Tuesday, June 16, 2020

School sics cops on 11-year-old after seeing a BB gun in his house during virtual lessons, says it’s no different than bringing a gun to school

A Maryland school official called the police on an 11-year-old boy after the teacher reportedly saw a BB gun in the child’s room during virtual instruction. A police officer visited the home of the fifth-grader following the incident. The child’s mother and a Navy veteran said that the child is in the process of becoming an Eagle Scout and is enrolled in Baltimore County Schools. The child has reportedly taken a variety of lessons related to outdoor sportsmanship, including archery lessons. The mother said that a school official phoned authorities because they were concerned over seeing a BB gun mounted on the child’s wall. The teacher reportedly took a screenshot of the child’s room and passed it along to the school’s resource officer, who turned the information over to local authorities. The school’s principal complained that the child having a BB gun in his room was like bringing a gun to school. She also said that she is not happy that a teacher took a screenshot of her son in her home. She added that she takes issue with the fact that no one at the school contacted her before sending police to her home. She asked “what if a kid is set up for online learning, say, on a kitchen island and there’s a butcher block full of knives in view? Would the police be called then?” (The College Fix)


1,000 tons of plastic rain is falling across the US

Plastic is not just filling our landfills, rivers and oceans. It’s also raining down on America’s protected wilderness, a new study reveals. Researchers at Utah State University have found that more than 1,000 tons of plastic microparticles fell over a 14 month period in 11 national parks and other protected wilderness areas of the United States, transported through the atmosphere. The researchers say more than 1,000 tons of microplastics are deposited onto protected lands in the western U.S. each year. That’s the equivalent of 123 million plastic water bottles. And they say that’s a conservative estimate. The amounts could be much larger. The researchers say these deposits of plastic into wilderness areas have the potential to affect ecosystems and the food chain. (Utah State University)


Naked man arrested after walking around, flipping off Walmart customers

Police in Lincoln, Nebraska arrested a 24-year-old naked man after staff and customers at a Walmart said he was walking around the store and making offensive hand gestures. Around 9 a.m., the man took off his clothing in the Walmart and began yelling inside the store, witnesses said. The Police were called and informed that he had put his shorts on and left the store, running toward the nearby Sam’s Club gas station. When officers spoke to the man, he again was naked and resisted arrest, but they took him into custody without injury, she said. Police suspected he was under the influence of drugs, and medical crews took him to the hospital. He was screened and later released to the Lancaster County jail on suspicion of indecent exposure and resisting arrest. (The Journal Star)


Amazon pauses police access to AI tool

Amazon says it will place a “one-year pause” on allowing police to use its facial-recognition tool, one day after IBM said that it’s exiting the business. While IBM will no longer offer, develop or research the software, Amazon is using a moratorium in the hope that Congress will “put in place appropriate rules for ethical use of facial recognition.” Amid crackdowns on protests against police racism and brutality across the country, tech companies are facing increased scrutiny over their contracts with law enforcement agencies, with studies showing that the technology is inferior at identifying the gender of people with darker skin. (The New York Times)


Movies, TV shows under scrutiny

HBO Max has temporarily pulled 1939’s Oscar-winning “Gone With the Wind” from its catalog to add “discussion of its historical context” after a Los Angeles Times op-ed called for the film’s removal for “ignoring the horrors of slavery.” The move comes as the entertainment industry reckons with its treatment of race. Paramount TV canceled the long-running reality show, “Cops,” and A&E canceled its top-rated “Live PD,” amid weeks of protests over killings of George Floyd and other Black Americans in police custody. (LA Times)


Older workers contend with virus risk

With approximately 80% of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. affecting those 65 and older, that age group, which accounts for 7% of the workforce, is particularly vulnerable as businesses reopen. Workplace safety agencies have received complaints from around 34 workplaces where workers who were older or had health risks did not feel properly protected or informed of risks linked to the virus. For many older workers, having to pay bills or feeling a need to maintain a strong work ethic has “kept them in harm’s way.” (The Wall Street Journal)


Suspect in homicide near Coors Field opened fire because of dispute over dog poop

The suspect in a shooting that killed a 21-year-old woman and injured her boyfriend opened fire from his apartment in Denver, Colorado because of a dispute about the victims’ dog pooping, police believe. The 36-year-old was arrested Wednesday in connection to the shooting after fleeing Denver, according to a probable cause statement released by Denver police. The name of the victims are redacted from the police document, but a GoFundMe page and multiple social media postings identified the 21-year-old woman who was killed. Her boyfriend was shot twice but is expected to survive. The boyfriend told police that he was walking his dog with his girlfriend when he told the dog to poop. He then heard a voice from a ground-level apartment yelling at them and asking if they were going to train the dog or just yell at it. The boyfriend said he tried to ignore the yelling but then saw the man point a gun at him. He first thought the weapon was a pellet gun but fled when multiple gunshots rang out. The suspect got into a verbal altercation with the victims related to the victims telling the dog to poop, according to the probable cause statement. The suspect then shot the victims from inside his apartment. The girlfriend died at the scene. Deputies with the Park County Sheriff’s Office stopped the suspect in his vehicle on Highway 285 and found a rifle and a handgun on the floor of the front passenger seat. (Denver Post)


