Milo Yiannopoulos appearing at Cal Poly amid racially charged climate on campus

first_imgMichael Masters/Getty Images(SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.) — Controversy surrounds Milo Yiannopoulos’ speech this evening at the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, after the school was at the center of multiple racially charged incidents in recent weeks.The Cal Poly College Republicans Club is hosting the “Fake News Panel” Thursday evening, which will include YouTube personalities Austin Fletcher and Carl Benjamin in addition to Yiannopoulos, said Matt Lazier, media relations director for the university.A major police presence is expected at the sold-out event. In a statement, the university disassociated itself from the event, saying that it “is being presented by the club, not by the university.”“The university understands that the participants in the panel discussion are personalities that some members of our campus community may find offensive,” said Lazier. “However, as a public university, Cal Poly is required to uphold free speech rights and provide an open forum for a variety of opinions, thoughts and ideas — even those that may be distasteful or offensive.”Two of the university’s professors expressed concern over Yiannopoulos’ appearance in the current racially charged climate after photos emerged showing fraternity members in blackface and dressed as gang members, and racist posters were seen around campus. This is the second time Yiannopoulos has spoken at Cal Poly in less than two years, with his most recent appearance being January 2017.Dr. Jose Navarro, an assistant professor in the university’s ethnic studies department, told ABC News that he believes the sponsors of the panel event “implicitly endorse Yiannopoulos’ Islamophobic, anti-feminist, alt-right and generally hateful positions.”“Indeed, it seems like the strategy of covert racists and bigots on campus to have such views disseminated by proxy,” he said in an email to ABC News. “Inviting Milo to speak on campus, in short, is a way to get him to espouse the very ideas they believe without actually having to espouse those ideas publicly themselves, and then be held accountable by the campus community for their racism, bigotry and misogyny.”Dr. Neal MacDougall, a professor in the university’s agribusiness department, called the club’s decision to hold the panel at such a sensitive time “incredibly hurtful” and that it sends the message that “it really doesn’t matter what students of color feel.”A Tribune Media report published last week found that Cal Poly has “the least racially diverse student population” among California’s public universities. In 2017, 54.8 percent of the university’s student body identified as white, which is the highest percentage of any public university in the state, according to the report.Following the blackface incident, Cal Poly University President Jeffrey Armstrong said in a forum attended by nearly 1,000 students on April 12 that racism was not an issue at Cal Poly.“I don’t believe we have a culture that is racist,” he said in the video, which was posted to the university’s Facebook page. “I believe we have had some incidents that are awful and we are working very hard to get at the root cause and help people understand.”MacDougall said he “couldn’t believe” the president’s comments and added that Armstrong needs to address that “racism is a problem” at the university in order to improve the community in the long run.“There is, in fact, a culture of racism of Cal Poly,” MacDougall told ABC News.Navarro said that while Armstrong deserves “some credit” for increasing the diversity of the student body, “nevertheless, the Cal Poly student body remains the whitest and wealthiest of any California public university.”“Simply put: if we do not create greater access to higher education for our major base of Californians (Latinos and other minorities), then they will not get high-wage jobs,” he said. “The result of which will be that we will not be able to tax this base enough to replenish the coffers in the state that fund our universities and other public infrastructure.”The Cal Poly College Republicans did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.Racially charged posters seen on campusOn the morning of April 17, MacDougall came into his office in the agribusiness department to find a multitude of racially charged messages, he said.The first thing he said he noticed when he arrived was a university police officer standing in front of a men’s bathroom. The officer instructed him to not use the last stall, he said. A maintenance worker later told him that someone had written the “N-word” on the wall, he said. A student of MacDougall’s colleague snapped a photo of the graffiti before it was cleaned up, he added.Later, MacDougall said he noticed that several racist posters had been put up on bulletin boards near his office, and messages of inclusion that were already there had been defaced.Among the racist material was a flier with a bullet list referring to “species and subspecies,” which purported to prove that people who are not white are “not human,” he said. Maps were also posted that were said to show a “correlation” of a higher concentration of rape where there’s darker people, such as Africa, as well as a higher rate of potential homicides where there are lower IQs, which also used darker skin tones as a factor, he said.MacDougall snapped photos of the material and posted them to his Facebook page later that day. University police at first said they would send someone, but they never did, instead instructing MacDougall to take the posters down, he said.In addition, messages of inclusion, including a sign that stated MacDougall was an “unafraid educator” who works “with and for undocumented students & families,” were slashed.Armstrong responded to findings, saying he was “disgusted to report that there have been a variety of inappropriate and hateful actions on campus in recent days, from slurs being directed at students, to offensive graffiti and postings in or on our facilities.”“These activities are the desperate work of a few who would seek to spread hate and divide us at a vulnerable time,” he said. “Our strongest response in the face of this rhetoric is to come together as one with the common goal of eradicating hatred from our community.”Campus Greek life suspended over photos showing blackfaceArmstrong has indefinitely suspended sororities and fraternities on campus as a result of photos surfacing showing a fraternity member in blackface and others dressed as gang members.But Armstrong said he decided not to take action against individual students because it was their First Amendment right to express their views, he said in a video statement posted to Facebook.Navarro said that he believes students and organizations who engage in “actions and speech that is severe or persistent enough to create a hostile environment for other students, staff and faculty based on race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexuality, age, etc., ought to be suspended or expelled.”“Indeed, I think the current issues related to free speech and the hostile environments they create raise an important constitutional question — one that requires us to ask whether the right to free speech is greater than the right to equal protection and access to education,” Navarro said.Navarro said the students at Cal Poly are “unprepared for engaging in an incredibly diverse population” and that the university’s lack of diversity will impress upon students an ignorance of diversity in the real world.“If all Cal Poly students know about people different from themselves is filtered through stereotypes of these other people that are rendered on television or the internet, they might perform those same stereotypes in blackface or dressed up as Latino gang members,” he said.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more


