National

1-year-old girl dies after being left inside car all day in Tampa

wsfurlan/iStock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- A child died after being left inside a hot car for hours on Monday in central Florida, marking the fifth such death in the Sunshine State this year and the 50th nationwide.

The 1-year-old girl was found unconscious inside her family's car parked outside their Tampa home on Monday evening. The child's parents called 911 around 6:30 p.m. local time and she was transported to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead, police told Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS-TV.

Investigators learned the little girl had been left inside the car since Monday morning. Temperatures reached above 90 degrees Fahrenheit in Tampa that day.

"It appears it was a very busy morning for the family," Tampa Police Department spokesman Steve Hegarty told WFTS. "They have several other children as well, and in an effort to get everybody where they needed to go, the toddler was left in the backseat."

The child's death remains under investigation. Hegarty said it appears to be accidental and investigators have found no signs of foul play.

"The dad used the vehicle the toddler was in to take people to school and to work, then took a separate car to work and that caused him to forget the child was in the backseat of the car," he told WFTS. "He left and went to work and then came home."
 
The Tampa Police Department did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for further comment Tuesday morning.

Florida has the second-highest number of child hot car deaths in the nation, with 98 fatalities since 1992, according to data collected by KidsAndCars.org, a national nonprofit child safety organization. Last year was the worst in history for child hot car deaths in the United States, with a total of 54 fatalities nationwide.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Texas officer who fatally shot woman in her home arrested on murder charges

Marilyn Nieves/iStock(FORT WORTH, TX.) -- The police officer who fatally shot a Fort Worth, Texas, woman in her home while answering a call for a welfare check has been arrested on murder charges. The charge comes after the officer abruptly resigned on Monday just before he was about to be fired for allegedly violating multiple department policies, the police chief said.

The officer, identified earlier Monday as Aaron Dean, is being held without bond in Tarrant County, according to court records.

"I certainly have not been able to make sense of why she had to lose her life," Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus said at a news conference prior to the arrest, in reference to the early Saturday morning killing of Atatiana "Tay" Jefferson. "On behalf of the men and women of the Fort Worth Police Department, I'm so sorry for what occurred."

Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who represents the family, released a statement saying the family was "relieved" Dean was arrested.

"The family of Atatiana Jefferson is relieved that Aaron Dean has been arrested & charged with murder," the statement said. "We need to see this through to a vigorous prosecution & appropriate sentencing. The City of Fort Worth has much work to do to reform a brutal culture of policing."

Kraus identified the officer who shot Jefferson, 28, as Dean, who was hired by the police force in August 2017 and was commissioned as a licensed peace officer on April 13, 2018.

The police chief said he was scheduled to meet with Dean on Monday morning, but the officer tendered his resignation before they had a chance to meet.

"Had the officer not resigned, I would have fired him for violations of several policies, including our use of force policy, our de-escalation policy, and unprofessional conduct," Kraus said.

But Jefferson's grieving family said Dean should have never been given the option to resign.

"He should have been fired before this," Jefferson's brother, Adarius Carr, told ABC News.

 Jefferson's sister, Ashley Carr, added that while her family welcomed apologies from the police chief and other city officials, including the mayor, she told ABC News, "It's not the end result we're looking for."

"I want justice for my sister," Ashley Carr said. "I want her death not to be in vain."

She said her sister was a pre-med graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana, who dropped her career ambitions to return home to Texas to care for their ailing mother. She said Jefferson was also helping their sister, Amber, who recently underwent heart surgery, raise her two young children, including their 8-year-old nephew, Zion, who witnessed her being shot to death.

The family's attorney, civil rights lawyer Lee Merritt, said the next development loved ones of Jefferson are hoping for, is that Dean suffer the consequences of his actions.

"The opportunity to resign is a slap in this family's face and it's a slap in the community's face," Merritt said. "He should have never been given that option. And I want us to stop treating this ... like it's a bad apple case. The saying is 'a bad apple spoils the bunch.' But the barrel is rotten from the core."

Kaus said an internal investigation and a criminal investigation of Dean would proceed, and that he has sent a preliminary report of the shooting to the FBI to review Dean's actions for possible civil rights violations.

Kraus said Dean has not been cooperating with the investigation, adding, "He resigned before his opportunity to cooperate."

The chief had said prior to the arrest he was getting frequent updates on the criminal investigation against Dean and anticipated that he would be able to provide the public with a "substantial update" no later than Tuesday.

He also said Dean's separation paperwork would be sent to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, the agency in charge of licensing and certifying peace officers, "will reflect that he was dishonorably discharged from the Fort Worth Police Department."

 Kraus made the announcement after Mayor Betsy Price expressed outrage over the shooting and berated the police department for releasing a photo of a handgun found in Jefferson's home, saying, "there is nothing that could justify what happened on Saturday morning. Nothing."

"The gun is irrelevant. She was in her own home caring for her 8-year old nephew. Atatiana was a victim," the mayor said.

