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Uvalde School Shooting: US Department Of Justice Criticizes Police Response

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The Justice Department chastised officers engaged in the deadly 2022 mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, calling their response a failure.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland stated that teachers and students were “trapped in a room with an active shooter for more than an hour.”
“That should not have happened.”

His remarks came after the long-awaited release of a report on one of the bloodiest school shootings in US history on Thursday.

Uvalde School Shooting: US Department Of Justice Criticizes Police Response

The severely critical assessment, spanning more than 400 pages, discovered “cascading failures of leadership, decision-making, tactics, policy, and training” in how local police responded to the massacre that killed 19 kids and two instructors.

It reported “a great deal of confusion, miscommunication, a lack of urgency, and a lack of incident command” as the shooting at Robb Elementary took place.

Speaking somberly and frequently pausing, Mr Garland repeatedly stated that the killing, which lasted more than an hour, “was a failure that should not have happened”.

“[The victims] loved ones deserved better,” he said.

The Justice Department would not file any charges and was not looking to facilitate any criminal investigations into what happened with this report because it does not have jurisdiction, Mr. Garland said.

It undertook its inquiry to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the tragic loss of life and to provide guidelines for reacting to similar shootings.

The study focused heavily on police officers’ delayed responses, revealing that they failed to recognize the presence of an active shooter.

Hundreds of cops arrived at Robb Elementary School, but it took 77 minutes for authorities to approach and kill the gunman, according to the report.

According to the study, when there is an active shooter, law enforcement is intended “to immediately neutralize the subject; everything else, including officer safety, is subordinate to that objective”.

However, Uvalde police delayed, considering the fatal rampage as a barricade scenario, according to the article.

uvalde

Uvalde School Shooting: US Department Of Justice Criticizes Police Response

“The most significant failure was that responding officers should have immediately recognized the incident as an active shooter situation,” according to the report.

Sometimes, miscommunications and other obstacles, such as locked doors, must be fixed.

According to the study, officers believed the shooter had already died as a result of inaccurate information they had received over the radio. This slowed their efforts.

Within three minutes of the gunman commencing fire, the first officers arrived and proceeded to a classroom, but were forced to flee after being injured by shrapnel.

According to the investigation, 48 minutes after the gunman entered the school and four more shots were fired, authorities responded to gunfire “outside the classroom doors but did not make entry”.

It became the third-deadliest school shooting in the United States, trailing only 2007’s Virginia Tech and 2012’s Sandy Hook massacre.

Pete Arredondo, Uvalde’s former school police chief, was “the de facto on-scene commander on the day of the incident” and bore much blame for the chaotic and tardy response.

“He did not provide appropriate leadership, command, and control,” according to the assessment. It also noted that his “failures may have been influenced by policy and training deficiencies”.

According to the report, Mr Arredondo’s mistakes resulted in losing his radio and having to interact with his team verbally or via cell phone.

Residents in Uvalde, a small Texas town of around 15,000 people, had been waiting for the Justice Department’s study since it was originally announced days after the May 24 massacre.

Mr. Garland visited families in Uvalde on Wednesday. Former Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin sought the investigation after state officials presented inconsistent accounts of what happened during the nearly 77-minute period before police stopped an 18-year-old gunman from firing an AR-15-style weapon inside two fourth-grade classrooms.

Nearly 400 police officers were on the scene at Robb Elementary, but victims and their relatives say they were too slow to respond.

A harsh report from Texas lawmakers in 2022 came to many of the same conclusions, accusing the police of failing to “prioritize saving innocent lives over their safety” and attributing the atrocity to “egregiously poor decision-making” by officers. It also attributed much of the blame to Mr Arredondo, who was fired shortly after publishing the report.

The gunman had fired around 142 rounds inside the facility before being apprehended, according to the Texas report.

Body camera footage showed police officers waiting in hallways outside classrooms where the gunman had opened fire.

uvalde

Uvalde School Shooting: US Department Of Justice Criticizes Police Response

The bereaved family called the police cowards and demanded their resignation.

Four other policemen have lost their jobs, and several community members have filed pending lawsuits against the municipal police and local leaders.

According to CBS News, Uvalde County District Attorney Christina Mitchell stated in December that a criminal investigation of the police reaction will continue until 2024 before she plans to present her findings to a grand jury.

“My office will continue our independent review for any potential criminal charges,” Ms Mitchell stated in a press release on Thursday. Day and stopped by the paintings depicting victims painted across town.

Before the report’s release, Justice Department officials privately met with and informed victims’ families.

Berlinda Arreola, whose granddaughter was killed in the shooting, told the Associated Press after the meeting, “I’m full of feelings right now. I don’t have many words to say.

Oscar Orona, whose then-10-year-old son was shot inside one of the classrooms, told the Washington Post: “I think the report will validate what we knew all along, that it was an abysmal failure.”But now everyone will know.”

