Friday, August 31, 2012

Line of Duty Death: Officer Forrest “Dino” Taylor | Baltimore County FOP Lodge #4

Line of Duty Death: Officer Forrest “Dino” Taylor | Baltimore County FOP Lodge #4

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Baltimore City Police Officer Forrest “Dino” Taylor. On February 18th, 2012, while on duty operating a marked Baltimore City Police Vehicle, a SUV came through a red light, striking Police Officer Taylor”s vehicle, causing severe injuries to Police Officer Taylor.

Over the months, he had been receiving various medical attention. On August 23rd, 2012 he was operated on and on August 29th, 2012, he died of complications. The Baltimore City Police Department has declared his death to have come as a result of he February accident, thus it is a Line Of Duty Death.

Police Officer Forrest “Dino” Taylor’s LOD Funeral Arrangements are as follows:

Viewing: Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 1300 hours to 2100 hours 1 – 9 P.M.

Singleton Funeral Home, 410-766-7070
1 2nd Avenue, SW, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061

Service: Friday, September 7th, 2012 1000 hours 10 A.M.

The Cathedral of Mary Our Queen
5200 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21010

Internment: Hill-crest Memorial Gardens, 410-267-7540
1991 Forest Drive, Annapolis, Maryland 21401

NOTE: There has been a Memorial Fund set up by the Singleton Funeral Home
1 2nd Avenue, SW, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061, Telephone 410-766-7070
to benefit the two young children of Police Officer Forrest “Dino” Taylor and
his wife Ambre Taylor.

On behalf of Maryland Fraternal Order of Police, our condolences, prayers and thoughts go out to Police Officer Forrest “Dino” Taylor’s family. May he rest in peace.

Trooper Eric Michael Workman Passes - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Trooper Eric M. Workman
Trooper Eric Michael Workman Passes - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

The following statement was released on Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's website:

It is with deep sorrow that the West Virginia State Police reports the death of Trooper Eric Michael Workman on August 31, 2012. Trooper Workman was critically wounded on Tuesday, August 28, 2012, when he and Corporal Marshall Lee Bailey were shot during a traffic stop along WV Route 36 just off of Interstate 79, Exit 34 - Wallback/Clay, in Roane County, West Virginia. Corporal Marshall Bailey died at the scene.

Trooper Workman enlisted in the West Virginia State Police on January 10, 2011. He was assigned to the Grantsville Detachment upon graduating from the West Virginia State Police Academy and had been recently transferred to the Clay Detachment. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Trooper Workman's family would like to inform the public that he is an organ donor. It is the family's sincere hope that even in his death, his selfless service to others will continue by providing others an opportunity to live a fruitful life.

"Trooper Workman was an outstanding young man with a promising future. It is unfortunate his life was cut short by this senseless and cowardly act. Our prayers continue to be with his family and friends. I am overwhelmed by the support the West Virginia State Police family is receiving during this difficult time." - Colonel C. R. "Jay" Smithers

"I met with Trooper Workman's family earlier this week, and I can honestly say without a doubt, West Virginia lost a very brave young man this afternoon. Joanne and I have held this family and the entire West Virginia State Police family in our prayers, and we will continue to pray for them in the days ahead. May God bless the men and women who wear the uniform and whose mission it is to protect us all." - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Suspect fatally shot by police in Boston's South End

Suspect fatally shot by police in Boston's South End BOSTON (FOX 25 / –

Police were forced to use deadly force on a man after they say he brandished a firearm and refused to put it down in Boston's South End neighborhood on Tuesday.

It happened on the far end of Dartmouth Street and Columbus Avenue, just steps away from the MBTA station in the South End. Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis says officers pulled over a metallic Cadillac around 630 p.m. Tuesday.

Police say a man who was alone in the car got out and ran off. Officers chased him near the Southwest Corridor Park, right behind Copley Place.

That's when they say the man pulled out a gun. After telling the suspect to drop his weapon, police fired one shot, hitting that suspect in the chest.

The suspect was later pronounced dead at Boston Medical Center. Police say two officers were also sent to the hospital, but Commissioner Davis says they weren't shot and their injuries are minor.

It's still unclear why officers were first pulling the man over. Investigators say they aren't searching for any other suspects.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

UPDATED: 2d video in hunt for officer’s killers released, reward rises to $118K

2d video in hunt for officer’s killers released, reward rises to 118K

By Allison Steele

Police today released a second, more detailed video of the two men who stalked and killed off-duty Police Officer Moses Walker Jr. during a stickup on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the pair rose today to $118,000.

Police said investigators have received videos from a number of sources in the neighborhood where Walker was killed, including businesses and residents. They also are in the process of sifting through tips they have received in the case.

On Monday, investigators released a surveillance video that showed Walker warily studying two males following him before he was shot and killed during a robbery Saturday morning in North Philadelphia.

The footage released today shows the two men walking north on 19th Street, about five minutes before the robbery took place, said Capt. James Clark, the commander of the Homicide Unit.

The images of the men's faces are clearer; the man police believe was the shooter has a bald or shaved head and a goatee or beard, and is wearing dark shorts and a light-colored hooded sweatshirt in the video. The other man also is wearing shorts, and both are wearing sneakers. Police are hopeful someone will recognize them from their clothing and mannerisms.

Clark said investigators believed the bandits lived in the neighborhood.

Investigators were out in force looking for residents with robbery records to see what, if anything, they might know about the deadly stickup.

Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey urged residents to call if they had the slightest suspicion about the identities of the two males shown in the video.

"Let us decide if any information you have is relevant," Ramsey said Monday.

The video released Monday, one of several examined by investigators, shows Walker strolling west on Cecil B. Moore Avenue at North 19th Street about 5:55 a.m. to catch a bus home after completing his shift at the nearby 22d District.

The 19-year veteran of the force, who was dressed in shorts, wearing a baseball cap, and carrying a backpack, can be seen glimpsing over his shoulder across the street.

A second camera view shows him walking into the street, around a car, and back to the sidewalk, apparently wary of the two males trailing him.

The same camera view then catches the two males coming up on the other side of the street. They crossed the street and followed Walker.

A third man, whom police have interviewed, also crossed the street and followed the pair.

Clark said the investigation revealed that the two males, one of them armed, stopped Walker on the 2000 block of the avenue and announced a robbery. When Walker went for his off-duty weapon, the gunman shot him three times - once in the chest, once in the stomach, and once in an arm, the captain said.

The officer died a short time later at Hahnemann University Hospital.

