Home » Archives by category » National News (Page 4)

Military Families Besieged by Door-to-Door Alarm Salespeople

Military Families Besieged by Door-to-Door Alarm Salespeople

Jason Plummer(PROVO, Utah) -- A Utah-based home alarm company, once praised by Mitt Romney, is aggressively marketing to military families, and its door-to-door sales force is accused by some of using sales tactics that have earned the company an “F” grade from the Better Business Bureau.Some salespeople from Vivint Security of Provo, Utah have been accused of misleading the families of U.S. troops and exploiting the concerns of deployed U.S. soldiers for the safety of their families back home.“Vivint has an F rating with us and the consumers are telling us the sales people are saying one thing, the contract says another,” said Jane Driggs, the executive director of the Better Business Bureau in Utah.Over the last year, five military families directly contacted The ABC News Fixer, Stephanie Zimmermann, to complain they were stuck with cancellation fees of up to $2,000 when they tried to get out of long-term security system contracts after being transferred to a new base or retired due to service-related injuries.“The sales person on the phone said that it would not be a problem,” said Jason Plummer, a Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and was injured in a roadside bomb attack.But Plummer said when he got medical retirement orders and prepared to move off base, Vivint refused to let him out of the contract, citing its policy for military customers.Plummer said he did not realize the language in the contract was at odds with what he was told by the Vivint salespeople.“It definitely gives you a feeling like you’ve been betrayed,” Plummer said in an interview broadcast Thursday on ABC's Good Morning America. “It feels like you’re getting stabbed in the back.”After ABC News contacted Vivint, the company agreed to cancel the Plummers’ contract.In addition to the Plummers, four other military families also contacted ABC News, claiming Vivint sales people had misled them in the same way over the ability to cancel if they had to move.Vivint agreed to cancel their contracts too, saying either the families or their company’s own representatives had “misunderstood” the language of the contract.The Better Business Bureau says Vivint is prepared to deal with individual complaints in order to avoid bad publicity, but has not done enough to correct the “broader” problem of false promises by door-to-door salespeople.“They need to take care of the underlying issues,” said Driggs of the Better Business Bureau, who says her office has received more than 3,000 consumer complaints about Vivint in the past three years.In a written statement, Vivint said it had taken care of the individual complaints brought to its attention by ABC News and that the overall number of complaints to the BBB represents less than 1 percent of their large customer base.The company said it has updated policies for military personnel discharged for medical reasons and “improved our internal communication to our frontline teams.”Vivint and its sales tactics have been the subject of legal action by the attorneys general of seven states. The company says it has cooperated with all investigations.

“We work closely with the agencies to resolve any concerns,” the company said in a statement to ABC News.When the company opened its new headquarters in 2011, former presidential candidate Romney helped cut the ceremonial ribbon and commended the company for creating jobs.A spokesperson for Romney did not return calls seeking comment by the former presidential candidate about the company.Plummer says he’s glad to be out from under the crushing payments for an alarm system at a home he had already vacated.“I mean, when you find out you’re gonna end up paying almost two grand for something you're not gonna use for the next couple years, it's extremely frustrating,” he said.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Video Shows Skiing Daredevil Cody Townsend’s ‘Terrifying’ Plunge

Video Shows Skiing Daredevil Cody Townsend’s ‘Terrifying’ Plunge

Red Bull Media House and MSP Films(NEW YORK) — Daredevil Cody Townsend is being heralded for his skiing prowess, after newly released video shows Townsend plunging nearly 2,000 feet through a vertical chute, sandwiched between two ridges in Alaska’s Tordrillo mountain range.The height of the drop is taller than the Empire State Building, or five football fields stacked together.“It wasn’t actually until I dropped in and then started going and realizing how fast I was going, how narrow it was and how steep it was truly,” Townsend said. “It kind of all came together like, ‘Oh man, this is terrifying.’”The rock walls were a few feet apart at the narrowest point.