SOURCE – (BBC)

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Putin Says Russia Has No Intention Of Putting Nuclear Weapons In Space, Denying US Claims

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MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Moscow has no plans to put nuclear weapons in space, asserting that the country has just acquired space capabilities equivalent to those of the United States.

Putin’s warning comes after the White House confirmed last week that Russia had received a “troubling” anti-satellite weapon capability, albeit such a weapon is not currently operational. White House national security spokesperson John Kirby stated that it would violate the international Outer Space Treaty but declined to comment on whether the weapon is nuclear-capable.

putin

Putin Says Russia Has No Intention Of Putting Nuclear Weapons In Space, Denying US Claims

The deployment of “nuclear weapons or other types of weapons of mass destruction” in orbit as well as the stationing of “weapons in outer space in any other manner” are both prohibited by the convention, which more than 130 nations have signed, including Russia. The White House stated that it would seek to engage the Russians directly on the issues.

“Our position is quite clear and transparent: we have always been and remain categorically opposed to the deployment of nuclear weapons in space,” Putin said in a statement. “Just the opposite, we are urging everyone to adhere to all the agreements that exist in this sphere.”

During a meeting with his defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, Putin stated that Russia has only achieved space capabilities that “other nations, including the United States, have.”

putin

Putin Says Russia Has No Intention Of Putting Nuclear Weapons In Space, Denying US Claims

“And they know it,” he added.

“We haven’t deployed any nuclear weapons in space or any elements of them to use against satellites or to create fields where satellites can’t work efficiently,” Shoigu said in an interview.

Shoigu claimed that the White House may have concocted assertions about a new Russian space capacity to pressure Congress to back Ukrainian aid and to convince Moscow to resume nuclear arms control talks, which Russia has postponed due to tensions with the U.S. over Ukraine.

putin

Putin Says Russia Has No Intention Of Putting Nuclear Weapons In Space, Denying US Claims

Putin did not rule out future discussions with the United States, but he restated his belief that Washington’s determination to Russia’s defeat in Ukraine makes them impossible at the moment.

“The U.S. and the West, for one thing, are calling for Russia’s strategic defeat, while, on the other hand, they would like to have a dialogue on strategic stability, pretending that those things aren’t connected,” Mr Putin said. “It won’t work.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

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Ruby Franke, a mother and renowned web personality who pled guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse last year, was sentenced to four consecutive sentences of one to fifteen years in a Utah jail on Tuesday.

“My charges are just,” Franke stated during the sentencing. “They offer safety to my family, accountability to the public, and they did show mercy to me.”

franke

Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

Franke, 42, had documented the mistreatment of her children on her now-defunct YouTube channel “8 Passengers.” She was arrested in August when her 12-year-old son fled and urged a neighbour to contact police.

Franke was initially charged with six counts but pled not guilty to two of them as part of a plea arrangement to testify against her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, who was also charged with aggravated child abuse but reached a plea agreement, according to prosecutors.

franke

Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

According to court filings, the abuse included:

  • Depriving Franke’s children of food and drink.
  • Kicking her son while wearing boots.
  • Denying him oxygen.

According to court documents, Franke informed her children that the penalties were necessary to teach them obedience and repentance. It was also alleged that she “intentionally or knowingly inflicted and allowed another adult to inflict serious physical injuries.”

“For the past four years, I’ve chosen to follow counsel and guidance that has led me into a dark delusion,” Franke told CNN. “My distorted version of reality went largely unchecked as I would isolate from anyone who challenged me.”

franke

Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

Hildebrandt was sentenced on Tuesday and received the same terms. The judge stated they each have 30 days to submit an appeal.

“One of the reasons I didn’t go to trial…” “I didn’t want them to emotionally relive the experience, which would have been harmful to them,” Hildebrandt told the court. “My hope and prayer is that they will heal and move forward to have beautiful lives.”

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

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NEW YORK — In the mid-1970s, the Eagles worked on a mysterious new song.

Don Henley, with the help of band co-founder Glenn Frey, wrote down ideas on a lined yellow pad about “a dark desert highway” and “a lovely place” with a luxury surface and frightening undertones. And something on ice, like caviar, Taittinger, or pink champagne?

The hit “Hotel California” became one of rock’s most memorable. Nearly a half-century later, those scribbled pages of lyrics-in-the-making have become the focus of an unusual criminal prosecution, which begins Wednesday.

Glenn Horowitz, a rare book dealer, Craig Inciardi, a former Rock and Roll Hall of Fame curator, and Edward Kosinski, a memorabilia seller, are accused of conspiring to own and sell manuscripts for “Hotel California” and other Eagles classics without permission.

The three have pled not guilty, and their lawyers have stated that the men did not commit any crimes with the materials they obtained from a writer who had worked with the Eagles. However, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office claims the defendants conspired to conceal the documents’ disputed ownership, even knowing Henley claimed the pages were stolen.