Funeral arrangements are still pending, Ramsey said today.

Anyone with information was asked to call 911 or the Homicide Unit at 215-686-3334 or -3335, or to submit a tip at

Monday, August 20, 2012

Police Officer Killed In Crash On I-95 | Baltimore News | WBAL Radio 1090 AM

WASHINGTON - A Prince George's County police officer was killed and another injured Monday while chasing down a suspect on Interstate 95 in Beltsville, officials say.

Police identified the 23-year-old officer as Adrian Morris at Monday night press conference.

Morris died after being ejected from the cruiser, which was traveling southbound on the highway shortly before 1 p.m. He lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a ditch, Prince George's County Police Chief Mark Magaw says.Morris was investigating car break-ins in Laurel, police say.

His partner was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The name of the other officer hasn't been released, but police said at a press conference that he's in his 20s.

Earlier in the day, Magaw says the officers followed protocol during the pursuit, adding that he is proud of both men.

"It shows the courage and dedication of these officers," he says. Morris became an officer after volunteering as a police explorer for five years.

Born in Kingston Jamaica, Morris was raised in Laurel and became a U.S. citizen in 2009. "Police Officer Morris represented the very best that our agency has to offer," said Chief of Police Mark Magaw.

"He wanted to be a Prince George's County police officer from a very young age, and it showed in all of his interactions with the community." Crime Solvers is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who contributed to Morris' death.

Officials are looking for a silver Acura with temporary tags that might have been involved in the crash.

Follow WTOP on Twitter.

Off-duty deputy killed in crash - News from King George

Off-duty deputy killed in crash - News from King George

The woman who was the first female deputy in the King George Sheriff’s Office was killed in a two-vehicle crash Sunday.

Sharon B. Zwicker had joined the department on Nov. 1, 1981, and served for 27 years before she retired on Jan. 1, 2009, said Sheriff Steve Dempsey. The month after retirement,  she came back to work part-time and maintained that status, helping with civil processing and court security as needed, the sheriff said.

“She was certainly a valued person,” Dempsey said.

“She was beloved and appreciated by all around her.”

Zwicker was not on duty Sunday, when the accident happened. At 2:48 p.m., Zwicker, 54, was in her 2000 Saturn station wagon at the intersection of U.S. 301 and State Route 623 in King George. She failed to yield the right-of-way at the stop sign and was struck by a 2005 Nissan Altima, according to Sgt. Thomas Molnar of the Virginia State Police.

The impact caused the Saturn to overturn before coming to a rest, Molnar said.

Zwicker was traveling westbound on Route 623 and the Nissan was traveling northbound on U.S. 301 at the time of the crash, Molnar said.

Zwicker, who was wearing her seat belt, died at the scene.

The Nissan driver, April Hall, 19, of Chaptico, Md., and passenger, Collin Brooks, 21, of Mechanicsville, Md., suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

The Virginia State Police Accident Reconstruction Team and the King George County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the on-going investigation.

Zwicker served as a school resource and DARE officer, Dempsey said.

“She was quiet, but you knew her presence was here in the school,” said Billie Jo Derrow, a math teacher at King George Middle School. “ She spoke with the kids, was there for them whenever they needed to talk to her about anything going on.”

After Zwicker retired, she worked with her husband, Morgan, in the family business, Pinehill Towing & Automotive. The Zwickers have two grown children.

'Hero' Police Officer Appreciated by Patch Readers - Town and Country-Manchester, MO Patch

'Hero' Police Officer Appreciated by Patch Readers - Town and Country-Manchester, MO Patch

Thanks to emails from 'Patch' readers, we gathered details on the heroic efforts of a Manchester police officer and good samaritan who risked their lives to pull a man from a burning car. Watch the dash cam video here.

As previously reported by Town and Country - Manchester Patch, Manchester Police Officer Gerad Gonzalez and Des Peres resident Joe Caruso risked their lives last week to pull an unconscious man from burning car right before it exploded.

 The accident happened at Dougherty Ferry and Carman roads, just on the outskirts of Manchester, around 9:51 p.m. Tuesday. The dramatic rescue from the fiery crash and the events that unfolded afterward were all caught on the police dash cam video in this article.

Officer Gonzalez
It was thanks to emails from Patch readers that first alerted us to the selfless efforts of Officer Gonzalez, a 16-year veteran of law enforcement.

Even some witnesses sent in words of kindness and appreciation. Following are some of the emails Town and Country - Manchester Patch received, hailing Gonzalez a "hero" the night he pulled up to two blazing SUVs and ran right toward them.

Janet Jackson-

"He got into and pulled the injured man from the SUV while it was on fire & exploding. The scene was horrific." "I was inside my car & saw the officer in a blue uniform rush towards the black SUV. The passenger side was on fire and the Blazer was fully engulfed and was literally exploding. The officer got inside of the SUV and pulled the guy out and dragged him away to safety. Then tended to the other driver until the fire truck and other police officers arrived. There was a lot of commotion. The policeman who rescued the driver is a real hero. "

Tommy Walker FF/EMT-

"...the heroic actions of Officer Gerrad Gonzalez, who once arriving on scene, pulled the unconscious driver from the flaming automobile. As a paramedic firefighter myself, I know full well the danger officer Gonzalez faced and truly believe he deserves at least the recognition of his actions." "'Gonzo' is a great officer and I was very proud to hear of his heroic actions. Manchester is lucky to have him as an officer. I'm a full time paramedic and a recent grad of the County Fire academy."

Elaine Calloni-
"Just wanted to give you a heads up regarding a Manchester Police officer, blue car/uniform, that I saw pulling a driver out of a burning vehicle Tuesday night. It was at Carman and Dougherty Ferry. I was driving by and he was the only emergency vehicle there at the time. It was a very serious 2 car accident and I think that someone should recognize him in some way for his actions!!!"

Patch would like to thank readers for the emails alerting us to the efforts of Officer Gonzalez and Caruso. It was because of you that we learned what happened that night and could then gather more information. We encourage Patch readers to continue emailing in information and news tips in the future.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Neighborhood dedicates memorial for slain deputy

Neighborhood dedicates memorial for slain deputy

A Melbourne neighborhood dedicated a new memorial for a sheriff's deputy shot and killed in the line of duty.

Deputy Barbara Pill was killed in the Palmwood neighborhood earlier this year.

People in that neighborhood created a memorial garden to Pill.

Her husband, Steven Pill, and her son were there for the dedication.

