On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

cloudy-day
73°
Overcast
H 80° L 69°
  • cloudy-day
    73°
    Current Conditions
    Overcast. H 80° L 69°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    77°
    Afternoon
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 80° L 69°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    77°
    Evening
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 80° L 69°
Listen
Pause
Error

News on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

Traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

Weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Ivy Community Center

Location

Add Event

News

  • A former high school football star and retired U.S. Marine is being hailed as a hero after he saved an Arizona toddler from a burning building in Phoenix last week. According to WWMT, Phillip Blanks, 28, caught the 3-year-old boy, who was dropped from a third-floor apartment early Friday as a fire raged inside.  'People were screaming, 'There are kids up there' and to throw the kids down,' Blanks, who was a wide receiver at Kalamazoo Central High School in Michigan and later joined the Marines, told WWMT. 'I saw another guy was standing there ready to catch the boy, but he didn't look like he was going to do it, so I stepped in front of him.' Blanks caught the boy, whose foot was injured in the fall, and brought him to safety, the news outlet reported.  The toddler and his 8-year-old sister suffered critical injuries, authorities told the Arizona Republic. The children's 30-year-old mother died in the blaze, the newspaper reported. Read more here and here.
  • Friends are remembering a protester killed on a Seattle freeway as having a devotion to animals and social justice. This is as the suspect in the crash appeared in court. Another protester was critically injured in the incident, which occurred early Saturday. According to KIRO-TV, what happened to them has the activist community shaken. Now two memorials have been created, one in Westlake Park and another outside Urban Animal on Capitol Hill, where Summer Taylor worked. This is how Capitol Hill is honoring 24-year-old Taylor, who had two passions: animals and racial equity. Vic Paige, who met Taylor three years ago as part of a close-knit animal-loving community, said she wasn't surprised Taylor was protesting on Interstate 5. “Summer had two full-time jobs,” Paige said of Taylor, who was nonbinary and used the pronouns “they” and “them.” “In the morning, they were here at Urban Animal, taking care of everyone’s animals. And then at night, they were protesting for Black Lives Matter, protesting for their community, their family.” Indeed, Taylor was among those protesting on I-5 early Saturday morning. A video captured the moment a white Jaguar struck the activist and critically injured 32-year-old Diaz Love. Taylor died hours later at Harborview Medical Center. Love is in serious condition but improving. The alleged driver, 27-year-old Dawit Kelete, was in a King County courtroom facing vehicular homicide and vehicular assault charges. A small crowd of Taylor's supporters stood outside.  The famed lawyer the suspect's family hired, John Henry Browne, said he knows little so far. “I need to know more about his family, his background, full-time job he has,” Browne said. “A lot of things.” The judge set the suspect's bail at $1.2 million, $700,000 more than the prosecutor sought. Kelete’s next court appearance is set for Wednesday.
  • A police officer in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, has been fired after he was discovered passed out in his department-issued vehicle with a beer can between his legs. According to WCBD-TV, officers found Sgt. Matt Kinard unconscious in one of the department’s marked SUVs around 11:20 a.m. July 3. Upon closer inspection, responding officers also found an open beer can between Kinard’s legs and notified the other on-duty supervisor, who responded to the scene, The Post and Courier reported. The supervisor escorted Kinard back to the Mount Pleasant Police Department, where he was met by the operations captain and the Office of Professional Standards lieutenant. According to police, it was determined Kinard was intoxicated while on duty and had passed out in his marked police SUV, WCBD-TV reported. Kinard was fired immediately, charged with public intoxication and released on a courtesy summons, the TV station reported. “The criminal consequences are consistent with those a non-law enforcement member of our community would be exposed to and we should not be expected to be treated differently in this circumstance. I am very disappointed that one of our police supervisors would conduct himself in this manner,” Mount Pleasant Police Chief Carl Ritchie said in a prepared statement.
  • A traffic stop for an alleged seat belt violation led to chaos and an Orlando police officer’s knee on a man’s neck. Two officers assigned to an elite special enforcement division were on what they called “proactive patrol” when they initiated the stop as Janet Feliciano pulled into her driveway on West South Street in the city’s Parramore neighborhood. The special enforcement division normally focuses on violent crimes and offenders. WFTV reporter Daralene Jones initially found out about the July 2019 incident after she received cellphone video showing part of it and reached out to Orlando police with questions about what led up to the incident. In the video, you can hear the man on the ground in front of his home yelling, “Can you get off my neck? I can’t breathe! I got asthma.” In body camera video of the incident, Orlando police officer John Earle is seen using his knee to hold down the man’s neck as he’s being placed in handcuffs. The man said he had been trying to protect his sister who was one month pregnant. He said police had snatched her from the doorway of their home, dragged and slammed her to the ground. She was then handcuffed. In the video, Officer Luke Austin screams, “Put your hands behind your back, right now!” From another angle, the officer maintains the hold on the man, at one point shifting his leg to the man’s upper-shoulder area after the man is in handcuffs. It’s part of the body that should be avoided, according to a department use-of-force diagram. And avoidance of the neck area is repeated