Cleveland video shows police shot boy within seconds

admin   •   November 27, 2014   •   1849

A police officer (L) is seen pointing his weapon during an incident involving the shooting of a 12-year-old boy with a pellet gun at the Cudell Recreation Center in Cleveland, Ohio, in this still image from video released by the Cleveland Police Department November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Cleveland Police Department

 

(Reuters) – Cleveland officials on Wednesday released a video of the fatal police shooting of a 12-year-old boy that shows him pointing a pellet gun around a park before police arrive and shoot him within two seconds.

Tamir E. Rice was shot by a patrol officer on Saturday after a 911 call reported someone pointing a gun at people at the Cudell Recreation Center. The caller said the gun could be a fake.

The video shows the boy walking and pointing the gun in different directions before entering a gazebo.

A patrol car with two officers pulls up to the gazebo. The first to get out, identified by a city official as Timothy Loehmann, 26, shoots almost immediately.

In a news conference broadcast by NBC, Cleveland Police Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said the time between the car pulling up and Rice being shot was 1.5 to 2 seconds.

There is no audio on the video, but the officers said they told Rice to raise his hands three times before he was shot, police said. He died on Sunday.

Asked why the car pulled up so close, Tomba said “That’s a legitimate question,” which is part of the investigation.

In a statement about the video, Rice’s family said, “It is our belief that this situation could have been avoided and that Tamir should still be here with us.” The family asked the community to remain calm and keep protests peaceful.

Cleveland police said Loehmann and the second officer, Frank Garmback, 46, were both on leave. A union representative said the officer who shot Rice had been on the force for under a year.

Rice had an Airsoft-type replica gun that resembles a semiautomatic pistol, but typically shoots plastic pellets, police said.

Rice’s family described him as “a bright young man who had his whole life ahead of him.”

The video release follows a second night of sometimes violent protests over a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict a white Ferguson police officer for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager.

Both Rice and Brown were African American.

The shooting case will go to the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury for possible charges.

An Ohio grand jury in September decided not to press charges against two police officers who fatally shot a man while he held a pellet gun at a Dayton-area Walmart.

(Additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien; Writing by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Eric Walsh)

Taiwan braces for typhoon Bailu, flights cancelled

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2019

Boats are tied securely at a fishing port in Taiwan in preparation for the anticipated arrival of Typhoon Bailu.

Taiwan braced for Typhoon Bailu on Friday (August 23), prompting cancellations of domestic flights amid warnings of floods and high seas on the island.

Typhoon Bailu, categorised at the weakest typhoon level by Taiwan’s weather bureau, was expected to approach the island’s southeastern coast early on Saturday (August 24), weather officials said.

Bailu was carrying maximum winds of 126 km per hour (78 mph) as it approached Taiwan, the weather bureau said, adding that the storm could gain in strength and become the first typhoon to make landfall on the island in more than two years.

Thousands of people were moved to safety, most of them tourists on islands off the east coast, while dozens of domestic flights and ferry services were cancelled.

After passing over Taiwan, the typhoon is expected to cross the Taiwan Strait and hit the Chinese province of Fujian, forecasters said. (Reuters)

(Production: Fabian Hamacher)

Florida scientists induce spawning of Atlantic coral in lab for first time

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2019

(Courtesy: Florida Aquarium)

Scientists in Florida have artificially induced reproductive spawning of an endangered Atlantic coral species for the first time in an aquarium setting, a breakthrough they say holds great promise in efforts to restore depleted reefs in the wild.

The achievement, announced this week at the Florida Aquarium in Apollo Beach near Tampa, borrowed from lab techniques developed at the London-based Horniman Museum and Gardens and used previously to induce spawning of 18 species of Pacific coral, officials said.

Scientists plan to use their newly acquired expertise to breed new coral colonies that can one day repopulate the beleaguered Florida reef system, one of the largest in the world and one decimated by climate change, pollution and disease in recent decades.

The newly cultivated corals should make for even stronger populations than existing colonies because each individual will be bred with characteristics that may be better able to withstand damage, Keri O’Neil, senior coral scientist at the Florida Aquarium told Reuters.

Inducing corals to release their eggs and sperm in aquarium tanks involves controlling their artificial settings to mimic their natural ocean habitat over the course of a yearlong reproduction cycle.

That means carefully regulating water temperature changes from summer to winter, and using special lighting to imitate sunrise, sunset and even lunar cycles that serve as biological cues for the coral in preparing to spawn.

Collaboration between the Florida and London facilities on the project began in 2017 as the situation facing Florida’s reefs grew more dire because of the spread of a new coral affliction dubbed Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease.

Atlantic pillar coral, which grows in colonies resembling finger- or column-like structures, has been particularly susceptible to the disease and is already classified as virtually extinct in the wild because remaining male and female colonies are too scattered to reproduce.

Corals are a type of marine invertebrate animal, typically living in colonies of tiny sac-like polyps that feed by filtering seawater through a set of tentacles surrounding a central mouth opening.

Corals are sensitive to major changes in water temperature, and the Florida Reef Tract, like other major reefs around the world, has been under pressure from climate change for years as the sea grows steadily warmer. (Reuters)

Bolsonaro says Brazil lacks resources to fight Amazon fires

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2019

The Brazilian government lacks the resources to fight a record number of wildfires burning in the Amazon rainforest, President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday (August 22), weeks after telling donors he did not need their money.

Fires in the Amazon have surged 83% so far this year compared with the same period a year earlier, government figures show, destroying vast swathes of a forest considered a vital bulwark against climate change.

On Wednesday, Bolsonaro said, without supporting evidence, that non-governmental organisations were behind the fires.

Questioned again on Thursday about those comments, he said he could not prove that NGOs, for whom he has cut funding, were lighting the fires but that they were “the most likely suspects.”

The firebrand right-wing president has repeatedly said he believes Brazil should open the Amazon up to business interests, to allow mining and logging companies to exploit its natural resources.

Brazil is facing growing international criticism over its handling of the Amazon, 60% of which lies in the country.

Earlier this month, Norway and Germany suspended funding for projects to curb deforestation in Brazil after becoming alarmed by changes to the way projects were selected under Bolsonaro.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on his twitter account the fires in the Amazon forest are an international emergency and should be discussed by the G7 summit that will begin on Saturday (August 24) in Biarritz, France.

Although fires are a regular and natural occurrence during the regular dry season at this time of year, environmentalists blamed the sharp rise on farmers setting the forest alight to clear land for pasture.

Federal prosecutors in Brazil said they are investigating a spike in deforestation and wildfires raging in the Amazon state of Para to determine whether there has been reduced monitoring and enforcement of environmental protections there. (Reuters)

(Production: Pablo Garcia, Leonardo Benassatto, Paul Vieira)

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