“It means a lot to me and the family because this just shows the support we were getting from the neighborhood, what the people really thought of my wife and I just think it’s a great outpouring of support,” said Pill.

Deputy Pill's suspected killers remain locked up in jail.

Her family is trying to keep any dash-cam video of her murder from being released.

Virginia trooper injured in crash involving intoxicated driver: police - Crime Scene - The Washington Post

Virginia trooper injured in crash involving intoxicated driver: police - Crime Scene - The Washington Post

A Virginia State Trooper was injured Saturday when the patrol car he had pulled over to protect a tow-truck driver operating on the Beltway was struck by an intoxicated driver, police said.

Trooper K.S. Fleenor and the tow-truck driver were both treated at Fairfax Inova Hospital and released, Virginia State Police said..

The incident occurred early Saturday on the Inner Loop near Tyson’s Corner. Fleenor had positioned his car in a northbound travel lane to shield the tow truck driver as he hooked up a vehicle damaged in an earlier crash, police said. They said Fleenor was seated in his car with its lights flashing when it was rear-ended by a 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue, pushing the patrol car into the previously damaged vehicle, which then struck the tow truck.

The driver, Christina Hirt, 30, of Alexandria, refused treatment at the scene and was charged with DUI, police said.

By  |  12:07 PM ET, 08/19/2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Man fatally shot after slashing Baltimore officer

Man fatally shot after slashing Baltimore officer - SFGate

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore police say an officer shot and killed a man who slashed another officer in the face while they were investigating a burglary complaint.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi (goo-lee-EHL-mee) says the shooting occurred around 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

Guglielmi says the officers got a 911 call for a possible burglary and found a man on the third floor of a vacant building. He says the man lunged at the first officer, cutting him in the face. The other officer fired several shots, and the man was pronounced dead at the scene. The wounded officer was taken to a hospital.

City police have shot 10 people this year, killing eight. Last year, Baltimore police shot 14 people, five of them fatally.

San Bernardino County sheriff's detective killed, deputy hurt in Needles crash -

San Bernardino County sheriff's detective killed, deputy hurt in Needles crash -

NEEDLES -- A San Berndardino County Sheriff's detective was killed and a deputy seriously injured early Saturday morning when the vehicle they were traveling in crashed into a tractor trailer that rolled in front of them, California Highway Patrol and sheriff's officials said.

 Martin Landaeta, a 14-year-veteran with the department, died after he crashed into the disabled tractor trailer on eastbound I-40 near J Street, according to the CHP website.

Landaeta was traveling with his wife and a sheriff's deputy to Laughlin, Nev., for River Days when the crash took place.

The deputy, who has not been identfied, suffered a serious injury. Landaeta's wife was not seriously injured.

The condition of the passengers in the tractor trailer was not immediately known. CHP officials are investigating the crash.

Philly officer fatally shot after finishing shift - $118K Reward

Philly officer fatally shot after finishing shift

PHILADELPHIA — An off-duty police officer was shot and killed as he walked along a north Philadelphia street early Saturday, and police announced rewards totaling $118,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Officer Moses Walker Jr., 40, had just finished his shift when he was shot several times around 6 a.m. about four blocks from the 22nd District station, police said. The 19-year veteran of the force was pronounced dead at Hahnemann University Hospital.

Lt. Raymond Evers said Walker's service weapon was found under his body, but police don't know whether it was discharged. Investigators were also trying to determine if anything was taken from his backpack.

Police were asking for information from anyone who saw someone running from the scene and were also seeking any footage from security cameras facing the street in the area.

Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Walker's death is a blow for a department still mourning the loss of Highway Patrol motorcycle officer Brian Lorenzo, who was killed last month in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 95.

"We literally just removed the mourning bands from our badges last week for Officer Lorenzo, and now it appears we may be putting them right back on again, so it's tough," Ramsey said.

"This department has been through an awful lot," he said. "In just the 4 1/2 years that I've been here, this would be the seventh officer we've lost, which is more than some departments get in 20 years."

From 2006 to 2009, eight officers died in the line of duty from either gunfire or vehicular assault. Half of those deaths occurred in 2008, two of them when stolen vehicles rammed their cruisers.

The general homicide rate in Philadelphia has risen sharply in recent years. After falling to just over 300 a year in 2009 and 2010, the City of Brotherly Love recorded a total of 324 homicides last year and is reporting just under one homicide every day so far this year.

In May 2006, Officer Gary Skerski became the first officer slain in the line of duty in Philadelphia in a decade when he was shot responding to a robbery at a bar.

In October 2007, Officer Chuck Cassidy, 54, was shot to death when he interrupted a robbery at a Dunkin' Donuts.

In May 2008, 39-year-old Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski was shot and killed following a bank robbery. Two men were convicted of first-degree murder, while the man believed to have gunned down the 12-year police veteran was killed in a shootout with officers.

A few months later, 30-year-old Officer Patrick McDonald was shot and killed by a fugitive he had chased down after a traffic stop.

Officer Isabel Nazario was killed in September 2008 when a teenager crashed a stolen SUV into her cruiser. Sgt. Timothy Simpson, 46, was killed in November 2008 when a man fleeing police in a stolen car hit his vehicle.

In 2009, Officer John Pawlowski, 25, was killed while responding to the attempted robbery of a cab driver despite wearing a bulletproof vest.

Friday, August 17, 2012

UPDATE: Seven charged in shootings that killed Louisiana police officers

Seven charged in shootings that killed Louisiana police officers | Reuters

(Reuters) - Louisiana police have charged seven people in connection with Thursday's shootings near New Orleans that left two sheriff's deputies dead and two others wounded, authorities said.

Brian Lyn Smith, 24, of LaPlace, Louisiana, was charged with attempted first-degree murder, St. John Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Dane Clement said on Friday.

Terry Smith, 44, Derrick Smith, 22, Kyle David Joekel, 28, and Teniecha Bright, 21, were charged with being a principal to attempted first-degree murder, Clement said.

Chanel Skains, 37, and Britney Keith, 23, were charged with accessory after the fact to attempted first-degree murder.

The charges stem from a pair of related shootings early Thursday morning in and around LaPlace, about 25 miles west of New Orleans.

First, a gunman shot and wounded St. John Parish Deputy Michael Scott Boyington, 33, while he was performing off-duty work directing traffic at a parking lot for Valero Energy Corp.'s St. Charles refinery, St. John Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said.

