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California sheriff: Killing suspects ‘better financially’ than wounding them

A California sheriff up for re-election has found his words coming back to haunt him after a local police union dug up a 12-year-old video in which he stated it was “better financially” for law enforcement officers to kill suspects than to injure them.

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood made the statement in a snippet of video posted on Facebook Monday by the Kern County Detention Officers Association. The short segment was taken from a longer video shot when Youngblood, who was first elected as sheriff in 2006, was answering questions at an endorsement meeting during his first campaign. 

Kevin Dees, the president of the union, told the Bakersfield Californian that the statements were found as he and his staff were searching the video for campaign promises that the sheriff has failed to deliver on. The KCDOA is backing Youngblood’s challenger, Justin Fleeman, who is also chief deputy.

>> Read more trending news

Youngblood, who is seen in the video seated at a table, was answering a question regarding deputy training when he said that detention officers are trained more extensively than they used to be because of the cost the county incurs when an inmate is injured or killed by a deputy. 

“You know what happens when a guy makes a bad shooting on somebody (and) kills them,” Youngblood said. “Three million bucks and the family goes away, after a long back and forth, back and forth.”

He said it is a “totally different ball game” when a deputy-involved death happens in a jail because it could involve an inmate in restraints, as well as multiple deputies. 

“That (cost) is absolutely huge,” Youngblood said. “It’s no different than when a deputy shoots someone in the streets. Which way do you think is better financially -- to cripple them or kill them -- for the county?” he asked.  

A man off-camera replied, “Kill them.”

“Absolutely,” Youngblood said. “Because if they’re crippled, we get to take care of them for life. And that cost goes way up.”

A five-part series by The Guardian in 2015 called Kern County’s deputies and police officers “America’s deadliest police,” citing data that showed the county had more people killed by law enforcement officers per capita than any other U.S. county. Six of the 13 people killed by law enforcement that year died at the hands of Bakersfield city police officers.

In that same time frame, nine people were killed by New York police officers in a city with nearly 10 times the residents of Kern County, which had a population of just under 875,000 in 2015. The New York Police Department also had 23 times the police officers patrolling the streets than Kern County did. 

The Guardian’s series prompted a civil rights investigation into both departments by the California Department of Justice, which the Los Angeles Times reported last year remains ongoing. 

The American Civil Liberties Union also last year called for reforms in both the Bakersfield Police Department and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, citing its own study that found that officers and deputies have been involved in “a disturbing pattern of shootings, beatings and canine attacks” over the years, the Times said.  

The ACLU study found that, since 2013, Bakersfield police officers had shot and killed 19 people. A quarter of those shot by the department’s officers were unarmed. 

The study also found that a significant percentage of the people shot by both agencies exhibited signs of mental illness. 

Read the entire ACLU study here.

Chris Ashley, director of the KCDOA, told the Guardian that the union is “disgusted” by Youngblood’s 2006 comments. 

“But we have been disgusted with Donny Youngblood’s leadership for more than a decade,” Ashley told the newspaper

Ashley said the entire video from 2006 contained additional “concerning” comments by Youngblood but that the union was not yet prepared to release the full recording. 

Youngblood told the Californian that his remarks were taken out of context. He said that the conversation pertained to the 2005 in-custody beating death of James Moore.

Moore, 30, was beaten to death over the span of hours in a struggle that sometimes included up to 20 corrections officers at a time, the newspaper reported in 2010. Three deputies were ultimately charged with murder in his death. 

One of the deputies, Ralph Contreras, was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. The judge who sentenced him pointed out that Contreras repeatedly struck Moore, who was shackled for most of the beating, multiple times, including with a police baton, and that as Moore lay on a gurney afterward, he put his hands over Moore’s nose and mouth to prevent him from getting air. 

Another deputy, Daniel Lindini, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison, the Californian reported. The third deputy, Roxanne Fowler, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge and was sentenced to time served. 

