Author: ABC News
Protesters who smashed windows, burglarized businesses and set fires during demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, caused significant damage, and authorities urged businesses to review security video to help police apprehend more riotersBy SARA CLINE and GILLIAN FLACCUS Associated PressApril 17, 2021, 11:27 PM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articlePORTLAND, Ore. — Protesters who smashed windows, burglarized businesses and set fires during demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, caused significant damage, and authorities urged downtown businesses to review security video to help police apprehend more rioters.Police said they have arrested four people so far after declaring a riot Friday night during demonstrations after police fatally shot a man while responding to reports of a person with a gun.“This destruction does not align with community values and has no legitimacy. It is harming our city, county and state,” Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said in a statement Saturday. “There are multiple criminal investigations underway to identify those responsible for last night’s criminality.”Police said they are aware of plans for more demonstrations Saturday night in Oregon’s largest city.Officers late Friday dispersed the crowd so firefighting crews could douse fires before they spread in extreme fire hazard conditions. In a statement, police said the damage from the late-night violence “appears to be significant.”There aren’t yet exact estimates of damages to buildings caused by the fires, but police say looters stole about $2,000 worth of products from a Nike store before on-site security personnel were able to stop the theft.The vandalism downtown came after the police shooting earlier Friday and was part of vigils and demonstrations already planned for the night in the name of people killed in police shootings nationwide. They include 13-year-old Adam Toledo of Chicago and Daunte Wright, a Black man in a Minneapolis suburb.On Saturday afternoon, Portland police identified the man shot by police in a city park Friday as Douglas Delgado, 46. Delgado died of a single gunshot wound, authorities said.Two officers fired a 40mm device that shoots non-lethal projectiles, and one officer — an eight-year veteran — fired a gun, police said in a statement. Police identified the officer who fired his gun as Zachary Delong. He is on paid administrative leave, authorities said.Authorities also clarified that the person who was fatally shot by police was not a person experiencing mental distress whose behavior prompted calls to police, as was previously reported. That man, who witnesses say was walking shirtless in traffic, was taken to a hospital for treatment of a possible drug overdose, according to police.The police investigation into the shooting was hampered by a crowd of “fairly aggressive people” who showed up at the park within two hours of the shooting. Those arrested could face charges ranging from assaulting a public safety officer to criminal mischief.There were no reports of injuries to police.As investigators worked the scene of the shooting and huddled over a covered body, nearly 100 yards (91 meters) away, a crowd of more than 150 people — many dressed in all black and some carrying helmets, goggles and gas masks — gathered behind crime scene tape, chanting and yelling at officers standing in front of them.The crowd later marched through the park, ripped down police tape and stood face to face with officers dressed in riot gear. Police left the park around 3:30 p.m., and the crowd eventually stood in a nearby intersection, blocking traffic and chanting.Police said they used pepper spray on protesters in order to keep them away.Portland has been the site of frequent protests, many involving violent clashes between officers and demonstrators, since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.Over the summer, there were demonstrations for more than 100 straight days. On April 13, a crowd set a fire outside the city’s police union headquarters following recent fatal police shootings in Chicago and Minneapolis.————Cline is a corps member for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
Felix Silla, who starred as the hairy Cousin Itt on “The Addams Family” and a robot on “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century,” has diedByThe Associated PressApril 17, 2021, 10:54 PM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleLOS ANGELES — Felix Silla, who starred as the hairy Cousin Itt on “The Addams Family” and a robot on “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century,” has died. He was 84.Silla’s representative, Bonnie Vent, said in an emailed statement Saturday that the actor died Friday after a battle with cancer. Vent said Silla was a humble and nice man who was full of stories.“He had so many stories, from starting out in the circus, to so many classic television shows either doing stunts or playing a character,” Vent said.Even though his face was covered, Silla — who stood less than 4 feet tall — became famous for sporting a floor-length hairpiece, sunglasses and a bowler hat as Cousin Itt on the 1960s ABC show “The Addams Family.” His fan-favorite character had a knack for mumbling words that were only understood by Addams family members.Silla’s face went unseen in a couple other roles, including his portrayal of the robot Twiki on the late 1970s NBC series “Buck Rogers,” and the 1983 film “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi,” where he played an Ewok who rode a hang glider.