Beyond the county: Experts — Officers likely won’t be charged despite recording, Clinton seeks support from women; Hurricane Matthew slams Haiti, takes aim at US East Coast | TheUnion.com
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Beyond the county: Experts — Officers likely won’t be charged despite recording, Clinton seeks support from women; Hurricane Matthew slams Haiti, takes aim at US East Coast

A image from video from a dash-mounted camera in a Sacramento Police Department vehicle, shows Joseph Mann, right, run past moments before he is shot and killed by officers, July 11, 2016 in Sacramento, Calif. The Mann family is demanding that the officers involved in the shooting of Joseph Mann, 50, be charged with murder and that the U.S. Department of Justice open a civil rights investigation of the police department. (Sacramento Police Department via AP)
AP | Sacramento Police Dept.

State

Experts: Officers likely won’t be charged despite recording

A dashboard camera recording of two California police officers discussing hitting a suspect armed with a knife with their police car before appearing to try to run him down does not make it more likely that they will face criminal charges in the fatal shooting of the man that ended the encounter, legal experts said Tuesday.



The officers may have reasonably feared for their lives or public safety, justifying any decision to use their vehicle to hit the man, said Philip Stinson, an associate professor in the criminal justice program at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

“If you and I mowed somebody over, prosecutors would start with the assumption it was murder or manslaughter and work back from there,” he said. “With a police officer, the assumption they start with is, ‘Was this a justified use of deadly force?’”




Prosecutors will have to evaluate the use of the police car and subsequent shooting to determine whether force was justified in each case, he said.

Sacramento police have said Joseph Mann was waving a knife in the air and doing karate moves in the street just before officers responded. On police 911 recordings, callers said Mann also had a gun in his waistband and appeared to be mentally ill.

The officers can be heard on the recording saying, “I’m gonna hit him” and “OK, go for it” before appearing to drive their cruiser twice at Mann, who managed to scramble out of its way both times. The officers then stopped the cruiser, got out and pursued Mann on foot, and shot him 14 times.

Police found a knife but no gun after Mann was killed.

LAPD releases video showing suspect with gun before shooting

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles police released surveillance video Tuesday showing an 18-year-old black suspect running from police while holding what appears to be a gun in his left hand just before he was fatally shot by officers in a death that has generated rowdy protests.

The footage shows a man crouching behind an SUV and pulling a handgun from the waistband of his sweatpants. He then tucks the gun back into his waistband and runs around the corner of a strip mall as officers run after him.

The footage posted to the police department’s YouTube channel does not show officers shoot Carnell Snell because that location was not within the viewing range of the surveillance camera. But police said the video supports the account Chief Charlie Beck gave Monday justifying the shooting.

Beck said Snell had a fully loaded semi-automatic handgun in one hand and turned toward officers when they fired Saturday.

The video was made public just as Black Lives Matter organizers gathered Tuesday morning to protest Snell’s killing at a meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission. The board of civilian overseers convened at midmorning and was later closed to the public after demonstrators interrupted speakers and shouted for Beck’s resignation.

Google gets aggressive with new phones, other gadgets

SAN FRANCISCO — Google is ratcheting up its rivalry with Apple and Amazon in unveiling new smartphones and an internet-connected speaker sporting a digital assistant that the company hopes to make indispensable.

The devices unveiled Tuesday are part of Google’s bold move to design and sell its own hardware, instead of just supplying Android and other software for other companies to make products. Google’s previous attempts at hardware have had limited distribution and included such high-profile flops as its internet-connected Glass headgear.

This time around, Google is betting big that it has matured to the point that it can design software and hardware to work seamlessly with each other – an art that Apple mastered during the past 15 years as it mesmerized consumers with its iPods, iPhones, iPads and Macs.

Borrowing another page from Apple’s book, Google is backing its expanded product lineup with the biggest marketing campaign in its 18-year history. The company isn’t disclosing how much it will spend, but made it clear the ads touting products “Made by Google” will be ubiquitous during the next few months.

“They have done some advertising in the past, but it’s never been with this kind of ‘let us take care of everything for you’ way,” Gartner analyst Brian Blau said. “This is more like Apple’s way of doing things.”

Nation

Clinton seeks support from women in suburban Philadelphia

HAVERFORD, Pa. — Hillary Clinton appealed to voting mothers Tuesday at a town hall meeting in Philadelphia’s suburbs, outlining ways she hopes to curb gun violence as president and provide paid family leave and sick days for struggling working moms.

“It should not be so hard to be a young parent. And it should not be so hard on the other end of the age spectrum to take care of your loved one,” Democrat Clinton said in a question-and-answer session with supporters, making the case to female voters who have periodically backed Republicans in past presidential races.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, sought to shore up support in Arizona after finding himself on the defensive with revelations that his massive financial losses could have allowed him to avoid paying federal income taxes for years. He was also grappling with new allegations of boorish treatment of women and criticism of his comments about veterans’ health.

The issues were certain to take the spotlight Tuesday night at the first vice presidential debate between Republican nominee Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Democratic nominee Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.

First lady Michelle Obama joined in, needling Trump at a rally in North Carolina. Heaping praise on Clinton, Mrs. Obama said, “She doesn’t cry foul” and tapped her microphone in an apparent mock of Trump, who said his microphone in the first presidential debate was defective.

Plan to revamp Chicago police misconduct probes gets review

CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to create a new agency that would investigate police shootings and police misconduct allegations drew sharp criticism Tuesday from some City Council members who said the proposed ordinance lacks necessary transparency and oversight over a department long plagued by a reputation of misconduct and brutality.

Emanuel’s plan, while addressing some concerns about the independence of the new Civilian Office of Police Accountability, does not create a civilian board whose job would include selecting a permanent head of the agency. That’s something critics of the department have said is crucial to restoring public trust in Emanuel’s leadership and the police force in the wake of the now-famous video of a white police officer fatally shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald.

