FBI officials are investigating a deadly shooting in Garland, Texas, after two gunmen were killed by police officers Sunday evening at an event holding a cartoon contest of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
Two men opened fire outside the Curtis Culwell Center just as the "Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest" was set to wrap up. One of the suspects has been identified as Elton Simpson, an American Muslim who was once the subject of a terror investigation, a senior FBI official told ABC News.
The Pheonix, Arizona, resident was convicted of lying to federal agents about his travel plans to Somalia five years ago and was placed on probation. Reports claim that he posted a series of troubling tweets minutes before yesterday's shooting, one using the hashtag #TexasAttack. more >>
The first selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL draft was former Heisman Trophy winner and Florida State Quarterback Jameis Winston. It was no surprise to many analysts who predicted Winston would be chosen due to his superior athletic talent. Undoubtedly, Winston is a gifted athlete, but he also comes with a tremendous amount of baggage.
Winston was accused of rape by a classmate, who is now suing him and Florida State University. While he was exonerated by local prosecutors and the university, the investigation, which was spearheaded by a police officer with ties to the Florida State athletic program, was a total sham. The New York Times discovered that Winston was never questioned by authorities, nor was he asked to provide a DNA sample. Even worse, a teammate's video of the incident was never subpoenaed by law enforcement officials. In her lawsuit, the alleged victim, Erica Kinsman, maintains that Winston falsely imprisoned, raped and assaulted her in an off-campus apartment in 2012. As evidence, the medical report cited her bruised knees and discovered semen on Kinsman's body.
The detailed lawsuit also included multiple witness statements verifying Kinsman's charges against Winston. According to David Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor, Kinsman's chances of prevailing in a trial are "good," due to the amount of specific information included in the lawsuit. Kinsman's attorney, John Klune, believes that Winston is "an entitled athlete who believes he can take what he wants. He took something here that he was not entitled to and he hurt someone." Due to overwhelming evidence, it is likely that Winston will settle out of court in an attempt to limit a potential public relations nightmare. more >>
Renowned neurosurgeon and potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson, said Friday that the injury suffered by 25-year-old Freddie Gray who died on April 19 after being gravely injured while in the custody of Baltimore police officers "would be almost impossible to acquire…by simply rolling around in a van."
In an announcement highlighting criminal charges against six Baltimore police officers Friday, the city's newly elected State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Gray suffered a spinal injury while being transported in a police van and charged that the failure of the police to put a seatbelt on him was a crucial factor in how he was injured.
"Mr. Gray suffered a severe and critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained inside the B.P.D. wagon," said Mosby. more >>
Passion for Truth Ministries Pastor Jim Stanley, 40, who told his St. Charles, Missouri, congregation last summer that he didn't realize he had been arrested after a federal grand jury indicted him last June for defrauding investors, admitted in federal court Thursday that he cheated his elderly victims out of $3.3 million while making $570,000 for himself.
In a courtroom packed with supporters, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Staley, who owned a financial consulting form, pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud rather than taking his case to trial. He admitted that he cheated 16 investors, and his defense attorney, Scott Rosenblum, says his client was ashamed and "completely accepted responsibility." The attorney stressed that the crime "had nothing to do with his role as a pastor."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Dianna Collins said some of the investors trusted Staley because he was a "nice religious man" who referred to several of them as "Grandma." more >>
During the past few months, there have been numerous incidents— some tragic—where police officers were accused of brutality and abuse of power against African Americans, including Ferguson, South Carolina and New York being the most well known. Some of the incidents were caught on video. There are nearly 780,000 sworn officers in the United States protecting and serving 319 million Americans. Police officers have a very difficult and stressful job, but that is no excuse to use excessive force. However, we must take into account what these officers go through and understand that all police officers aren't bad.
I have been in situations where I could have easily gotten into confrontations with police officers. Years ago, I regularly worked with local and state police officers in major cities throughout the U.S. I can tell you first hand that there are some police officers that are prejudiced or egotistical, and some that have their own agendas. I remember arriving in Texas to meet and work with local police there. When I reached out to shake one of the officer's hands, he refused! Later during that same trip, I was almost arrested because the same police officer who wouldn't shake my hand, failed to tell a group of his fellow officers who I was as I approached them.
On another trip to California, a police officer stood two feet in front of me and stared me down while I waited to meet with the Deputy Police Chief. I had never met this officer before, nor did I do anything to him to warrant the stare he was giving me. In both Texas and California, I was the only African American in the group; my co-workers were not subjected to the same treatment. In both cases, I had no choice but to work through whatever issues those police officers had with me. I did not respond to their behavior towards me, and worked more closely with the officers who reached out to me than the ones who didn't. In the end, we successfully finished our work in both cities, and I made some new friends in law enforcement. more >>
Baltimore's State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, the woman who criminally charged six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray on Friday, is a practicing Christian who declared at a recent prayer breakfast that God "put me in this position for a reason."
"Mosby is a Christian, she loves the Lord. She's part of our Multicultural Prayer Movement. I was in her office last week. I took her hands and we prayed together, and we wept and I prayed over her and I said: 'God has raised you a woman of God for such a time as this. This is why God put you here and we stand with you.' The woman depends on the Lord. This is a 35-year-old woman, an Esther is this hour," said Bishop Angel Nunez, who leads Baltimore's Multicultural Prayer Movement, in an interview with The Christian Post on Friday.
On Tuesday at the Bilingual Christian Church, Mosby spoke with members of the Multicultural Prayer Movement group, of which she is also a member. At one point church leaders, including Nunez who has been her friend for five years, gathered around her and prayed. more >>