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Published: Thursday, March 08, 2018 @ 6:53 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 08, 2018 @ 6:52 PM
LOS ANGELES — Nearly three years after a police shooting that sparked protests in Los Angeles, prosecutors said Thursday they will not file charges against the officer who killed an unarmed homeless man, despite a recommendation for charges from the police chief.
Prosecutors declined to bring charges because they couldn't prove Officer Clifford Proctor acted unlawfully when he shot Brendon Glenn in the back in 2015 in Venice, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said.
"We have concluded that there's insufficient evidence to overcome a claim at trial by Officer Proctor that he did that in defense of his partner or himself," Lacey said.
Glenn, 29, of Troy, New York, was on his stomach and trying to push himself up when Proctor shot him, according to police.
Glenn wasn't trying to take a gun from Proctor or his partner when he was shot, and Proctor's partner told investigators that he didn't know why the officer opened fire, police have said.
Police Chief Charlie Beck had recommended that prosecutors charge Proctor. In addition, a civilian oversight panel found the officer violated department policy when he shot Glenn twice in the back.
An attorney for Glenn's family called Lacey's decision "spineless" and said it highlighted a conflict of interest when prosecutors are tasked with deciding whether to charge police officers.
"Officer Proctor did not act to deescalate the situation," lawyer V. James DeSimone said in a statement. "This tragic death could have been avoided with common sense policing."
The shooting, which came amid tensions nationwide over police killings of unarmed black men, drew angry protests in the city. Both Glenn and Proctor are black.
Glenn's name has become a rallying cry against police shootings in Los Angeles, and activists have held a series of protests outside Lacey's office. The activists say the office hasn't prosecuted an on-duty officer for a fatal shooting in more than a decade.
Beck's unprecedented recommendation to charge the officer was not helpful to the case, Lacey said. Such letters raise expectations when the evidence may not be there to support the conclusion, she said.
Glenn was killed during a struggle with officers outside a bar where he had fought with a bouncer. A police report said Proctor told investigators that he saw Glenn's hand on his partner's holster and thought he was trying to grab the other officer's gun.
Surveillance video from a nearby bar did not show Glenn reaching for the weapon, and Proctor's partner, Jonathan Kawahara, said he didn't see Glenn's hand go near his gun, a district attorney's report said.
Prosecutors said even if Glenn wasn't reaching for Kawahara's gun, the struggle could've caused Proctor to fear that he was.
The district attorney did not decide the shooting was justified and instead said Porter "could have a rather credible and successful claim that in this struggle to lawfully arrest this man that he feared that there was a threat of death or great bodily injury."
Proctor's attorney, Bill Seki, said he believed the district attorney made the right decision and Proctor was in imminent danger when he shot Glenn.
"That's been our position all along that his actions weren't criminal," Seki said.
Proctor resigned from the Los Angeles Police Department in 2017. The city paid $4 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit that was brought by Glenn's relatives.
The report included officer body-camera footage , which is rarely released by Los Angeles authorities, and surveillance videos. Investigators said they also took statements from 10 civilian witnesses, used DNA analysis and brought in a use-of-force expert to consult on the case.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents rank-and-file police officers, said Lacey "followed the evidence in this case and did not succumb to political posturing or pressure."
While Proctor was on leave after the shooting, internal affairs investigators referred a case to the district attorney's office against him because they found he "was not at home when he was supposed to be," but prosecutors declined to bring criminal charges.
In 2016, Proctor was charged in a separate case with domestic battery and is also accused of violating a court order and dissuading a witness from testifying, Orange County prosecutors said. He has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 11:37 AM
MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Emergency personnel left the lifeless body of a man they were unable to revive on the side of a road, according to reports.
Ty Ross took his dogs Jake and Holly for a walk around the Palma Sola Marina Feb. 26 when he suffered a heart attack, according to WWSB.
His wife Julie Ross had her phone off while she was working out and when she was able to get to the scene, there was only a Manatee County sheriff’s deputy there, according to WWSB.
