now being held in state prison in Trenton, New Jersey, while he awaits appearances in federal courts in New York and New Jersey.

His attorneys have asked the courts to change the spelling of his last name to Rahimi.

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mokee81/iStock/Thinkstock(MADERA, Calif.) -- Two suspects are in custody and one more is still at large following a shooting that targeted a police officer and a passenger during a ride-along in Madera, Calif.

During a ride-along, a civilian typically spends a shift in an emergency vehicle, like a police car, in order to observe a day of work, and that's what Yesica Valencia, 29, was doing on the Sunday evening when the shooting occurred.

Thomas Matthew Garcia, 33, the alleged shooter, and Serena Arroyo, 26, the alleged driver, are expected to be charged with two counts of attempted homicide, according to police.

A third person, James Cruz, was still on the loose, police said.

Footage of the shooting released by police shows the officer tailing a speeding white Mazda. As it turns a sharp corner, nine flashes of gunfire light up the night in the direction of police.

The officer was not injured in the shooting, and Valencia suffered cuts from broken glass, police said on Monday.

Valencia is a member of the Citizens' Police Academy, a program designed to foster understanding between police and the community, but is not pursuing a career in law enforcement, according to cops.

The officer who was involved in the shooting is expected to return to work Friday.

Police said that Garcia and Cruz are members of Fresno Bulldog gang, a group that grew out of the prison system and were responsible for 70 percent of the city's shootings in 2006, according to the New York Times.

Police said that Garcia has extensive criminal background that included assault with deadly weapons charges, and that the crime didn't appear to have a motive, other than the fact that the men didn't want to be stopped.

Madera Police said that they would revisit ride-along policy as a result of the shooting.

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yucelozel/iStock/Thinkstock(WANAQUE, N.J.) -- Police believe it is "nothing short of a miracle" that a 3-year-old boy and his 1-year-old baby brother were found alive after falling 100 feet from a bridge in Northern New Jersey.

The two kids were in the arms of their apparently suicidal father when he jumped off a bridge in Wanaque, New Jersey, this past Monday evening, according to Capt. Christopher DePuyt, public information officer for the Pequannock Police Department.

Though their father died from the fall, "these babies were amazingly found alive" shortly after Pequannock Police and other law enforcement agencies arrived on the scene, DePuyt said.

"It was nothing short of a miracle," he told ABC News. "To be able to survive a fall like that, I just -- there's no words to describe it."

The young boys were found "conscious and alert" in a forested area with thick brush and foliage, DePuyt said. Responding officers believe the trees and foliage likely cushioned the impact of their fall.

The children's father was found on the ground a little bit farther away from the forested area, DePuyt said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The young boys were transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson, where they were treated for "serious, but non-life-threatening injuries," according to a news release from New Jersey State Police.

"Based on the preliminary investigation, detectives have determined that the father intentionally jumped with his two children," N.J. State Police said. The agency added that an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the father's "apparent suicide" remains "active and ongoing."

Meanwhile, DePuyt said the Pequannock Police Department is now "focusing on the surviving family" and "making sure we're doing everything we can to help the family find healing."

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Design Pics/Thinkstock(PENSACOLA, Fla.) -- An animal trainer in Florida was hospitalized after being scratched and dragged by a tiger while performing for a school field trip at a fair, officials said.

A video of the incident allegedly taken by a student on a field trip to the Pensacola Interstate Fair has surfaced on social media. The dramatic footage shows a female trainer with a tiger in an enclosed area, while children and adults a few feet away watch behind a fence. The tiger appears to scratch the trainer, causing her to fall to the ground. The woman is seen repeatedly hitting the tiger with a rod as the animal grabs her leg and drags her across the ground. A male trainer then enters the cage and hits the tiger with a rod until the animal releases the woman.

“My daughter recorded it on her tablet,” Scott Caputo wrote in a post accompanying the video on Facebook, which has already been shared hundreds of times. “Holly thinks it was no big deal. I thought it was horrifying.”

According to ABC affiliate WEAR-TV, fair officials said the trainer, identified as Vicenta Pages, suffered a 3-inch cut on her knee and a laceration on her ankle from the incident on Tuesday. She was taken to a local hospital where she underwent surgery due to concerns of an infection, WEAR reported.

“We’re dealing with wild animals here and although we take every precaution, accidents like this sometimes happen,” David Donnert, Pages’ fiancé and co-owner of the tiger show, told WEAR. “We know the hazards of our job, but we love these beautiful animals and Vicenta will be back as soon as she’s able.”

Pensacola Interstate Fair officials told ABC News on Wednesday that Pages is now back home with her family and is in good condition.

A spokesperson for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told ABC News investigators are looking into the incident.

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iStock/Thinkstock(OKLAHOMA CITY) — A 38-year-old Oklahoma man who has evaded police for two days after killing two people and shooting four others -- including two police officers -- has a hit list and may intend to kill up to eight more people, authorities said Tuesday.

"This is a man who has indicated a total propensity to kill people, to injure people, shoot people," said Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel. "He has no care for human life whatsoever."

Authorities believe Vance may be headed to Nevada and have notified police there to be on the lookout.

Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel told ABC News that the suspect, Michael Vance, could face the death penalty if convicted of the crimes. Whetsel is warning citizens to stay clear if they spot Vance, adding that he has "absolutely nothing to lose."

Vance's rampage began Sunday evening, when he allegedly shot two police officers responding to the scene at a mobile home park over reports of shots fired in the area. The two officers sustained non-life-threatening injuries, officials say, and were temporarily disabled as Vance fled the scene in their patrol car. One officer was shot in the foot and another was hit by gunfire in both legs.

Investigators believe Vance live-streamed two videos while on the run, one from inside the police cruiser and another while inside another vehicle. In one of the videos, Vance appears in a blood-covered shirt and says he's been shot before showing a rifle on the seat next to him.

He then proceeded to a mobile home park, where police discovered the bodies of two of his relatives. Officials identified those victims as 55-year-old Ronald Everett Wilkson and 54-year-old Valerie Kay Wilkson, his wife.

The affidavit describes wounds consistent with attempts to sever one victim's head and the other's arm.

Vance then allegedly "shot at and injured" a woman as he was in the process of stealing her silver 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse.

Vance is also suspected of shooting a man during an attempted carjacking early Monday.

Vance was last known to be driving a 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse and was armed with an AK-47. He is considered to be armed and extremely dangerous, authorities say.

Sheriff Whetsel instructed any potential witnesses not to approach Vance but to call 911 and let the police handle the situation.

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