News Archives - Mass Shooting News

Democratic candidate admits she lied about saving Pulse massacre victims:


A former Democratic candidate for the Florida State House of Representatives has admitted that she lied about being a physician who helped victims of the 2016 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub. Elizabeth McCarthy, a lesbian, is also being fined $3,094.95 for committing the third-degree felony of representing herself as a medical professional without being licensed.

Soon after announcing her candidacy to the State House, McCarthy began telling people that she was a doctor at Orlando Regional Medical Center and had treated 32 patients the night of the Pulse shooting and removed a total of 77 bullets. She described patients being lined up “like an assembly line.”

Local newspaper Florida Politics began an investigation into McCarthy’s claims in June after she had told the story of the Pulse shooting at two different political events being hosted by U.S. Rep. Darren Soto. The newspaper reported that they were not able to verify her claims, which sparked an investigation by the Florida Department of Health.

McCarthy initially balked when questioned about her resume but ultimately announced that she would be remaining in the political race citing the investigation against her as a “smear campaign.” Unable to provide documentation or proof of her claims, however, the Democratic Party withdrew their support of McCarthy and she announced the end of her candidacy at the end of June.

Further maintaining that she was telling the truth, McCarthy, 50, said of the end of her campaign, “After thoughtful contemplation, due to professional obligations, I am withdrawing as a Democratic candidate seeking the nomination and election in Florida House District 28.” She further stated that the scrutiny she was under made it impossible for her to continue.

However, after the Florida Health Department completed their investigation this week, McCarthy admitted she had been lying. According to an affidavit released on Thursday by the Florida Department of Health McCarthy eventually told investigators, “It is a false statement, I just made it up.”

When pressed to explain why she would fabricate a career and story to misguide people of the community, McCarthy said that she was “portraying a life that wasn’t true and wanted to be somebody in the community, and I’m sorry, I’m sorry that I gave any impersonation, I knew it was wrong and I should have stopped, by no means did I ever mean to put anybody in jeopardy.”

McCarthy also made several other unverifiable claims including that she attended Florida State University, the University of Florida, and the University of Central Florida. She further claimed to have played college basketball for two of the schools. None of the colleges could verify that she had ever attended.



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CNN Slimes Trump as Responsible for Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting


CNN’s New Day ventured into preposterous territory on Friday morning when co-host Alisyn Camerota pinned the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting on Donald Trump. Camerota comments may be a new low even for CNN as she ignored this key point: The shooter went out of his way to say how much he DISLIKED the President.

The co-host was adamant that Trump was responsible for inciting both the attempted bombings of various news outlets and Democratic congress members, as well as the mass shooting carried out at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue:

Camerota’s ignorant, but typical of CNN’s cheap attempts to blame everything on Donald Trump. Regarding the President and this shooter, The Intelligencer wrote in October of last year:

The panel began the sickening segment by bashing GOP members of Congress for their unwillingness to break off from the President and denounce him as a racist. CNN law enforcement analyst Josh Campbell then went on to say that the President could potentially incite violence if he continued to use this rhetoric. Campbell wrapped up by falsely claiming that the President “tells people it’s okay to hate people”:

Talking heads on CNN regularly complain about the animosity in American politics in the Trump era. Their attempts to paint Trump as a villainous dictator who has caused rise of hatred and bigotry is partly to blame for the animosity itself. The liberal media’s rhetoric and disdain for conservatives gave birth to the Trump movement they despise so much.

CNN New Day
07/19/2019
8:09 AM

JOHN BERMAN: Does it show that, you know, we always hear Republicans feel like they can’t do anything, the President tweets what he tweets and we just have to watch it, but does this show there are times if they band together, if they speak up that they can get him to back off?

KRISTEN POWERS [CNN POLITICAL ANALYST]: Yes. But the point is I think they’re much more interested in getting themselves re-elected, and they’re not as offended by this as I frankly think that they should be. Right, I think there’s so many things he does that are so problematic separate from the race issue. I mean, t’s the authoritarianism, cozying up with authoritarians all around the world, all the different things that he does, and they just decide what’s more important is basically not pushing back against the President, what’s important is me getting re-elected.