“Oh, my God, that was the scariest thing I’ve ever done,” Townsend said as he reached the bottom of the run, which he recorded on the camera he was wearing.Video of Townsend’s run -- featured in Days of My Youth, a film developed by Red Bull Media House and MSP Films -- has racked up millions of views in its first few days online.The mind-blowing feat also earned Townsend three Powder awards, the ski industry’s most prestigious honor.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Convicted Sex Offender Wins $3 Million Lottery Jackpot in Florida

Convicted Sex Offender Wins $3 Million Lottery Jackpot in Florida

iStock/Thinkstock(MOUNT DORA, Fla.) — A convicted sex offender won a $3 million lottery jackpot in Florida and will be able to keep his winnings.Timothy Poole, 43, won the prize after buying a $20 ticket from a 7-Eleven store in Mount Dora, Florida.Poole pleaded guilty in 2002 to attempted sexual battery involving two victims under the age of 12, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records.He was released from custody in 2006.There are no laws preventing anyone convicted of committing a crime from winning the lottery.

The odds of winning a $3 million jackpot in the Super Millions scratch-off game are 1-in-1,680,000, according to Florida Lottery.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Powerful Storm Bears Down on Northern California

Powerful Storm Bears Down on Northern California

ABC News(SAN FRANCISCO) — Rain started to fall overnight in Northern California, with hurricane-force winds expected to follow as a major storm is poised to soak the region.Ahead of the storm, dozens of schools in the San Francisco Bay Area were closed, affecting about 100,000 students.Residents gathered sandbags and rushed to buy emergency supplies Wednesday, hoping to protect themselves and their homes.This week’s high surf ate away at the shoreline in Washington State, pulling some homes into the Pacific Ocean.With road flooding expected, drivers are warned to be cautious and stay home, if possible.In southern California, 10-foot waves are expected by the end of the week, drawing interest from surfers and skimboarders.“I’m stoked,” pro skimboarder Austin Keen told KABC. “It gets really close to shore, really big waves … Some of the biggest waves in SoCal are this close to the shore.”A rare blizzard warning is in effect for the Sierra Nevada mountain range, with three feet of snow possible.Snow and heavy winds were reported along the East Coast Thursday, including 20 inches of snow near Syracuse, New York, and miles of Interstate 81 shut down for over seven hours. Winds along the coastline peaked at more than 60 miles per hour.Sidewalks in Massachusetts were covered in black ice, with frozen streets causing chain-reaction crashes.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Car Slams into Pedestrians, Forever 21 Store in New York City

Car Slams into Pedestrians, Forever 21 Store in New York City

ABC News/Michele Mayer(NEW YORK) — A car jumped a curb and slammed into a group of people in New York City Wednesday, smashing into a Forever 21 store and leaving six pedestrians injured.The accident happened after 10 p.m. along West 34th Street near 6th Avenue, according to WABC-TV.The injured pedestrians -- along with the driver -- were hospitalized, WABC-TV reports.The injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Judge Denies Continuance in Aurora Theater Shooting Case, Trial to Begin in January

Judge Denies Continuance in Aurora Theater Shooting Case, Trial to Begin in January

Photo By Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images(AURORA, Colo.) -- A district court judge on Wednesday denied a motion for a continuance in the trial of James Holmes, the accused Aurora theater shooter. Holmes' defense team had hoped to push the start of court proceedings back past Jan. 20. Instead, a judge said, the trial will proceed as scheduled. In October, the defense had asked for a longer postponement than the court had allowed. The court heard further arguments for a continuance on Monday.The defense team argued that one of the attorney's time -- eight days -- spent testifying in another case, large amounts of materials from the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo, where Holmes was evaluated, the need to re-prepare following a second sanity evaluation and continuously growing amounts of evidence and witnesses from the prosecution warranted further delay. The court will issue 9,000 jury summonses on Thursday in the hopes of building a sufficient jury pool.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Man Survived 12 Days Stranded at Sea by Eating Fish, Rigging Radio