throughout the agency’s use-of-force policy unless an officer is in a deadly force situation. Earle can be heard on the body camera video saying, “My weight’s not even on you, dude. Relax.” Janet Feliciano said she remembers the day well, though there’s no mention of the violent takedown of her daughter or knee restraint used on her son in the responding officer’s reports. “All I see is (them) putting their knee on my son’s neck, body. And I’m telling them, ‘My son, he can’t breathe,” Feliciano told Jones. Orlando police Chief Orlando Rolon defended and provided explanations for the officers’ actions when he invited Jones to police headquarters to review body camera videos after WFTV sent the cellphone footage to the chief’s office. Weeks earlier when asked directly by a WFTV reporter about whether his officers used neck restraints, Rolon said his officers are not trained to use neck restraints. The chief criticized the now-former Minneapolis officer who held his knee on George Floyd’s neck, killing him. Jones asked Rolon for the police report and why Earle would initially have had his knee on the man’s neck. Rolon said: “Any situation that arises where an officer has a choice, obviously we don’t want to see an officer’s knee on someone’s neck. If the situation comes up where through the utilization of techniques that we choose to control an arm, come down, move the arm over, so that the handcuffs can be placed and you have multiple officers helping out with the process and part of the leg is on the shoulder to control an individual who may be rocking back and forth or trying to get up, that we agree should always be in place. But we also have to have an opportunity to tell our officers that your mind may be on something else, and although your intent is to put pressure on the shoulder blade, you don’t want your leg to transition over to the neck area, especially if that transition is putting weight on to the individual’s neck that we don’t want.” As Jones watched the video with Rolon, he further explained what he believes he saw. “He’s being held to the ground,” Rolon said. “He’s also able to communicate the entire time. The way the officer is holding him is not going to restrict his ability to speak, not going to restrict his ability to voice his concerns about the situation, so keep that in mind.” The encounter was sparked by a traffic stop. Police said Feliciano’s passenger, an unidentified man, hadn’t been wearing his seat belt when they pulled over the car in Feliciano’s driveway. Police said the passenger ignored commands to stop walking into the house. Officer William Jimenez walked up to the front porch and asked Feliciano to ask the passenger to come out of the house. She agreed to do that. Moments later, Jimenez threatened to arrest the unknown man for resisting arrest but still hadn’t explained what crime has been committed. A seat belt violation is a civil infraction. As Feliciano is walking toward her front door, Jimenez said, “I’m about to kick the door in if he doesn’t come outside.” Feliciano described during an interview with WFTV what happened from her perspective. “My son opens up the door, and once he opens up the door, the officer puts his foot at the door,” Feliciano said. “By then, my son is already in the house and the officer is trying to make his way inside my house, and my son is telling him, ‘No, wait. I will get him.’ So I’m yelling for the boy (unknown passenger) to come out the house. They put the cuffs on him, but at no point do they say why they’re putting the cuffs on him. But at no point do they say why they wanted him.” She went on to state: “This is something you guys are used to doing in this area to other people and other people allow it. They don’t come forward, report it, so it goes unknown as to the excessive force that’s being done.” Feliciano’s adult children pushed back, trying to prevent the officer from coming inside without a warrant. As the officer tried to hold the door open, his foot gets caught in the frame, and Feliciano tried to help him get it out, though the struggle to keep Jimenez out of the doorway continued. And Feliciano’s son’s finger was also hurt in the struggle, getting caught in the doorway. The chief told WFTV the officers had probable cause at that point because one of the officers said he could smell marijuana coming from the home, but it’s not mentioned during the struggle. The internal affairs director told Jones that’s not something officers would mention because it would give those inside time to destroy potential evidence. And here’s how the chief described what’s happening in the video during that struggle in the doorway when Jones asked if he believes the officers could go inside without a warrant. “The officers were not trying to get into the home,” Rolon said. “They were trying to secure the home. Unfortunately, when you have a situation where, say, it’s suspected potential that there’s a drug in the home, you have to secure the premises, meaning you have to control what’s going on. The reason they were trying to shut the door was trying to prevent the officers from having access to the inside, but the officer didn’t want to go inside. They just wanted to maintain control. They didn’t know who was inside of the residence at that time. They wanted to make sure that if anyone was in there, now that they had probable cause to potentially even go in and do an initial assessment of what was going on in the residence, their intent was not to go in at that moment.” Attorney Howard Marks represents the family and believes the officer violated their Fourth Amendment rights. “It is unimaginable that you pull a car over in their own driveway for a seat belt offense you cannot be arrested for,” Marks said. “It’s a civil infraction, and from there, you wind up going into people’s home, pulling people out, throwing people on the ground, putting knees on people’s neck. There is nothing that the officers did correctly here, and I cannot imagine that the Orlando Police Department would condone this type of activity. But apparently, they do over and over and over again.” “No use of force?” Marks questioned. “How can an officer throw someone to the ground? Person has injuries, put their knee on their neck, yelling that they can’t breathe and no investigation.” Marks told WFTV his client filed a complaint with Orlando