JOSH CAMPBELL [CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST]: Can I also just say, and see things not politically but through the lens of public safety and I think that’s one aspect of this as well that we should probably talk more about as a country, and that is, you know, the nature of the President’s words and how that might incite people to violence. Our colleague Sarah Schneider had a great piece this week, talking about how, you know, there are people out there using the President’s own words to discriminate against people. And we know in the past that’s potentially an issue, when you have the commander in chief that tells people it’s okay to hate people, you know, listen to my own words and use them, that could be dangerous in this country.

ALISYN CAMEROTA: We’ve already seen it. We’ve seen it!

CAMPBELL: We have. But we have to keep talking about it.

CAMEROTA: I understand, but I just want to remind people that the guy in the van that was festooned with all the Trump stickers, sent bombs that he thought were active. This wasn’t a false alarm. He meant to send bombs that would go off to news organizations and to leading Democrats, and the guy at the Tree of Life synagogue, the mass shooter used the same terminology that the President had used and talked about how much he liked that.

CAMPBELL: Right, and after this happens the President will back down just a little bit for maybe a day or week so, and then goes right back to it.

POWERS: It’s also not that much of a back down, right? It’s not – I mean the damage is done, and he’s not apologizing. He’s not saying that this was wrong, “I shouldn’t have said that, I was in a bad mood and did some bad tweets, and actually this is un-American, and of course this is their home, and America belongs to everybody.” That’s not what he did. He just sort of pretended like: What? They were chanting? I didn’t really hear that.

ANNA PALMER [SENIOR DC CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO]: This is strategy he’s done several times, though. I mean, wrote a story up on Politico today about this is not the first time the President goes really far and then kinda gets some heat and then takes a little step back.

BERMAN: And it’s not the first time that he takes a step back and then un-steps the step back. He’s on Twitter right now sort of equivocating on the whole thing. People can go look for themselves.

CAMPBELL: But the more this happens, he makes the job of law enforcement harder. He makes the job of the Capital Police harder, who have to protect these members of Congress that are now in his verbal cross hairs, hoping, God forbid, that doesn’t turn into reality.

CAMEROTA: Such a great point, thank you very much Josh. And ladies, thank you also for the all the perspective.



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Initiative would require Oregon gun owners lock guns, be liable for damages


Oregon gun owners may be required to safely lock or store their firearms or face liability risks, under a proposed ballot initiative filed Thursday.

The proposal mimics a failed attempt to put the same gun safety reform proposal before voters in 2018. That year, advocates began the ballot process too late and missed a deadline to get the initiative on the November 2018 ballot.

The new version, which backers aim to put on the November 2020 ballot, is championed by the same group, including two relatives of victims of the 2012 Clackamas Town Center shooting.

Backers would need 112,020 signatures to put the question to voters late next year.

If Initiative Petition 40 qualifies for the ballot and is adopted, it would require Oregon gun owners to store and transfer weapons in tamper-proof locked boxes or with trigger locks. It would also require gun owners to report lost or stolen guns to law enforcement within 24 hours of the loss or face liability.

Henry Wessinger, president of nonprofit advocacy group State of Safety Action, which backs the proposal, said safe gun storage requirements were part of the omnibus gun bill that Democrats killed in the 2019 Legislature to end a Republican walkout. Wessinger said the group believes Democratic lawmakers will bring the proposal back in the 2020 legislative session.

The ballot initiative is a backup if legislation fails again, he said.

Wessinger said a statewide poll the group conducted found 65% of voters supported the measure in 2018. He also said 75% of gun owners already use safe storage procedures.

The man who killed two shoppers at Clackamas Town Center was said to have taken his friend’s guns without permission. The friend only noticed his semi-automatic rifle was missing after the fatal shootings had taken place.

“If everyone had safe storage, you would have less teens who have access to bringing guns to schools and less people dying by firearm suicide,” Wessinger said.

His two co-petitioners are Jenna Pssssssss, daughter of Cindy Yuille, and Paul XXX, brother-in-law of Name Name. Yuille and Name both died from the mass shooting at the mall.

The Oregon Firearms Federation, which opposes the measure, described it as “dangerous and vindictive,” in a statement Thursday. The group said the liability places an unfair burden on the gun owner.