Teachers say ‘frustration’ over decade of cuts to education is fueling nationwide revolt

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(MESA, Ariz.) — On most Mondays, Stacy Masciangelo, a teacher in Mesa, Arizona, would be in her classroom teaching 33 junior high school students computer technology with outdated equipment that sometimes takes eight minutes just to log on.But this Monday, Masciangelo will join thousands of fellow teachers at the state Capitol in Phoenix, walking a picket line for the third day of a statewide public educator strike.“We’re frustrated. It’s frustrating. How can you tell a kid education is so important when everything that our leaders do say otherwise?” Masciangelo told ABC News on Sunday.She has a bachelor’s degree in business marketing and a master’s in secondary education, but her take-home pay every two weeks comes to less than $900, and that’s not including the money she takes out of her own pocket each year to buy classroom supplies.“But it’s not about teachers being greedy. It’s not about our salaries,” she said of the strike. “Most teachers I know, they try to get by, they live paycheck to paycheck. My husband’s a teacher. He has three jobs just to try to make ends meet. But we both have a calling. We’re extremely passionate about it and we work ourselves to the bone trying to do it because it matters.”Teachers across the nation say the chronic cuts to education spending over the past decade lies at the root of a growing revolt by educators who have reached the tipping point.Arizona, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Kentucky and Colorado have all seen teacher uprisings this year. All of the states, with the exception of Colorado, are dominated by Republicans in the governors’ offices and legislatures. Three of the states — West Virginia, Oklahoma and now Arizona — have seen wildcat strikes by educators.“It’s happening in our reddest states. It’s happening where for the last 10 to a dozen years there has been an ideology of cutting taxes on mostly big businesses and the expense, of course, comes at public services like a public school,” Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, told ABC News today.“So the last time we had this horrible, horrible cut in school services was in the Great Recession 10 years ago, where we lost thousands and thousands of teachers and they laid off the school librarians and the band teachers and they said this is a crisis,” Garcia said. “Well, nobody steps up more to help their kids in a crisis than a teacher. After a hurricane … good lord, after a shooting.”Garcia said there is a correlation between teachers taking to the streets to make their demands heard, and other protests that have recently swept the country, from the Women’s March on Washington to massive student-led protests over school shootings.“This is not unpredictable. They understand the only power they have is to bring those voices together, to stand together and what they’re saying is, ‘We no longer have any faith in politicians. We have not seen that you have been doing your jobs, that you have been taking care of education, that you have been taking care of our safety, that you’ve been taking care of basic justice. And so we’ll take matters into our own hands,’” Garcia said.On Thursday, about 50,000 public school teachers in Arizona went on strike to pressure lawmakers into giving them a 20 percent pay hike, fork over a $1 billion in education funding and up the salaries of school support staff.About 10,000 teachers in Colorado took personal leave to go to the state Capitol in Denver and lobby legislators to boost funding for education there, which they say has been slashed by a whopping $6.6 billion over the last nine years. The teachers are also demanding no new corporate tax breaks until education funding is restored.The labor actions in Arizona and Colorado come after teachers in Oklahoma went on strike and won a pay raise and about a $500 million increase to education funding. Earlier this month, Kentucky educators walked out of class angry over a pension reform bill they said was passed by legislators without their input and signed into law by their governor despite their vociferous objections.The teacher revolt stated in West Virginia, where educators went on a nine-day strike and won a five percent pay hike in March.“I would say that that’s the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Masciangelo said of the West Virginia strike.Masciangelo said the public appears to be with the teachers, some even joining the picket line.“I’ve been pleasantly surprised,” she said. “It’s incredible the support we’re getting from the community itself.“Whenever I have my #RedForEd shirt on and I’m out just doing daily stuff, I’m getting stopped constantly by people saying we support you,” she added.Public educators in Arizona rank 46th in the nation in teacher pay, earning about $12,000 less than the national average of $59,660, according to a 2018 report by the National Education Association.Arizona spends about $4,500 less than the national per-pupil average of about $12,000 a year, ranking 48th in the nation, according to the NEA report.Like in other states where teachers have taken action, Arizona lawmakers appear to be getting the message.“Without a doubt, teachers are some of the biggest difference-makers in the lives of Arizona children,” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a Twitter post last week. “They need to be respected, and rewarded, for the work they do — and Arizona can do better on this front.”On Friday, he proposed granting teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020 and budgeting an additional $100 million for new textbooks, building improvements and support staff salaries. The governor proposed increasing money for education by $371 million over 5 years.“We’ve all been listening — but now, it’s time to act,” Ducey added.But teachers union officials aren’t about to call off their strike just yet.“That’s why we do know how to do our homework. We can see through all of these fake plans and unless there is a dedicated funding source, we are not going to be fooled,” Garcia, the National Education Association president, told ABC News. “We want to see the plan and it has to be something that makes sense. This is not calculus. This is adding and subtracting.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more