police internal affairs, but Rolon said it went nowhere because the family didn’t cooperate. But Marks said Feliciano sent video and provided witness statements the day after the incident last July. Feliciano admits an officer followed up with her, and later she was asked to come to internal affairs for interviews, but she simply didn’t feel comfortable after what happened to her family. That passenger was never cited for a seat belt violation. No one was charged with marijuana possession. Feliciano’s children were arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence, but the assistant state attorney who refused to prosecute the case and dropped the charges sent a notice to the department’s lawyers, describing the officers as overzealous with no legal basis to hold the door open. Still, there has been no investigation. And Rolon told WFTV his administration had not even reviewed the body camera videos until the TV station brought the cellphone video to their attention 12 days before this story aired. Jones asked the chief what he would say to the community questioning whether this is an example of low income or Black people being targeted by police for minor offenses only to escalate them to major crimes. “It is a valid concern if you see the disparity of vehicle stops in one segment of the community versus others,” the chief said. “I think this is one scenario that allows us to reflect on that. That allows us to look at ourselves and say, ‘Hey, to what extent do we want to exercise vehicle stops for seat belt violations in the city as a whole?’ So, our biggest takeaway is not only the vehicle stop, what reason they had to do the vehicle stop.” Rolon reiterated that he saw no policy violations but rather an opportunity to use this video to provide better training for officers. The officer who put his knee on the man’s neck has been disciplined before for turning off his body camera twice and has more than 30 supervisory referrals in his six years with the department. In one case, he pursued a vehicle that had been parked across three parking spots, shocked the driver with a stun gun after he caught up with him and turned off his body camera more than once after he was in handcuffs. He was named Officer of the Year in 2017.
  • Several dozen protesters marched on the Phoenix Police Department Sunday night, demanding body camera footage be released of the fatal officer involved Fourth of July shooting of a man, who was sitting in a parked car, multiple media outlets reported. Activists and Phoenix City Councilman Carlos Garcia identified the man who was killed as James Porter Garcia, 28, which police confirmed on Monday, The New York Times reported. The officers involved in the shooting have not been identified. “It does not shock us that despite all the scrutiny from community Phoenix PD continues to respond violently to calls. But, we must all continue to ask for transparency and accountability,” Garcia, the council member, wrote on Facebook Sunday in a post that included video of expletive-laden exchange between officers and James Porter Garcia before gunfire erupted. The police department, meanwhile, released a statement stating officers responded to a 911 call shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday from a caller who said a man had tried to kill him, that he had returned with a knife and that the unidentified individual was “threatening to harm him again.” After arriving on scene, officers said the caller “pointed out a specific home” and alleged his attacker was there, The Washington Post reported. The officers then requested backup before locating a man sitting in a parked car in a driveway, the department stated. Officers are said to have told the man sitting in the vehicle that they were investigating an aggravated assault, The Hill reported. “As the conversation continued, officers instructed the man to get out of the vehicle. At this point, he refused, instead rolling up his window and arming himself with a handgun,” the department stated, adding that the man began to later “lift his weapon.” The department said that one officer broke a passenger window to attempt to distract the man after seeing him point his weapon at a fellow officer. As that happened, two other officers fired into the vehicle, the department stated. No officers were injured in the incident, and James Porter Garcia was transported to a local hospital before being pronounced dead, the Times reported. According to The Arizona Republic, protest group W.E. Rising Project organized a demonstration Sunday night that included a march to the Phoenix Police Department’s Maryvale Estrella Mountain Precinct, where an estimated 50 protesters were reportedly met by officers in riot gear as they approached the station. Video showed protesters chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “We don’t see no riot here! Why are you in riot gear?” The Hill reported. Meanwhile, Phoenix Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Mercedes Fortune countered claims that James Porter Garcia was unarmed. “The suspect was not asleep in the vehicle, he armed himself, which is what lead to the officer involved shooting,” Fortune said in an email to the Republic.
  • All schools must open their brick-and-mortar buildings when classes resume this August, the Florida Department of Education announced Monday. In an emergency order, Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said schools must be open at least five days per week for all students, “subject to advice and orders” given by the Department of Health and local health departments. Read the full order below: School districts must submit to the department ahead of their reopening, the order states. Though the schools will reopen their physical locations, online education will be available for students, the order states. In addition, school districts and charter school governing boards “with an approved reopening plan will receive reporting flexibility that is designed to provide financial continuity for the 2020 fall semester,” the order states. Florida has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases this summer. The average age for someone infected is now 21, WFTV reported. The Florida Department of Health released the order a few hours after President Donald Trump tweeted that schools must reopen in the fall.