Man Survived 12 Days Stranded at Sea by Eating Fish, Rigging Radio

ABC News(HONOLULU) -- New video shows the fisherman who was lost at sea for 12 days finally returning to shore.U.S. Coast Guard officials described Ron Ingraham, 67, as "weak, hungry and dehydrated" when they found him aboard his waterlogged sailboat Tuesday, but he appeared to be in good spirits in the new clip."How you gentlemen doing?" Ingraham asked, as seen in the video.His radio was destroyed and he was knocked into the water after a rogue wave slammed his boat, Ingraham told ABC News Wednesday."But I had a rope so I towed myself in," he said, adding that he survived on fish and tried to rig his radio with a coat hanger and some wire."I'm a fisherman so I caught fish; it wasn't as good as a sushi bar, but that's how I hydrated," he said.A rescue crew transferred him and his 25-foot sailboat, Malia, to safe shores Wednesday in Molokai, Hawaii. Ingraham had been missing since Nov. 27, when he placed two mayday calls, saying his boat was in danger of sinking, officials said.The Coast Guard was unable to find him and suspended the search Dec. 1.But on Tuesday, Ingraham, who lives on his boat, placed one final mayday call, and was found aboard his boat 64 miles south of Honolulu."I thought I was going to die," he said. "I hung in there. It took mental discipline. But these guys are real heroes and they save people's lives. I owe it all to them."His rescue might even lead to a reunion with a son he hasn't seen since the 1990s. Zakary Ingraham, who grew up in Hawaii but now lives in Missouri with his family, told ABC News Wednesday he's trying to come up with the money to visit his dad."I kind of didn't feel it in my bones that he was gone," he said.He first heard that his father was missing when the Coast Guard called him Dec. 1 to tell him they were suspending the search."Somehow, he managed to MacGyver a way to make that last call, and it saved his life," Zakary Ingraham said. "I hear he has reached land and his boat has reached the dock. It's all good."

More ABC US news | ABC World News

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Accused Seattle Campus Killer Allegedly Confessed How It Was ‘So Fun’

Accused Seattle Campus Killer Allegedly Confessed How It Was ‘So Fun’

Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- Police have released videotape in which the accused gunman in the deadly June shooting at Seattle Pacific University not only allegedly confesses to pulling the trigger, but describes it as "fun" and says that he wishes he would have shot more people.Paul Lee, 19, was killed and two other people were injured when Aaron R. Ybarra of Mountlake Terrace, Washington, allegedly opened fire on students in the university's engineering building June 5, a week before the end of the school year.On the tape, he allegedly described taking that first shot as "fun.""You're like, 'I can't believe I'm doing this.' But once you do it, you're like, 'Oh, my God. It's so fun,'" he said.As Ybarra stopped to reload a shotgun, authorities said, senior Jon Meis tackled him and pepper-sprayed him. Meis, a teaching assistant at the school, had been doubling as a security desk monitor that day.In the taped confession, taken in police headquarters the same day as the shootings, for more than an hour long, Ybarra, now 27, allegedly shared the motive with authorities."I just felt nothing but hate -- 100-percent hatred -- towards the world, towards everyone," he allegedly said in the videotape, which was released Tuesday. "I didn't even feel remorse for what I was about to do."Ybarra, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, allegedly told detectives that he felt the whole world was against him and that he'd started living in a fantasy world."I was lonely growing up. I felt like I started to become psychotic or something," he allegedly said.He said that he'd stopped taking medication prescribed to him for obsessive-compulsive disorder and transient psychosis and that he'd also stopped going to counseling.On June 5, Ybarra allegedly said, he packed 75 rounds of ammunition and headed to the campus in hopes of taking hostages."I didn't even feel remorse for what I was about to do....First guy I shot at, I was so pissed because he didn't take me seriously," he allegedly said on the tape. "I hate when people disrespect me."