Kraus echoed the mayor, saying the photo of the gun that was released to the public "was a bad thing to do" and was apparently intended to "show what the perceived threat may have been."

He said the gun was found just inside the window where Jefferson, who, according to her family, had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, was shot.

"I can't imagine most of us, if we thought we had somebody outside our house that shouldn't be there and we had access to a firearm, that we wouldn't act very similarly to how she acted," Kraus said.

But Merritt said he interpreted the move as an attempt to "cast aspersions on Tay, to give this officer (Dean) an out."

"This was their attempt to justify the unjustifiable," Merritt told ABC News.

After spending the weekend hearing from outraged community residents, and friends and relatives of Jefferson, Price apologized on behalf of the city of Fort Worth.

"We are all heartbroken today. Atatiana was a beautiful, smart, amazing young woman by all accounts, who was unjustly taken from her family," Price said. "The entire city is in pain. As a mother, grandmother, a sister, an aunt, I can't imagine anything worse and I'm so sorry."

Calling the circumstances a "pivotal moment for the city," the mayor said she had ordered the creation of a "third-party panel of national experts to review this department."

Fort Worth City Manager David Cooke announced he will assemble an independent review board for the police department and will begin interviewing candidates for an independent police monitor.

Prior to receiving news of Dean's resignation, Jefferson's relatives demanded the officer be immediately fired and arrested, and that the federal government take charge of the investigation.

"This man murdered someone. He should be arrested," said Adarius Carr, a member of the U.S. Navy.

"I've served my country for the last 12 years. In that time, I've been trained and taught that there are preplanned responses for everything you do. Everything you're trained about, there's a way to do things. And when you don't do it the way you've been trained or the way you've been taught, you have to answer for that," Carr said. "The Fort Worth PD cannot investigate themselves. The U.S. Navy is not allowed to do it, they should not be as well."

Merritt said the shooting shows that the Fort Worth Police Department is "in need of serious systematic reform."

He said the family is calling on the Department of Justice or the FBI to investigate the killing, adding that the officer should be "vigorously prosecuted."

"We expect this to happen immediately," Merritt said. "This (the shooting) happened Saturday. Why this man is not in handcuffs right now is a source of continued agitation for this family and for this community, and it must be addressed."

The shooting unfolded about 2:30 a.m. on Saturday after a neighbor of Jefferson's called the police department's non-emergency line to asked that a welfare check be conducted on Jefferson's home because the lights were on and the back and front doors were open.

Lt. Brandon O'Neil said at a news conference Sunday afternoon that two officers were sent to the home on East Allen Avenue. He said the officers arrived at the house at 2:29 a.m. and parked near Jefferson's home, but not in front of the residence.

O'Neil said the officers walked around the back of the house, and that one of the officers observed a person through the rear window of the home and opened fire.

Chief Kraus added on Monday that the officers never knocked on the door.

Body-camera footage released by the department shows Dean approaching a rear window of the home with his gun drawn. The officer sees the woman through the window, shouts, "Put your hands up, show me your hands," and fires one shot.

"Perceiving a threat, the officer drew his duty weapon and fired one shot striking the person inside the residence," a statement from the police department reads.

Responding officers entered the home, located the shooting victim and began providing emergency care.

Jefferson died at the scene.

O'Neil said Dean never identified himself as a police officer to Jefferson.

"What the officer observed and why he did not announce 'police' will be addressed as the investigation continues," O'Neil said.

 Merritt said that Jefferson and her nephew, Zion, were playing a "Call of Duty" video game when they heard someone in the bushes outside their home and went to a bedroom window to investigate. He said Jefferson stopped her nephew from looking out the window and that she was shot when she peered into the darkness.

"It was less than a second," Merritt said of the shooting. "I had an expert slow it (the body-camera video) down. It was .6 seconds between the command and the shot. There was no time for them to perceive a threat from a weapon. There was no time for her to respond. It was reckless, deadly behavior."

Ashley Carr said her sister never mentioned being afraid of getting killed by police.

"We obeyed laws. We didn't walk in fear because we did what we thought was right," she told ABC News. "Now you could still do what's right, but it's coming with fear, and that's scary."

Adarius Carr said that he hopes people remember his sister for how she lived.

"I want everyone to remember my sister like I remember her: Just a fun-loving, easy-going, hilarious young lady who just wanted to serve and be better, make sure our family was good," he said. "A very beautiful soul, absolutely. My life is upside down without her."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Statues of Christopher Columbus vandalized in multiple states amid controversy over the holiday

aicragarual/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Statues of Christopher Columbus were vandalized amid continued calls to change the name of the federal holiday honoring the Italian explorer.

Red paint, along with messages about genocide, were sprayed on landmarks in both San Francisco and Providence, Rhode Island, on Sunday.

A sign that read "Stop celebrating genocide" was placed at the foot of the Columbus statue, located in the Elmwood neighborhood of Providence, ABC Providence affiliate WLNE-TV reported. The statue was covered with red paint.