The gunman fled, and officers investigating the incident ended up at a trailer park in LaPlace. As they were interviewing two suspects, someone came out of a trailer with an assault weapon and shot dead the two officers and wounded another, Tregre said.

The slain deputies were identified as Brandon Nielsen, 34, and Jeremy Triche, 27. The other wounded deputy is Jason Triche, 30.

Suspects Smith and Joekel remain hospitalized with injuries they received in the shooting and will be booked upon release from the hospital, Clement said.

All of the charges are in connection with the shooting of Boyington, police said. The investigation into the shootings at the trailer park continue and is being led by the Louisiana State Police.

All the suspects were listed as LaPlace residents. Bonds ranging from $350,000 to $750,000 have been set for each.

The injured police officers are in stable condition and doing well, Clement said.

Both Candidates Support National Blue Alert System -- Occupational Health & Safety

Both Candidates Support National Blue Alert System -- Occupational Health & Safety

Former Gov. Romney and President Obama answered a Fraternal Order of Police survey saying they support H.R. 365/S.657, the National Blue Alert Act.

The two major party candidates for president this fall apparently agree on at least one thing: They support bills that would set up a national Blue Alert system through which law enforcement could seek the public's help if a law enforcement officer goes missing, is killed, or is seriously wounded in the line of duty. The Fraternal Order of Police asked former Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama to answer questions about several of its top legislative priorities, and FOP has posted their answers to the questionnaire prepared by the organization's National Legislative Office.

FOP supports the enactment of H.R. 365/S. 657, the “National Blue Alert Act,” which will create such a national alert system, and it asked them whether they would sign it into law. (H.R. 365 already passed the U.S. House of Representatives in May, while S. 657 has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. About 15 states, including California, currently have Blue Alert plans in place, according to the Blue Alert Foundation Inc.)

"I commend the efforts of states who have already taken action to enact “Blue Alert systems to ensure that critical information is quickly and appropriately disseminated to law enforcement agencies when a police officer is injured or killed. I support these state efforts and am willing to consider any legislation designed to achieve similar goals nationwide," Obama answered.

Romney's answer: "I believe the federal government, through the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other resources, should do all it can to assist state and local law enforcement in the location and apprehension of criminals who have assaulted or killed an officer.

The Blue Alert concept is based upon the highly effective Amber Alert system, which has rescued over 500 children and apprehended many offenders since the 2003 PROTECT Act reinforced the Amber Alert system at the federal level.

Over the last two Congresses, the National Blue Alert Act has been mired in a legislative dispute relating to funding streams and funding levels. Although I understand and respect the different voices and views in this dispute, the reality is that the dispute has been allowed to persist without any resolution due to a lack of leadership from the executive branch. As president, I would ensure that my administration would engage to bring meaningful federal support to the Blue Alert system to help ensure the prompt identification and arrest of those who have harmed or killed law enforcement officers."

The bills would direct the U.S. attorney general to establish a Blue Alert communications network in the Justice Department and to work with states and local governments that are using or developing Blue Alert plans.

The questionnaire also asked the two candidates about the D Block of spectrum designated to create a national public safety broadband network. FOP's survey noted a new entity, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), would be created within the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration and given $7 billion to fund the build-out of the network, but this is less than the original $12 billion proposed to fund the build-out completely. FOP asked what steps they would take to ensure resources to complete the network are provided.

"Effective communication among law enforcement and first responders is critically important during any public safety incident. I will support reasonable and cost-effective proposals to ensure communications interoperability and the development of a national public safety broadband network," Romney answered. "This should be achieved by hearing from all those affected and involved in the issue, not by any lone voices with a narrow agenda that ignores the broader public interest. Further, decisions about the allocation and use of spectrum must be made in a manner that takes into account public safety concerns as well as the economic and other benefits to all Americans provided by telecommunications services."

Obama's answer: "First responders put their lives on the line to protect us every day. They need dedicated bandwidth to communicate with each other, especially in emergency situations when commercial wireless networks are congested. Already, we have made progress. The Recovery Act provided resources to jurisdictions using wireless broadband for public safety. And I have directed federal agencies to enable large swaths of spectrum to be used more efficiently, a goal the National Telecommunications and Information Administration is pursuing.

The Payroll Tax Reduction Extension sets aside a portion of the spectrum for a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network for law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical technicians. This law also invested into research into set aside critical funding for public safety network R&D —funds that will be vital to helping the public safety community build a robust, flexible and innovative network for first responders all around the country. I am committed to continue this progress in my second term."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Former FBI agent passes away at 76 | Athens, GA

Former FBI agent passes away at 76 | Athens, GA

James Thomas Blasingame was known as many things ­— a runner, an FBI agent and most importantly, a husband and father.

Blasingame, 76, died Tuesday. He left behind a legacy of devotion to his family and service to his country.

The former FBI agent joined the organization in 1954 and graduated from Benjamin Franklin University four years later. While working in Washington, D.C., he met his wife, Alma, who worked as a clerk with the FBI.

The couple married just up the street from the White House and remained together for 55 years.

“My brother said that the word that described Jim was ‘faithfulness’,” said Alma Blasingame. “He was faithful to his family, faithful to his relatives and to his employers.”

To honor his memory, friends, family and neighbors in their Lake Wellbrook neighborhood recently tied white ribbons onto mailbox posts.

“They all loved him so much,” Alma said. “He was always here for us for anything and everything.”

While working with the FBI, Blasingame conducted background checks on U.S. Rep. Gerald R. Ford before he was named vice president in 1973. He served as a special agent in numerous areas of the country, including Buffalo, N.Y.; New York City, Monterey, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; and Newark, N.J.

Among the many cases that Blasingame worked on was the 1983 shootout with Gordon Kahl — a top 10 fugitive and an anti-tax protester. Kahl was killed in the shootout, as was a sheriff that accompanied Blasingame.

The case and shootout sparked a made-for-TV movie, “In the Line of Duty: Manhunt in the Dakotas,” for NBC in 1991.

Blasingame became a certified fraud examiner in 1988, according to the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. Blasingame also led investigations against such groups as the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis.

When not working, a favorite pastime for Blasingame was running, something he did every day, said his wife.

“Every morning between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m., he went out and ran at least four or five miles,” Alma said. “That’s what kept him with us. The doctor said it kept him with us longer. It kept his heart beating so long.”

Blasingame was gearing up to run his 37th consecutive 10K Peachtree Road Race. According to Alma, he ran four marathons in his lifetime, as well as many 5K and 10K races. His last race took place this past March.