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Choke Hold Officer Has Been Interviewed by NYPD Internal Affairs

Choke Hold Officer Has Been Interviewed by NYPD Internal Affairs

First Becquart/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The New York City police officer who was filmed putting Staten Island resident Eric Garner in a choke hold moments before he died has been formally interviewed by NYPD internal affairs, ABC News has learned.The question of whether or not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo on criminal charges relating to Eric Garner's death was the subject of a grand jury, who decided against issuing any charges. Now the July 17 incident is the subject of investigations by both the NYPD and the U.S. Department of Justice.NYPD investigators had to wait until after the grand jury decision was handed down last Wednesday before beginning their own inquiry on Thursday.Pantaleo, 27, appeared before the Internal Affairs Bureau investigators on Monday, sources told ABC News.The other officers who were on the scene during the struggle with Garner were scheduled to be interviewed last Friday.Pantaleo was suspended with pay, but had both his gun and badge taken away pending the outcome of the internal investigation. A lawyer for Pantaleo could not be immediately reached for comment.NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has promised an "expeditious" internal review, though no deadline has been set.Former NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly, who is now an ABC News contributor, predicted that it could take up to six months for a decision from the internal affairs investigators.Pantaleo will still be subject to two other possible punishments, however -- the first being the federal civil rights investigation and the second being the $75 million wrongful death suit that Garner's relatives have indicated they intend to file against him and the police department.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

See the Navy’s New Futuristic Laser Weapon in Action

See the Navy’s New Futuristic Laser Weapon in Action

John F. Williams/U.S. Navy(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Navy's new laser weapon is up and running in the Persian Gulf, and it is capable of disabling incoming planes or speedboats that could pose a threat to a ship by firing an invisible ray that can target engine systems with incredible precision, Pentagon officials said.Officially known by its prosaic name, the Laser Weapons System (LaWS), the 30 kilowatt laser was deployed to the Persian Gulf in September for real-world testing of its capabilities aboard a fully functioning Navy ship, officials said.The Navy's Office of Naval Research said it has done well in multiple types of testing aboard the USS Ponce, a vessel deployed year-round to the Persian Gulf.While testing continues, the laser is now listed as operational and fully integrated into the weapons systems aboard the Ponce, where it will remain for the next year.

"The reality is it's ready," said Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder, the chief of Naval Research. "It's part of the ship, it looks like it's part of the ship, and it is part of the ship."U.S. Central Command has authorized the Ponce’s commander to use the laser weapon to defend itself if needed. The testing aboard the Ponce has also included targeting swarms of fast speedboats similar to the tactic used by Iranian speedboats that sometimes harass U.S. Navy vessels transiting into the Persian Gulf.The Navy released a video of testing conducted in November that shows the speed and precision with which the energy beam can be used against incoming threats from the sea or air.For example, the laser can be used to warn incoming boats or planes by focusing using a low intensity beam to "dazzle" them as a warning. If the warning is ignored, the laser's power can be boosted to disable an aircraft or speedboat that continues to approach the Ponce.The video shows a Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle crashing into the water two seconds after it is targeted, too fast for flames to develop aboard the drone. But enough time to burn the circuitry aboard the aircraft.

"That tells you the power of this system," Klunder said.The laser looks like a telescope and is paired with a long-range optical system that allows for precise targeting at a distance. The laser is controlled by a sailor who sits in front of monitors and uses a controller similar to those found on an XBox or PlayStation gaming systems.Capt. Bryant Fuller, deputy commander of ship design at Naval Sea Systems Command, said the controller design was a good fit for the targeting of multiple incoming targets.

"This is a very user-friendly way to operate it," Fuller said. "It's efficient and of course the sailors coming up are well-versed at it, so they’re good at it and it’s pretty easy for them to pick up.”Officials stressed that this weapon will not be used to directly target people on incoming ships or planes, but is designed to disable weapons systems or the crafts that could pose a threat to a ship.In the video, a fast moving speedboat is seen with wooden cutouts mounted aboard to be representative of human forms. The laser can be seen targeting a precise spot on the moving craft away from the human cutouts.The deployment of the laser weapon has cost $40 million so far and Klunder estimated that each laser burst costs 59 cents. The laser has been developed with unique technologies as well as off the shelf commercial technologies.Klunder said his office is developing a more powerful laser weapon of 100 to 150 kilowatts that would have greater power and range that would be ready for testing as early as 2016.He also said that there is testing underway to develop a laser weapon that could be placed aboard some Navy aircraft.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

