Kylen English: Feds not pursuing charges

Published: Friday, July 20, 2012 @ 5:09 PM
Updated: Friday, July 20, 2012 @ 7:43 PM

The U.S. Justice Department will not pursue federal criminal civil rights charges against Dayton police or the sheriff’s office concerning the death of Kylen English, federal officials announced late Friday afternoon.

There is insufficient evidence to pursue the charges in English’s death July 16, 2011, according to the justice department release.

English, 20, died after he escaped from a police cruiser while handcuffed, then jumped off the Salem Avenue bridge.

A U.S. Department of Justice investigation has cleared the Dayton Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office of misconduct in the July 16, 2011, death of Kylen English after he escaped a police cruiser by breaking out a window and jumped off the Salem Avenue bridge, falling 30 feet to rocks below on the flood plain of the Great Miami River.

“There is a lack of evidence to contradict the medical examiner’s finding that English committed suicide or to support allegations of misconduct by law enforcement that surfaced following Mr. English’s death,” the department wrote in an announcement released late Friday afternoon.

“There is insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges,” the announcement said.

Derrick Foward, president of Dayton unit of the NAACP, said the civil rights organization, which called for an independent federal investigation by the FBI, supported the decision. “When we called for the investigation, we also said we would support their decision. We feel saddened for his (English) family.”

Rachel Shaw, English’s mother said Friday she would not comment, referring a reporter to the family’s attorney who has filed a lawsuit against the city and a local hospital.

The attorney, James Greene III, said he was dismayed with the Justice Department’s conclusion. “There is an abysmal failure to do a sufficient examination,” he said, saying a medical expert hired by the family to review the coroner’s findings found no evidence that indicated English used his head or arms to break out the cruiser’s window.

“I’m pleased the Justice Department found our policies and procedures were never violated, not Mr. English’s civil rights,” Sheriff Phil Plummer said Friday evening.

“We thought an independent, outside investigation was important,” City Manager Tim Riordan said. “Our goal now is to move forward … to strengthen community-police relations and to create an environment that promotes safety, fairness and respect for all.”

A police officer was transporting English, 20, from Grandview Hospital to the Montgomery County Jail following an evaluation. As the cruiser turned onto the Salem Avenue bridge, police said the 6-foot, 210-pound English, seated unbelted in the back of the cruiser with his hands handcuffed behind his back, broke out the passenger-side window with his head, rolled out the window as the cruiser stopped and leaped over the bridge railing.

Seconds before breaking out the window, English is heard on the police cruiser’s audio-tape asking the officer, “Do you believe you go to heaven if you kill yourself?” and then “I want to die.”

The federal investigation is the third to conclude the death a suicide. A police investigation and a Montgomery County Coroner’s investigation came to the same conclusion. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation, finding no fault with the deputies’ actions while English was at the jail.

English had been arrested earlier in the day after he allegedly attempted to kick down the door of a relative of his girlfriend, who was in a back bedroom. Security video from the apartment hallway shows an enraged English kicking the door and screaming. After his arrest several blocks from the scene, English was taken to the jail.

Grainy, stop-action security video from the jail , showed English and the officer walking to the jail intake. While the officer was filling out the booking slip, English stood facing the cinderblock wall. The next frame, 3 seconds later, showed English slumped on the floor.

Police said English had slammed his head into the wall. With the help of deputies, the officer rushed English into a “shake down” room where he was checked by jail medical staff. The staff refused to accept English because his pupils were not responding properly to light, indicating a possible head injury. The officer then placed English back in his cruiser and took him to Grandview where he was evaluated and medically cleared.

During his trip from the hospital, the officer turned on his in-car audio and the forward-facing video system, telling English he was being recorded. After English’s last statement that he wanted to die, the audio picked up several bangs — English apparently using his head to hit the right-rear passenger window. As the office pulled over to the side of the bridge and stopped the cruiser, the video showed shards of safety glass falling on the cruiser’s hood. The officer is heard shouting as he sees English launch himself out the window and over the bridge railing.

Some members of the family initially told police and the Dayton Daily News that English suffered from depression and “self-harming behavior.” Family members later denied making the statements.

Other family members alleged police had Tased and beaten English. Neither the videotapes, audiotapes, the police investigation, the sheriff’s investigation, the coroner’s autopsy nor the Justice Department investigation found any evidence to support those allegations.

Greene, the family’s attorney, said their medical expert concluded English died from the fall from the bridge.

In their lawsuit, the family alleges both the hospital and the police were negligent. Greene said Friday police had a duty to keep English safe while in their custody, a duty they failed.