“Being in the FBI, they had to keep physically fit for their job,” Alma said.

Blasingame’s other activities included serving as a board member of The Touchdown Club of Athens and as security director for the University of Georgia Lettermen’s Club.

“He loved the Georgia Bulldogs,” Alma said. “He wanted to do everything for everybody. We could all count on him day and night.”

In addition to Alma, Blasingame is survived by his son, James II; daughter-in-law Rebecca; daughter Rhonda B. McClure; granddaughters Ellen McClure, Stephanie Wilson and Brandee Wilken; grandson Andrew McClure; and great-grandsons Aidan and Ellison Wilken.

UPDATE VIDEO: Five in custody after two deputies killed; two wounded in St. John | New Orleans

Five in custody after two deputies killed; two wounded in St. John | New Orleans

LAPLACE, La. – Two St. John Parish deputies were killed and two others were wounded early Thursday morning in a crime scene that extended from the parking lot for a major refinery to a nearby trailer park.

Five suspects, said by State Police to be both male and female, were either in custody or receiving medical treatment. Neither their identities nor their possible motives were made public by law enforcement.

“One of the hardest days of my life so far,” said Sheriff Mike Tregre, who was tasked with making the phone calls to the families of the deceased and wounded. “Law enforcement is a profession where on a given day you can take a life, save a life or give your own life.”

Brandon Nielsen and Jeremy Triche died in a shooting at a trailer park as they followed up on a lead of a suspect’s car. Tregre referred to the shooting first as an ambush and later as an assassination.

Deputies Mike Boyington and Jason Triche were injured in an initial shooting at a parking lot for Valero Energy contractors as they were working parking detail. Both officers were brought to hospitals for emergency surgery. The motive for the shootings was not known at the time of a 3 p.m. press conference, said Tregre.

According to Tregre, the shooting in the parking lot, which wounded Boyington and Jason Triche, led to calls describing a suspect’s car. Deputies got a lead on the vehicle and traced it to the Riverview Trailer Park.

Once there, Tregre said the officers confronted a man at the door and saw another person laying in a bed. Those two people were brought outside for questioning and shortly thereafter, a third person came out of another door and fatally shot the officers.

Tregre said that he believes all the suspects connected to the two shootings are in custody. It has not been detailed which of those suspects were injured, nor where they were apprehended or if they had a gun battle with other deputies.

The investigation into the shootings has been handed over to State Police, according to Tregre.

State Police Superintendent Michael Edmonson said that his investigation team would work closely with Tregre’s deputies and investigators.

“We have a large crime scene here,” said Edmonson. “(We have) multiple locations, multiple weapons and multiple gunshots. Our goal is not expediency… our goal is conviction.”

Many law enforcement agencies responded to the calls of officers in danger with several nearby parishes offering help.

Tregre, choked up with emotion in dealing with a tragic situation just 45 days into his tenure as St. John Parish Sheriff, thanked everyone for the support, the blood drives and offers of help.

“My officers that were killed this morning, were simply doing their jobs,” he said. "I lost two good officers today."

Blue Alert Foundation | Our Mission

Blue Alert Foundation | Our Mission

Our Mission Statement

Blue Alert Foundation™ serves and protects the law enforcement community by providing assistance to the families of fallen officers and advocating for the passage of a Blue Alert law in each state. When enacted, the law facilitates the apprehension of offenders who kill or seriously injure law enforcement officers by issuing a statewide alert to the public via media and governmental notification outlets of known details and descriptions of the offender.

Blue Alert Foundation™ is a non-profit organization that has three very distinct charitable initiatives that we are performing.

Charitable Initiative 1

We have created, support, maintain, promote and operate the National Notification System, Blue Alert, that enables the communication between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies, and the social and wireless industries, to activate an urgent bulletin when a law enforcement officer(s) is seriously injured or killed. The intention of the bulletin is to inform the local and state-to-state law enforcement agencies and the public of the fugitives that are at large and to expedite their apprehension.

Charitable Initiative 2

We are working to bring support to the families of the fallen officers. The unexpected loss of life or the loss of everyday function can put a strain on these families. We are here to help in the most effective ways possible.  The funds that we raise will help us help the foundations and families effected by such terrible loss.

Charitable Initiative 3

We are working Nationally to bring support to Local, State and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies all over the country by offering items that are necessary to the law enforcement officers jobs and safety.  Your Donations and support will allow us to bring much needed items like Bullet Proof Vests, Arms, Ammo and more to Law Enforcement Agencies small and large.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

National Tell a Police Officer "Thank You!" Day

National Tell a Police Officer "Thank You!" Day

The Whole Truth Project has declared September 15th to be National Tell A Police Officer "Thank You" Day!

The idea is for this to be a day where people across the country - from small towns to big cities - take a moment and say "thank you" to any police officer they may happen to run across. It's a simple way of showing gratitude for those who serve and protect us.

Now, in order for us to pull this off, we need your help. We need each of you to spread the word in your hometown. Tell your family, friends and colleagues. You c

an start by sharing this Facebook post with as many people as possible.

We will also be looking to sign up "team captains" in as many towns and cities as possible. These team captains will help spread the word. Better yet, the team captains may be able to talk to a local business or two and see if any may donate free coffee or meals to police officers on September 15th.

Those who volunteer to be team captains will receive some special goodies from us, like free t-shirts and bumper stickers. We'd love to sign up "team captains" in as many cities as possible. If you'd like to be a team captain, please send me a Facebook message or an email ( and tell me your hometown and the local police department. We may also try and distribute posters that people can use to promote this special day in their hometown.

Together, we can do this. We can band together and create a tidal wave of momentum. Are you on board? We hope so. It's going to be a lot of fun and a very special day. Start spreading the word!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Chavis Carter 'Suicide' Reenactment Video Released By Jonesboro Police

Chavis Carter 'Suicide' Reenactment Video Released By Jonesboro Police

KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports, classifieds

The Arkansas police department investigating the mysterious death of Chavis Carter, who suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head while handcuffed in the back of a police car, has released a video recreation of what it believes could have happened the night Carter was killed.

Jonesboro police say the 21 year old shot himself not long after being pulled over and detained on July 29, after two police searches uncovered a small amount of marijuana but no weapon.

Carter was placed in the rear of a squad car. Not long after, police say one of two officers on the scene smelled smoke, opened the car’s rear door and found Carter slumped over and bloodied.

The police say a small handgun and a spent cartridge were found in the backseat with Carter.

