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Deadly Charlottesville car attack: What we know now

Published: Monday, August 14, 2017 @ 4:24 PM
Updated: Monday, August 14, 2017 @ 4:24 PM

Alt-Right Rally in Virginia

Here's what we know so far about the deadly car attack on people protesting a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday: 

>> Who is James Alex Fields Jr., suspect in deadly Charlottesville car attack?

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March for Our Lives rallies taking place across the globe

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 9:07 AM

Victims of the Florida High School Mass Shooting

Marches and rallies are being held in the U.S. and around the world Saturday as part of the March for Our Lives event. The student-led movement is addressing the issues of gun violence and gun control, prompted by a series of deadly mass shooting in the U.S.

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The movement was sparked by student survivors of the Parkland High School mass shooting in Florida on Feb. 14, in which former student Nikolas Cruz, 19, killed 17 people and injured dozens. 

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Democrats hope marches can sway Congress on guns

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 12:00 AM

After watching lawmakers agree to two bills this week dealing with guns and school safety in the aftermath of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Democrats say the gun violence marches around the nation on Saturday have the chance to change the political dynamic on gun control in the Congress.

“Their hope gives me hope,” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) said of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and others who have joined in calling for action on gun violence.

“Their determination gives me determination,” Nelson said at a U.S. Capitol news conference, even as he and other Democrats again acknowledged that they are far from having the votes to press ahead with gun control plans.

Among the plans that Democrats have focused on in recent weeks include:

+ The Manchin-Toomey ‘universal background checks’ bill, which would require checks for almost all private gun sales.

+ A federal law raising the minimum age to purchase a weapon to 21, mirrored on a law just passed by the state of Florida.

+ A ban on the sale of weapons like the AR-15.

+ Limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines.

“We have an important role to play in insuring that no students should ever be afraid to walk down the hallway of their school,” said Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), whose district includes Parkland, Florida.

“It is our job, and everyone working in that building behind us, to pass laws, to keep our communities safe,” Deutch said at a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol.

But the last five weeks were also a reminder of the difficulty of acting on any gun-related legislation – no matter how minor it might be.

The “Fix NICS” bill approved this week as part of a giant spending bill was bipartisan, yet it also had some sharp opposition from Republicans in the House.

And that makes the idea of the ‘Buy 21’ bill, or any ban on assault weapons, difficult to see getting through the Congress, unless there is major change in the makeup of the U.S. House and Senate.

“You know the politics, but you got to start somewhere,” said Nelson. “This is the first step at the federal level.”

“There is no better example of the youth of our country becoming engaged, than in this march,” said Deutch.

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Mother crashed car into pole to prove to kids God is real, police say

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 9:24 PM

Bakari Warren, 25, is seen here in a mug shot. She’s jailed on a $22,000 bond on two charges of cruelty to children.
Gwinett County Sheriff’s Office
Bakari Warren, 25, is seen here in a mug shot. She’s jailed on a $22,000 bond on two charges of cruelty to children.(Gwinett County Sheriff’s Office)

Police say a mother intentionally crashed her SUV into a pole to prove to her two small children that God is real.

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Investigators say Bakari Warren, 25, told officers after the crash that she did it on purpose to show her kids that if they believe, God would protect them.

The crash and the 5- and 7-year-old kids’ explanation were all caught on camera. 

Police say Warren was driving northbound on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard when she crossed into the southbound lanes and drove head on into a concrete pole.

Sitting in a police car, her children explained what happened before the crash.

“You think she did it on purpose?” the officer asked.

>> Related: 12-year-old boy missing after getting on wrong school bus found near his home

“Yeah because she turned. Her eyes was closed and she was saying, blah, blah, blah, ‘I love God,’” one daughter said. “She didn’t want us to just have a car accident. She wanted us to know that God is real."

Police said Warren told her children to buckle up their seat belts just before she accelerated into the pole. Warren was frisked and handcuffed right after she got out of the SUV.

“When the officers asked the driver of the vehicle what had happened her first statement was to check her Facebook, and it would explain what happened,” Norcross police Sgt. Eric Butynski said.

>> Related: Missing Iowa family of 4 found dead in Mexico 

Nothing was found directly referencing the incident on what appeared to be her Facebook page, but police say she later gave the same reasons as her kids -- to prove that God will protect them. 

No one was hurt in the accident, but officers say it could have been much worse.

“It could have been a lot worse. It could have been heavier traffic at the time, she could have hit the pole at such an angle that she did more damage to the car,” Butynski said.

Warren remains in jail on $22,000 bond. She is charged with two counts of child cruelty. 

>> Related: College student seriously injured while on spring break in Cancun 

The children are now with their grandparents

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Justice Dept. announces proposal to ban bump stocks ahead of anti-gun rally in DC

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 10:25 PM

What is a Bump Stock?

The Department of Justice announced a proposal Friday to ban bump stocks, device that essentially convert semiautomatic weapons into machine guns. The announcement came just a day ahead of the “March for Our Lives” rally in Washington.

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Thousands of young people are expected to converge on the nation’s capital to demand gun control following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month that left 17 people dead.

President Donald Trump announced the new proposal on Twitter. “We will BAN all devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns,” the president tweeted.

>> Related: What is a bump stock, how does it work and is it legal?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement on the proposed ban, referring to the Las Vegas massacre in October that left 58 people dead. The shooter used bump stocks on a number of weapons to increase their firepower.

“After the senseless attack in Las Vegas, this proposed rule is a critical step in our effort to reduce the threat of gun violence,” Sessions said.

>> Related: Trump sends memo to DOJ asking for bump stock ban after Parkland massacre

On Feb. 20, Trump issued a memorandum instructing Session to ban bump stocks. The proposal announced on Friday is a response to that memorandum.

A bump stock is installed on an AK-47 and its movement is demonstrated at Good Guys Gun and Range on February 21, 2018 in Orem, Utah. The bump stock is a device when installed allows a semi-automatic to fire at a rapid rate much like a fully automatic gun. (George Frey/Getty Images)

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