Emergency personnel, who had been there for about an hour, had already left, leaving Ty Ross’ body half in the street and the other half in the grass.
His body was in the sun for about three hours before a friend who runs a funeral home arrived to pick up Ross’s body, according to WWSB.
The Manatee County Emergency Medical Services’ policy is that an ambulance will not transport a person who has died, according to WWSB.
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 6:50 PM
ATLANTA — City of Atlanta officials are struggling to determine how much sensitive information may have been compromised in a Thursday cyber attack.
They urged employees to check their bank accounts to make sure their financial information had not been accessed and said that anyone who had conducted transactions with the city could be at risk.
“Because we don’t know, I think it would be appropriate for the public just to be vigilant in checking their accounts and making sure their credit agencies have also been notified,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a Thursday press conference.
The city has also received demands that it pay a ransom of an unspecified amount, officials confirmed. But officials had yet to make a determination if it would pay the ransom.
“We can’t speak to that right now,” Bottoms said. “We will be looking for guidance, specifically from our federal partners.”
The FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service had been called on for advice.
For years, the FBI has warned that the use of ransomware — malicious software that threatens to block access to data or to publish it unless the infected organization pays a ransom — is a fast growing criminal enterprise.
Organizations often don’t learn they have been infected until they can’t access their data or until computer messages appear demanding a ransom payment in exchange for a decryption key, according to the FBI’s website.
The messages include instructions on paying the ransom, usually in the form of bitcoins — a crypto currency that allows for anonymous transactions online.
The city’s Department of Atlanta Information Management at 5:40 a.m. Thursday learned of outages of various internal and customer applications “including some applications customers use to pay bills or access court related information,” said Richard Cox, the city’s interim Chief of Operations.
Cox called it a “ransomware cyber attack.”
The public safety department, water services and the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport operated without incident, Cox said.
Cox said the city would offer employees additional resources to help them protect their information in coming days.
Bottoms said that the city’s municipal courts should be open on Friday.
Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said that her department’s emergency response system had not been affected at all.
Shields said that officers had reverted to writing reports on paper out of an abundance of caution, but that as far as she knew the police departments computer systems were still operational.
Shields insisted that earlier reports attributed to a department memo that warned that payroll might be disrupted were not true.
“We did not put out a memo,” Shields said. “I can’t control what is said. I’m deferring to experts here who said, ‘It won’t be affected.’ And I believe them.”
Bottoms also said that city’s 8,000 employees would be paid on Friday.
“I’ll be signing signing 8,000 checks today if necessary,” Bottoms said.
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 12:58 PM
SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. — One fourth grade student’s backpack was quite literally the cat’s meow.
Fourth grade teacher Carey Geipel started looking around her classroom after she heard meowing during a planning period March 16 only to discover a student brought a cat to school hidden in a backpack, according to a Facebook post.
“We listen to a purse, lunchbox... it must be a cell phone ringing,” she wrote. “Nope. It’s coming from the backpacks. I lift a jacket and a backpack MOVES. I unzip the backpack and a cat’s head POPS out!”
Geipel made a phone call home to the student’s mother, who came and picked up the cat.
“Hello, Student is safe but we have kind of a weird situation,” Geipel wrote, recounting the conversation. “Your student brought a cat to school, on the bus, in her backpack.”
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 5:58 PM
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A 12-year-old boy disappeared after getting on the wrong school bus on his way home from middle school in metro Atlanta.
Anthony Randolph III disappeared Wednesday after boarding the wrong bus at Redan Middle School in DeKlab County, police said.
Investigators said the boy got off the bus two miles away from his home.
He wasn’t supposed to be on that bus and school officials said they are working to figure out why the bus driver didn’t take him back to school.
“We need you home Anthony, fast, please,” the child’s father, Anthony Randolph Jr., said.
Randolph wiped away tears as he begged anyone with information on the disappearance of his son to come forward.
A search is underway as police continue investigating the boy’s disappearance.