Protesters shoot 2 cops outside Ferguson Police Department

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Two officers were shot in front of the Ferguson Police Department early Thursday, authorities said, as demonstrators gathered after the resignation of the city’s police chief in the wake of a scathing Justice Department report alleging bias in the police department and court.

A 32-year-old officer from nearby Webster Groves was shot in the face and a 41-year-old officer from St. Louis County was shot in the shoulder, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a news conference. Both were taken to a hospital, where Belmar said they were conscious. He said he did not have further details about their conditions but described their injuries as “serious.”

“I don’t know who did the shooting, to be honest with you,” Belmar said, adding that he could not provide a description of the suspect or gun.

He said his “assumption” was that, based on where the officers were standing and the trajectory of the bullets, “these shots were directed exactly at my officers.”

The shots were fired shortly after midnight as protesters were gathered following the resignation of embattled Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson on Wednesday. Before the shooting, some at the protest were chanting to show they weren’t satisfied with the resignations of Jackson and City Manager John Shaw earlier in the week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Authorities from multiple agencies had gathered outside of the department.

The protest was a familiar scene in Ferguson, which saw similar and much larger demonstrations after the shooting death of black 18-year-old Michael Brown last summer by city police officer Darren Wilson. When Wilson, who is white, was cleared in November by a state grand jury, the decision set off further protests, looting and fires. But Wednesday was the first time an officer at a protest had been shot.

Marciay Pitchford, 20, was among the protesters outside the police department. She told The Associated Press the protest had been mostly peaceful until she heard the shots ring out.

“I saw the officer go down and the other police officers drew their guns while other officers dragged the injured officer away,” Pitchford said. “All of a sudden everybody started running or dropping to the ground.”

Belmar said the shots were fired from across the street from the police department.

After the shooting, officers with guns and in riot gear circled the station, and more than a dozen squad cars blocked the street.

By Jim Salter – Associated Press – Washington Times –

DOJ clears Ferguson cop Darren Wilson

The Justice Department has cleared a Ferguson, Mo., police officer of civil rights violations in the shooting of Michael Brown, a black teenager whose death set off racially charged and sometimes violent protests last year.

The decision, which was announced on Wednesday, ends a lengthy investigation into the shooting last August, in which Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Mr. Brown in the street. Many witnesses said Mr. Brown had his hands up in surrender when he died, leading to nationwide protest chants of “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

But federal agents and civil rights prosecutors rejected that story, just as a state grand jury did in November. The Justice Department said forensic evidence and other witnesses backed up the account of Officer Wilson, who said Mr. Brown fought with him, reached for his gun, then charged at him. He told investigators that he feared for his life.

“There is no evidence upon which prosecutors can rely to disprove Wilson’s stated subjective belief that he feared for his safety,” the report said.

The report found that witnesses who claimed that Mr. Brown was surrendering were not credible. “Some of those accounts are inaccurate because they are inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence; some of those accounts are materially inconsistent with that witnesses’ own prior statements with no explanation,” it said.

“Although some witnesses state that Brown held his hands up at shoulder level with his palms facing outward for a brief moment, these same witnesses describe Brown then dropping his hands and ‘charging’ at Wilson,” it added.

“Those witness accounts stating that Brown never moved back toward Wilson could not be relied upon in a prosecution because their accounts cannot be reconciled with the DNA bloodstain evidence and other credible witness accounts.”

By MATT APUZZO – New York Times –

Ohio Supreme Court: Gun Penalties Don’t Apply To Cops

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a specification in the law that provides stiffer penalties for people who use a gun in commission of a crime cannot be applied to a police officer convicted of wrongdoing while performing his duty.

In a split decision, the court held that Ohio’s firearms specification was intended to deter criminals from using firearms while committing an offense and not to deter police officers from carrying a firearm while on duty.

The case involved an Ottawa Hills police officer, Thomas White, who shot a motorcyclist he had pulled over for a traffic stop, leaving him paralyzed.

By Robert Higgs – The Liberty Crier –

Copenhagen police kill ‘jihadi’ responsible for two attacks

Police in Copenhagen have shot dead a ‘jihadi’ gunman responsible for two attacks on the city in which a film director and Jewish security guard were killed yesterday.

The shooter, who has not been named, was killed after opening fire on officers surrounding the station in Norrebro at around 5am today.

Two men were killed in separate attacks at a free speech event and a synagogue yesterday.

Finn Norgaard has been named by local media as the 55-year-old killed at Krudttonden cafe in the north of the city.

Hours later, Dan Uzan, a 37-year-old Jewish security guard was shot in the head as he stood outside a building belonging to the city’s Great Synagogue.

Mr Uzan, who was protecting the entrance of a young girl’s Bat Mitzvah party of 80 people, died in hospital last night.

At 5am this morning police closed in on Norrebro metro station as the suspect emerged with a weapon.

He was killed in return fire after shooting at officers who had surrounding the area.

This afternoon police revealed the man had been identified.

‘We have knowledge of the man’s identity but due to the ongoing investigation we are not in a position to reveal (it),’ a police spokesman said today.