Carter was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Southhaven, Miss. man’s death has roiled nerves in Jonesboro and has drawn national media scrutiny. The FBI has also joined the investigation into Carter’s death.
chavis carter

Chavis Carter, shot and killed on July 29 after an arrest.

Carter’s family and supporters believe the police killed Carter and are now attempting to cover it up. Teresa Carter, Carter’s mother, claims that while her son was shot in the right temple, he was left-handed. And that he made a phone call during the initial traffic stop in which he told his girlfriend that he would call her from jail, behavior that Carter’s supporters say is counter to that of a suicidal person.
Chavis Carter, shot and killed on July 29 after an arrest.

Jonesboro police say they found a small, .380 caliber handgun and a spent cartridge in the backseat with Carter the night he was killed. They say officers simply overlooked the weapon when they searched Carter, twice.

The police have maintained their suicide theory. In the days after the shooting Police Chief Michael Yates called Carter’s death “bizarre,” and said that it “defies logic at first glance.” But in recent days Yates has reaffirmed the department’s stance that Carter took his own life.

When questioned by CNN’s Randi Kaye about the likelihood of someone being able to raise a pistol to his or her head while in the cramped back seat of a police car with hands handcuffed behind his or her back, Yate’s said “it’s very possible and it’s quite easy.”

“The average person that’s never been in handcuffs, that’s never been around inmates and people in custody would react exactly the same way that you just did, about how can that be possible,” Yates said. “Well the fact of it is, it’s very possible and it’s quite easy.”

Yates has also said that eye witness accounts and dashcam video support the account given by the two police officers on the scene when Carter was killed.

Those officers, Keith Baggett and Ron Marsh, remain on paid leave as the investigation into Carter’s death continues.

On the opening screen of the video reenactment released by police and first aired on KAIT 8 in Jonesboro early Tuesday morning, a message from the Jonesboro Police Department reads that the video is a “non-evidentiary reproduction of facts and circumstances associated with the pending investigation of the Chavis Carter in-custody death.”

The purpose of the video, the message continues, is to investigate “the possibility that an individual, hand-cuffed behind his back, may or may not have the ability to use a concealed firearm in a manner that would give rise to his or her death.”

An officer -- about Carter’s height and build, with his face blurred -- can be seen wriggling his handcuffed hands from behind his back and then raising a toy gun to his head.

“The circumstances displayed are not intended to illustrate the only means by which an individual could injure themselves but merely to determine the feasibility of these actions," the video states. "The investigation is active and awaits forensic and other investigative material that will be used to complete a full inquiry into this matter.”

Meanwhile, community pressure continues to mount on the police department and Yates, whose resignation has been called for by local community activists.
chavis carter

Hundreds gathered at a prayer vigil in Jonesboro on Aug. 6 in honor of Carter.

The Arkansas Chapter of the Commission on Religion and Racism scheduled a march Tuesday morning in Jonesboro. And others have claimed that Yates’ past racially-tinged brush ups with the black community have clouded this already mysterious case.

In 2004, the local branch of the NAACP in Americus, Ga., where Yates had been police chief, rallied and campaigned to oust Yates after he allegedly conducted an illegal background check on the organization's then-vice president Craig Walker, who had been an outspoken critic of Yates' police department. Walker claimed that the department had routinely abused black residents.

Yates voluntarily stepped down.

On election night in 2008 Yates again was at the center of controversy, this time in Jonesboro.

As a crowd of African American residents -- many of them youth and college students -- gathered at an apartment complex to celebrate President Obama’s victory, police arrived. Someone had called in to 911 and reported “200 black people” were screaming outside and that he feared for his life, according to local news reports.

An arriving officer reported that items were being thrown, eventually triggering the officer to hit his “emergency button.”

What followed was nothing short of an all-hands-on-deck dispatch that included all city patrol officers, the K-9 and SWAT units, county sheriffs officers, the State Police and Arkansas State University campus police.

The incident came to be known as the “Obama Riot.”

In all, eight young black men were arrested that night. Seven of them were charged with inciting a riot, a felony. One of the men was also charged with second-degree battery on an officer for allegedly pinning down a female officer and punching her repeatedly in the face.

But according to witness statements given to the Arkansas Times, the problems didn’t begin until the police arrived.

“We were all having fun,” Alexandra Ingram, a senior at ASU, told the newspaper. “We were all dancing, hugging, taking pictures. It was nothing of a violent attitude toward anyone. We were hugging people we didn't even know. We were just celebrating.”

But after the wave of officers descended upon the complex, the celebration devolved into “a night from hell.”

“It was handled in a way that it shouldn't have been,” Ingram said. “They were very forceful when they came to us. They were very demanding and using curse words and pushing. It was a night from hell.”

Students and activists claimed the police brutalized revelers and denounced the police department and Yates, whose leadership they’ve questioned in the wake of the event.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story identified KAIT 8 as a Memphis station; it is in Jonesboro.

FBI Agent: Deadly Riot In Corporate-Run Prison Due To Complaints Of Inadequate Food And Health Care

FBI Agent: Deadly Riot In Corporate-Run Prison Due To Complaints Of Inadequate Food And Health Care  

A deadly riot in a privately-run Mississippi detention center was sparked in protest of poor food and medical care, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit.

The riot, which killed one guard in May, was at the time chalked up to gang violence. But the group of Mexican immigrants leading the riot, called the Paisas, had no ties to gangs and reportedly ordered other inmates to disobey orders from prison staff until their list of grievances had been addressed.

The protest soon got out of control, with inmates taking hostages and inflicting more than $1.3 million worth of damage on the prison. Correction officer Catlin Carithers was beaten to death, while 20 others were injured.

The prison, Adams County Correctional Facility in Natchez, Mississippi, is run by Corrections Corporations of America (CCA), one of the biggest for-profit incarceration companies in the nation.

CCA is notorious for cutting corners by understaffing facilities, charging inmates $5 a minute for phone calls, and using prison labor as a maintenance staff for $1 a day. The Adams County detention center, according to its inmates, was no different.

On the day of the riot, an inmate called the local news channel, explaining:
They always beat us and hit us. We just pay them back. … We’re trying to get better food, medical [care], programs, clothes, and we’re trying to get some respect from the officers and lieutenants.
Another inmate emailed the Jackson Free Press with the same message:
The guard that died yesterday was a sad tragedy, but the situation is simple: If you treat a human as an animal for over two years, the response will be as an animal. … Most of the correctional officers were not harmed. … Most of them that were taken hostage were shaken and afraid, but none of them was harmed.
Meanwhile, the Adams County Sheriff told reporters the riot stemmed from a gang fight. But the FBI affidavit, filed last week in the U.S. District Court in Jackson, confirms the inmates’ motive was their alleged mistreatment in the prison.