“As has been the case in all previous ballot measures and failed legislation, the measure contains not one single word about stiffer penalties for people who actually steal guns,” the statement continued. “In effect, you face greater liability than the thief who stole your firearm.”

State of Safety Action indicated it will pay signature-gatherers, according to filings with the Secretary of State. Wessinger said his group will not use paid circulators to collect the qualifying 1,000 signatures needed to begin the ballot title drafting process but may deploy them in the future. State of Safety Action is donation-funded.

— McKenna Ross

mross@oregonian.com

503-221-5776; @mckenna_ross_

Visit subscription.oregonlive.com/newsletters to get Oregonian/OregonLive journalism delivered to your email inbox.



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Man Sentenced to 15 Months for Racist Harvard Threats


A man who threatened Harvard’s Black Convocation event by encouraging a mass shooting or bombing at the university was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison, The Boston Globe reports. Twenty-five-year-old Nicholas Zuckerman pleaded guilty to making social media posts in which he expressed his anger at the convocation event and commented on one Harvard post saying, “If the blacks only ceremony happens, then I encourage violence and death at it. I’m thinking two automatics with extendo clips.” Zuckerman also commented with the hashtag #bombharvard multiple times on a Harvard Instagram post. Prosecutors had originally sought an 18-month sentence.



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South Bend community gathers in honor of a Kelly’s Pub shooting victim


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SOUTH BEND, Ind. – South Bend community members held a vigil for Brandon Williams on Thursday, who was shot and killed in the deadly mass shooting at Kelly’s Pub in June.

10 people were injured in addition to Williams’ death.

Some are saying that anyone who knows something needs to come forward.

“I don’t know of any way you can make people come forward if they don’t feel safe and comfortable in doing so and that’s one of the tragedies in something like this because there are definitely people who know who pulled the trigger and took this life but they’re for whatever reason they won’t come forward,” Michael Elliot of On-Site Prayer Ministry said.

No arrests have been made as of yet and police have yet to reveal if there are any known suspects.

Anyone with any information on the shooting is encouraged to contact the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit.



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Longshoreman gets 35 years in shooting after 2018 Mother


A New Orleans man who killed his ex-girlfriend’s new beau while a nearby second-line parade was breaking up last Mother’s Day pleaded guilty and received a 35-year sentence on Thursday, prosecutors said.

Donnell Brown III, who was set to go to trial next week on second-degree murder and other counts, received the sentence under an agreement with prosecutors after pleading guilty to an amended count of manslaughter in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court.

Officials said Brown, a 22-year-old longshoreman, killed 35-year-old Herbert Foster III in the 1400 block of Lafreniere Street on the evening of May 13, around the time the annual second-line wound down nearby after a march up St. Bernard Avenue.

Prosecutors said Brown had once dated Foster’s new girlfriend. Earlier in the day, Brown threatened the woman with a gun and hit her with a bottle, prosecutors said.

Foster’s 14-year-old son stood nearby as his father was hit in the head, back and limbs and died on the scene, prosecutors said. Brown’s gunfire also left a 15-year-old girl who was a bystander with a wound to her left leg, which she survived.


A murder suspect whose premature release from jail sparked a blame game between Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro and a court o…

The shooting instantly evoked memories of the 2013 mass shooting at the Mother’s Day second-line, which wounded 19 people including writer Deborah Cotton, who eventually died of her injuries.

Cannizzaro’s office said that Foster’s family approved the plea deal. District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro called the case a reminder that much of the city’s violence is avoidable.

“Resolving disputes with handguns and violence never ends well. Now we have one family mourning the loss of a loved one who was gunned down in front of his 14-year-old son. And another lamenting the decades in prison this gunman deserves for his irresponsible and deadly actions,” he said in a statement.

Assistant District Attorneys Michael Trummel and Daniel Smart prosecuted the case. Brown was represented by James Brockway and Mariah Holder of the Orleans Public Defenders.