Youngblood told the Californian Monday that in the video, he was talking about the expense to the county that comes when a deputy commits a crime. The funds diverted to lawsuits takes away the ability to add deputies and provide raises, he said. 

“I’ve never inferred that we should shoot to kill,” Youngblood said. 

He did take responsibility for what he said, however. 

“Do I wish I would have said it differently? I do,” Youngblood told the Californian. “They weren’t offended back then. Still, they are my words and I own them.”

Despite the comments Youngblood made during the endorsement meeting, the KCDOA endorsed him over his opposition. Dee said that endorsement during the general election came about because the union considered Youngblood the “lesser of two evils.”

Fleeman told the newspaper that he learned of the video Monday and was shocked by Youngblood’s comments.

“People are not trash,” Fleeman said. “They are human beings.”

‘They shot an innocent person’: Stephon Clark neighbor regrets 911 call that led to police shooting

The neighbor whose 911 call led to the fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark has called the Sacramento man an “innocent person” and said he never wanted to call 911 again. 

Dave Reiling, who lives across the street from Clark’s grandparents, voiced his regret in an interview Monday with the Sacramento Bee. Clark, 23, was shot eight times -- including six times in the back -- March 18 by officers searching for the person who broke into Reiling’s truck. 

Clark was staying at his grandparents’ house at the time of his death. 

The officers said they fired a total of 20 shots at Clark because they believed he had a gun in his hand as he stood on his grandparents’ back patio. All that was found with Clark’s body was a cellphone.

“It makes you never want to call 911 again,” Reiling told the Bee. “They shot an innocent person.”

Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn said in the days following Clark’s slaying that he believed Clark was the person responsible for breaking the windows of Reiling’s truck, as well as breaking other vehicle windows and the sliding glass door of a neighbor’s home, but that he couldn’t “say factually it was him yet.”

Reiling told the Bee he could not say if Clark was the man he saw, either. He could not make out the facial features of the man, who was wearing a dark-colored, hooded sweatshirt.

Clark was wearing a dark hoodie when he was killed. 

Though he did not know Clark well, Reiling said he’d seen the young father of two boys a few times when Clark visited his grandparents. Reiling, a mechanic, said he knew other members of Clark’s family as well, having repaired their cars on occasion. 

>> Read more trending news

Reiling said that he was watching TV in his trailer when he heard loud noises from outside. When he went out, he saw broken windows on both of his trucks parked nearby.

The man in the sweatshirt was standing next to the driver’s side of one of the trucks, looking at him, he said. 

“I got my ball bat and started chasing him down the street,” Reiling told the newspaper

When the man ran into a neighbor’s backyard, Reiling dialed 911. 

In audio of that call released last month, along with body camera and helicopter videos that capture the shooting, Reiling tells the dispatcher about the man breaking windows of vehicles in the neighborhood. 

“What did he use to break the windows?” the dispatcher asks.

“I have no idea,” Reiling responds. “I heard the noise and I came outside and he was standing right there on the side of my truck, and I grabbed my ball bat … (unintelligible) … I didn’t hit him, or nothing like that.”

Click here to listen to Reiling’s 911 call and watch all video released by police in the Stephon Clark shooting. Warning: The videos contain violence and explicit language. 

Reiling tells the dispatcher that the man is now in another yard, trying to get over a fence, but that he is trapped because of a neighbor’s dogs. 

The dispatcher asks for a description of the man, and Reiling tells her he could not determine the man’s race because of the hoodie he was wearing. The suspect was also wearing pants that appeared to have white stripes or dots on them, he says. 

Clark was wearing dark pants with white stripes down the legs, according to the body camera footage. The footage was recorded as the two officers involved in the shooting approached and handcuffed his motionless body more than five minutes after the gunfire ended.

The officers, as well as fellow officers who provided backup, have been criticized for waiting so long to render medical aid. A coroner who performed an independent autopsy at Clark’s family’s request determined that it took three to 10 minutes for him to die of his wounds.