Attorney for former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner makes ‘outercourse’ argument in appeal of sex assault conviction

first_imgDan Honda/Bay Area News Group/TNS via Getty Images(SAN JOSE, Calif.) — An attorney for a former Stanford University swimmer found guilty of sexually assaulting an unconscious and intoxicated woman in 2015 argued the conviction should be overturned because his client was fully clothed and wanted only “outercourse” from the victim, not intercourse.Brock Turner’s lawyer Eric Multhaup made the novel argument Tuesday in a state appellate court in San Jose, California, which appeared only to confuse the three-judge panel.“I absolutely don’t understand what you are talking about,” Justice Franklin Elia told Multhaup.Multhaup tried to explain in his 15-minute argument. He said his term “outercourse” referred to Turner having his clothes on when he was caught by two Swedish grad students on top of the victim outside a fraternity party on the Stanford campus in Palo Alto, California, on Jan. 10, 2015.A Santa Clara County jury convicted Turner in March 2016 of three felony charges: Assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person.Multhaup said that because Turner was fully clothed and his genitals were not exposed when he was confronted, the prosecution’s case fell short of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Turner intended to rape the woman.He said the jury based its decision on “speculation” that Turner intended to rape the woman.“They filled in the blanks in the prosecution’s case,” Multhaup argued. “That’s imagination. That’s speculation.”Deputy Attorney General Alisha Carlile argued that the conviction should stand, telling the judges that Santa Clara County prosecutors presented sufficient evidence in the high-profile case and the jury reached its verdict “beyond a reasonable doubt.”The appellate court is expected to make its decision within 90 days.Trial Judge Aaron Persky drew criticism when he sentenced Turner in June 2016 to six months in county jail, based on the recommendation of the probation department. Prosecutors had asked for a six-year prison sentence.Turner, now 22, served three months in jail and was released on Sept. 2, 2016. Following his release, he returned to his hometown of Oakwood, Ohio, where he registered as a sex offender.Persky’s sentence of Turner triggered widespread outrage and a recall campaign, in which voters in Santa Clara County removed Persky from the bench in the June California primary election.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more


Hurricane Michael closing in on Florida with 120 mph winds: ‘This storm can kill you’

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(PANAMA CITY, Fla.) — Hurricane Michael is closing in on the Florida Panhandle, forecast to make landfall as a “monstrous” Category 3 storm with a dangerous storm surge of up to 12 feet, officials said.“You cannot hide from storm surge,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned at a news conference Tuesday. “We can rebuild your house, but we cannot rebuild your life.”“If you have 6 feet of storm surge, you’re out the middle of it, I don’t know how you’re going to survive,” Scott said.“This storm can kill you,” Scott said. “You need to evacuate if you’re ordered to do so.”Michael is now a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds.The storm is forecast to make landfall near Panama City, Florida, on Wednesday afternoon.Besides the dangerous storm surge, residents should also prepare for torrential rain and major flooding, Scott said, with 4 to 8 inches of rain expected and even 12 inches possible in some areas.Scott called the storm “monstrous,” adding, “We haven’t seen anything like this in the Panhandle in decades.”A hurricane warning is in effect for Florida cities including Tallahassee, Panama City, Apalachicola and Pensacola.Florida State University has closed through Friday and the Pensacola International Airport is set to close Wednesday.At least 32 shelters have already opened in the Sunshine State, officials said.In Carrabelle, Florida, resident Cole Lauzau said she is planning to try riding out the storm at home with her roommate and their dog.They live across the street from a swamp, so Lauzau is bracing for water to rise up to their home.For now, Lauzau is trying to plan ahead, making sure they have enough water, food and sandbags.“We’re a little nervous,” she told ABC News. “If we can possibly ride it out safely, we’re going to try it. And if it gets much worse … we will go.”Warnings are in effect for more than 300 miles of coastline, the National Weather Service said.In Georgia, which will be hit by damaging winds and downed power lines, Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for 92 of his state’s counties.Scott has declared a state of emergency in 35 counties in Florida. President Donald Trump has approved an emergency declaration for Florida, permitting the federal government to provide resources and aid during the dangerous storm.In Alabama, where residents may see massive power outages, high winds and heavy rain, Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency statewide.North Carolina and South Carolina will likely see heavy rainfall, which could cause flooding in areas already damaged by last month’s Hurricane Florence. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more