Donnell Brown III, accused of killing 35-year-old Herbert Foster III and injuring a 15-year-old girl in a shooting following a Mother’s Day se…



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How To Save Everyone: Doc who Saved Hundreds After Las Vegas Mass Shooting Trains Colleagues in Brooklyn – BKLYNER


FLATBUSH — On the night of the mass shooting at the Las Vegas Harvest Festival in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and wounded several hundred, Dr. Kevin Menes was on duty at nearby Sunrise Hospital. There, Dr. Menes, a night shift physician, and his colleagues were responsible for saving roughly 200 gunshot victims after they arrived at the hospital.

“I just happened to be scheduled that night,” Menes, 41, told Bklyner Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Menes came to SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in Flatbush to impart the knowledge he learned on that night two years ago to emergency medicine residents. SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, notably, is the lead institution in a 17-member coalition responsible for coordinating mass casualty emergency preparedness in Brooklyn, making it all the more important its residents receive training on the matter.

Dr. Kevin Menes teaching medical students about mass casualty preparedness (Image by Marcos Lainez of Downstate Health Sciences University)

“We didn’t teach this, this was not a standard part of our core curriculum, but more recently, it’s being written about, people are lecturing on it, people are having to prepare for these mass-casualty incidents,” Dr. Teresa Smith, director of the Emergency Medicine Residency Program at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, said in an interview following the Dr. Menes’ teaching session.

“Whether it be natural disasters, whether it be mass shootings, it’s not about if it’s going to happen to you, but when it is … so we are preparing physicians for what can potentially happen.”

Dr. Teresa Smith after Wednesday’s training session (Image by Sam Raskin/ Bklyner)

Wednesday’s conference, hospital officials said, was attended by about 40 residents and 40 other medical students. What did they learn from Menes?

Dr. Menes explained that, as of now, “there is very little written out what to do” in the emergency room in the aftermath of a mass shooting. He taught residents Wednesday morning “the mechanical portions of what would be expected … if a large mass casualty ended up coming to your hospital.”

“I’m trying to take the knowledge that I had from that night and try to share it to these doctors, so if they’re ever unfortunately in the same position, they would be able to handle it,” he said. “These are all very young ER doctors who are all still learning the ropes, and some of them haven’t even finished their residencies.”

“[Dr. Menes] saw 200 gunshot victims, most of whom were alive, show up at his door in an hour and that’s never happened before, and … what was important for these folks was for them to change the way they thought about how they planned for and deal with that,” said John Gillespie, director of media and public relations at the hospital. “Dr. Menes has a very revolutionary, unique way of thinking about that.”

Specifically, Dr. Menes explained that the method he used to save the roughly 200 people in 2017 was a departure from the centuries-old method of attending to a mass of people who have been seriously wounded through triage.

“The system that is in place for how we should save people in a mass casualty incident actually goes all the way back to the Napoleonic Wars,” he said.

Napoleon’s trauma surgeon, he said, employed a strategy of splitting up soldiers into separate categories that depended on the severity of their wounds: Red, yellow and green. Red patients had the most severe wounds and were the most susceptible to death due to their wounds, green patients could definitely be kept alive with treatment while yellow patients were somewhere in between.

In addition, this method included a separate category for people who were going to die no matter what.

“This sort of mentality has been what we’ve been doing for decades,” he said.

Dr. Kevin Menes (Image by Sam Raskin/ Bklyner)

But given advancements in technology, there’s no need to categorize wounded patients in this manner, according to Menes.

“This is the 1800s that we’re talking about, medicine has advanced in lightyears [since then], but we keep this same idea that we can’t save a subset of patients,” he said.

So on the night of  October 1, 2017, when hundreds were shot at the concert in Las Vegas, he threw out the old playbook and instead tried to save everyone possible, no matter how severely they were injured.

“That night we didn’t do it that way,” he said. “We figured, ‘How about if we just try to save everybody,’ and whoever doesn’t get saved just doesn’t get saved.”

“Despite having overwhelming odds, we were still able to save every single patient who came into the ER who we could have saved,” he continued. “Really, what we did is just our job. That’s what is expected of us. When people come to the emergency room, we’re going to save them, not just say ‘Hey you know what, you came at the wrong time, everybody else came too, so we’re just not going to try.’ It behooves us as a medical community to try to be able to save everyone.”