“Felix knew a lot about making characters come to life with no dialog,” Vent said.In the 1975 film “The Black Bird,” viewers had a chance to see Silla’s face. He appeared as a villain named Litvak, who went against George Segal’s Sam Spade Jr. in the “The Maltese Falcon” sequel.Silla appeared in other films such as “Spaceballs,” “The Golden Child” and “Poltergeist.” He played his final role in the 2016 film “Characterz.”Silla was born in Italy before he came to the United States in 1955. He toured with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, where he was a bareback rider, trapeze artist and tumbler. He stayed in Hollywood to become a stuntman in 1962.Silla is survived by his wife Sue and daughter Bonnie. His son, Michael, died at the age of 45 last year.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says it is removing immigrant girls from a facility in HoustonByThe Associated PressApril 17, 2021, 11:03 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleHOUSTON — A facility in Houston that housed girls who crossed U.S. border unaccompanied is being closed and the girls immediately moved, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Saturday.About 450 girls housed since April 1 in an Emergency Intake Site for Unaccompanied Children operated by the National Association of Christian Churches near Bush Intercontinental Airport were being moved.“The NACC Houston EIS and other Emergency Intake Sites are intended for use as a temporary measure,” HHS said in a statement.Officials with FIEL, an immigrant advocacy group in Houston, praised the removal of the girls that FIEL director Cesar Espinosa said are 13-17 years old, but questioned the reason for the move.Espinosa said there was an incident at the center Friday night and a FIEL employee saw law enforcement and ambulances outside the center, but could not determine what happened.“There seemed to be a lot of confusion as to what was happening,” Espinosa said, translating the description of the scene provided by the employee, Alain Cisneros, in Spanish. “The people that were there looked like they were in a sad stance, kind of with their head down and seemed like they were wiping tears away.”Houston police did not immediately return a phone call for comment Saturday and a call to the National Association of Christian Churches rang unanswered.Espinosa, who had toured the center, said the girls were being housed in a warehouse.“There was really no space for social distancing … they were only allowed to get up from their cot to use the restroom as well as to shower,” Espinosa said.“Everything that was being brought in was temporary. The showers were temporary, they were bringing in temporary restrooms, so this space was not equipped to house anybody, much less children,” Espinosa said.HHS said about 130 of the girls have plans to be unified with a sponsor, typically a parent or relative, and ORR will seek to locate a sponsor for the remaining girls.Texas child welfare officials recently said they received three reports alleging abuse and neglect at a San Antonio facility that is holding more than 1,600 immigrant teenagers who crossed the southern border.The U.S. government last month stopped taking immigrant teenagers to one site in Midland as it faced questions about the safety of the emergency sites.HHS has rushed to open large sites to house migrant children across the Southwest amid a sharp increase in crossings of unaccompanied youths at the southern border. The agency’s lack of capacity as border crossings rose at the start of President Joe Biden’s administration led to children sometimes waiting for weeks in overcrowded and unsuitable Border Patrol facilities.
Police say a driver who ran a red light threw a chemical liquid at a New York City officer, drove away and then tossed a flaming Molotov cocktail at pursuing officersByThe Associated PressApril 17, 2021, 10:58 PM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleNEW YORK — A driver who ran a red light threw a chemical liquid at a New York City police officer, drove away and then tossed a flaming Molotov cocktail as officers pursued him Saturday morning, authorities said.Body camera footage shows the driver tossing a liquid — later identified as bleach — at an officer who had pulled him over in Brooklyn.Authorities said the man sped off and then suddenly stopped, tossed the Molotov cocktail at the officers, before fleeing a second time. He later crashed his car and was arrested. An additional Molotov cocktail was found inside the vehicle, according to Police Chief Rodney Harrison.“Fortunately, our officers weren’t injured,” the New York Police Department said in a tweet, noting how the incident “proved once again that no traffic enforcement is ‘routine.’”Harrison tweeted Saturday evening that the liquid thrown at the officer was bleach.The incident happened just before 8 a.m. Charges are pending for the 44-year-old driver, whose name was not immediately released, 1010 WINS AM reported. The officer splashed with the chemical substance, according to the report, was treated for minor chemical burns.Police Commissioner Dermot Shea on Saturday suggested anti-police sentiment may have played a role in the incident.“Words matter,” he wrote in a statement posted on Twitter. “Earlier this week we said that again after graffiti that proclaimed ‘kill cops.’ This morning, a Molotov cocktail thrown at an occupied marked police car. Now more than ever is the time to come together, to move forward together.”Shea said the investigation into the attack remains active.