More than 20 People Arrested in East LA Gang Sweep

More than 20 People Arrested in East LA Gang Sweep

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- A street gang that authorities say terrorized a housing complex in East Los Angeles for more than half a century was the target of a major law enforcement sweep on Wednesday.The operation was called Operation Resident Evil and targeted what federal agents said are violent gang members accused of murder, extortion, drug trafficking and robbery.Authorities say 24 people were arrested on Wednesday and 38 people were indicted in total.The gang that was taken down is called Big Hazard and is believed to have strong ties to the Mexican Mafia, according to FBI Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade.“We're targeting the worst offenders, the most violent offenders and they do have ties to the Mexican Mafia,” said Wade.Acting U.S. Attorney for Los Angeles Stephanie Yonekura said 800 officers and agents were involved in Wednesday’s operation.“According to the indictment the gang engaged in a wide variety of crimes, but drug trafficking was truly its main business,” added Yonekura.Many of the suspects who were arrested have the word "Hazard" tattooed on their bodies.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

“Rolling Stone” Controversy ‘Retraumatizing’ for Victim ‘Jackie': Attorney

“Rolling Stone” Controversy ‘Retraumatizing’ for Victim ‘Jackie': Attorney

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- The lawyer for the woman identified only as "Jackie" in a shocking Rolling Stone article about rape at the University of Virginia said on Wednesday her client is still reeling from the case's recent attention."As I am sure you all can understand, all of this has been very stressful, overwhelming and retraumatizing for Jackie and her family," attorney Palma Pustilnik said in a statement.

Pustilnik said the family's response to the allegations remains "No comment," and they did not comment on recent reports that questioned the veracity of parts of the Rolling Stone article or that the magazine did not adequately research Jackie's story.Pustilnik suggested that "Jackie," who said in the article that she was gang raped by seven men at a fraternity party in 2012, has received threats."I will also take this opportunity to let others know that threats and attempts to extort and/or intimidate have been and will continue to be reported to the appropriate authorities," she said in the statement.The Charlottesville Police Department told ABC News that no official report involving threats has been filed.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Driver Didn’t See Cam Newton’s Car Coming, Police Say

Driver Didn’t See Cam Newton’s Car Coming, Police Say

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The police report detailing NFL quarterback Cam Newton's car crash states that the other driver did not see Newton's car as he was going through an intersection.Newton told the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police that the other driver pulled in front of him as he was beginning to cross an intersection. Though Newton tried to swerve to avoid a crash, he was unable to stop from colliding.Newton's truck then flipped over and landed upside down.The 25-year-old Carolina Panthers star was taken to a nearby hospital and was kept overnight for observation but released Wednesday morning.Tests revealed he suffered two fractures in his lower back.The transverse process bones that were fractured are connected to the spine, and though the injury can be painful and effect mobility it does not necessarily lead to long-term injury.A spokesperson for the team told ABC News' sister network ESPN that they do not yet know if Newton will be able to play this weekend.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Oldest Building on DC’s National Mall to Get Makeover