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Young Voter Money 2020: Democratic candidate John Delaney wants to pay you a carbon dividend to fight climate change


Former Maryland congressman John Delaney speaks during the first night of the Democratic presidential debate on June 26, 2019 in Miami, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

Many good policy ideas miss out on the daily cable news spin cycle — but it is not for a lack of trying. CNBC.com is interviewing presidential candidates this summer to gain insight on their vision and how it can impact the economic outlook for 37% of the 2020 electorate: millennials and Gen Z.

Set to be the first American generations to be worse off than their parents, facing the threat of climate change and struggling to pay for college, money matters matter to young voters in this election. This series is dedicated to giving every single candidate a platform to share their economic vision for America with the voters — and find out whether they prefer Hulu or Netflix.

John Delaney vital stats:

Former Representative John Delaney, 2020 presidential candidate, takes a selfie photograph with an attendee inside the NewBo City Market during the Progress Iowa Corn Feed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S., on Sunday, July 14, 2019.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Age: 56

Experience: Former congressman from Maryland’s 6th District (2013–19); co-founder of Health Care Financial Partners; founder of CapitalSource

Education: Columbia University, bachelor’s degree (1985); Georgetown Law, JD (1988)

Family: Married (April), four daughters

CNBC: According to a Harvard Institute of Politics poll, 53% of young voters (18–29) believe the government should do more to curb the effects of climate change even if it comes at the expense of the economy. What is one specific way your administration would give a competitive advantage to greener businesses and consumers?

Delaney: My proposal is to create a carbon fee and dividend, which is modeled after the legislation that I introduced in Congress. It was the only bipartisan bill on climate change in Congress, by the way. This puts a fee on carbon, which makes fossil fuels more expensive and less attractive, and it takes all the money generated from these fees, $3 trillion over 10 years, and gives it back to the American people in the form of a dividend. So in many ways it increases energy costs related to fossil fuels, which makes us use less fossil fuels. It takes all the money associated with those increases in energy cost and it gives it right back to the American people. So it goes out one pocket and in another. And what’s good about that is as a market mechanism to address climate change, which has been proven to work in Columbia University’s model, this proposal would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 92%.

CNBC: According to Morning Consult, Amazon is Gen Z’s fourth most-loved brand. However, politicians from Donald Trump to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have attacked the brand. Is there a disconnect between leaders and young voters surrounding tech companies?

Delaney: Yes, I think the problem with politics these days is, people just want to make villains as opposed to solving problems. Obviously, we’re off in a world where these technology companies have been allowed to go around things in society that they don’t like. For a lot of young voters, these technology companies have been enabling a way of communicating and way of interacting and a way of doing commerce that is very important to them. A lot of out-of-step politicians seem to think that these technology companies are all bad.

I think politicians underestimate how these companies have fundamentally changed people’s lives in ways that are pretty extraordinary. I think younger voters really only grew up in a world where they knew these things.

There are definitely problems with technology companies, mostly around privacy, in my opinion, and the fact that they don’t protect our privacy and we haven’t passed privacy laws. But I think politicians underestimate how these companies have fundamentally changed people’s lives in ways that are pretty extraordinary. I think younger voters really only grew up in a world where they knew these things.

I think there’s a disconnect between political leaders and young voters around a lot of things related to the private sector. For example, a lot of politicians continue to attack big banks. While I’m not a defender of big banks, my sense is younger voters have had generally pretty good experiences with banks. They’ve invested heavily in technology platforms, and they’re pretty easy to use. Most young voters have had no bad experience with big banks related to their day-to-day banking services. So there’s another example.

CNBC: The Parkland Students have changed the way Americans discuss gun control. In the wake of mass shooting after mass shooting, would you support a federal buyback program for guns (and if so, how would you pay for it)?

Delaney: I’m not against the buyback program, but I think the best thing we can do in the short term to make a difference is to have universal background checks. We should put limitations on high-powered assault weapons and also pass more red flag laws which allow law enforcement and the judicial system to actually take guns from people with mental illnesses who have posed a significant threat to themselves or society.

CNBC: Currently, Americans have $1.5 trillion in outstanding college debt. What is a more realistic option: canceling student debt or making college tuition free?