The statue was also vandalized in 2010 and 2017, according to the station.

In San Francisco, a Columbus statue near Coit Tower was also sprayed with red paint. Graffiti at the bottom read, "Destroy all monuments of genocide and kill all colonizers." Supervisors in the city voted to change the holiday to Indigenous Peoples Day in January 2018, ABC San Francisco station KGO-TV reported.

Police said they're investigating the incident, KGO reported.

Columbus statue vandalized: Red paint covered the face of the controversial colonist, while the base of the statue had graffiti that read, "Destroy all monuments of genocide and kill all colonizers." https://t.co/0chyLNKRdh

— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) October 14, 2019

Columbus Day observes the anniversary of the explorer's arrival on what is now the Bahamas on Oct. 12, 1492. Many Italian Americans honor their heritage on Columbus Day with parades and festivals.

However, in recent years, indigenous people and others have rallied against the holiday, claiming Columbus enslaved and murdered many indigenous people. There is now a growing movement to reclaim the day in honor of indigenous people and their unique cultures and contributions.

At least eight states and 130 cities have legally changed the holiday to Indigenous Peoples Day, including Wisconsin, where Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order on Oct. 7.

Other states are attempting to find a middle ground. Earlier this year, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Sitt signed legislation recognizing the day as both Native Americans Day and Columbus Day.

Some have replaced Columbus Day with other titles related to the Native American community. Summit City, Ohio, selected "First Peoples Day" and Hawaii switched to "Discoverers Day."

The city council in Washington, D.C., passed emergency legislation last week to rename the federal holiday. For the change to become permanent, it requires congressional approval within 225 days, according to the city council.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Car stolen with 6-year-old boy sitting in backseat

NYPD via Twitter(NEW YORK) -- Police are investigating the abduction of a New York boy who was abducted on Monday when his family's car was stolen.

Six-year-old Ronald Mowatt was sitting in the back of a white Acura MDX in Brooklyn when a thief drove away with it at around 1 p.m., according to police. Investigators said he was located in Brooklyn about three hours later, but they did not offer any additional details.

"UPDATE: Six-year-old Ronald Mowatt has been found in #Brooklyn and is safe," NYPD Chief Terence Monahan tweeted Monday afternoon. "The investigation is ongoing. Please call @NYPDTips with any info."

The vehicle was stolen from Rockaway Parkway and East 96th Street in Brooklyn, the New York Police Department said. It was last seen heading northbound on East 96th Street.

Officers with the NYPD shared images of young Ronald as well as the missing vehicle on Twitter on Monday afternoon in a desperate appeal for the public's help.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the NYPD's tip line or call 911.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'We demand justice': Family of Texas woman fatally shot in her home by police officer want feds to investigate

ABC News(FORT WORTH, TX.) -- The police officer who fatally shot a Fort Worth, Texas, woman in her home while answering a call for a welfare check abruptly resigned on Monday just before he was about to be fired for allegedly violating multiple department policies, the police chief said.

"I certainly have not been able to make sense of why she had to lose her life," Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus said at a news conference in reference to the early Saturday morning killing of Atatiana "Tay" Jefferson. "On behalf of the men and women of the Fort Worth Police Department, I'm so sorry for what occurred."

Kraus identified the officer who shot Jefferson, 28, as Aaron Dean, who joined the police force in April 2018.

Kraus said he was scheduled to meet with Dean on Monday morning, but the officer tendered his resignation before they had a chance to meet.

"Had the officer not resigned, I would have fired him for violations of several policies, including our use of force policy, our de-escalation policy, and unprofessional conduct," Kraus said.

He said an internal investigation and a criminal investigation of Dean will proceed, and that he has sent a preliminary report of the shooting to the FBI to launch a civil right's investigation.

The chief also said Dean's separation paperwork will be sent to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, the agency in charge of licensing and certifying qualified individuals as peace officers, "will reflect that he was dishonorably discharged from the Fort Worth Police Department."

Kraus made the announcement after Mayor Betsy Price expressed outrage over the shooting and berated the police department for releasing a photo of a handgun found in Jefferson's home, saying, "there is nothing that could justify what happened on Saturday morning. Nothing."

"The gun is irrelevant. She was in her own home caring for her 8-year old nephew. Atatiana was a victim," the mayor said.

After spending the weekend hearing from outraged community residents, and friends and relatives of Jefferson, Price apologized on behalf of the city of Fort Worth.

"We are all heartbroken today. Atatiana was a beautiful, smart, amazing young woman by all accounts, who was unjustly taken from her family," Price said. "The entire city is in pain. As a mother, grandmother, a sister an aunt, I can't imagine anything worse and I'm so sorry."

Calling the circumstances a "pivotal moment for the city," the mayor said she has ordered the creation of a "third-party panel of national experts to review this department."

Fort Worth City Manager David Cooke announced he will assemble an independent review board for the police department and will begin interviewing candidates for an independent police monitor.