Asked whether the man belonged to any known terrorist groups, he added: ‘I cannot comment on whether he is connected to any known groups.

The man shot dead by police at 5am this morning is thought to have been responsible for the terror attacks across the city yesterday.

At around 4pm local time around 200 bullets were fired at Krudttonden cafe where an event on free speech was being held.

The reported intended target was the Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who has been known to draw the Prophet Mohammed as a dog.

Vilks, 68, escaped the attack, during which witnesses said the man, who has not yet been named, was shouting in Arabic.

Mr Norgaard was instead killed in the shooting. Friends and colleagues of the documentary maker told Danish news outlets that he was a peaceful person whose work had never focused on Islamic subjects.

Hours later a man, named by local Jewish communities as Dan Uzan, was shot in the head near the city’s Great Synagogue.

By Sophie J. Evans,Laurie Hanna,Flora Drury & Jennifer Smith – Daily Mail –

Copenhagen cafe shooting: 1 dead in terror attack

At least one gunman opened fire Saturday on a Copenhagen cafe, killing one man in what authorities called a likely terror attack during a free speech event organized by an artist who had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad.

The shooting, which also wounded three police officers, came a month after extremists killed 12 people at a satirical newspaper in Paris that had also sparked Muslim outrage with its depictions of Muhammad.

Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has been repeatedly threatened after depicting Muhammad as a dog in 2007, organized and attended Saturday’s event but was not hit by gunfire, police said.

“I saw a masked man running past,” said Helle Merete Brix, one of the event’s organizers. “I clearly consider this as an attack on Lars Vilks.”

She and Vilks were quickly ushered away by the security detail that accompanies the artist whenever he is in Denmark.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shooting, which took place shortly before 4 p.m. (1500 GMT, 10 a.m. EST). Denmark’s security service, PET, said the circumstances surrounding the shooting “indicate that we are talking about a terror attack.”

Danish police said the gunman used an automatic weapon to shoot through the windows of the Krudttoenden cafe, which TV footage showed were riddled with bullet holes. The gunman then fled in a carjacked Volkswagen Polo that was found later a few kilometers (miles) away, police said.

“I heard someone firing with an automatic weapons and someone shouting. Police returned the fire and I hid behind the bar. I felt surreal, like in a movie,” Niels Ivar Larsen, one of the speakers at the event, told the TV2 channel….

Francois Zimeray, the French ambassador to Denmark who was at the event to speak about the Charlie Hebdo attack, tweeted that he was “still alive.” Police said he was not wounded….

By Associated Press, Jan Olsen, Karl Ritter, & Thomas Adamson –

Ukraine War Clouds Darken

DEBALTSEVE, Ukraine – Trails of fire lit up the sky as rockets blazed towards their targets, bright flashes visible for miles around when they hit in the fading light. Fighting for Debaltseve’s strategic crossroads and rail junction grew ever more intense on Jan. 29, despite the declaration of a “humanitarian corridor” to allow civilians to safely flee from a city that had 25,000 residents before the war.

Explosions could be heard thundering through the fields either side of the main road just minutes after a four-vehicle convoy – three coaches and one minibus packed with civilians – passed the last checkpoint on the outskirts. One driver had written “children” on the front of his vehicle in the hope that somehow it might help spare his precious cargo.

But as night closed in, many more residents discovered they had been left behind. A government-sponsored evacuation of the town, promised for 10 a.m., arrived at 3 p.m. with just three coaches. Shell-shocked civilians complained they had been abandoned without water, electricity or heating.

Others who chose to stay appeared to be hoping Ukraine’s army would be next to evacuate.

“What have Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk and Kyiv done but bring destruction on us,” said an aggressive old man with gold teeth, referring to the nation’s president and prime minister, seemingly oblivious to several explosions nearby as shells from Russian-backed fighters rained down.

“I can’t go anywhere, there are too many people already in those other places and no jobs.”

But Ukrainian forces show no signs of going anywhere.

Over the past week, Ukraine has strengthened its positions around Debaltseve, digging bunkers and positioning enormous self-propelled howitzers in the fields and villages around it – despite the threat of imminent encirclement from an enemy force that already controls the territory on three sides.

“The situation is stable. The shooting is intensive, but we are holding,” said one soldier, who did not want to be named because he was not authorized to speak to press.

By Maxim Tucker – Kyiv Post –

Charlie Hebdo Shooting’s Chilling Effect On Free Speech

After three radical Islamic terrorists killed a dozen people in Paris, France, the Politically Correct Police promptly pointed out how the victims at Charlie Hebdo provoked the attack by poking fun at Muslims.

Leftists ignore paper’s attacks on all other religions.

12 Dead in Shooting at French Satirical Newspaper

PARIS (AP) — Masked gunmen stormed the Paris offices of a satirical newspaper Wednesday, killing 12 people before escaping, in France’s deadliest terror attack in at least two decades.

French President Francois Hollande said the attack on the Charlie Hebdo weekly, which has frequently drawn condemnation from Muslims, is “a terrorist attack, without a doubt,” and said several other attacks have been thwarted in France “in recent weeks.”