Delaney: Well, the more realistic option of those two is to make public tuition free as part of a national service program. So I think there’s a potential to make tuition free at public universities as part as young people doing national service. I think that is the most realistic option.

CNBC: According to Gallup, 4 in 10 Americans embrace some form of socialism. Do you think this is a realistic vision for the future of the American economy?

Delaney: No, in its pure form, absolutely not, but I also think these terms don’t mean much to most Americans, because the truth of the matter is, we’re a free market economy that has strong social programs, and that’s really the model of the United States of America. I don’t think we need to throw out that model. I think we need to reaffirm it, updated for the world we live in.

Rapid Fire

Netflix or Hulu: Netflix

Apple Music or Spotify: Apple Music

Who is on your music playlist? Bruce Springsteen

What was your first job? Landscaper

What was your college major? Double major in biology and English

Favorite TV show: Star Trek

What is the best financial advice you have ever received from your parents? Save a little bit every week.

If you were a Gen Z individual entering the workforce, what sector would you enter? Energy

Should marijuana be legalized nationally? Yes or no only! I think the federal government should remove it from Schedule 1 and then the legalization question is up to the states.

Editor’s note: The interview with John Delaney was transcribed in full and edited for clarity.



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Steve Kerr: 'The GOP has sold its soul to Trump'


Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr on Wednesday called out the GOP for selling its “soul” to President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator’s ties: report House unravels with rise of ‘Les Enfants Terrible’ Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE, saying that Democrats needed to make 2020 about unifying the country. 

“I believe the vast majority of Americans want a unifying, moral leader,” Kerr said on Twitter, linking to a New York Times opinion piece titled, “Trump’s going to get re-elected, isn’t he?”

“The GOP has sold its soul to Trump, so the Dems have to get this right in 2020. Make this about jobs and unification. Period.”

I believe the vast majority of Americans want a unifying, moral leader.The GOP has sold its soul to Trump, so the Dems have to get this right in 2020. Make this about jobs and unification. Period.‘Trump’s Going to Get Re-elected, Isn’t He?’ https://t.co/DZ6EoRbPdI

— Steve Kerr (@SteveKerr) July 18, 2019

Kerr has repeatedly denounced Trump and his administration and has been outspoken about issues such as gun violence for years. His latest remarks came just days after he urged Democrats to denounce the president’s attacks against a group of minority congresswomen as “racist.”

“Come on members of Congress, call out the president for his racist tweets this morning,” Kerr said on Sunday. “Show some leadership. It’s the job you were elected to do.”

Come on members of Congress, call out the president for his racist tweets this morning. Show some leadership. It’s the job you were elected to do.

— Steve Kerr (@SteveKerr) July 15, 2019

Trump sparked an uproar earlier this week by telling four freshman House Democrats to “go back” to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” before speaking out about how the United States should be governed.  

Trump also claimed that the congresswomen — Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarBen Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist Trump thanks ‘vicious young Socialist Congresswomen’ for his poll numbers House expected to vote Wednesday on Green’s impeachment effort MORE (D-Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOmar responds to ‘send her back’ chant with Maya Angelou quote Trump blasts minority Democrats, rally crowd chants ‘send her back’ Trump refers to Ocasio-Cortez as just ‘Cortez’ because it ‘takes too much time’ to say full name MORE (D-N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBen Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist Trump thanks ‘vicious young Socialist Congresswomen’ for his poll numbers House expected to vote Wednesday on Green’s impeachment effort MORE (D-Mich) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyBen Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist Trump thanks ‘vicious young Socialist Congresswomen’ for his poll numbers CNN’s Cuomo spars with Kris Kobach over whether Trump’s tweet was racist MORE (D-Mass.) – “came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe.” Omar, who came to the U.S. with her family as a refugee from Somalia, is the only one of the four born outside the U.S. 

The House on Tuesday voted to condemn the remarks as racist. 

Kerr has consistently weighed in on controversial issues during Trump’s time in the White House. He wore a “Vote For Our Lives” shirt before Game 2 of the NBA Finals following a mass shooting in Virginia. 