Earlier Monday, loved ones of Jefferson demanded the officer be immediately fired and arrested, and that the federal government take charge of the investigation.

Jefferson's family spoke out at a news conference to demand justice.

"This man murdered someone. He should be arrested," said Jefferson's brother, Adarius Carr, a member of the U.S. Navy.

"I've served my country for the last 12 years. In that time, I've been trained and taught that there are preplanned responses for everything you do. Everything you're trained about, there's a way to do things. And when you don't do it the way you've been trained or the way you've been taught, you have to answer for that," Carr said. "The Fort Worth PD cannot investigate themselves. The U.S. Navy is not allowed to do it, they should not be as well."

Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney representing Jefferson's family, said the shooting shows that the Fort Worth Police Department is "in need of serious systematic reform."

"Of course this family is calling for the firing of this officer. That's benign. That's the least that we should expect," Merritt said.

Merritt said the family is calling on the Department of Justice or the FBI to investigate the killing, adding that the officer, whose name had not been released, should be "vigorously prosecuted."

"We expect this to happen immediately," Merritt said. "This (the shooting) happened Saturday. Why this man is not in handcuffs right now is a source of continued agitation for this family and for this community, and it must be addressed."

UNACCEPTABLE! The acts of yet another “trained” police officer have resulted in the death of #AtatianaJefferson. Gun downed in her own home. If we are not safe to call the police, if we are not safe in our homes, where can we find peace? We demand answers. We demand justice. pic.twitter.com/UZqHQzPyaW

— NAACP (@NAACP) October 13, 2019


The shooting unfolded about 2:30 a.m. on Saturday after a neighbor of Jefferson's called the police department's non-emergency line to asked that a welfare check be conducted on Jefferson's home because the lights were on and the back and front doors were open.

Lt. Brandon O'Neil said at a news conference Sunday afternoon that two officers were sent to the home on East Allen Avenue. He said the officers arrived at the house at 2:29 am. and parked near Jefferson's home, but not in front of the residence.

O'Neil said the officers walked around the back of the house, and that one of the officers observed a person through the rear window of the home and opened fire.

Body-camera footage released by the department shows the officer approaching a rear window of the home with his gun drawn. The officer sees the woman through the window, shouts, "Put your hands up, show me your hands," and fires one shot.

"Perceiving a threat, the officer drew his duty weapon and fired one shot striking the person inside the residence," a statement from the police department reads.

Responding officers entered the home, located the shooting victim and began providing emergency care.

Jefferson died at the scene.

O'Neil said the officer who opened fire on Jefferson never identified himself as a police officer.

"What the officer observed and why he did not announce 'police' will be addressed as the investigation continues," O'Neil said.

Merritt said that Jefferson and her 8-year-old nephew Zion were playing video games when they heard someone in the bushes outside their home and went to a bedroom window to investigate. He said Jefferson stopped her nephew from looking out the window, that she was shot when she peered into the darkness.

"It was less than a second," Merritt said of the shooting. "I had an expert slow it (the body-camera video) down. It was .6 second between the command and the shot. There was no time for them to perceive a threat from a weapon. There was no time for her to respond. It was reckless, deadly behavior."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


California becomes first state to mandate later school start times

urfinguss/iStock(LOS ANGELES) -- California became the first state in the nation to require later start times at most schools.

Senate Bill 328, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday, requires most middle schools to begin no earlier than 8:00 a.m. and high schools at 8:30 a.m.

A study from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that delayed school start times align more closely with the sleep-wake cycle of teenagers, leading to better overall health and school performance.

“Although a number of factors, including biological changes in sleep associated with puberty, lifestyle choices, and academic demands, negatively affect middle and high school students’ ability to obtain sufficient sleep, the evidence strongly implicates earlier school start times (ie, before 8:30 am) as a key modifiable contributor to insufficient sleep, as well as circadian rhythm disruption, in this population,” the study said.

SB 328 has not been without controversy while it made its way through the California legislature, however.

The California Teachers Association, one of the largest and most powerful teacher’s unions in the state, strongly opposed the bill, saying that that school start times should be decided locally.

“Local leaders, with this input, are best prepared to make these decisions that will best meet the needs of the students,” the CTA said on its website.

Schools have until July 2022 to comply with the new law.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


DC joins over 100 cities in changing Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day

golibtolibov/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- Washington has joined the list of cities and states to recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day in place of Columbus Day, after the D.C. Council passed emergency legislation on Tuesday to rename the federal holiday.

Councilmember David Grosso proposed the "Indigenous Peoples' Day Emergency Declaration Act of 2019" in an effort to "honor Indigenous People and their rich history and cultural contributions."

Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the legislation Oct. 11 and it went into effect immediately for the Oct. 14 holiday. But for the change to become permanent, it requires congressional approval within 225 days, according to the D.C. Council website.

At least eight states and 130 cities have legally changed the holiday, including Wisconsin, where Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order on Tuesday.