France raised its alert to the highest level, and reinforced security at houses of worship, stores, media offices and transportation. Top government officials were holding an emergency meeting.

Paris prosecutor’s spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre confirmed 12 people were killed.

Luc Poignant, an official of the SBP police union, said the attackers escaped in two vehicles. A witness, Benoit Bringer, told the iTele network he saw multiple masked men armed with automatic weapons at the newspaper’s office in central Paris.

The extremist Islamic State group has threatened to attack France, and minutes before the attack Charlie Hebdo had tweeted a satirical cartoon of that extremist group’s leader giving New Year’s wishes. Charlie Hebdo has been repeatedly threatened for publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, among other controversial sketches, and its offices were firebombed in 2011.

The 2011 firebombing came after a spoof issue featuring a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad on its cover. Nearly a year later, the publication again published crude Muhammad caricatures, drawing denunciations around the Muslim world.

Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor, confirmed the deaths of the editor and cartoonist who went by the pen names Charb and Cabu.

A police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, said two police officers were also among the dead, including one assigned as Charb’s bodyguard after prior death threats against him.

President Obama said “I strongly condemn the horrific shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris… and I have directed my administration to provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice.’

By Dave Urbanski – The Blaze –

Florida pastor shoots man in self defense

The pastor of a church in Central Florida shot and critically wounded an employee in self-defense Tuesday morning, after the employee allegedly opened fire upon learning he was out of a job.

Benjamin Parangan Jr., a member of the maintenance crew at Living Water Fellowship in Kissimmee for eight years, allegedly began shooting shortly after 8 a.m. when the pastor told him he was fired, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Twis Lizasuain said, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Pastor Terry L. Howell Sr., 61, allegedly dodged the gunfire and drew his own pistol, critically wounding Mr. Parangan, 47, the paper reported.

Mr. Parangan’s condition was reportedly upgraded to stable Tuesday evening. He will be taken to jail when he is released from the hospital and charged with aggravated assault with intent to kill, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Mr. Howell and Mr. Parangan both reportedly had concealed-weapon permits. Mr. Howell’s involvement is being investigated as self-defense, the Sentinel reported.

By Jessica Chasmar – The Washington Times –

Should We Just Follow Orders? Rules of Engagement for Resisting the Police State

By John W. Whitehead – Speak Truth To Power –

“Let your motto be resistance! resistance! Resistance! No oppressed people have ever secured their liberty without resistance.”—Abolitionist Henry Highland Garnet

The perils of resisting the police state grow more costly with each passing day, especially if you hope to escape with your life and property intact. The thing you must remember is that we’ve entered an age of militarized police in which we’re no longer viewed as civilians but as enemy combatants.

Take, for example, Mary Elizabeth VandenBerg who was charged with disturbing the peace, a crime punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine, for daring to vocalize her frustrations over a traffic ticket by reading a prepared statement to the court clerk and paying her $145 traffic ticket with 145 one-dollar bills. VandenBerg was also handcuffed, tasered and pepper sprayed for “passively” resisting police by repeatedly stopping and talking to them and stiffening her arms. The incident, filmed by VandenBerg’s brother, is now the subject of a lawsuit.

Zachary Noel was tasered by police and charged with resisting arrest after he questioned why he was being ordered out of his truck during a traffic stop. “Because I’m telling you to,” the officer replied before repeating his order for Noel to get out of the vehicle and then, without warning, shooting him with a taser through the open window. The encounter, recorded with a cell phone by Noel’s friend in the passenger seat, offers a particularly chilling affirmation of how little recourse Americans really have when it comes to obeying an order from a government official or police officer, even if it’s just to ask a question or assert one’s rights….

Clearly, the language of freedom is no longer the common tongue spoken by the citizenry and their government. With the government having shifted into a language of force, “we the people” have been reduced to suspects in a surveillance state, criminals in a police state, and enemy combatants in a military empire.

In such an environment, as every resistor from Martin Luther King Jr. and on down the line has learned, there is always a price to be paid for challenging the status quo. Then again, the price for not challenging the status quo is even worse: outright tyranny, the loss of our freedoms, and a totalitarian regime the likes of which the world has never seen before.

 
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Man Shoots Down Drone, Lawyers Scratch Their Heads

By Kelsey D. Atherton – PopSci.com –

Shooting down a small drone is hard. But determining whether people should be allowed to do so may prove more difficult still. A man in New Jersey fired a shotgun at his neighbor’s drone, and as the quadcopter crashed to the ground, the incident raised new legal challenges about when and if it’s okay to shoot a robot.

Police arrested the New Jersey man, charging him with “Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and Criminal Mischief”. In this case, courts might find that, by firing the shotgun at the drone, the man is guilty of destruction of property. The use of force is often only legally permissible to prevent a physical threat, and a wandering drone, like a trespassing cow, is inconvenient but not an imminent danger.

Courts might rule that a trespass by drone is unlike a trespass by a pet. Drones can carry cameras, so a drone flying into a backyard isn’t just trespassing, it’s a threat to privacy…

 
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