President Joe Biden has taken his first swing at a presidential pastimeBy JONATHAN LEMIRE Associated PressApril 17, 2021, 6:10 PM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleWILMINGTON, Del. — President Joe Biden has taken his first swing at a presidential pastime: golf.Biden, once an avid golfer, played Saturday at the Wilmington Country Club, not far from his Delaware home where he was spending the weekend. It was his first time playing golf since taking office in January.The president played with senior advisor Steve Ricchetti and Ron Olivere, father-in-law of Biden’s late son Beau, the White House said. Biden’s handicap index is just over 6, according to the United States Golf Association. But he has not logged a round since 2018.Biden is a member of the country club and played golf frequently as vice president. But his ability was mocked by former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who said once at the GOP convention that “Joe Biden told me that he was a good golfer.”“And I’ve played golf with Joe Biden,” Kasich continued. “I can tell you that’s not true.”Golf has always been a favorite of presidents; Dwight Eisenhower, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all played often.Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, played frequently, totaling over 300 rounds in his four years at office including during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Trump also would only play at country clubs he owned in Florida, Virginia and New Jersey.
A doctor for imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is in the third week of a hunger strike, says his health is deteriorating rapidly and the 44-year-old could be on the verge of deathByThe Associated PressApril 17, 2021, 6:20 PM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleMOSCOW — A doctor for imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is in the third week of a hunger strike, says his health is deteriorating rapidly and the 44-year-old Kremlin critic could be on the verge of death.Physician Yaroslav Ashikhmin said Saturday that test results he received from Navalny’s family show him with sharply elevated levels of potassium, which can bring on cardiac arrest, and heightened creatinine levels that indicate impaired kidneys.“Our patient could die at any moment,” he said in a Facebook post.Anastasia Vasilyeva, head of the Navalny-backed Alliance of Doctors union, said on Twitter that “action must be taken immediately.”Navalny is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most visible and adamant opponent.His personal physicians have not been allowed to see him in prison. He went on hunger strike to protest the refusal to let them visit when he began experiencing severe back pain and a loss of feeling in his legs. Russia’s state penitentiary service has said that Navalny is receiving all the medical help he needs.Navalny was arrested on Jan. 17 when he returned to Russia from Germany, where had spent five months recovering from Soviet nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin. Russian officials have denied any involvement and even questioned whether Navalny was poisoned, which was confirmed by several European laboratories.He was ordered to serve 2 1/2 years in prison on the grounds that his long recovery in Germany violated a suspended sentence he had been given for a fraud conviction in a case that Navalny says was politically motivated.
A San Francisco Immigration Court judge who was the subject of a complaint to the U.S. Justice Department involving hostile and biased treatment of immigrants abruptly quit his post this weekBy Associated PressApril 17, 2021, 6:36 PM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleSAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco Immigration Court judge who was the subject of a complaint to the U.S. Justice Department involving hostile and biased treatment of immigrants abruptly quit his post this week.In a letter announcing his retirement, Judge Nicholas Ford did not acknowledge the complaint by local attorneys representing immigrants, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.Instead, he criticized the entire court system and called its managers “a fearful community whose primary interest has never been the growth of those they oversee but rather their own continued employment.”“I am an older judge and it is hard to understand how any court system can function like this,” he added.Ford was a criminal court judge in Cook County, Illinois, before being named to the immigration court bench in 2019 by then-Attorney General William Barr. During his tenure in Chicago, he was criticized for jailing a pregnant woman without bail for a nonviolent crime and had a high number of rulings overturned by appellate courts, according to Injustice Watch, a justice watchdog group.Last November. a coalition led by the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the National Lawyers Guild called for his removal from the bench, alleging in a complaint that Ford acted in an “aggressive, unprofessional and demeaning” manner toward immigrants.The guild said the Justice Department closed its investigation into Ford last month without disclosing whether any disciplinary action was taken.Ford and the Justice Department did not respond to requests for comment from the Chronicle.The guild said in a statement Saturday that it believes the public pressure for Ford to be removed from the bench had an impact.