Other states are attempting to find a middle ground. Earlier this year, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Sitt signed legislation recognizing the day as both Native Americans Day and Columbus Day.

Some have replaced Columbus Day with other titles related to the Native American community. Summit City, Ohio, selected "First Peoples Day" and Hawaii switched to "Discoverers Day."

"In a city that itself sits on Piscataway land, we commend the D.C. City Council for voting to join the growing number of cities, counties, states, and school districts in formally celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day," said the National Congress of American Indians CEO Kevin Allis in a statement. "This change allows the opportunity to bring more awareness to the unique, rich history of this land that is inextricably tied to the first peoples of this country and predates the voyage of Christopher Columbus."

Grosso, who advocated for the change for the last five years, said in a statement on Monday that a majority of the D.C. council has supported the idea for years, but legislation was stalled by council Chairman Phil Mendelson "without any public hearing or input."

Grosso took to Twitter to share the news after a supermajority vote of approval changed that. 

After 5 years, the Council has approved emergency legislation renaming Columbus Day as #IndigenousPeoplesDay. TY to @charlesallen @AnitaBondsDC @marycheh @BrianneKNadeau @RobertWhite_DC @trayonwhite @CMBrandonTodd @tweetelissa @CM_McDuffie for supporting. Let's make it permanent! https://t.co/p2kpSjbtNB

— David Grosso (@cmdgrosso) October 8, 2019

"Frankly, it's an accident of history that Columbus is honored this way in the first place. Columbus Day was officially designated as a federal holiday in 1937, despite the fact Columbus did not discover North America, despite the fact millions of people were already living in North America upon his arrival to the Americas, and despite the fact Columbus never set foot on the shores of the current United States," Grosso said Tuesday during a council meeting. "Columbus enslaved, colonized, mutilated and massacred thousands of Indigenous People in the Americas."

While Grosso was backed by nine of 11 councilmembers, Mendelson and Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans were present but abstained from voting.

"I fully support the establishment of Indigenous Peoples' Day, but what I don't support is eliminating Columbus Day," Evans said at the meeting. "I have gotten a number of emails, a number of calls, from constituents in my ward, largely of Italian descent, who feel that taking this action is not fair."

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF), a nonprofit organization that promotes Italian American culture, published a statement on Monday opposing the legislation, corroborating what Evans' constituents told him.

 "We believe to repeal Columbus Day as a federal holiday, which is celebrated by over 20 million Italian Americans, only to replace it by another holiday celebrated by another ethnic group, would be culturally insensitive," the statement said.

NIAF Chair Gabriel A. Battista added, "Instead of pushing aside the contributions of Christopher Columbus and the importance he holds in immigrant, Catholic, and Italian American communities, efforts should be made to find another day or a separate, standalone opportunity to honor Indigenous Peoples."

NIAF urges the D.C. City Council to reconsider changing Columbus Day to "Indigenous Peoples' Day" in the District. The City Council has fast-tracked the legislation and will consider this bill at its meeting this morning, October 8, at 10 a.m. NIAF asks all those living in... pic.twitter.com/avdkfoaTEZ

— NIAF (@niaforg) October 8, 2019

Despite opposition, Grosso will continue his push to make the legislation permanent moving forward.

"I hope now Chairman Mendelson will recognize the overwhelming support on the council for this important renaming and finally hold a hearing on the permanent version of the bill," Grosso told Washington's NPR affiliate WAMU on Tuesday.

The second Monday is October is still recognized by the federal government as Columbus Day.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


2-year-old boy shot in 'cowardly, violent act' of road rage, suspect charged: Baltimore police

Baltimore Police Dept.(BALTIMORE) -- A 2-year-old boy was shot in the stomach in a "cowardly, violent act" of apparent road rage in Baltimore, authorities said.

"You shot a child. Whoever you thought you were shooting at, you didn't shoot," Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said.

The 2-year-old, who had been in the car with his family, was taken to the hospital in "somewhat stable condition" and is expected to survive, police said Saturday.

The boy remained in the hospital Monday morning as the suspected shooter, Javon Johnson, 33, was charged, said police.

It's believed the suspect's car and the victim's car were among those stopped at a red light at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, Harrison said at a news conference on Saturday.

When the light turned green, none of the cars moved through the intersection, even when the driver of the victim's car blew the horn several times, said Harrison.

After hitting the horn several times during the green light cycle, the driver of the victim's car drove around the vehicles at the light and turned the corner, Harrison said.

It's believed the suspect, driving a silver Mazda MPV, followed the victim and fired from his vehicle into the victim's car, Harrison said.

UPDATE: Detectives believe the suspect vehicle involved in the shooting of a 2-year old child is a silver Mazda MPV. pic.twitter.com/Dz6X1u6HwG

— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) October 13, 2019


Johnson has been charged with attempted murder, assault and handgun-related charges, Baltimore police said Monday.