Oldest Building on DC’s National Mall to Get Makeover

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Turns out a taxman’s house is the oldest building still standing on the National Mall.The 178-year-old stone structure -- known as the Lockkeeper’s House -- sits at one of the busiest intersections in Washington, D.C. It’s been dilapidated for decades, but is about to get a multi-million dollar makeover.“Constitution Avenue was actually the Washington City Canal…food was dropped off here, goods were dropped off here, and the lockkeeper collected the taxes and took notes and took records about what came in and out of this city at this wharf,” Caroline Cunningham, the president of the Trust for the National Mall, said in an interview outside the house, which was once the gateway to commerce in the nation’s capital.More recently it served as a jail, storage hut and even a public restroom before being shuttered entirely in the 1970s. “A place for dead birds,” said Cunningham. “It’s deeply sad that it’s been closed for such a long time.”ABC News got a rare peak inside the decrepit Lockkeeper’s House, which is nestled between the Washington Monument and the World War II Memorial.It will soon undergo a massive restoration project funded by the Trust for the National Mall and American Express.Cunningham said she expects the effort will resurrect a piece of forgotten American history.“It gives us a glimpse into the past,” said Cunningham, who described what people would have seen if they could have visited the Lockkeeper’s House at the height of its use in the mid-nineteenth century.“They would have seen an active river that was bringing goods and services. They would've actually seen right across the way next to the Washington Monument where veterans from the Civil War were being treated. There was a hospital there,” Cunningham said. “They would've seen animals grazing not too far off the Washington Monument grounds. People actually came and brought picnic baskets to watch parts of the Civil War that were just across the river in Virginia.”After it was built in 1835, the house served as both a workplace and home for the Lockkeeper and his family. But once railways overtook canals as the main means of transferring goods, the Lockkeeper’s House ceased to serve its original purpose in 1873 and has undergone many transformations since.Once its 21st century makeover is complete -- a process that will include lifting and repositioning the structure several feet away from its current position on the busy curbside of Constitution Avenue -- the Lockkeeper’s House will serve as an educational center for visitors and a threshold to the history beyond the house’s walls on the grounds of the National Mall.“We want to be able to use both doors, so people can go in and out of both doors, to create a space for people to really have programming, have the rangers…talk about the history,” Cunningham said.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Woman in Labor Gets Trapped on California Freeway During Protests

Woman in Labor Gets Trapped on California Freeway During Protests

iStock/Thinkstock(BERKELEY, Calif.) -- A woman in labor ended up trapped on a freeway blocked by protesters while on her way to the hospital.Adriana Torres, 29, went into labor on Monday. Her sister was driving her to Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, California, when they got stuck on Interstate 80 due to protesters walking on the highway.“When I had very, very pain, very strong, I called the 9-1-1. Come and help me!” Torres told ABC News.Torres said she was having contractions every 3 to 5 minutes.“I had nervous only because I think, 'Oh my god! Delivery in the car?'” she said.Firefighters in Berkeley had to drive through opposing traffic on the freeway to reach Torres and get to the hospital before the baby came.Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong said a battalion chief used his red lights and siren to get to Torres.“One of our battalion chiefs used his red lights and siren and went through the opposite traffic to find the patient,” he said.Emergency personnel were able to get Torres to the hospital just before the baby came.

Torres says she and her new daughter, Camilla, are doing just fine.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

