Category: Breaking News Written by News One
DETROIT — The Mother of a Detroit woman shot and killed while dancing with an off-duty police officer questioned Monday why he would carry a loaded gun at a party in his own backyard.
Police said Adaisha Miller (pictured below right) was dancing with the officer early Sunday morning when she hugged him from behind. His gun, which was in a waist holster, went off, and the bullet punctured Miller’s lung and hit her heart.
She died at a hospital.
Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee (pictured above left) described Miller’s death during a Monday news conference as a tragic, “unfathomable” accident.
“Somehow, in the course of dancing with the individual to his rear and touching his waist, his Detroit Police Department-issued weapon discharged, striking Ms. Miller,” Godbee said. “There is absolutely no indication that the officer placed his hand on his weapon at all.”
Godbee implied contact from Miller appeared to have caused the gun to go off, but he stopped short of saying she pulled the trigger on the .40-caliber handgun.
The officer, 38-year-old Isaac Parrish, has been placed on desk duty while the case is investigated. There was no answer at his home early Monday afternoon. Godbee said Parrish is “very remorseful.”
Miller was celebrating the weekend before her 25th birthday on Monday, said her mother, Yolanda McNair. She was invited to the Saturday night fish fry at Parrish’s home by friends who knew him, McNair said.
“Why do you need a gun at your own house? Why do you need a gun at your own party?” she asked. McNair said she would be watching the police investigation closely.
Detroit police officers have the option of carrying their weapons while off-duty. The model issued by the department has a safety mechanism built into the trigger.
The Smith & Wesson M&P primarily was designed for police and military use. It does not have a safety switch, but the trigger has to be pulled back completely for the gun to fire, certified firearms instructor Rick Ector said.
Ector said that if properly holstered, the gun cannot be fired accidentally.
David Balash, a former Michigan State Police firearms examiner, said the investigation also should look at the gun’s angle given that Miller was shot in the chest.
“What’s going to be very important here is the angle of the entry of the wound to the victim [and] if there is in fact any gunpowder residue,” Balash said. “I’m having a great deal of difficulty understanding how a weapon that’s pointed at the ground can be turned literally 110 degrees minimum to be in an upward position to strike someone.”
But Godbee said Parrish’s waist holster was made of a soft, neoprene-type material, and it would be possible for the trigger to be pulled while the gun was in it. He also said the barrel direction typically would have been pointing down while holstered.
There still is “no justification” for her daughter’s death, said McNair, 44.
“She didn’t do anything wrong,” McNair said. “She told us she was going to a party.
“I should have been baking my daughter her birthday cake.”
The Wayne County medical examiner’s office was to perform an autopsy.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 11:01
Category: Breaking News Written by News One
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is launching a push to extend tax cuts for the middle class, as he seeks to shift the election-year economic debate from the dismal jobs market to assertions that Republican rival Mitt Romney protects the rich.
Obama, in an address from the White House later Monday, will call on Congress to pass a one-year extension of tax cuts for households making less than $250,000 a year, said senior campaign adviser Robert Gibbs.
The president’s appeal to middle-class voters is aimed at drawing a contrast with Romney and congressional Republicans. The House GOP is expected to make its own push this month for an extension of all the Bush-era tax cuts due to expire at the end of the year, including reductions on wealthier income earners.
Obama opposes extending the tax cuts for Americans with higher incomes, while Romney has said he supports extending the expiring cuts for all income earners.
The president’s announcement Monday comes as Democrats embark on a coordinated attack on Romney, intensifying calls for him to explain offshore bank accounts and release several years of tax returns.
The strategy is aimed at portraying Romney, whose personal wealth could exceed $250 million, as disconnected from middle-class voters.
“We have to continue to grow our economy. We have to grow it from the middle class out,” Gibbs said Monday in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show. “But for millionaires and billionaires, they don’t need a tax cut,” he added.
Gibbs said, “We’re going to have to make some tough choices in this country. We can’t continue to spend the kind of money that was spent in the last decade.”
The Romney campaign had no immediate comment on Obama’s tax proposal.
Romney aides have called Democratic attacks on the presumptive GOP nominee’s wealth an “unfounded character assault.”
Romney hasn’t shirked from his wealth in the face of renewed Democratic criticism. He held a $50,000 per person fundraisers Sunday in the Hamptons, New York’s exclusive string of waterfront communities on Long Island’s South Shore.
Romney aides also announced that the campaign and the Republican National Committee raised a combined $106 million in June, the former Massachusetts governor’s biggest monthly haul so far. The Obama campaign has not yet announced its June fundraising total.
Obama was to make his case for the middle class tax cut extension during an event in the White House East Room later Monday. He was expected to be joined at the event by several people the White House says would benefit from the extension.