UPDATE: 33-year old Javon Johnson has been charged with attempted murder, assault, and various handgun related charges. He is currently being held at the Central Booking and Intake Facility. pic.twitter.com/OjfGwVQtmm

— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) October 14, 2019

 


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Ronan Farrow discusses latest in Matt Lauer allegations

Lou Rocco/Walt Disney Television(NEW YORK) -- Ronan Farrow said his extensive, award-winning coverage of sexual misconduct allegations against powerful men stems from a personal place.

During a Monday appearance on "The View," Farrow said his sister Dylan Farrow's experience publicly alleging sexual abuse by her adoptive father, Woody Allen, led him to a clearer appreciation of what women go through when coming forward.

Farrow said his sister's story "inspired me and helped me understand."

Allen, who is estranged from both Ronan and Dylan Farrow, has always denied the allegations made by Dylan Farrow that he sexually abused her when she was a child. Allen was investigated on child molestation claims for the alleged incident in Connecticut in the 1990s, but prosecutors decided not to charge him.

In his book, "Catch and Kill," Farrow presents his account of reporting allegations of sexual misconduct by former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and offers new allegations concerning former NBC "Today" anchor Matt Lauer.

Touching on a number of different aspects in the book, Farrow appeared on "The View" Monday and discussed what allegedly happened between Lauer and Brooke Nevils, a former producer at NBC who accused Lauer of rape during a sexual encounter.

According to Farrow's reporting, Nevils alleges that after a night of drinking at the hotel bar in Sochi, Russia, during the 2014 Olympics, Nevils went to Lauer's room to first retrieve her press credentials, and on a second trip to his room, Lauer, who was wearing a T-shirt and boxers, pushed her against the door and kissed her, pushed her onto the bed and asked if she wanted to have anal sex. Farrow wrote that Nevils said she was too drunk to give consent and that she "declined several times" and "she was in the midst of telling him she wasn't interested again when he 'just did it.'"

"She said 'no' to a very brutal and violent act," Farrow said on "The View" of what Nevils claimed.

Both she and Lauer have acknowledged that they had a subsequent sexual encounters after their first in Sochi, but they described those differently.

"She has been clear in saying that [it] was not an affair. That was her struggling to get out of a toxic situation," Farrow said of Nevils on "The View."

Lauer released an open letter last week saying he and Nevils "engaged in a variety of sexual acts [that night in Sochi]. We performed oral sex on each other, we had vaginal sex, and we had anal sex. Each act was mutual and completely consensual. … She was a fully enthusiastic and willing partner."

Nevils issued her own statement to NBC News in response to Lauer's letter, writing that "his open letter was a case study in victim blaming."

"I am not afraid of him now regardless of his threats, bullying, and the shaming and predatory tactics I knew he would and now has tried to use against me," she said in the statement.

On "The View," Farrow said the situation involving Lauer and Nevils "represents an ongoing cover-up culture that we see way beyond NBC."

"If companies continue to silence people, predators stay at companies," Farrow said, touching on the concept of non-disclosure agreements, which require signors to not speak on certain topics.

In the book, Farrow alleged that NBC had multiple non-disclosure agreements with women who had alleged sexual misconduct, including some involving Lauer completed before Nevils went to human resources with her complaint.

In a memorandum to NBC News staff released Monday, NBC News president Noah Oppenheim challenged that assertion.

In the memo, Oppenheim says that contrary to Farrow's assertions, "there is no evidence of any reports of Lauer's misconduct before his firing, no settlements, no 'hush money' – no way we have found that NBC's current leadership could have been aware of his misdeeds in the past." Oppenheim asserts that the three employee separation agreements that Farrow seems to be referring to "involve employees who by their own admission made no complaint to management and whose departure agreements were unrelated to Lauer and completely routine."

As he has throughout his public appearances discussing the book, Farrow defended his reporting on "The View," maintaining that the book is "extensively fact-checked" and added that NBC was given the chance to participate in the fact-checking process.

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Police desperate for information on missing 3-year-old girl, 2 persons of interest in custody

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- Authorities in Alabama say they have no information on the whereabouts of a missing 3-year-old girl who was believed to have been abducted while attending a birthday party this weekend.

Two persons of interest are being questioned as the search for Kamille "Cupcake" McKinney intensifies, Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said Monday.

Kamille was playing with other children at an outdoor birthday party in the Avondale neighborhood of Birmingham on Saturday night when she vanished, authorities said.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency issued an Amber Alert that night, which said the toddler is considered to be in "extreme danger." Investigators are expanding the Amber Alert to surrounding states.

Investigators believe Kamille was picked up by an unknown man in an older, dark-colored Toyota Sequoia with beige trim. The Toyota Sequoia was found Sunday after police received several trips from citizens in the community, Smith said.

The chief did not elaborate on the two persons of interest in custody but said other people are believed to be involved.

"We're putting the pieces of the puzzle together, but as you know it takes time to follow the leads," Smith said at a news conference on Monday.