What Police Officers Think About Race and Their Job

What Police Officers Think About Race and Their Job

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — One white former NYPD Sergeant recalled a time when he bumped into a black colleague who had been working “deep” undercover and was standing outside the courthouse after an appearance about his third time he killed a suspect on the job.“He said ‘That's the good thing about being a black man in the NYPD -- I can pretty much shoot whoever I want. If you were involved with the shootings that I’ve been involved with, you’d be in a lot of trouble,’” former Det. Sgt. John Paolucci told ABC News. “That always stuck with me.”According to Paolucci, that interaction happened back in 1997, and he is far from the only former police officer who remembers distinct moments where race played a factor in the way in which the NYPD operated.Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who is black and was a member of the NYPD for 22 years before going into politics, said that he remembers colleagues opening up to him about how they treated different members of the public differently according to race.“Another officer told me -- and he was a good officer -- he said 'Eric, I’m going to be honest with you: when I see a black guy with a gun I’m going to take precaution for myself. If I see a white guy with a gun I’m going to take precaution for myself and for him,'” Adams told ABC News.“We have real racial, homophobic, anti-Semitic, women issues in our society…those same schisms that exist in society exist in the same pool of officers,” Adams told ABC News. “All of the sudden the uniform comes over the head and you become this angel?”Renewed scrutiny of the NYPD’s handling of race issues came swiftly after the announcement of the decision by a Staten Island grand jury not to indict a white police officer who put a black man named Eric Garner in a choke hold. Garner died shortly after the altercation, and a video from the scene showed him repeatedly saying, "I can't breathe." The day after the grand jury announcement, Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio detailed the new retraining process that all officers will have to undergo, though they said the change was not a reflection of the grand jury decision but an effort to overhaul the department’s stop and frisk policy.“I like to use the analogy of alcoholism: I believe our agency (the NYPD) has been intoxicated with police abuse and we now must take the first steps towards sobriety,” Adams told ABC News.“It must be strategically done and I think what the police department has done is the steps towards sobriety. Anyone who went through AA will tell you, you still live day by day. ...you have to constantly have a buddy system to reinforce the partner in that car,” he said.Now the NYPD will be focusing on improving officers communication skills which, theoretically, will help them build better relationships with the community.That’s what helped former Sgt. Paolucci do his job while he was working in the south Bronx, which is largely Hispanic, as well as other neighborhoods in Manhattan from 1992 and 2012.“If you looked around at some of the playgrounds and parks on a hot summer day -- these places are full of criminals, but when you spend time in that community you realize what a small percentage that really is,” Paolucci told ABC News.He said that some residents would come up to him in the stairwells of the housing projects and thank him for being there, and how he and his colleagues would get bizarre fake emergency calls from elderly residents who were hoping for a different kind of rescue.“It was merely a ploy to get you to escort them to the mailbox so they could get their Social Security check,” Paolucci said. “They were afraid of some of the people lurking in the lobbies or the stairwells. Some cops would be upset about that but to me that's the reason why you became a cop.”One point that came up in multiple interviews with former police officers was that the force needs to be more meticulous in how they recruit officers and they can’t ignore the prejudices that officers may bring in with them to the job.“Listen, are there people that shouldn't be police officers all across the country? Absolutely, but that means we need to look at how we recruit them how we train them and how we discipline them,” former NYPD Sgt. Joe Giacalone told ABC News.Steve Gomez is a former LAPD officer who was assigned to investigate a faction of the notorious Crips gang in South East Los Angeles before becoming an FBI officer and now works as an ABC News consultant.“I don’t think it’s an issue of cops being racist,” Gomez told ABC News. “It’s about cops that have been given this power and they I don’t think necessarily know how to use it sometimes.”Adams praised the NYPD’s move of instating a retraining program, saying the force was not effectively dealing with “the emotional baggage that we bring with us to the job.”“The big problem that police departments across the country are making is that they believe they can’t talk about race,” Adams told ABC News. “They believe the term is taboo and so because of that, they are failing to instruct their officers on how to police in a racially charged environment. Police departments did not create the racial tensions that exist in America but they do have to police in them.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Prince William and Kate Wrap Up US Tour

Prince William and Kate Wrap Up US TourJames Devaney/GC Images(NEW YORK) — Prince William and Duchess Kate wrapped up their trip to the United States, arriving back in Great Britain early Wednesday morning.The royal couple on Tuesday crowned their whirlwind visit to New York City with...

Baby Boy Born on Southwest Airlines Flight Doing Well

Baby Boy Born on Southwest Airlines Flight Doing Well

Scott Olson/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Southwest Airlines flight 623 took off with 111 passengers. It landed with 112.Passengers and crew aboard the flight from San Francisco to Phoenix landed with quite a story after witnessing a birth mid-flight Tuesday."I can't think of anything else that's going to top that," said captain John Gordy. "At least not for a while."A pregnant passenger went into labor shortly after takeoff, according to the airline. Upon hearing the news, Gordy told air traffic control the plane needed to land in Los Angeles."It was like Moses parting the waters," he said. "They got all the traffic out of the way."A doctor and nurse on board helped deliver the baby boy."It was amazing," said flight attendant Carri Robinson. "All the passengers were awesome. Everybody was clapping."