Conviction overturned for undocumented immigrant charged in death of Kate Steinle

first_imgRidiculous. Where’s the accountability? When will our criminal justice system start considering the interests of crime victims and public safety?https://t.co/I8Fhm5GDlx pic.twitter.com/unfjdHto0L— San Francisco POA (@SanFranciscoPOA) August 31, 2019“This is yet another disgusting injustice perpetrated by a broken criminal justice system that is more intent on re-harming the victims of crime and their families than holding violent offenders accountable,” a statement from the police association read. The Steinle family did not immediately respond when asked for comment by ABC News.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. iStock(SAN FRANCISCO) — The lone conviction for an undocumented immigrant whose actions resulted in the shooting death of a 32-year-old woman in 2015 has been overturned by an appellate court in California.A jury acquitted Jose Ines Garcia-Zarate, 46, in 2017 of first degree murder, second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, and assault with a semiautomatic firearm for his role in the death of Kate Steinle.Garcia-Zarate was convicted, however, on the charge of felon in possession of a firearm.During jury deliberations, jury members asked the court for the definition of possession and if there was a time requirement for possession. The defense argued during the appeal that the trial court failed to instruct the jury that it could acquit Garcia-Zarate because he only possessed the gun for a moment.On Friday, the First Appellate Court of Appeals in California, in a 3-0 decision, agreed with that defense.“Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the defense, as we must, we conclude the trial court erred in failing to give the momentary possession instruction. Because the error was prejudicial, we are compelled as a matter of law to reverse,” the court’s opinion says.“These questions go to the heart of the momentary possession defense,” Justice Sandra Margulies wrote. “The fact the jury asked whether there was a time requirement for possession suggests jurors were wrestling with how long defendant had the gun.”Steinle was walking with her family on Pier 14 on July 1, 2015, when she was hit by a bullet that had ricocheted off a concrete wall, hitting her in the back. Police said Garcia-Zarate knowingly fired the gun, then threw it in the water.The defense successfully argued during his trail that the gun was wrapped in rags, which he picked up when it fired accidentally. He then, the defense said, threw it in the water so it would stop firing, according to court documents.The gun Garcia-Zarate shot belonged to a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger who reported that the gun was stolen from his car in San Francisco.Despite the overturned conviction, Garcia-Zarate will remain in jail on related federal charges.“We pray that the U.S. Attorney’s Office is successful in prosecuting Garcia-Zarate and that this menace will no longer be able to terrorize our streets,” the police association said.The San Francisco Police Officers Association blasted the court’s decision, saying this is “another episode” of San Francisco judges caring more about criminals than victims.last_img read more


4 people killed in ‘mass casualty shooting’ at illegal gambling club in Brooklyn: Police

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Four men were shot and killed early Saturday morning at an illegal gambling location in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, according to police. Three others, one woman and two men, were wounded and taken to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries, New York City Police Department Chief of Detectives Dermot F. Shea said at a press conference.The victims, who have not been identified, range in age from 32 to 49 years old, Shea said. Two of the deceased male victims appeared to be from out of state.A motive was not immediately clear, and no arrests have been made.Police said they were called to the scene around 6:55 a.m. after reports of shots fired inside the gambling location, which was also described as a social club, at 74 Utica Ave.When cops arrived, “they discovered the mass casualty shooting.”The four male victims were pronounced dead at the scene, police said.Two firearms have been recovered.Multiple people are being interviewed at the 77th Precinct to determine what happened, according to Shea.An estimated 15 people were believed to be inside the club when the shooting began and a minimum of 15 shots were fired, preliminary evidence showed. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more


Missouri high school students hoist Confederate banner after classmates hand out rainbow flags