This was hardly the first riot in a CCA prison. Inmates at a different CCA prison in Mississippi started a fire in 2004. In Tennessee, CCA inmates were hit with chemical grenades after refusing to return to their cells.

Unlike a state-run prison, CCA and other private prisons have an incentive to cut corners in order to pad their profit margins. The private prison industry also invested millions in lobbying for policies that increase sentences and incarcerate more people. And it’s paid off; CCA, which lawsuits pushed to the brink of bankruptcy in 2000, reported $37.3 million in second quarter profits last week.

Decatur police officer shoots, kills man who tried to take officer's gun |

Decatur police officer shoots, kills man who tried to take officer's gun |

DECATUR, Alabama -- A Decatur police officer shot and killed a man late Monday who charged the officer and tried to take away his rifle, police said.
Mister Bobby LoweMister Bobby Lowe was shot and killed by a Decatur police officer after police say Lowe charged the officer and tried to take his gun. (Decatur Police Department)

The suspect, Mister Bobby Lowe, died at the scene, police said, and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate.

Police said they received a call at about 9:20 p.m. of a disturbance at Summer Place Apartments, 304 Courtney Drive SW, that Lowe was reportedly intoxicated and harassing a female tenant. Officers weren't able to find Lowe then, but were called back to the complex just before 10:20 p.m. and told Lowe was back and armed with a pistol, police said.

The first officer on the scene armed himself with a rifle and found Lowe in the parking lot, police said. Police said in a news release that Lowe "charged the officer, grabbed the rifle, and attempted to take it away from the officer."

The officer was knocked to the ground and "fearing that he was losing control of the rifle, the officer drew his handgun and fired two shots, striking Lowe," the news release states.

The officer sustained minor injuries and was treated at Decatur General Hospital, police said.

This was the second time this month that North Alabama police have shot a suspect to death. On Aug. 4, Madison police shot Deborah Jo Day to death after police say she threatened neighbors and pointed a gun at police.

Monday, August 13, 2012

'Onion Field' police officer's killer dies in prison

'Onion Field' police officer's killer dies in prison | News - The Orange County Register

LOS ANGELES – Gregory Powell, who was convicted of killing a Los Angeles police officer during an infamous kidnapping that inspired Joseph Wambaugh's true-life crime book "The Onion Field," has died in prison at age 79, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Monday.

Powell died late Sunday in a hospice at the California Medical Facility, a men's prison in the Northern California city of Vacaville.

Article Tab: This undated file photo provided by California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Gregory Powell. Powell, who was convicted of killing a Los Angeles police officer during an infamous kidnapping in 1963. The crime inspired Joseph Wambaugh's true-life crime novel “The Onion Field.” Powell has died in at 79, according to prison officials.
Gregory Powell

This undated file photo provided by California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Gregory Powell. Powell, who was convicted of killing a Los Angeles police officer during an infamous kidnapping in 1963. The crime inspired Joseph Wambaugh's true-life crime novel “The Onion Field.” Powell has died in at 79, according to prison officials.
Powell, who spent close to a half century behind bars, was denied parole last year when he told a parole board he was suffering from prostate cancer and wanted to spend his last days outside prison.
"I've done enough time. I'm a different man, and I'm ready to be paroled," he was quoted as telling the parole panel members, who were unmoved.

"It was a cold, deliberate crime, and he had a long time to reflect on it," said Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Alexis De la Garza, who argued at the hearing for Powell's continued incarceration.

Powell and a co-defendant, Jimmy Lee Smith, were convicted of abducting Officer Ian Campbell and his partner Officer Karl Hettinger from a Hollywood street on March 6, 1963, after the officers stopped their car for making an illegal U-turn.

Powell disarmed the officers by pulling a gun on Campbell and threatening to kill him. Then he and Smith drove them to an onion field near Bakersfield.

Wrongly believing that they had violated the federal kidnapping statute known as the "Lindberg Law," and faced the death penalty if captured, Powell shot Campbell in the face.

Hettinger bolted as Powell fired at him. He ran four miles to the safety of a farmhouse.
Powell and Smith, both ex-convicts, were arrested soon after.

Hettinger was haunted by the events of that night for the rest of his life and was shunned by his colleagues. He left the force and went into the nursery business and became a Kern County supervisor. He died in 1994 at age 59.

Powell and Smith were originally sentenced to death but the sentences were reduced to life in prison when the California Supreme Court overturned the state's death penalty. The punishment has since been reinstated, but didn't apply retroactively.

The crimes were documented in 1973's "The Onion Field" and the 1979 film of the same name, both written by Wambaugh, a former Los Angeles police officer.

Wambaugh said in a 2011 interview with The Associated Press that he visited Powell and Smith in prison when he was writing the book and found that they were fairly intelligent men whose lack of violent histories made their crime inexplicable.

"They were both smart guys and just petty criminals who got in over their heads one night,"

Wambaugh said. "Who would have thought two such losers would do such a horrific crime?"

He said when he asked Powell if he had any complaints about the manuscript for "The Onion Field," he had only one.

"He said, `I don't think I'm nearly as physically unattractive as you seem to think I am,'" said Wambaugh. "That hurt his vanity."

Powell tried 11 times for parole. The Los Angeles police union opposed his release even when he said he was terminally ill. Campbell's daughter appeared at the last parole hearing and said it would be an insult to all police officers if Powell was released.

Wambaugh said that one of Powell's lawyers often complained that "Powell would have been out of prison if it hadn't been for 'The Onion Field' book. And I think he was right. The book kept Powell in prison. It just became so famous."

Asked how he felt about that, Wambaugh said, "I'm not shedding any tears."

Smith, who was depicted in the book as a follower, was paroled in 1982. He was subsequently arrested numerous times, mostly on drug-related charges.

He died April 7, 2007, of a heart attack at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, where he was being held for failing to report to a parole officer.

Campbell, the officer killed by Powell, was honored Friday in a ceremony in Hollywood marking the site where the two officers were kidnapped. A sign placed at the corner of Gower and Caroos streets reads: "Ian Campbell Square: In Honor of the LAPD Officer and Bagpiper."

Since Campbell's death, bagpipes have been played at every LAPD line-of-duty funeral.