The helicopter’s infrared footage shows a figure climbing over a fence into Clark’s grandparents’ yard moments after a deputy in the aircraft said the man below shattered a glass door of a home. That crime was not apparent in the video released by police officials. 

The figure walks up to a vehicle outside the grandparents’ home and looks in the window. That is where Clark was standing when the officers who shot him spotted him and chased him into the backyard. 

>> Related story: ‘Gun! Gun! Gun!’ Body cam, aerial video shows police kill unarmed black man

“Show me your hands! Show me your hands! Stop!” one officer screams at Clark when he spots him. He runs after Clark, who is heading around the corner, toward the patio.

As the officer rounds the corner, he again screams, “Show me your hands!” and, “Gun!” before pushing his partner back.

As both officers huddle at the corner of the house, the same officer yells, “Show me your hands! Gun! Gun! Gun!” 

They then both open fire.

See the body camera footage of Clark’s shooting below. Warning: The videos contain violence and explicit language. 

Reiling told the Bee that he’s seen the footage released by police. 

“They shot somebody back there, Stephon, for a cellphone,” he said. 

The two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is under investigation. They have not been formally identified by police officials. 

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the state’s Department of Justice have stepped in to provide oversight of the investigation into Clark’s shooting. Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert’s office is also investigating the officers’ actions. 

The shooting has led to large-scale protests across Sacramento and beyond. 

Suspected car burglar nabbed with help of angry cat

Authorities arrested a suspected car burglar early Monday after he caught the attention of an angry cat.

>> Read more trending news

A man called Wicomo County deputies around 1 a.m. Monday after he said his cat woke him up, agitated at something outside the window. When he looked outside, deputies said he saw a person stealing items from his vehicle.

Authorities found a man identified as Jamie Ruark, 32, inside another vehicle when they arrived. He was arrested after a brief foot chase.

Deputies said Ruark stole from four vehicles parked in the neighborhood. The items were recovered and Ruark was booked into jail on four counts of theft and four counts of tampering with a motor vehicle.

Amber Alert: Savannah toddler has been found, authorities say

UPDATE, 7 a.m. EDT Tuesday: Authorities say they have found the 22-month-old boy.

– Visit WSBTV.com or The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for the latest.

ORIGINAL STORY: Police are searching for Jerry Sullivan, a 22-month-old boy last seen in Savannah, Georgia.

>> Watch the news report here

Authorities think Sullivan was abducted and is in extreme danger, the station reported.

>> Visit WSBTV.com for the latest on this developing story

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the boy was last seen with his mother, Aimee Lowery, whom authorities described as homeless and known to use drugs. Police said Lowery, who does not have custody of the child, is believed to be driving a white 2002 Lexus RX300 with the Georgia license plate WF9F09. 

>> Read more trending news 

If you see the pair, call 911 or the Savannah Police Department right away.

According to WSB-TV, an Amber Alert was issued Monday evening.

– The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.

Mom of slain Tennessee boy with autism arrested on child neglect charge

The mother of a slain Tennessee boy with autism has been charged with aggravated child neglect or endangerment, investigators announced Monday.

>> Father of missing Tennessee boy with autism accused of killing him, hiding body

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Krystal Nicole Daniels, 27, of Dickson County, was arrested Monday and is being held on a $1 million bond at the Dickson County Jail.

The news came less than a week after multiple law enforcement agencies launched a search for her missing son, 5-year-old Joe Clyde Daniels.

On Saturday, investigators held a news conference to announce that the boy's father, Joseph Ray Daniels, 28, had been charged with criminal homicide in the death of his son.

Officials said the father killed the boy and hid the body. Investigators have not found the boy's remains, WKRN reported.