first_imgiStock(WEST PLAINS, Mo.)– Students at a southern Missouri high school displayed a Confederate flag in the school’s lunchroom last week in response to students supporting LGBTQ rights handing out rainbow flags earlier in the day, sparking widespread debate online about freedom of speech.Rose, a 15-year-old sophomore at West Plains High School, said she and her friends ordered about 60 rainbow flags on Dec. 9 and began handing them out to other students in a show of inclusiveness.In response, said Rose, some students responded with anti-gay slurs and others ran out of the cafeteria and called their parents to take them home.In addition, several students shared photos of classmates holding up a large Confederate flag along with comments superimposed over the images.“I think it is a problem that we have an entire month dedicated to someone’s sexuality and only a day for veterans,” one student wrote. “You have the right to fly your LGBTQ flag just like I have the right to fly my American and/or rebel flag.”Rose said she had no idea that the gesture would cause controversy.“I wanted to do something nice for the LGBTQ+ kids at my school because I knew a lot of them couldn’t get the flags by themselves,” Rose told ABC News on Tuesday. “And for the students that couldn’t take one, they could at the very least see that they are not alone. It’s very easy to feel that way around here.”As to why students chose to showcase the Confederate flag, Rose said it seems as if it was done to protest against the LGBTQ lifestyle.The West Plains School District issued a statement in response to the incident, saying students on both sides were asked to put their banners away because they were becoming a distraction. No disciplinary action was taken.“While students’ first amendment rights were respected, administrators learned the banners were used by some to taunt other students, which is a distraction to learning and is not acceptable by any measure,” district spokesperson Lana Snodgras told ABC News in a statement Tuesday. “Rather than deal with this as a disciplinary matter, it was treated as a learning experience and opportunity to teach students to respect each other and different viewpoints on a variety of societal issues.”Rose said she agrees with the decision by school administrators to remove all flags but that they didn’t deal with the related issue of bullying.“I think it was entirely appropriate to take away the [confederate] flag. They said something along the lines of, ‘If they can fly their queer flag, we can fly ours,’ but no one was stopping them,” Rose said. “They did that and said that as a kind of retaliation, and to cause a disruption.”“The main point in this story isn’t even the flags — it’s the immense bullying issue,” she said.Rose said some students were “very supporting,” noting how many religious and non-LGBTQ classmates grabbed flags as a show of support.However, she said, “Many harshly bullied the kids with flags, especially after the Confederate flag was brought out.”“The bullying not only targeted queer students, but also students of color,” she said. “I know someone who was shoved and called a racial slur along with many people that were shoved, spit on, and more. People also stole and broke flags from the LGBTQ+ flag holders.”“A lot of my friends, as well as I, are LGBTQ+ and we get bullied more and have a higher chance of being bullied,” Rose added.Rose’s friend Taylor, who helped purchase and pass out the flags, said she witnessed the bullying first-hand.Taylor said that she’s been targeted online by classmates and adults who have said “awful things” because they don’t agree with her opinions.“I wasn’t surprised. People here are closed-minded and I don’t think they’re ready for something like this,” Taylor, a 15-year-old sophomore, told ABC News. “I mean yeah, the school has a problem with racism and homophobia, but what school doesn’t? It isn’t the school’s fault, it’s children and what they’re told.”“People are more concerned about the flags, rather that the bullying. That wasn’t the point. It’s about kids being discriminated against, due to color and sexuality, which is something we should’ve moved past by now,” she added.Both Taylor and Rose said they’re hoping to make the best out of the situation by using it as an example of why people should learn to be more tolerant.“The main thing we can do is educate people,” Rose said. “Many people are hateful just because they don’t understand.”“We need to normalize other sexualities, gender identities and skin colors other than just straight and cisgender and white. People should realize that not everyone is like them and they should be respected, not looked down upon,” she said. “This isn’t ‘asking for special rights’ either — like some would like to believe. The LGBTQ+ students and students of color just want to be treated well.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more


Missing Ohio teenager Harley Dilly has been ‘recovered’: Officials

first_imgStatement from Port Clinton’s police chief:“We are currently searching an unoccupied residence in the 500 block of Fulton Street.At this time Harley Dilly is still missing.”@WEWS #WEWS #HarleyDilly pic.twitter.com/XqcgzS7WWR— Scott Noll (@ScottNoll_News) January 14, 2020The hunt for Dilly began on Dec. 22 and the Port Clinton Police Department has provided daily updates on its social media account.Investigators released a surveillance image of the last known sighting of Dilly crossing the street in front of his home on the 500 block of E. 5th Street wearing a thin maroon puffy jacket.An Amber Alert was issued. Approximately 75 law enforcement agencies including the FBI, K-9 search and rescue teams and helicopters scoured over 150 acres to find Dilly.Members of the community banned together to raise $18,095 in reward money for information leading to Dilly’s safe return and assisted with the search efforts.On Saturday, over 100 members of the community volunteered to conduct their own search, according to the “Search Party of Harley Dilly” Facebook group.On Tuesday the Amber Alert was cancelled because the “child has been recovered,” according to the Ohio Attorney General’s office. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. LPETTET/iStock(PORT CLINTON, Ohio) — Almost four weeks after 14-year-old Harley Dilly disappeared while walking to school, officials in Port Clinton, Ohio, said he has been “recovered.”Dilly left his home on Dec. 20 to go to his last day of school at Port Clinton High School before the holiday break. He never arrived.Port Clinton Police Department is expected to give an update on Tuesday about the investigation after officials searched a vacant house on Monday for several hours, according to ABC affiliate WEWS.last_img read more