Doctors in China remove fish from man’s rectum after he accidentally sat on it

In a bizarre incident, a team of doctors in China removed a fish from inside a man’s rectum after he “accidentally sat on it”. The 30-year-old sought medical attention after experiencing abdominal pain. A series of CT scans and x-ray reports revealed a dead blue tilapia inside his bowels. Though doctors tried to remove the fish through an emergency endoscopy, the fish was found to be too big. It was later removed through surgery. It is unclear how big the fish is, but blue tilapias usually measure 30 to 40 centimeters long. (The Indian Express)


San Francisco Police Won’t Respond to Non-Criminal Calls

San Francisco officers will stop responding to non-criminal activities such as disputes between neighbors, reports about homeless people and school discipline interventions as part of a police reform plan, Mayor London Breed announced recently. In a news release, on calls that don’t involve a threat to public safety, officers would be replaced by trained, unarmed professionals to limit unnecessary confrontation between the police department and the community. As part of the new police reforms, the city will also strengthen its accountability policies, ban the use of military-grade weapons and divert funding to the African American community, which comprises less than 6% of San Francisco’s population but nearly 50% of those involved in the criminal justice system, Breed said. (NBC Bay Area)


More students say university not value for money

More students think they are not getting good value for money from university, suggests an annual survey. It found 31% of students thought their courses were poor or very poor value, up from 29% last year. The survey, based on 10,000 students across the UK, was gathered in a year disrupted by Covid-19 and lecturers’ strikes. The Student Academic Experience Survey, which has been tracking student views since 2006, shows a decline in satisfaction with value for money – down from 41% to 39% – with another 30% thinking it was neither good or bad value. The survey is published by the Higher Education Policy Institute. (BBC)


Officer charged with killing George Floyd still eligible for pension worth more than $1 million

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin could receive more than $1 million in pension benefits during his retirement years even if he is convicted of killing George Floyd. He has been the subject of national fury since last month, when footage emerged of him kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes as Floyd begged him to stop. He was quickly fired from the department where he had worked since 2001, and amid national protests, was eventually charged with second-degree murder. He still stands to benefit from a pension partially funded by taxpayers. While a number of state laws allow for the forfeiture of pensions for those employees convicted of felony crimes related to their work, this is not the case in Minnesota. The Minnesota Public Employees Retirement Association says that 44-year-old former cop would remain eligible to file for his pension as early as age 50, though it would not provide details on the specific amount he would receive. His attorney declined to comment. Retirement plan officials said that employees terminated voluntarily or for cause are eligible for future benefits unless they choose to forfeit their future benefit and receive a refund of all their contributions made during their employment. (CBS News)


USDA Invests $71 Million in High-Speed Broadband for Rural Kansas and Oklahoma

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that USDA is investing $71 million to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in Kansas and Oklahoma. This funding is part of USDA’s round one investments through the ReConnect Pilot Program. “The need for rural broadband has never been more apparent than it is now – as our nation manages the coronavirus national emergency. Access to telehealth services, remote learning for school children, and remote business operations all require access to broadband,” said Secretary Perdue. “I am so proud of our rural communities who have been working day in and day out, just like they always do, producing the food and fiber America depends on. We need them more than ever during these trying times, and expanding access to this critical infrastructure will help ensure rural America prospers for years to come.” (Oklahoma Commerce)


Truck Drivers Say They Won’t Deliver To Cities with Defunded Police Departments

As cities across the country are discussing de-funding or disbanding their police departments, truck drivers are voicing concerns of safety. Seventy-seven percent of truck drivers say they will refuse to deliver freight to cities with de-funded police departments. Truck driving is historically ranked as one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. In 2018, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic reported truck driving as the most deadly job in the country. Truck drivers have spent the last year on the front line of a global pandemic and protests. Now many are fearful of what might happen if police departs disband or are de-funded. When drivers were asked, “Would you pick up/deliver to cities with de-funded or disbanded police departments? Why or why not?” To date, 77% of drivers say they will refuse loads to cities with disbanded or de-funded police departments. (CDL Life)


Tuesday Slams In With:

  • Bloomsday
  • Fudge Day
  • Ladies’ Day (Baseball)

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