>> Read more trending news 

In an official statement, the TBI said the following

"Joe Clyde Daniels was reported missing by his parents the morning of Wednesday, April 4th. At the request of the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office, the TBI issued an Endangered Child Alert, and law enforcement agencies, search and rescue organizations, and citizen volunteers began an exhaustive search in the area of his residence. On April 6th, at the request of 23rd District Attorney General Ray Crouch, TBI Agents opened an investigation into criminal conduct. During the course of the investigation, and after a three-day search, it was determined that the child’s father, Joseph Daniels, intentionally killed his son sometime during the night of April 3-4, in their residence and then hid his son’s body."

Joseph Ray Daniels is currently being held on $1 million bond.

 WHBQ-TV in Memphis contributed to this report.

Boy, 12, aimed loaded AR-15 as brother threatened neighbors with handgun, police say

Philadelphia police say a 12-year-old boy carried a loaded AR-15 as he and his 19-year-old brother, armed with a handgun, argued with neighbors on a Bridesburg street.

According to WCAU, Michael Mitchell, 19, and the preteen were arrested Saturday evening after threatening their neighbors, police said.

>> NRA donations triple in February, soaring after Parkland school shooting

WCAU reported that Mitchell was holding a loaded handgun when he instructed the boy to get the AR-15 from their home, police said. The boy retrieved the weapon and "aimed at the neighbors," the station reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Mitchell faces several charges, including violating the uniform firearms act, making terroristic threats and corrupting minors, WCAU reported. Authorities did not say what charges, if any, had been filed against the 12-year-old, KYW reported.

Philadelphia police tweeted a photo of Officer Krzyszpof Wrzesinski posing with the weapons, warning parents to "make sure your weapons are secured."

>> See the tweet here

Jaywalker beaten by Sacramento cop settles lawsuit for $550K, policy changes

A man beaten by a Sacramento police officer last spring after the officer accused him of jaywalking has settled a federal civil rights lawsuit against the department, his attorney said.

John Burris told the Sacramento Bee that Nandi Cain Jr. agreed on a $550,000 settlement with the city, but said the deal offers something more important than cash -- changes in police procedure to ensure that others in his situation don’t go through what he did. 

“He likes the idea that the case itself, as he would say, was bigger than him and something more came out of it,” Burris told the newspaper. 

The settlement and the promised changes in procedure come at a particularly tense time for the city and its police force. Sacramento officers have been under scrutiny since the March 18 fatal shooting of Stephon Clark.

Clark was shot eight times -- including six times in the back -- as he stood on his grandparents’ back patio. His name and face have become a symbol of protest as angry residents have taken to the streets over the past several weeks. 

The officers involved said they thought Clark had a gun. Clark was unarmed, carrying only a cellphone in his hands.

>> Read more trending news

Cain’s case began April 10, 2017, as he was walking home from work in the Del Paso Heights area of Sacramento. Officer Anthony Figueroa, who was placed on administrative leave following the incident, spotted Cain and got out of his patrol car to confront him about jaywalking.

>> Related story: Officer under investigation for slamming jaywalker to ground, beating him

The entire confrontation was caught on Figueroa’s dashboard camera, as well as in a cellphone video shot by bystander Naomi Montaie. The dashboard video recorded Figueroa, who is white, approaching Cain, who is black, after he saw Cain cross the street illegally. 

“Can you come here, please?” Figueroa said as he walked up behind Cain on the sidewalk. “Come here, bud. Get your hands out of your pockets.”

Cain pulled his hands out of his pockets and held them up in the air, but kept walking. Though Cain’s verbal response to the officer was unintelligible, police said he questioned the officer’s validity to stop him. 

“I do. You’re jaywalking. You were jaywalking back here,” Figueroa replied. 

Watch the officer’s dashboard camera video below. Warning: The video contains violence and explicit language that may not be acceptable to all readers. 

Cain could be heard saying that he looked both ways before crossing the street, and that the officer was harassing him for no reason. 

Within seconds, Figueroa began threatening to “take (Cain) to the ground.”

“Stop right now before I take you to the ground,” Figueroa demanded, one hand on what appeared to be his holstered gun. “If you do not stop right now, I will take you to the ground.”