Smith said there was "a little bit of a delay" in reporting her missing to law enforcement as families often think they can search on their own.

"We will not end our command post or our search until we've found some resolution," Smith said. "We're going to stay committed."

"I want her back bad," Kamille's father told ABC Birmingham affiliate WBMA. "I’d do anything to have my baby back."

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement Monday, "It is imperative that we remain vigilant and report any information that may help law enforcement bring her home."

"We are in discussions with Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr to finalize plans for my Office to offer a $5,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s) and the location of Kamille," Ivey said. "We offer our fervent prayers for law enforcement and all involved in the search. We pray for Kamille’s family and that God will continue to watch over Kamille until she is safely returned home soon."

Kamille, who is black, was described as being about 3 feet tall and weighing 60 pounds. She has brown eyes and black hair. She last seen wearing a pink T-shirt with a leopard print Mickey Mouse face and leopard print shorts. She did not have shoes on at the time.

Police have asked members of the public to immediately turn over any photos or video from the birthday party that evening.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to immediately call 911.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Search underway for unaccounted person after Hard Rock Hotel partially collapsed

ivanastar/iStock(NEW ORLEANS) --  The rescue mission in New Orleans is still underway as responders are still looking for one missing person at the scene of a partial building collapse that has already claimed the lives of two construction workers.

Officials know of one deceased person and one missing person who remains at the site of the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown New Orleans.

The first fatality was reported on Saturday shortly after the Hard Rock Hotel, which was under construction, partially collapsed.

The search of the site continued Monday morning, New Orleans Fire Department Chief Timothy McConnell said at a news conference.

He said that crews are at the site and are using search dogs to look for the person that is believed to be missing and the individual who is believed to be deceased.

McConnell said that it is still a "very dangerous building."

"We're a long way from being in safe mode," he said.

Some of the building's top floors collapsed Saturday and one body has been recovered from the site, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said Sunday.

Of the 30 people who were injured at the scene, all but one have been released from a local hospital. That lone individual is in stable condition, Cantrell said Monday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Police officer, a 13-year veteran and dad of 2, shot dead near Maryland parking garage

WJLA-TV(SILVER SPRING, Md.) --  A police officer was shot and killed Monday morning in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C., sparking a manhunt, authorities said.

The slain officer, Thomas Bomba, was shot while reporting a disorderly subject in a parking garage shortly before 9 a.m., police said.

Bomba worked for the Montgomery County Department of Police and was a 13-year veteran, Montgomery County Police acting chief Marcus Jones said.

Bomba leaves behind his wife and two children, Jones said at a news conference.

Police have no suspect information.

The slaying was in Silver Spring, which is about 6 miles outside of Washington, D.C.

Jones said police do not believe there is an immediate threat to public safety.

"We will get to the bottom of this, and we'll hold people accountable," Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said.

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Saddleridge fire calms down, heavy rains on East Coast

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A new storm system is developing in the southern Plains and will move east over the next few days bringing a threat of flooding to the South with rain and gusty winds in the Northeast.

This morning, a storm system is back in the High Plains with the warm front stretching all the way through the Gulf Coast. Some rain will develop along this warm front today and get heavier into tonight and tomorrow.

On Tuesday morning, the center of the storm system will move into the southern Plains as the warm front lifts north from the Gulf of Mexico bringing lots of tropical moisture to the area, this will result in heavy rain moving over the same areas from Louisiana to Georgia.

In the next 48 hours, parts of the South could see up to 4 inches of rain which could cause flash flooding in some areas.

 y Wednesday, the storm system will move up the East Coast and could combine with another storm system to bring heavy rain and gusty winds for the Northeast from Washington, D.C., to New York City and Boston. Flooding is not expected but this could change.

Winds are finally subsiding in southern California and humidity is moving up the coast.

Because of better weather conditions over the last 24 hours, firefighters were able to get a better handle on the Saddleridge Fire in the San Fernando Valley.

The Saddleridge Fire is now 42% contained with nearly 8,000 acres burned. All evacuation orders have been lifted.

All red flag warnings and wind alerts have expired because of higher humidity and lower wind speeds.

The green area in the map below shows higher humidity all over the coast, even in inland areas with light winds.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Exclusive: Jayme Closs feeling 'stronger every day' one year after kidnapping

Jennifer Smith(NEW YORK) -- One year after Jayme Closs was kidnapped as a 13-year-old and held for months by a man who murdered her parents, the teenager says she's feeling "stronger every day."

"I really want to thank everyone for all the kindness and concern that people all over the country have shown me," Closs said in an exclusive statement to ABC News. "I am very happy to be home and getting back to the activities that I enjoy. I love hanging out with all of my friends, and I feel stronger every day!”

Jake Patterson pleaded guilty earlier this year to killing Closs' parents on Oct. 15, 2018, and then kidnapping the teen from the family's rural Barron, Wisconsin, home.
 