Glynn Martin, executive director of the Los Angeles Police Museum, said a permanent exhibit will be installed on the 50th anniversary of the case in March.

SC deputy recovering from gunshot; suspect killed - AP State Wire News

SC deputy recovering from gunshot; suspect killed - AP State Wire News 

Authorities say a Greenville County deputy is recovering from a gunshot wound, and the man who shot him has been killed.

Master Deputy Laura Campbell says the deputy was responding to a sexual assault call at a motel on Monday afternoon.

During a scuffle, the suspect knocked a Taser from the deputy's hand and was able to pull the trigger of another officer's gun. That weapon went off, hitting a deputy in the leg.

The suspect was then shot and killed.

Authorities said Monday the deputy had undergone surgery and was expected to recover. Neither the officer's name nor the name of the suspect has been released.

Read more here:

Wife of deputy who was killed delivers baby boy |

Wife of deputy who was killed delivers baby boy |

After Watauga County Sheriff's Deputy William Ronald Mast, Jr. was killed in the line of duty last month, his pregnant widow, Paige, walked behind his flag-draped casket.

On Sunday night, she delivered their son.

William Hunter Mast was born at about 7 p.m., said Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman.

The baby boy was 6 pounds, 15 ounces, with "lots of dark hair and dark eyes – he's a cutie," reported his mother.

Deputy Mast, 23, was shot to death in the early morning of July 26 as he responded to an open-line 911 call. Someone had dialed emergency communications but did not say anything.

He was buried July 31.

WILLIAM R. MAST JR. E.O.W. 7-26-2012

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3 killed in shooting near Texas A&M University -

3 killed in shooting near Texas A&M University -

(CNN) -- A Texas constable and two others were killed Monday in a shooting near Texas A&M University, police said.

Rhonda Seaton, a spokeswoman with the College Station police department, told CNN that the three people killed were the constable, the man authorities say exchanged gunfire with law enforcement officers and an unidentified civilian.

A few minutes earlier, Asst. Chief Scott McCollum, from the same police department, told reporters that multiple people had been shot in the incident, which occurred around noon just a few blocks from the Texas A&M campus.

The dead included Brian Bachmann, a constable in Brazos County, according to McCollum. According to his Facebook campaign page, Bachmann was a 41-year-old Republican from College Station who had been a Brazos County sheriff's deputy since 1993.
Constable Brian Bachmann

Map: College Station shooting 
Map: College Station shooting
A male civilian was also killed, the assistant police chief said. A post on the city of College Station's official Twitter page identified this third victim as a "civilian bystander."

Three others were injured in the shooting. They included two law enforcement officers, including one who was shot in the leg, and a female civilian who was undergoing surgery at a hospital, according to McCollum. College Station reported via Twitter that the two officers are at hospitals and "are said to have non-life threatening injuries."

Texas A&M issued a Code Maroon -- the university's emergency notification system -- at 12:29 p.m. CT (1:29 p.m. ET), telling people to avoid the area where there was a report of an "active shooter."

The entire ordeal lasted around 15 minutes, with an 12:44 p.m. update also posted on the university's website indicating the alleged gunman was by then "in custody."

Law enforcement officers responding to a "shots fired call" arrived at the scene and found the constable down in the front yard of a home, according to McCollum. These officers "began taking fire (and) they defended themselves," the assistant police chief said.

"They ended up shooting the gunman and taking him into custody," McCollum said.

McCollum said it was "still unknown at this time" why Bachmann went to the College Station address. But Officer Jason James, with the police department in Bryan adjacent to College Station, told CNN that "there is a possibility that it was an eviction."

James pointed out 911 calls began coming in after law enforcement authorities were on the scene, rather than officers responding to a shooting that neighbors told them about.

"It's not like a disturbance where they were actually dispatched to it," James said. "They weren't responding to a shooting, but it turned into one."

Officer Jon Agnew with the Bryan Police Department -- a community that's adjacent to College Station -- noted the shooting occurred in a "residential area." He said earlier Monday afternoon that, while authorities had not yet ruled out additional suspects and continued to canvass the scene, they believed the area was safe.

"The area is secure," Agnew said. "We feel the community is safe for right now."

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Richmond Sikhs aim to raise a million for officer shot 9 times - - Richmond, VA News, Weather, Traffic & Sports

Richmond Sikhs aim to raise a million for officer shot 9 times - - Richmond, VA News, Weather, Traffic & Sports

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A week ago, a white supremacist gunman opened fire in a Sikh place of worship in Wisconsin.
Sunday, about a hundred Sikh followers in Oak Creek gathered for their first service since six people were killed.

An officer was among those injured while trying to stop the skinhead shooter.

The Sikh community of Richmond also shared in a special memorial service Sunday, inviting people of all faiths to learn about their religion.

The congregation also announced that it is launching of a nationwide effort to raise a million dollars through their community. They say that money will go to Lieutenant Brian Murphy, who's now recovering from nine bullet wounds. Several members of the Sikh congregation of Richmond have already donated $10,000 each to the fund.

Throughout the service, and traditional Sikh meal called the langgar, new faces discovered the deep devotion Sikhs hold for God, each other, and their neighbors.

Dr. Baljit Sidhu, executive committee member of the Chesterfield-based Sikh Gurdwara of Richmond, says his congregation hopes to dispel misconceptions, which he says have led to tragedy for his community, especially since the September 11th attacks.

"More than a thousand cases (of harassment or brutalized) have been registered against the Sikhs, and three people had been killed before Wisconsin because of mistaken identity…people who thought we were terrorists, that we were Arabs, the Taliban," said Dr. Baljit, an orthopedic surgeon.

However, Sikhism is its own religion, rooted in India, with more than 25 million followers worldwide.
Even though Sikhs are distinct in their faith, they say all men serve the same God through virtues like charity, honesty and self reliance. Sunday, unfamiliar guests observed Sikh traditions to support and learn more about their culture.

"I've known my (Sikh) friends for 30 years. I've learned some, but this is the first chance I've had to come into their gurdwara and learn a little bit more, and just support them and let them know that we care,'' said Mike Conway, who brought his family to the occasion.

"I haven't had a really good insight until today, to understand their faith and what they do socially together," said Matthew Scott, a member of the Mormon Church who attended the service with his daughter.

"The greatness of America is not because we have the big guns. Greatness lies because our morals are great. Our forefathers had great morals. We are getting away from that, and that hurts us," said Dr. Sidhu.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.