Cain could be heard telling Figueroa he “pulled (him) over for nothing.” He continued to back away from the officer, moving into the street. 

A red vehicle that Montaie was riding in pulled up near Cain and Figueroa, and Montaie began recording the incident. 

Figueroa continued to tell Cain to stop before ordering him down on the ground. Cain removed his jacket, telling the officer he had nothing dangerous on him. 

“I don’t have nothing,” Cain said. “If you’re a real man, you can take your gun away, and you can fight me like a real man.”

“Okay, okay,” Figueroa responded before grabbing Cain by neck and slamming him to the ground. 

“Hey, why are you doing him like that?” Montaie screamed as Figueroa straddled Cain’s body and used both fists to repeatedly punch him in the face. 

The driver of the car Montaie was in parked, and both women got out of the car, screaming. 

“Hey, why are you beating him like that?” Montaie screamed. “Oh, my God! Oh, my God! He beating him like that! Oh, Jesus!”

She continued to record Figueroa as a second officer arrived and helped him handcuff Cain. 

Watch Montaie’s video below. Warning: The video contains violence and explicit language that may not be acceptable to all readers. 

“I ain’t got (expletive) on me! I just got off of work!” Cain said from the ground. “You going to be hearing from my lawyer and my boss!”

“Why did you take him down like that, though, sir? That wasn’t right!” a tearful-sounding Montaie continued as an additional two officers arrived. 

At least seven officers could be seen in the video as one officer searched Cain’s pockets. An officer was heard telling him he was accused of jaywalking. 

“What’s that?” Cain asked. “I looked both ways, wasn’t no cars in the street. I’m a grown (expletive) man. I know how to cross the street.”

Cain said that he learned in the first grade to look both ways before crossing the street. 

“I don’t give a (expletive) about jaywalking. I don’t give a (expletive) about none of that (expletive),” Cain told the officers. “I’ve been having a hard (expletive) week, and y’all need to leave me the (expletive) alone! I’m tired!”

He was then led, handcuffed, to a patrol car. Initially charged with resisting arrest, the charge was dropped within hours of his arrest. 

>> Related story: ‘I can’t breathe’: Body cameras show brutal beating of black man accused of jaywalking

Cain also alleged that he was stripped naked and verbally abused at the Sacramento County Jail. According to the Bee, that portion of his federal lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount last fall. 

Figueroa has since returned to patrol, but works in a different area of the city, the newspaper reported. Results of an internal investigation were never made public and the Sacramento County district attorney found it “not reasonably likely” that a jury would convict either Figueroa or Cain of a crime. 

Click here to see all video released by Sacramento police officials in the case. Warning: Some of the videos contain violence and/or explicit language that may not be acceptable to all readers.

Part of the settlement Cain reached with the city is a provision that Figueroa will not work in Del Paso Heights until at least 2020 -- and until he has completed training on implicit bias.

The implicit bias training is something that all officers will receive as part of the settlement with the city, Burris said. They will also receive procedural justice training, and new recruits will have cultural immersion training in the academy. 

Burris said the city will begin tracking and reporting jaywalking tickets and make changes to the department’s use-of-force policy -- a particularly hot topic since Clark’s slaying. 

The department will also implement a random audit of body camera footage to ensure that officers are using the new training in the field and to check that officers’ actions match what they write up in their reports.

“Basically, it’s trying to monitor a police officer’s conduct after you train them,” Burris told the Bee. “It’s also about talking to people in a consistent way, both African Americans and whites, because we have seen in other areas that black officers and white officers talk to black people differently than they talk to whites.”

Burris said city officials were receptive to what he and his client wanted to see happen, an attitude he called “refreshing.”

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg was supportive of the changes in a statement his office released Friday.

“Our city is fully committed to transparency and changing training, protocols and procedures to make sure these unacceptable incidents don’t occur,” Steinberg said. 