Closs was held captive at 21-year-old Patterson's home for 88 days until she escaped in January.

"Jayme continues to work very hard on her emotional well-being," the teen's aunt, Jen Smith, and their family attorney, Chris Gramstrup, said in a statement. "She is moving forward and courageously reclaiming her life."

The 14-year-old has taken day trips to hiking trails with her friends and her aunts, and has enjoyed celebrating weddings and birthdays with her family, the statement said.

"She has also been able to spend a good deal of time with her friends, just hanging out and being a typical teenager," said Smith and Gramstrup. "Jayme's incredible spirit and strength continue to inspire everyone around her."

At a news conference on Monday, Gramstrup said the teen's "father, James, was extremely strong. He was an athlete. He had great strength. Her mother, Denise, had ... a huge amount of love and caring and kindness for everyone around her.

"Jayme has both those qualities that she's gotten from her parents. She has the strength and she's got the heart," Gramstrup said. "It's her strength and her heart that has and will continue to get her through this."

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald at Monday's conference added, "I do want to take this time to remember James and Denise Closs who gave their lives protecting their daughter."

"I also want to let Jayme know that we are all with her in whatever she needs in the future," Fitzgerald said, adding that the teen taught "us the true meaning" of "courage, resilience and hope."

Fitzgerald on Monday thanked the law enforcement team behind the massive search efforts to find the kidnapped teen, and also shed light on other missing childrne.

Robert Lowery, Vice President of the Missing Children Division at National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, said at the news conference, "it's success stories like Jayme Closs that motivate us every day."

 "Hope is what drives us," Lowery said. "Many missing children come home ... even 10 years or more when all hope was starting to diminish."

"Jayme was just one of dozens of children missing in Wisconsin and they're still missing," Lowery said. "We should never stop looking for these kids."

Lowery showed a poster of the faces of 40 missing children who "still need our help."

Barron County prosecutor Brian Wright at the news conference thanked "everyone who prayed and held onto hope."

"The people of Barron County ... were just incredible in the support that they gave. From the food that they served to hundreds of law enforcement officers each and every day, to the search for Jayme right here in Barron County."

Wright also thanked the sheriff who he said "took the lead in keeping this case in the media ... constantly talking about the hope that we had for Jayme's safe return."

"In the end it was by and large because of that work that he did that on Jan. 10, 2019, when Jayme bravely escaped, that the person who first saw her immediately recognized her," Wright said.

Wright also extended his appreciation to the "hundreds of law enforcement officers ... who came here to volunteer, many on their own time and without pay."

In May, Patterson was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Patterson confessed to investigators that he targeted Jayme Closs after seeing her board a school bus, according to a criminal complaint.

After Patterson fled with the girl to his home, he created a space for her under his bed. When he would leave the house, he would put barbells and free weights around the bed so she couldn't escape, according to the complaint.

Jayme Closs said in May that she escaped because "I was smarter."

"I watched his routine and I took back my freedom," Closs said through a statement read at sentencing on her behalf. "I will always have my freedom and he will not. Jake Patterson can never take my courage. He thought he could control me, but he couldn’t."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


3-year-old Alabama girl vanishes while attending birthday party, police fear kidnapping

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- An Amber Alert has been issued for an Alabama toddler girl who vanished while attending a birthday party over the weekend, authorities said Sunday. Investigators fear she may have been kidnapped.

Three-year-old Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney, was playing with other children at an outdoor birthday party at around 8:30 p.m. Saturday when she suddenly disappeared, said Birmingham Police Department officers.

Investigators said she may have been abducted by a man and woman driving a dark-colored SUV, possibly a Toyota with a brown or discolored bumper. Police said they detained a person of interest for questing in the case late Sunday evening.

"I want her back bad, and I’d do anything to have my baby back," Dominique McKinney, Kamille's father, told Birmingham ABC affiliate WBMA-TV. "And it’s going to get deeper than this, the city is already locked down so y’all need to bring my baby back."

Birmingham police released photos of the suspect at a convenience store on Sunday evening.

Birmingham Police Department

The Amber Alert issued by state authorities on Saturday said the toddler is considered to be in "extreme danger."

"We still have hot leads right now and we're following up on those as we speak," Birmingham Police Department Deputy Chief Scott Praytor told reporters Sunday. "We want to find Kamille as quick as possible and we want to get her back to her family and that's our priority."

The department is working to acquire video and photos from the scene to help with the investigation, he said, urging anyone with footage from the birthday party to turn it over immediately.

"Of all the resources that we have at our disposal, there's nothing more important than the community," Praytor said. "We've had cases that have been broken by people that didn't think they saw anything until they came forward and told us what they knew."

"They didn't know it was a valuable piece of the puzzle. So you may think you don't know anything about it, but you may have the piece that we're looking for. We want all information," he added.

Kamille, who is black, was described as about 3 feet tall weighing 60 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. Investigators said anyone with information should contact Birmingham police or Crime Stoppers immediately.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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