“The shirt is a reminder that the only way we can get out of this mess is to actually vote, and to vote for people who are going to be willing to create some change in our gun laws in our country,” he said.

 

 



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Covina police to houses of worship: Here’s what you need to know about mass shootings


Claremont’s Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church doesn’t have a set plan in case of an active shooter.

Tom Shannon, the church’s safety committee chair, said congregants had discussed safety planning but never formalized a set protocols for these situations.

Other churches in East San Gabriel Valley are in the same predicament.

How can congregation leaders prevent active shooters? What can they do to protect their worshipers? These questions were discussed before 100 attendees, including congregation leaders, at a symposium hosted by Covina Police Department on Wednesday specifically to address the needs of houses of worship.

Veronica Dragalin, Assistant U.S. Attorney Hate Crimes Coordinator, presenting on federal perspectives on hate crime trends at the House of Worship Symposium on Wednesday, July 17. (Staff photo by Stephanie Lai, San Gabriel Valley Tribune/SCNG)

Covina police Chief John Curley leads the discussion at the House of Worship Symposium on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. Covina, California. (Staff photo by Stephanie Lai, San Gabriel Valley Tribune/SCNG)

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Karen Ruckert, assistant U.S. Attorney Civil Rights Section chief, presenting on religious institution rights and legal protection at the House of Worship Symposium on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Staff photo by Stephanie Lai, San Gabriel Valley Tribune/SCNG)

Covina Lt. Dave Foster presenting on protecting faith based facilities from active shooters at the House of Worship Symposium on Wednesday, July 17. (Staff photo by Stephanie Lai, San Gabriel Valley Tribune/SCNG)

Covina Mayor John King makes an opening remark at the House of Worship Symposium on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. Covina, California. (Staff photo by Stephanie Lai, San Gabriel Valley Tribune/SCNG)

Diana Manzano-Garcia and Veronica Dragalin during a panel discussion at the House of Worship Symposium on Wednesday, July 17. (Staff photo by Stephanie Lai, San Gabriel Valley Tribune/SCNG)

“This is a topic we don’t think about often,” Covina Mayor John King said. “It’s dark. It’s terrifying. It’s challenging to think through, and the fact that we’re all here together to work through this discussion is encouraging. It’s hopeful.”

In light of national shootings in places of worship, Covina police Chief John Curley initiated a discussion with local congregational leaders and representatives from the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Anti-Defamation League and the Area D Office of Disaster Management, comprised of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and 14 law enforcement agencies in the San Gabriel Valley which help each other when an incident demands a strong response.

The most recent Southern California shooting occurred in a Poway Jewish Synagogue, killing one and injuring three on April 27.

Just last month, a man disrupted a Sunday church service in the San Fernando Valley by pacing and performing Nazi salutes.

Presenters on Wednesday discussed topics ranging emergency planning advice, prevention, protecting houses of worship, hate crimes and resources to report them.

Their goal was to grow relationships between congregations and law enforcement so they can collaborate when making emergency plans, Curley said in an interview.

Covina Police Department Lt. Dave Foster offered emergency planning tips, informing the congregation of the plan, identifying safe spaces, creating a security team, utilizing a notification system, identifying vulnerable spots in facilities and having highly visible ushers and greeters in populated areas to monitor people.

“Most of these incidents are finished before the police even arrive,” Foster said, noting the importance of creating a line of communication with the authorities. “Your plan needs to account for this time element.”

Foster suggested utilizing ushers and greeters to evaluate the mental state of service attendees as they enter and establish relationships, so they can identify if a person is acting strange.

In a panel discussion, a senior investigative researcher for ADL, Joanna Mendelson, said churches can increase lighting, locks and security personnel, but half the battle is making the congregation aware of a formal plan.

Some recommendations are not costly, Mendelson added, such as creating a safety team composed of capable adults who can aid in emergencies.

And, for anyone who was wondering, FBI Acting Supervising Special Agent Ronald Schloegel believes having a registered weapon in facilities would not increase church safety.

Schloegel and other representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s office also spoke about religious institutions’ rights and resources to report hate crimes and incidents. The level of hate crimes increased by 13% between 2017 and 2018, he added, with nearly 28% of all hate crimes religiously based.



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