Police in San Antonio have released the name of a man who fatally shot himself during a shootout with an officer outside San Antonio International AirportByThe Associated PressApril 17, 2021, 6:49 PM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleSAN ANTONIO — Police in San Antonio on Saturday released the name of the man who fatally shot himself during a shootout with an officer outside San Antonio International Airport.The Bexar County medical examiner identified the man killed during the Thursday afternoon shooting as Joe Gomez, Lt. Michelle Ramos said in a news release. Ramos did not provide any other identifying details, such as his age, and did not immediately return messages for additional comment.Police Chief William McManus has said the suspect had a history of mental illness and that police had interacted with him in the past.The airport was locked down Thursday after police were called about a car driving the wrong way on an airport road. Officer John Maines stopped the car and the driver, now identified as Gomez, jumped out and opened fire, McManus said.McManus said authorities also believe the same man opened fire from a busy overpass in northern San Antonio earlier in the day.Police said Friday that the medical examiner had determined the driver, now identified as Gomez, shot himself after suffering a non-fatal wound from Maines’ weapon. Police had initially said Gomez was fatally shot by Maines.No one else was hit by gunfire, police said, and Maines is on administrative duty pending an investigation into the shooting, Ramos said.
Honolulu police have released body camera footage showing when officers deployed a stun gun on a Black man and fatally shot him while responding to a call about an alleged burglary.Lindani Myeni, 29, a married father of two originally from South Africa, was killed by police outside a Nuuanu home on Wednesday.Police released two body camera videos Friday. A third officer’s camera had not been activated.The footage, though dark and shaky, shows officers struggle with the suspect, use a Taser on him and shoot him three times, all in less than a minute.Myeni had entered a home, sat down and taken off his shoes, prompting the scared occupants to call 911, Honolulu Police Department Chief Susan Ballard said Thursday.Lindani Myeni is seen in an undated family photo.Ballard said during a news conference on Friday that a 911 caller said a man sitting in a vehicle was the person who had been in her home.When the first officer arrived at the scene around 8:10 p.m., a distraught woman is heard outside the house telling the officer, “That’s him.” Myeni is seen in the footage getting out of a car and walking toward the officer. Another officer is heard in body camera footage ordering the man to “get on the ground,” but Myeni did not appear to comply.Instead of getting on the ground, Myeni turned and charged at the first officer who arrived on the scene and punched him several times, Ballard said.The second officer tried to get the suspect off his peer, while a third officer arrived at the scene and deployed his Taser on the target, but it was ineffective, Ballard said. The suspect then charged towards the officer who used the Taser, the chief added.The first officer on the scene then fired a single round, but it’s not clear if it hit anyone.”Officer two then fired three rounds at the suspect, and the suspect then fell to the ground,” Ballard said. “This all happened in less than one minute” from the first officer arriving.The suspect was transported to a hospital in critical condition and later died.Myeni had no criminal record and no weapons on him, police said. The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Officer identified Myeni and ruled his death a homicide.His wife, Lindsay, opened up on her heartbreak and denounced the shooting, telling ABC Honolulu affiliate KITV: “He was gentle and loving, and the best father and husband I could’ve asked for. There’s no reason this should have happened. I’m white and I guarantee he would not have been shot had he been white. This is ridiculous.””Obviously, he wouldn’t burglarize. … We have money. We have everything we need. We’re not looking for anything,” she said to Hawaii News Now. “He wanted to talk to them for some reason. It says he took off his shoes. I’m sure he did that as a sign of respect.”She said he is from the Zulu Kingdom, a nation in South Africa, and believes his actions may have been misinterpreted.”In Zulu culture you can go to anyone’s house. You can knock on anyone’s door. It doesn’t matter if its 9 o’clock — it’s not a big deal. Neighbors are neighbors,” she said. Myeni and his wife moved to the island in January after living in South Africa for three years.An attorney representing the Myeni family didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News.At a news conference to release the video, acting Deputy Chief Allan Nagata said the officers “fought for their lives.”The first officer on scene, a 23-year veteran, suffered multiple facial fractures, a concussion and injuries to his arms and legs. He remains hospitalized. The second officer suffered multiple body, arm and leg injuries, while the third had a concussion and multiple abrasions. Those officers, on the force for 18 years and 10 years respectively, were discharged from the hospital.Nagata acknowledged that police didn’t identify themselves until after shots were fired, but he said it was clear they were officers in uniform using marked police cars.”They were in the fight for their lives, let me clear with you. … They did very well. They were very brave,” he said. “They didn’t shoot or discharge the firearm right away. This was not a case of overreaction.”