Virtual tip jars are helping workers in one of the hardest hit industries in the country

first_imgiStock(LOS ANGELES) — Service industry workers have been economically devastated as bars and restaurant close, and people practice social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak.In response, some have gotten creative in providing continued sources of income for service workers, including the use of virtual tip jars.Sam Schutte, an entrepreneur and the CEO of Unstoppable Software, said he had originally created a virtual tip jar for himself so he could pay the people whose restaurants and bars he frequented.He said his virtual tip jar is a low-tech solution, using Google Forms and Google Sheets. It is basically online spreadsheets, containing service workers’ names and where they were employed along with their PayPal or Venmo information so you can directly pay them.“It just breaks my heart to see all these hardworking people that we depend on to take care of us and provide quality service and now they’re facing this apocalypse,” Schutte told ABC News. “If people want to still support them and thank them for the service they’ve provided it’s a way to connect the dots – otherwise how can you find someone else’s Venmo information? Venmo and PayPal are also pretty secure.”In fact, creating a virtual tip jar is so easy to copy that someone with no tech background did it independently. Emily Gibson, a server at a bar in Los Angeles, had a friend who was posting virtual tip jars for different areas. She was surprised there wasn’t one for L.A.“I thought, ‘I can figure this out,’” she told ABC News. She taught herself Google Sheets and Google Forms and then became more creative.“I tried to get the word out — a virtual happy hour idea — so, you can hang out with your friends at Zoom, virtually visit a city you’ve never been to, pick a person and a bar and then tip the server at that establishment,” Gibson explained. “A lot of us can’t file for unemployment and our income has been shut down.”Other people in the service industry have pivoted to ways to keep money coming in for their employees. Alex Eusebio, a former contestant on Top Chef, owns two restaurants in Toluca Lake, California. One is a Mexican restaurant, Cascabel, and the other is a neighborhood restaurant, Sweetsalt.He turned Sweetsalt into a marketplace and shuttered Cascabel.“This reminds me of 9/11,” the New York native said, adding that while it has the same apocalyptic feeling, it also has a silver lining, adding, “Everyone is coming together in the past few days.”“We offer food, toilet paper — and have donated it — alcohol, raw and cooked products, honestly anything,” Eusebio said.People can call in, place their order, they put it in a box, and it can be picked up and taken home.“The whole point is you don’t have to stay in line at a grocery store — it’s like a combination of Amazon and your local supermarket — instead of delivery, you come and pick it up,” he said. “You pay by phone. I have the resources that others don’t have. I’m just passing along what I have. We are not up-charging.”When he closed Cascabel, he had to let go of 30 employees.“I didn’t have a choice, I wish I did. It’s paycheck-to-paycheck,” he said. “A lot of people are struggling with that, including me.”He bought his out-of-work employees 3 pounds of rice, beans and meat and told them to call him when they run out.H has held onto 17 employees. His baker just had a baby last week and “is freaking out.” He has friends who call him crying, saying they have lost their jobs.His response, “Hey, I have food for you.” Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more