U.S. Navy sailor sketched Pearl Harbor attack before he was killed in action

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 8:40 AM

VIDEO: Sailor Sketched Pearl Harbor Attack Before He was Killed in Action

Leonard Franklin Tomlinson lived and served in an age before social media, and the image he left behind is less ephemeral and certainly more meaningful than the slew of selfies we all serve up today.

>> PHOTOS: 'December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy'

>> Click here or scroll down to read more

Boy exchanges prized Christmas gift to help homeless 

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 8:46 AM

Boy Gives Up Game Console To Help Those In Need For Holidays

An Xbox is tops for many gamers’ holiday wish lists. 

Mikah Frye was no different, until he noticed homeless people outside during the cold Ohio weather.

His grandmother said he asked what homeless people do when it’s cold outside. So he came up with an answer: giving those who needed them a blanket to stave off the chill, WJW reported.

>> Read more trending news 

But he needed to find out how to pay for the gifts.

His grandmother suggested he give up one gift to help warm the homeless.

“He later said if the Xbox is $300, and the blankets are $10 then I can buy 30 blankets,” Mikah’s grandmother, Terry Brant,  told WJW.

Mikah’s family found themselves in a similar situation a few years ago. They had some financial difficulties and lost their home and had shelter thanks to the Access program, WJW reported.  

So far more than 60 blankets have been donated and have started to be given out to families in need. Each one has a message from Mikah that says, “They gave me a blanket, but I had to leave it. That’s why I want you to have your own blanket.”

He ends his note with “Today, I live in my own house, and someday you will too. Your friend Mikah.”

And while Mikah gave up his dream of an Xbox for those who need help, WJW reported that “Santa” is still trying to get the video game for the selfless child.

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 23: Guests get to check out the new Xbox One at the Microsoft Store with Chicago Bulls Legend Scottie Pippen at The Shops at North Bridge on November 23, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Microsoft)(Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Microsoft)

Fire department recreates adorable holiday card one year later

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 11:54 AM

FiredogPhotos via iStock
FiredogPhotos via iStock

A fire department in Oklahoma is warming hearts again with their special holiday card.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

Last year, the Durant Fire Department went viral with their 2016 holiday card, which featured children of the firefighters.

Six of the station’s 33 firefighters welcomed new babies within six months of each another.

This year, the department decided to keep the tradition going with an “updated” photo.

Babies Ava, Owen, Nash, Mitchell, Gus and Brevyn donned matching outfits on their fathers’ firetruck.

Gus’ mother, Shembra Wilson, told ABC News, “It was a lot harder this year because they’re more mobile. We’re all jumping up and down acting like morons to get the shot and they’re looking at us like, ‘What in the world?’”

The department has decided to continue the tradition annually “to watch them grow.”

Firefighters Set Up Adorable Shoot for Holiday Card

Five tips to keep your holiday packages safe from porch pirates

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 11:55 AM

How to Avoid Package Theft

Online shopping has made life easier for a lot of us and is especially handy during the holidays, but it’s also created more opportunities for thieves to prey on parcels left on our doorsteps.

>> Read more trending news

So beware the so-called porch pirates. They count on our being lax, but a little preparation can help thwart their plans and leave them empty-handed, said Gary Miliefsky, CEO of SnoopWall , a company that specializes in cybersecurity.

“A more sophisticated porch pirate might send you an SMS message or email with malware,” Miliefsky said. “That would let them gain access to your computer or smartphone, and they could install a RAT (Remote Access Trojan). Then, they can eavesdrop on your orders and deliveries.”

They also might be able to locate you through the geolocating feature on your phone, he said. That would tell them when you are away from home, providing the final link in their well-laid plan.

Police tell us thieves mark their calendars with notes that say such things as  "Package theft Wednesday."

“If they know you aren’t home and that a package is scheduled for delivery, it’s going to be easy for them to steal it,” Miliefsky said.

There are, however, ways around even cybercriminals. Miliefsky offers these tips for outwitting porch pirates and keeping packages safe:

• Get permission to ship all your packages to work. That way, they aren’t left unguarded at your doorstep for hours while anyone walking by could snatch them. If this arrangement works out, be sure to tell all your friends and family members to ship packages to your work address.

• Ask a friend or neighbor to receive your packages for you. You might not be home on workdays, but plenty of people are. Trusted friends who are retired or who work at home might be happy to let you have packages delivered to them for safekeeping.

• If a neighbor can’t receive your packages and you can’t get them at work, another option is available. Miliefsky suggests trying Doorman, a service that lets you arrange for a package to be held at a warehouse until you arrive home. Then you can arrange delivery for evening hours that better suit you.

• Disable geolocation on your smartphone so that thieves – or other hackers, for that matter – can’t track your location. There’s no need to make it easier for them.

• Set up a live recording video camera aimed at your porch. That could allow you to spot a theft as it happens and alert law enforcement officials, or at least provide you with video that might help identify the thieves.