TORONTO — New pandemic restrictions imposed by Canada’s most populous province immediately ran into opposition on Saturday as police departments insisted they wouldn’t use new powers to randomly stop motorists and health experts complained the rules focus on outdoor activities rather than more dangerous indoor settings.Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government announced Friday it was giving police authority to require anyone not at home to explain why they’re out and provide their address. Tickets can be written.But at least a dozen forces throughout Ontario, including in the capital of Toronto, said there will be no random stops of people or cars.“We are all going through a horrific year of COVID-19 and all associated with it together. The (department) will NOT be randomly stopping vehicles for no reason during the pandemic or afterwards,” Halton Police Chief Steve Tanner tweeted.The new rules limit outdoor gatherings to those in the same household and close playgrounds and golf courses. The decisions sparked widespread criticism in a province already on lockdown. Restaurants and gyms are closed as is in-class schooling. Most nonessential workers are working from home.Ford complained about crowded parks and playgrounds, but at Friday’s new conference did not mention workplaces considered essential, such as factories, where the virus is spreading“What we need: increased restrictions to reduce indoor contact, supports for frontline essential workers, paid sick leave, a re-prioritized vaccine rollout for hard-hit communities,” tweeted Joe Cressy, who is on Toronto’s city council.”What we got: the closure of outdoor amenities, which we need to keep people safe and healthy.”“I have yet to intubate a COVID patient who had become infected from being in a playground,” tweeted Dr. Ian Preyra, who works at Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington, Ontario.“Warehouse worker, truck driver, construction worker … not one of my COVID patients today acquired this at the park. They are angry and they have no voice. Shameful,” tweeted Dr. Aman Sidhu, a lung doctor in Toronto.Dr. Andrew Morris, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto, said that closing playgrounds and other outdoor recreation facilities “will hurt the very kids and their families whose well-being we have already damaged by being forced to close schools.”He complained the new rules don’t create paid sick leave or improved protections for essential workers even as they allow “police to target whomever they choose to accost them to ensure they are appropriately outside of their home.”This won’t affect a white guy like me. This is going to target essential workers and racialized people. THIS is what people talk about when they describe systemic racism,” Morris wrote in weekly email to followers.“I am absolutely disgusted, as are pretty well all of my colleagues.”Ontario reported 4,362 new infections on Saturday and a record 2,065 people in hospital receiving treatment for COVID. It has pleaded with other provinces to send nurses and other health workers.Vaccinations have ramped up in Canada, the presence of more contagious variants in Ontario has led to a third wave of infections.Ford said a lack of vaccines made the new restrictions necessary.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday that that Pfizer would double its shipments of vaccines to Canada over the next month , with millions more shots than expected arriving in May and June.Every eligible Canadian is expected to get at least one shot by July.Ontario just closed schools days ago after insisting for weeks they were safe. )The new order to close playgrounds infuriated parents.“The cognitive dissonance between the minister of education insisting schools are safe and then shutting playgrounds down boggles the mind,” said Jim Vlahos, a 44 year-old father of two in Toronto.“There’s no rhyme or reason to the outdoor closures.”Owen Holliday, a golfer, said he was very upset, especially for seniors who get their exercise through the sport.“With all the protocols, prepaid booking, clubhouses closed, masks on if riding with someone outside of household, no gatherings after tee times, golf is as safe as it can get,” he said.