The settlement was approved by the Sacramento City Council earlier this month, the Bee reported

Mother arrested after toddler eats THC-laced macaroni and cheese

A mother was arrested Thursday after allegedly giving her toddler THC-laced macaroni and cheese, according to KNXV.

KTVK reported that the Arizona Department of Child Safety was notified by someone in Alaina Marie Limpert’s home about the incident. 

According to a police report, Limpert, 25, allegedly gave her 21-month-old daughter macaroni and cheese that was made with THC-laced butter. The girl ate the food with her father.

>> Read more trending news 

“During that time neither parent took the child to emergency care,” the police report said. “It was witnessed inside of the residence that (the parents) laughed about the side effects the child experienced during that time and then proceeded to place her into their backyard pool to use the cold water to ‘shock’ her. 

“It was not until two days later that Department of Child Safety was notified and arrived to take custody of all three children in the residence.” 

The police report said the child tested positive for THC by hospital staff. Limpert admitted making the macaroni and cheese with THC butter for her husband, but said she did not know her daughter ingested it. 

Police also found two marijuana grow tents in the garage, three tubs of THC butter in the fridge, as well as hash oil, bongs and pipes, mushrooms and other drug paraphernalia.

Limpert was arrested on one count of child abuse. She was released and is due in court April 19.

Floyd Mayweather’s bodyguard shot outside upscale hotel, Atlanta police say

A man identifying himself as a bodyguard for boxer Floyd Mayweather was shot then followed after pulling up to an upscale Buckhead hotel with two other vehicles, according to Atlanta police.

>> Read more trending news

“We believe that Mr. Mayweather may have been in one of the other vehicles in the caravan and was not injured,” police spokesman Donald Hannah said.

Several officers responded to the scene at the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta just after 3 a.m. Monday in the 3300 block of Peachtree Road.

“At this time, it appears that this was not a random shooting and the shooter was targeting the victim’s vehicle,” Hannah said.

According to Atlanta police, three vehicles were returning to the hotel from a club on Buford Highway when another vehicle pulled alongside them and started firing several times at a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van.

All three of the vehicles drove away and were followed temporarily, police said. 

After losing the vehicle, the injured man drove to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for a gunshot wound to the leg.

The investigation temporarily shut down southbound lanes of Peachtree Road at Highland Drive, but the road has since reopened, WSBTV reported

The injured man is expected to be OK, police said.

His name has not yet been released.

“We are working to confirm the suspect vehicle description,” Hannah said.

70-year-old woman wanted for allegedly organizing drug deal-style ginseng heist, police say

Duluth, Georgia, police are looking for an unusual theft suspect – a 70-year-old woman. 

>> Watch the news report here

Police told WSB-TV's Tony Thomas she's accused of organizing a drug deal-style heist to get back at a former business partner. 

Duluth police say two cars backed up to each other just behind a calming fountain at the Park Village shopping center to complete a deal for 20 pounds of ginseng.

"They were parked sort of next to each other with a scale in the middle," said Officer Ted Sadowski.

>> Florida woman caught with cocaine in purse blames the wind

The victim told police he didn't know the woman who had called him up, responding to a Korean newspaper ad, but he thought she was a legitimate customer.

In reality, police say she was an accomplice of 70-year-old Young Sook Lee

"When the ginseng was being taken out and weighed, he would then put it into the suspects' vehicle," Sadowski said.

But as the accomplice distracted the victim, police say surveillance video shows Lee getting out of a nearby car, and then driving away with the accomplice, stealing the eight bags of ginseng.

>> Read more trending news 

"The victim then gets into his car and chases them throughout the parking lot. It looked sort of like a little police chase but with citizens' cars," Sadowski said.

Investigators say because of surveillance video, they were able to get a tag number from the getaway car and link it to Lee. They've issued a theft warrant for the 70-year-old Duluth woman, but police say she's avoided officers every time they've gone to arrest her. 

Police believe Lee targeted the victim because she had lost money in a prior deal. They suspect she sold the ginseng, likely overseas, to make up for the lost cash.

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