The president was also to continue the tax debate Tuesday during a campaign trip to Iowa. His re-election team was also promoting the president’s tax policy at a series of events this week in battleground states, including New Hampshire, Colorado and Nevada.
The president’s shift to the tax debate follows Friday’s lackluster jobs report showing the nation’s unemployment rate stuck at 8.2 percent.
The Bush-era tax cuts are due to expire at the end of the year unless Congress votes to extend them. Economists worry that across-the-board tax increases, along with automatic spending cuts also scheduled to take hold at year’s end, could be a blow to the shaky U.S. economy.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 09:42
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
NEW YORK -- Spike Lee worked with Michael Jackson and considered him a friend, but the director says even he learned a lot combing through footage of the icon for a planned documentary about the singer's "Bad" album.
Lee calls it a "treasure chest of findings."
"We have footage in this documentary that no one's ever seen, stuff that Michael shot himself, behind-the-scenes stuff," he said in an interview Monday. "We had complete access to the vaults of Michael Jackson. ... He wrote 60 demos for the `Bad' record. Only 11 made it. So we got to hear a lot of that stuff, too, so it was just a great experience."
He added: "You don't have to be a Michael Jackson-head to enjoy this."
Lee's documentary will be part of a flood of material to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the "Bad" album, Jackson's follow-up to "Thriller" that included hits like the title track, "Smooth Criminal," "The Way You Make Me Feel" and more. The album is being rereleased Sept.18 with additional tracks, a DVD and other bonus material; Lee's film is due to come out later this year, but no date has been set.
Besides Jackson's artistry, Lee said the documentary will show a more personal side of the late legend.
"He had a great sense of humor, and he was funny – so you'll see a lot of that stuff," he said.
Lee interviewed people ranging from Kanye West to Mariah Carey to Sheryl Crow, who was Jackson's background singer on the "Bad" tour.
"We really divided it into two things: Artists today who were influenced by Michael, and then people who worked side by side – musicians, songwriters, technicians, engineers, people at the label, who were all committed to Michael, to the follow-up to the biggest record of all time, which still is `Thriller.'"
Besides the documentary, Lee also plans to hold his now annual birthday tribute to Jackson in Brooklyn, N.Y, on Aug. 25; Jackson would have turned 54 this year.
"This year we're going to focus on the `Bad' album, we're going to focus on the 25th anniversary, but at the same time we're going to play his full catalog, including the Jackson 5 and the Jacksons," he said. "It's going to be even bigger and better this year."
Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 09:38
Category: News Briefs Written by Huffington Post
"Anyone want a fighting dog?"
A Detroit rapper named Calicoe recorded a tour of his pad, which may, from the looks of it, house a dog-fighting operation.
Young Calicoe, according to his Facebook and Myspace pages, lives in the Detroit neighborhood of Brightmoor and is supplementing his nascent hip-hop career by raising pit bulls. The rapper, who calls the animals "fighting dogs," seems to crates the pups in the back of his home. Reddit readers flagged this video this morning, and it's quickly going viral.
Calling it, "The worst Cribs' episode ever," Gawker wrote, "There is also a strong suggestion that roosters kept on the premises are also being used for the purposes of staging cock fights. One of them is introduced as 'Grand Champion.'"
The rapper denied the charges on Twitter. "If u find a video of me "FIGHTING DOGS" PLEEEEZE LET ME KNO," he Tweeted.
According to the Humane Society, involvement in dog fighting can result in variable fines and up to five years in prison in the state of Michigan.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 14:57
Category: Breaking News Written by wwj
Douglas Phillips, Jr of Oak Park is still without power on Sunday. (WWJ/Beth Fisher)
OAK PARK (WWJ) – Thousands still don’t have power in metro Detroit following last week’s storms. A spokesman for DTE Energy tells WWJ Newsradio 950 that as of 5:30 Monday morning, there were still 5,500 homes and businesses in the dark.
UPDATE: As of 8:30 a.m., DTE says it’s making progress, and there are now 5,000 still without power.
Many homes in Oak Park and Ferndale are still waiting for the power to come back on; one of those that did get the lights back belongs to Don Colbert, who lives in Ferndale. But he doesn’t feel like he’s out of the woods yet.
“The refrigerator is empty right now, and I plan on keeping it that way at least for a couple more days because I lost too much food last year,” said Colbert.
Douglas Phillips Jr. began his fourth day without power at his Oak Park home and spoke with WWJ’s Beth Fisher about how he is coping.
“Hotel rooms, family, water. Trying to make sure no one is breaking in the home because the power is off. (We’re) taking food out that’s been spoiled,” said Phillips.
“As a matter of fact, in Oak Park, we lose our power a lot, any time there is a … severe storm comes through here, we are often without power for several days,” added Phillips.
He expresses frustration that the power remains out and says it happens somewhat often.