George Floyd protest live updates: Officers shot in Vegas, St. Louis

Mostafa Bassim/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesBy JON HAWORTH and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — The death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Memorial Day after he was pinned down by a white Minnesota police officer, has sparked outrage and protests in Minneapolis and across the United States.Murder and manslaughter charges have been filed against Derek Chauvin, the officer who prosecutors say held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.Chauvin and the other three officers at the scene have been fired. The Department of Justice is investigating.This story is being updated throughout the Tuesday. Please check back for updates. All times Eastern: 2 p.m.: Floyd Mayweather to pay for George Floyd’s funeralGeorge Floyd’s family has accepted an offer from boxer Floyd Mayweather to pay for his funeral, Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, told ABC News.Floyd, who is from Houston, will be laid to rest there on June 9.His family plans to march with protesters to Houston’s City Hall Tuesday afternoon.1:40 p.m.: NY trooper pushing back demonstrators gets hit by speeding SUVA 19-year veteran trooper of the New York State Police was pushing back a crowd of demonstrators in Buffalo on Monday night when he was hit by a speeding SUV, authorities said.A Buffalo police officer was also hit by the car and a second trooper was run over.Troopers fired at the SUV, state police said, and then the driver and passengers were taken into custody.The veteran trooper was taken to the hospital with a shattered pelvis and broken leg, state police said. The other officers suffered minor injuries.Those in the SUV were not seriously hurt.1 p.m.: Surveillance video released from fatal police shooting in LouisvilleAuthorities on Tuesday released surveillance video from an incident which caused the death of David McAtee, a black man shot by officers in Louisville, Kentucky, during protests.McAtee owned a local BBQ restaurant which was frequented by police officers, Mayor Greg Fischer said.At about 12:15 a.m. Monday, members of the Louisville police and Kentucky National Guard were trying to disperse a crowd when they “were fired upon,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. The local police and National Guard returned fire, “resulting in a death,” Beshear said.Video footage from McAtee’s restaurant and a neighboring business appeared to show officers approaching McAtee’s business, police said Tuesday.McAtee then appeared to fire a gun outside his restaurant, toward the officers, police said. Officers took cover and returned fire, police said.From the footage it appears McAtee fired first, police said.Authorities cautioned Tuesday that the video does not provide all of the answers.Why officers were approaching McAtee’s restaurant in the first place is under investigation, police said.The officers have not yet been interviewed, police said.Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad has since been fired after it was announced that no body camera footage was available of the shooting, The Louisville Courier Journal reported.Conrad previously said he would retire at the end of June after facing immense pressure following the March death of Breonna Taylor, a young black woman who was shot dead by police while in her home.The Kentucky State Police will independently investigate McAtee’s death, the governor said Monday.12:15 p.m.: Despite overnight looting, Chicago to move into next phase of reopeningAmid overnight looting, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot promised Tuesday, “we are 110% dedicated to you successfully reopening safely and securely.”Lightfoot said she was with one business owner who “burst into tears” and “broke down” as she looked at the devastation to her store.Despite the unrest, Lightfoot said Chicago will move into phase 3 of its coronavirus reopening on Wednesday.“We want economic activity to resume peacefully and safely in every single neighborhood, especially those hurting the most,” Lightfoot said.11:12 a.m.: Nearly 700 arrested in NYC, curfew extended through the weekIn New York City, despite an 11 p.m. curfew, nearly 700 people were arrested overnight as peaceful protests devolved into moments of vandalism, looting, fire and confrontation.Luxury brands and big box retail stores in Rockefeller Center and the Upper East Side had windows smashed and spray painted. Many retailers have boarded up their storefronts.Some officers were hit by cars of protesters fleeing the scenes of vandalism and looting. It also appeared officers were shot at, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said, condemning it as “unacceptable.”“I know people want peace,” de Blasio stressed Tuesday, “and I know the want change.”“I know we will overcome this,” he said, adding he’s asked community leaders to “step forward” and “take charge.”“Do not let outsiders attack your community …do not let criminals attack your community,” the mayor said. “I’ll be standing by you.”New York City will now be under a nine-hour curfew each night this week, beginning at 8 p.m. and ending at 5 a.m.The mayor on Tuesday asked those who want to protest to do so during the day, and then return home.He also said he’s very worried that protests are leading to the spread of the coronavirus.10:40 a.m.: Senate Judiciary to hold hearing on George Floyd’s death, policing in USSenate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said he’s planning to hold a hearing on June 16 to examine Floyd’s death and policing in the country, promising to “take a deep dive” into the issue.“It’s a long-overdue wake-up call to the country that there are too many of these cases where African American men die in police custody under fairly brutal circumstances,” he said. “It’s clear to me that policing among men in the African American community is a topic that needs to be discussed and acted upon, and I expect this committee to do its part.”“I’d like to get to the root cause of it. Mr. Floyd’s case is outrageous on its face, but I think it speaks to a broader issue,” said Graham, R-S.C. “We just need to get to the bottom of what happened and what we can do to fix it.”Graham called community policing “the anecdote.”“I don’t know how to make that a reality, but we’ll have a hearing along those lines,” Graham said.9 a.m.: More than 500 arrested overnight in NYCIn New York City, despite an 11 p.m. curfew, more than 500 people were arrested overnight as peaceful protests devolved into moments of vandalism, looting, fire and confrontation. Luxury brands and big box retail stores in Rockefeller Center and the Upper East Side had windows smashed and spray painted. Many retailers have boarded up their storefronts. Several officers were hit by cars of protesters fleeing the scenes of vandalism and looting.7:35 a.m.: Minnesota Attorney General says he is considering all charges for Derek Chauvin, including first degree murderMinnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison confirmed he is “considering all charges” and that “all options are on the table,” when it comes to prosecuting Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd.Speaking to ABC News’ Good Morning America, Ellison, who has taken over the prosecution in Floyd’s death, warned that the case must be dealt with methodically and that prosecuting Chauvin would not necessarily be easy.“Generally, jurors resolve all doubts in favor of the police,” said Ellison. “The system is such that there are certain immunities police have, there are certain presumptions. There are relationships that police have that are established over the course of years. And the fact is if you just look at the Freddie Gray case, people looked at that video and were quite certain that there needed to be a conviction. No one was.”