 

So...a lady just delivered a baby mid flight to Phoenix. That was a first for me. #recruitingtrail

— Charlie Reeve (@coachcreeve) December 9, 2014

 

Aarti Shahani told ABC News affiliate KNXV that she didn't realize a fellow passenger gave birth until the pilot announced the plane was making an emergency landing."One of the flight attendants said everybody should go buy a lottery ticket tonight and I am totally going to do that,” said Shahani."It was a really cool thing," another passenger, Ely Alexander, told ABC News station KABC. "Never thought I'd experience that...It was just amazing that that happened on a plane."Paramedics met the plane when it landed in Los Angeles. A city fire department spokesman said the mother and her newborn were doing well."I suggested to her and the lady next to me -- I said, 'let's get even with the Kardashians and call her Southwest,'" said flight attendant Danielle Fite.The other passengers eventually boarded another plane and arrived in Phoenix on Tuesday afternoon.

More ABC US news | ABC World News

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nor’easter Leaves Thousands Without Power

Nor’easter Leaves Thousands Without Power

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — About 25,000 customers in the Northeast remain without power Wednesday after a powerful nor'easter hit the East Coast.The storm dumped more than 5 inches of rain in Essex County, Massachusetts. Wind gusts battered houses and ripped down trees in Scituate, Massachusetts, where 62 mph wind gusts were reported.On the coast of New Jersey, washed out streets stranded cars and massive waves filled homes with water.In Killington, Vermont, 14 inches of snow fell Tuesday. Heavy snowfall is forecast from central New York to Vermont and parts of Maine, where 6 inches are possible.Temperatures later Wednesday are forecast to fall to freezing or slightly below for many areas in the Northeast.Out west, flood and wind advisories cover almost the entire coast from Seattle to Los Angeles.The storm, called an "Atmospheric River" or "Pineapple Express," is forecast to hit Seattle and northern California Wednesday, San Francisco Wednesday night and Thursday, and Los Angeles on Friday.The heaviest rain is forecast to fall through Friday from Seattle to Monterey, California, where some coastal mountain areas could receive up to a foot of rain.The storm is potentially the strongest one for the West Coast since 2009.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

No Evidence of Engine Failure, Bird Strike in Maryland Plane Crash

No Evidence of Engine Failure, Bird Strike in Maryland Plane Crash

Photo Credit: Donna Broadway(GAITHERSBURG, Md.) -- Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said on Tuesday that there was no evidence that the plane that crashed in Gaithersburg, Maryland on Monday struck a bird prior to crashing into a residential area.Investigators found no indication of a bird or bird parts in the planes engine. Further, they said, there was no indication that the engines had failed. The investigation did discover that a stall warning -- which occurs when a plane is going too slow and nearing a stall -- was triggered on the plane about 20 seconds prior to the crash. The NTSB is looking into whether the pilot may have failed to maintain adequate airspeed.The crash killed all three people onboard the plane and three more -- a mother and her two young children -- in one of the homes damaged in the crash. Two additional homes were damaged in the crash and the ensuing fire. The plane was traveling from Chapel Hill, North Carolina and planned to land at the Montgomery County Airpark in Maryland.

The man whose wife and two sons were killed in their home said he's grieving after the "horrific event," and trying to find some sense of normalcy for his surviving 5-year-old daughter.Ken Gemmell and his daughter weren't home when the small plane crashed on Monday and one of its wings was catapulted into the family's home in Gaithersburg, Maryland, erupting into flames."No words can describe the enormity of our loss and sadness over yesterday's tragedy," he wrote on Facebook Tuesday. "We lost Marie, the love of my life and college sweetheart, and our two young, innocent, and joyful sons -- a loss that no person should ever endure.""The outpouring of support has been overwhelming, and my daughter and I are appreciative for the prayers and well wishes from friends, neighbors and the community," Gemmell added. "We also appreciate the dedication and hard work of the firefighters, police and other first responders who did everything in their power to try to save my family during this horrific event."He requested privacy as his family grieves, so that he can, "provide my daughter with some degree of normalcy as we try to rebuild."

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Advertise With Us

Would you like to advertise on East Idaho News? Fill out this form to contact a representative.
  • Full and Last
  • The name of your company, business or brand.