Sandy Elling of Ferndale has power now, but it was on and off on Saturday. “I’m feeling pretty confident right now … and the weather is much better so we can deal with it,” Elling said.
Many folks that WWJ spoke with said they would head to visit friends or family if left powerless again.
Last Updated on Monday, 09 July 2012 13:48
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
The campaign to reelect President Barack Obama announced on Monday that it had raised $35 million less than the Mitt Romney campaign in June and has cited that gap in an email to supporters as a vehicle to request more donations. The campaign said it had raised $71 million in June -- its best monthly total to date -- to Romney's $106 million.
The figure includes money raised by the Democratic Party. The campaign said that more 706,000 people donated.
Here's the text of the full email, titled "Good News and Bad News."
The good news: June was our best fundraising month of the campaign so far, exceeding all of our expectations. More than 706,000 people supported our organization last month. All told, our campaign, along with the Democratic Party ended June with $71 million to put to work.
The bad news: We still got beat. Romney announced today that his campaign, combined with the GOP, brought in more than $106 million. We're behind again -- and the gap is getting wider.
The fate of this election could be decided before voting even starts.
We have momentum, excitement on the ground, and more grassroots donors and volunteers than any campaign in history. But our opponent has an unprecedented money-for-influence machine geared towards funneling big contributions to his campaign, the Republican Party, and a network of super PACs and anonymous front groups.
There's too much at stake right now to fall behind. Think about what a Romney presidency would mean for the things we've fought for -- like Obamacare, which he says he'll "kill" on Day One. Like the kind of economy we believe in, where everyone gets a fair shake and plays by the same rules.
Each of us has to do our part to close this fundraising gap -- can you step today?
Ann Marie Habershaw
Chief Operating Officer
Obama for America
Last Updated on Monday, 09 July 2012 13:45
Category: Breaking News Written by New York Daily News
Usher's celebrity pals showed an outpouring of support on Twitter following the singer's terrible tragedy this past weekend.
The singer's 11-year-old stepson Kyle Glover has been declared brain dead after he and a 15-year-old gal pal were admitted to a hospital following a boating accident Friday, TMZ reports.
The pair were floating on inner tubes in Georgia's Lake Lanier Friday when a Jet Ski struck the two youngsters.
Glover, whose mother is Usher's ex-wife Tameka Foster, was reportedly struck in the head and was knocked unconscious, according to Department of Natural Resources Sergeant Mike Burgamy.
The girl also suffered serious injuries.
Both children were immediately airlifted to Children's Healthcare at Egelston Hospital in Atlanta.
"Everyone PLEASE pray for Usher and Tameka's son! This is the time they really need your prayers," singer Fantasia tweeted Saturday.
"Praying that Usher and Tameka's son is ok..." Russell Simmons added.
The cause of the horrific incident is still under investigation, which could take months to complete, according to TMZ.
So far, officials have ruled out alcohol as a factor in the accident, but Robin Hill, a rep for the Department of Natural Resources (Wildlife Resources Division) tells the site that they will recreate the accident using special computer programs to determine the details.
Based on the results, Usher could choose to press charges over the accident.
TMZ reports that despite their ongoing bitter divorce battle, Usher hired a private jet to bring Foster to her injured son.
The former couple have two children together - Usher Raymond V, 4, and Naviyd, 3.
Last Updated on Monday, 09 July 2012 09:40
Category: Breaking News Written by wwj
DETROIT (WWJ) – Investigators are looking into an incident involving a Detroit police officer at a social gathering early Sunday morning.
Police say the off-duty cop was at the gathering on Archdale near Southfield Freeway when his weapon discharged, hitting a 25-year-old woman.
Witnesses say that while dancing, the woman allegedly embraced the officer from behind, and his holstered weapon fired.
She was taken to a local hospital where she died.
The young woman’s mother, Yolanda McNair, says she can’t figure out why the officer brought his gun to the party.
“She didn’t have to die,” McNair said. “All he had to do was do what he was supposed to do, and be fair.”
The officer is assigned to administrative duties during during the investigation.
Last Updated on Monday, 09 July 2012 09:35
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
WASHINGTON -- Having trouble getting online?
Some may find their smartphones working overtime because the family computer couldn't seem to connect to the Internet Monday morning.
You may be one of thousands across the United States who waited too long or simply didn't believe the warnings, and your Internet may have shut down just after midnight because of malware that took over computers around the world more than a year ago.
At 12:01 a.m. EDT, the FBI turned off the Internet servers that were functioning as a temporary safety net to keep infected computers online for the past eight months. The court order the agency had gotten to keep the servers running expired, and it was not renewed.
Now, if your computer is infected, your only hope is your Internet service provider's help desk.