“The fact is these cases are not easy,” said Ellison. “And anybody who says they are has never done one.”Ellison was reluctant to give a firm deadline on the timeline of the case but confirmed that the public could see charges very soon.“We are having a fresh review from what the county attorney has already done … and we are looking at this case with fresh eyes,” said Ellison. “There is nobody who has culpability who will not be held accountable.”Said Ellison: “The public has an expectation that there will be, there will render assistance when necessary, that [police] will not add harm. Just saying ‘I didn’t know’ and ‘I was following orders’, I don’t think is working for the public anymore. That is not a comment about the evidence or the law. It is a comment about where the public’s mind is these days.”Ellison said that he and his team are moving “expeditiously” but warned that they also have to move carefully which could take more time than the public would like.“There are numerous videos, numerous witness statements, a lot of stuff to go through for us to do due diligence,” Ellison stated. “We are not going to prolong this any longer than is absolutely necessary to do that due diligence and we are moving expeditiously, yet we have to move carefully. I know that is unsatisfying to people. They want, what they want immediately, and of course people have waited too long and have been too patient over the years but this case must be done methodically and we are doing that right now.”6:49 a.m.: Las Vegas police officer in critical condition and on life supportLas Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombardo held a brief press conference to update the public on the two shooting incidents that took place amid protests happening across the city last night.In the first incident, an officer was engaging with protesters near the Circus Circus hotel and casino and was shot.“Our officers were attempting to take rocks and bottles from the crowd,” said Lombardo during the press conference. “Officers were attempting to get some of the protesters in custody when a shot rang out and our officer went down.”The suspect in that shooting has been taken into custody but Lombardo said the police officer who was shot is in “extremely critical condition and on life support currently.”The second incident occurred at the courthouse on South Las Vegas Boulevard when officers who were posted at the federal building to protect it from protesters encountered a suspect at approximately 11:22 p.m. armed with multiple weapons and appeared to be wearing body armor.When authorities approached the individual, the suspect reached for one of those weapons and was subsequently shot by the responding officers.The suspect later died at the hospital.“This is a tragic night for our community,” said Lombardo. “With these protests, which are leading to riots, one tragedy is only leading to another … our investigations into both these incidents will be ongoing throughout the morning.”“What has occurred is utterly, utterly unacceptable and I hope the community sees it that way too,” he concluded.5:43 a.m.: Peaceful protests in New York City devolve into night of lootingPeaceful protests over the death of George Floyd devolved Monday night into jarring moments of vandalism, looting, fire and confrontation in New York.There were more than 200 arrests and widespread vandalism in Midtown Manhattan and along Fordham Road and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, much of which went down after the citywide 11 p.m. curfew.Luxury brands and big box retail stores in Rockefeller Center and the Upper East Side had windows smashed and spray painted. Many more retailers boarded up their storefronts, giving the heart of a vibrant city already shuttered for the virus the look of blight.There were also several reports of officers being hit by vehicles of protesters fleeing the scenes of vandalism and looting.4:14 a.m.: Two police officers shot in Las Vegas in separate incidentsTwo police officers have been shot in separate incidents in Las Vegas as people protest the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, authorities said.One officer was shot near the 300 block of South Las Vegas Boulevard and the other officer was shot about two miles away in the 2800 block of South Las Vegas Boulevard.The condition of the two officers is currently unknown. Police have said the scene is active and have asked the public to avoid the areas.3:22 a.m.: Four police officers shot in St. Louis on a night of violent protestsSt. Louis Police Chief Hayden John Hayden held a press conference regarding four officers that were shot amid protests last night.He confirmed that all four officers have non life threatening injuries. Two were shot in the leg, one was shot in the foot and the other was shot in the arm.Police Chief Hayden said that a peaceful protest began around 3 p.m. with a couple of thousand people in attendance but that sometime later a group of about 200 people started looting.The group reportedly ignited fireworks and set them off aiming at the officers. Hayden also said the officers, who he said exhibited restraint throughout the entire ordeal, also had gas thrown on them.That is when, he said, several officers, who were standing on the line, all of a sudden felt pain and realized that they had been fired upon with four of them being hit, according to Hayden.The Police Chief also confirmed that there are still reports of gunshots being fired in the city that they’re trying to get under control.The officers were taken to hospital and treated for their wounds. The investigation into who shot them is ongoing.1:57 a.m.: LAPD Chief apologizes for equating looters with officers involved in Floyd’s deathLos Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore apologized for a remark he made during a mayor’s press conference Monday afternoon where he said: “We didn’t have people mourning the death of this man, George Floyd, we had people capitalizing. His death is on their hands as much as it is those officers … We didn’t have protests last night. We had criminal acts.”The comment was met with immediate backlash and Black Lives Matter LA called for Moore to be fired in a tweet.Several hours later, Police Chief Moore, amid much criticism, issued an apology on Twitter saying that he misspoke during the press conference.12:44 a.m.: Protests mostly peaceful in NYC, Denver, LouisvilleNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted late Monday night that any unrest has calmed down at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the site of clashes between protesters and police over the last few days.De Blasio said protesters were overwhelmingly peaceful on this latest night of demonstrations, but that some people during the evening caused some damage that won’t be allowed.In Denver, protesters at the State Capitol took a knee and observed eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence — the same amount of time Derek Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck before Floyd died. Only the sound of helicopters above and honking in the distance could be heard.Louisville, Kentucky, Mayor Greg Fischer also said protests in his city were largely peaceful.The mayor said the peaceful demonstrations honored the memory of David McAtee, the local restaurant owner who was shot and killed by Louisville police officers early Monday morning.12:27 a.m.: Streets quiet in nation’s capitalThe city of Washington, D.C., has been relatively quiet tonight compared to the violence of the past weekend, law enforcement and homeland security officials tell ABC News.Officials report sporadic disturbances in Chinatown, where tear gas was deployed near the Convention Center.City and federal law enforcement, as well as the military, has had a heavy presence on the city streets, with aircraft, including a Black Hawk helicopter, patrolling overhead.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. read more