Instead, Emanuel postponed plans to create such a board, with the city’s lawyer, Stephen Patton telling aldermen on Tuesday that would be ask to approve a resolution on Wednesday that calls for an ordinance on the new board to be completed and go before the City Council early next year. That means IPRA administrator Sharon Fairley would head the new agency on an interim basis.

The mayor’s ordinance to create the new agency went before a joint meeting of the council’s Committee on Budget and Government Operations and Committee on Public Safety. The recommendation of both committees is expected to go before the full City Council for a final vote on Wednesday.

The ordinance would create a new agency to replace the Independent Police Review Authority, which has been widely criticized for not completing investigations in a timely manner and nearly always siding with officers.

Batman, balloons and Ninja turtles at 6-year-old boy’s wake

TOWNVILLE, S.C. — Townspeople and classmates filled a church Tuesday evening to say goodbye to a 6-year-old boy who died in a school shooting, filing past a casket adorned with large photos, balloons and a life-size figure of one of his favorite superheroes, Batman.

Authorities say a teen shot at a back door of the Townville Elementary school last Wednesday as a class left for recess, hitting Jacob, a classmate and a first-grade teacher. The teacher, shot in the shoulder, and the student, shot in the foot, were treated at hospitals and released the day of the shooting. Jacob died on Saturday.

News that a third student had been injured came Monday night in a news release issued by Solicitor Chrissy Adams. That student, who was on the playground during the shooting, did not need medical attention, Anderson County Sheriff’s Lt. Sheila Cole said Tuesday. Because of the student’s injuries, however, Adams lodged another charge of attempted murder against the teen, who is 14.

The teen now faces two murder charges: for Jacob’s death and that of the teen’s father, whom police say he fatally shot before driving to the school. He faces three attempted-murder charges in connection to the survivors. The teen is charged as a juvenile, and Adams has not said whether she will seek to try him as an adult. The Associated Press generally does not identify juveniles charged with crimes.

Jacob’s relatives said a favorite superhero was Batman and that he himself told them he was out saving Townville while everyone slept.

They invited visitors to attend the visitation wearing superhero costumes, and both children and adults obliged. At least one visitor came dressed in a full-size Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume, while others wore T-shirts with the Superman and Batman logos, and placed Ninja turtle toys beside the casket, the inside of which reads “God’s Super Hero.” Some family members wore blue T-shirts with Jacob’s photo on the front and “Team Jacob” printed on the back.

World

Hurricane Matthew slams Haiti, takes aim at US East Coast

PETIT-GOAVE, Haiti — Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti’s southwestern tip with howling, 145 mph winds Tuesday, tearing off roofs in the poor and largely rural area, uprooting trees and leaving rivers bloated and choked with debris. At least nine deaths were blamed on the storm during its week-long march across the Caribbean.

Forecasters said Matthew could hit Florida toward the end of the week and push its way up the East Coast over the weekend. The forecast triggered a rush by Americans to stock up on food, gasoline and other emergency supplies.

The dangerous Category 4 storm — at one point the most powerful hurricane in the region in nearly a decade — blew ashore around dawn in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, hitting a corner of Haiti where many people live in shacks of wood or concrete blocks. It unloaded heavy rain as it swirled on toward a lightly populated part of Cuba and the Bahamas.

Damage in the hardest-hit part of Haiti appeared to be widespread, but because of spotty communications, blocked roads and washed-out bridges, the full extent was not immediately clear. Nor was the number of deaths.

The country’s Civil Protection Agency said many homes were damaged or destroyed.

Syrian government press in their offensive on Aleppo

BEIRUT — Forces backing Syrian President Bashar Assad pressed their offensive Tuesday on Aleppo’s rebel-held zone from the south, after capturing areas on other fronts in recent days. As reinforcements arrived, including Shiite fighters from Iraq, the strategy appeared to be to retake rebel-held areas bit by bit, backed by massive Russian airpower, rather than risk a potentially costly all-out ground battle.

Tuesday’s offensive on the city’s besieged rebel-held eastern neighborhoods came a day after Washington suspended direct U.S.-Russian talks on a Syria cease-fire – a move U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry blamed on Russia’s rejection of diplomacy in favor of helping Assad’s government achieve a military victory over the rebels.

The latest tactic of whittling away at rebel-held areas of Aleppo rather than launching an all-out offensive has proved successful in the past: The government reasserted control of the suburbs of the capital, Damascus, and most of the central city of Homs using the strategy.

“The Syrian army and its allies are in a sustained offensive to recapture rebel-held eastern Aleppo,” wrote Robert Ford, a veteran diplomat and former ambassador to Syria.

“Unless the balance on the ground drastically shifts, the Assad regime will eventually retake from opposition fighters all of Aleppo and the outlying districts of Damascus,” wrote Ford, a fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington. “This may take months, but the balance is certainly in the Syrian government’s favor.”

Weird science: 3 win Nobel for unusual states of matter

How is a doughnut like a coffee cup? The answer helped three British-born scientists win the Nobel prize in physics Tuesday.

Their work could help lead to more powerful computers and improved materials for electronics.

David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz, who are now affiliated with universities in the United States, were honored for work in the 1970s and ‘80s that shed light on strange states of matter.

“Their discoveries have brought about breakthroughs in the theoretical understanding of matter’s mysteries and created new perspectives on the development of innovative materials,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.

Thouless, 82, is a professor emeritus at the University of Washington. Haldane, 65, is a physics professor at Princeton University in New Jersey. Kosterlitz, 73, is a physics professor at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and currently a visiting lecturer at Aalto University in Helsinki.


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