In South Korea, there were no reports from affected computers Monday. As many as 80 computers there are believed to be infected with the malware that may cause problems in Web surfing, down from 1,798 computers in February, according to the government.
"The impact will be limited," said Lee Sang-hun, head of network security at the Korea Communications Commission, a government body. The government and private broadband providers opened helplines and issued warnings. They also asked users to check if their computers were infected and to download antivirus software. South Korea is one of the most wired countries in the world, with more than 90 percent of households connected to broadband Internet.
The problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of more than 570,000 infected computers around the world. When the FBI went in to take down the hackers late last year, agents realized that if they turned off the malicious servers being used to control the computers, all the victims would lose their Internet service.
In a highly unusual move, the FBI set up the safety net. They brought in a private company to install two clean Internet servers to take over for the malicious servers so that people would not suddenly lose their Internet.
From the onset, most victims didn't even know their computers had been infected, although the malicious software probably slowed their web surfing and disabled their antivirus software, making their machines more vulnerable to other problems.
Efforts to solve the issue have been hindered a bit by a few factors: Many computer users don't fully understand the technologically complex machines they use every day to send e-mail, shop, and surf for information. The cyber world of viruses, malware, bank fraud and Internet scams is often distant and confusing, and warning messages may go unseen or unheeded.
And other people simply don't trust the government, and believe that federal authorities are only trying to spy on them, or take over the Internet, by pushing solutions to the infection. Blogs and other Internet forums are riddled with postings warning of the government using the malware as a ploy to breach American citizens' computers – a charge that the FBI and other cybersecurity experts familiar with the malware quickly denounced as ridiculous.
There is an underlying sense that this has been much ado about nothing – like the hoopla over Y2K, when the transition to the year 2000 presented technical problems and fears that some computers would stop working because they were not set up for the date change. In the end there were very few problems.
Considering that there are millions of Internet users across the country, several thousand losing access isn't a big deal – unless you are one of them.
Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., who co-founded the cybersecurity caucus in Congress, said computer users have a responsibility to practice good cyber hygiene and make sure their computers have not been infected or hijacked by criminals.
"These types of issues are only going to increase as our society relies more and more on the Internet, so it is a reminder that everyone can do their part," he said.
FBI officials have been tracking the number of computers they believe still may be infected by the malware. As of July 4, there were about 45,600 in the U.S. – nearly 20,000 less than a week earlier. Worldwide, the total is roughly 250,000 infected. The numbers have been steadily declining, and recent efforts by Internet service providers may limit the problems Monday.
Tom Grasso, an FBI supervisory special agent, said many Internet providers have plans to try to help their customers. And some may put technical solutions in place Monday that will correct the server problem. It they do that, the Internet will work, but the malware will remain on victims' computers and could pose future problems.
Other Internet providers have simply braced for the calls to their help lines.
Last Updated on Monday, 09 July 2012 09:19
Category: Breaking News Written by News One
Stephanie Hicks shot herself in the head with a cop’s gun while inside of his police vehicle, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
An Alton police officer saw Hicks, 20, walking across the Clark Bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River at Alton. The cop was alerted by a call from a friend who called police over concern of her walking in the heat. Hicks was walking to to a hospital to seek help for a condition that is not clear. She was medically cleared by EMS workers on the bridge and released.
(Note: Television station KSDK reports that Hicks’ ex-boyfriend said that she was bi-polar and was “recently having a tough time”)
The cop offered Hicks a ride to the hospital and she sat in the passenger side of the police vehicle. Fox 2 Now reports that the cop drove her to to the hospital for a “crisis intervention.” At some point, she went for the officer’s gun and a struggle ensued. Hicks took control of the weapon and shot herself in the head. Hick’s death has been ruled a suicide.
The Dispatch has more on this tragic story:
The watch commander gave the officer permission to drive her, and the officer let her ride in the front seat.
“This was all meant to be a courtesy transportation,” Hayes said.
He said the back of the car, partitioned from the front, is for prisoners and is not air-conditioned. He noted that Hicks was not in custody.
The chief said Hicks “never said a word” while she was in the car.
At Highway 367 and Dunn Road, officials said, she grabbed the pistol carried in a holster on the officer’s right hip, setting off a struggle that ended with a shot. She was taken to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, where she died.
The patrol car was equipped with a video camera, Hays said, but it is wired to the emergency lights and was not running. The officer turned on the lights after the shooting, and a video does show the aftermath.
The officer, who has not been named, is a 13-year member of the force and was not hurt during the incident. An investigation into the incident is underway.
Hicks mother, Robin, says her daughter was 5’1” and weighed less 100 pounds. “She got that gun and there’s no way she should have gotten that gun,” she told Fox 2 Now. “I’m angry and I pissed. It’s not right.”
Last Updated on Sunday, 08 July 2012 13:00
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