Clashes over precious items are frequent, but criminal trials like these are uncommon. Many disagreements are addressed privately through lawsuits or agreements to return items.

“If you can avoid prosecution by handing over the thing, most people just hand it over,” said Travis McDade, a University of Illinois law professor who specialises in unusual document disputes.

Of course, the Eagle’s texts stand apart in other ways.

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Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

The prosecutors’ primary witness is Henley, who is set to testify between Eagles tour stops. The non-jury trial could provide insight into the band’s creative process and life on the fast track to ’70s glory.

Over 80 pages of draft lyrics from the hit 1976 album “Hotel California” are at stake, including the words to the chart-topping, Grammy-winning title track. It boasts one of classic rock’s most recognisable riffs, best-known solos, and most oft-quoted — maybe overquoted — lines: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

Henley said the song is about “the dark underbelly of the American dream.”

It was streamed over 220 million times and received 136,000 radio airplay in the United States alone last year, according to entertainment data company Luminate. Over the years, the “Hotel California” album has sold 26 million copies nationwide, trailing only the Eagles’ greatest hits album and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

The pages also contain lyrics to songs like “Life in the Fast Lane” and “New Kid in Town.” Eagles manager Irving Azoff has described the manuscripts as “irreplaceable pieces of musical history.”

Horowitz, Inciardi, and Kosinski are accused of conspiracy to possess stolen property, among other offences.

They are not charged with actually stealing documents. Nor is anyone else, but prosecutors must still prove that the documents were taken. The defence claims that is not true.

Much is dependent on the Eagles’ connections with Ed Sanders, a writer who also co-founded the 1960s counterculture rock band the Fugs. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he worked on an authorised Eagles biography, which was never published.

eagles

Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

Sanders is not charged in this case. He received a phone message requesting a comment.

He sold the pages to Horowitz, who then sold them to Inciardi and Kosinski.

Horowitz has handled large rare book and archive deals and has previously been involved in ownership disputes. One featured papers related to Margaret Mitchell, the author of “Gone With the Wind.” It was settled.

Inciardi worked on several notable exhibitions for Cleveland’s Rock Hall of Fame. Kosinski is a principal of Gotta Have It! Collectables, infamous for auctioning celebrities’ personal belongings, including Madonna’s latex underpants, which she unsuccessfully tried to prevent from being sold.

According to court documents filed by Kosinski’s lawyers, Henley informed a grand jury that he never delivered the lyrics to the biographer. However, defence attorneys have indicated they want to investigate Henley’s memory of the events.

“We believe that Mr. Henley voluntarily provided the lyrics to Mr. Sanders,” attorney Scott Edelman stated in court last week.

Sanders told Horowitz in 2005 that while working on the Eagles book, he was sent whatever papers he wanted from Henley’s residence in Malibu, California, according to the indictment.

Then, in 2012, Kosinski’s business auctioned off several pages. Henley’s lawyers came knocking. According to the indictment, Horowitz, Inciardi, and Sanders began bouncing around various accounts of the manuscripts’ provenance.

Sanders discovered the pages dumped in a backstage dressing area in one story. In others, he obtained them from a stage assistant or while collecting “a lot of material related to the Eagles from different people.” In another, he got them from Frey — an account that “would make this go away once and for all,” Horowitz said in 2017. Frey had died a year ago.

“He merely needs gentle handling and reassurance that he’s not going to the can,” Horowitz emailed Inciardi during a 2012 interaction about getting Sanders’ “‘explanation’ shaped into a communication” to auctioneers, the indictment states.

According to the indictment, Sanders offered or signed off on some of the various justifications, but what he said verbally is unclear. However, he appears to have disputed at least the dressing-room tale.

eagles

Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

Kosinski sent one explanation, approved by Sanders, to Henley’s counsel. According to the prosecution, Kosinski also told Sotheby’s auction company that the musician had “no claim” to the records and requested that possible bidders remain unaware of Henley’s objections.

Sotheby’s listed the song “Hotel California” lyrics in a 2016 auction but deleted them after learning of the ownership dispute. Sotheby’s is not charged in the case and has declined to comment.

According to court documents, Henley paid $8,500 for some draft lyrics from Gotta Have It! in 2012, when he began submitting police reports.

Henley’s defence counsel argues he hired starstruck prosecutors to take up his cause rather than pursuing a civil suit himself.

The DA’s office collaborated extensively with Henley’s legal team, and an investigator even wished for backstage passes to an Eagles concert — until a prosecutor declared it was “completely inappropriate,” according to Kosinki’s lawyers in court papers.

Prosecutors dismissed inquiries about their motivations as “a conspiracy theory rather than a legal defence.”

Last year, they stated in court documents, “It is the defendants, not the prosecutors, who are on trial.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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