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Black man files civil rights lawsuit against California officer

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Crime
Black man files civil rights lawsuit against California officer

Nandi Cain, center, answers a reporters question concerning the alleged beating he received from a Sacramento Police officer two weeks ago during a news conference Monday, April 24, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif.

Nandi Cain, center, answers a reporters question concerning the alleged beating he received from a Sacramento Police officer two weeks ago during a news conference Monday, April 24, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif.  (AP)

A black man hurled to the ground and punched repeatedly in the face by a police officer this month has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and county of Sacramento, claiming Monday he was targeted because of his race and abused in jail after his arrest.

The lawsuit seeking unspecified monetary damages for Nandi Cain, who police said was jaywalking, also named the officer as a plaintiff and identified him as Anthony Figueroa, said Cain’s lawyer, John Burris.

Cain told reporters that his memory of the event is blurry because he suffered a concussion and could barely see because of a black eye and that his nose was broken.

Burris said Cain was guilty mainly of “walking while black” and that the incident reminded him of the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King in Los Angeles. Four white police officers were acquitted in King’s beating 25 years ago, sparking days of deadly rioting.

Police who had criticized the officer’s actions during the widely publicized April 10 event captured on video had not identified him, saying only that the officer was a two-year member of the force placed on unpaid administrative leave.

Officer Matthew McPhail, a department spokesman, said the department wasn’t commenting because of the pending lawsuit.

Figueroa also did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment about the lawsuit or the April 10 incident, which officials have said happened when Cain was told by the officer to stop because he had jaywalked on a residential street in California’s state capital.

McPhail and Cain’s attorneys said they did not know the race or ethnicity of the arresting officer.

Cain, 24, refused and challenged the officer to a fight, officials have said.

Video taken by a police cruiser dash camera and bystanders captured Cain complaining the officer was stopping him “for nothing” and telling the officer, “if you were a real man you would take your gun away and fight me like a real man.”

The officer then lunged at Cain and tackled him, punching him repeatedly, according to the video released by the police department. Video of the confrontation filmed by a bystander went viral and generated outrage across the U.S.

Cain was handcuffed for suspicion of resisting arrest and an outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrant, authorities have said. Police said he continued resisting by kicking the interior of a patrol car and was restrained with a leg hobble.

After being brought to a jail, Cain was repeatedly kneed in the ribs by corrections officers who also used their knees to pin him down while stripping off his clothes, said the federal lawsuit filed Sunday in Sacramento.

“I’ve been embarrassed and discriminated against when all I’ve been trying to do is go home from work,” Cain told reporters.

Cain cried out in pain while he was naked on the floor of the jail and was mocked by the corrections officers, the lawsuit said.

It said he was left alone in a cell without medical attention, food or the ability to make a phone call.

The allegations about Cain’s treatment in the jail “will be investigated accordingly,” a sheriff’s department spokesman, Sgt. Tony Turnbull, said in a statement. “I would like to reiterate that these are only allegations, and before people jump to conclusions, let the investigation speak for itself.”

Cain was released from jail after nine hours and no charges were filed against him.

Since then, Cain said he has been depressed with nightmares and cold sweats and unable to sleep or eat regularly. He said he is still receiving medical treatment for the concussion.

Cain speculated that he might still be in jail if a bystander had not initially posted video of the confrontation.

“Racism is still alive, and you would think, it’s 2017 that it would die, but it still exists,” Cain said, adding that he had been racially targeted before but that this event marked the first time it was captured in images.

He added: “Now that we brought it to surface, justice will be served and we will make sure that this doesn’t happen to anybody else.”

The police department and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg have previously called the officer’s behavior disturbing and unreasonable.

Burris contested the allegation that his client was jaywalking.

“But jaywalking in and of itself does not and should not ever result in a person being beaten about his face and head without a justification for it,” he said.

Man charged with abuse after allegedly locking 2 children in trash container

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Crime
Man charged with abuse after allegedly locking 2 children in trash container
Lorenzo McCullough

Lorenzo McCullough  (Dotham Police Department)

Police in Alabama say a man is charged with abuse after allegedly locking two young children inside a trash bin container where authorities found them covered in ants.

A statement issued Monday by Dothan police says 25-year-old Lorenzo McCullough is being held without bond.

Police say a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old were found early Sunday inside a brick structure that contained trash bins. The children were covered by ants, and both were taken to a hospital.

Authorities had received a call earlier from someone saying McCullough was suicidal and threatening to harm the children. Officers found him hiding in a closet and located the children later.

Court records aren’t available to show if McCullough has a lawyer. Police haven’t said whether there’s a relationship between the man and the children.

United Airlines flight reportedly makes emergency landing after engine issue

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United Airlines flight reportedly makes emergency landing after engine issue
FILE: United Airlines planes seen at the George Bush International Airport in Houston, Texas.

FILE: United Airlines planes seen at the George Bush International Airport in Houston, Texas.  (AP)

A United Airlines fight on Monday made an emergency landing in Costa Rica after one of its engines reportedly overheated over the ocean.

Time magazine, citing a reporter who was aboard the plane, reported that Flight 1516 was headed for Houston from Libreria, Costa Rica. The magazine citied local reports that said the plane took off from Daniel Oduber International Airport and landed back about two hours later after circling.

The airline did not immediately respond to the magazine. A fire supervisor from Costa Rica confirmed the overheating incident. The plane was identified as a Boeing 737-800.

One of the passengers aboard the flight reportedly said that the plane “about crashed in an emergency landing before the pilot quickly pulled up. So scary.” Another passenger said it was the “most frightening thing I’ve ever experienced.”

Caitlyn Jenner: Trump has ‘kind of disappointed me’ on LGBT issues

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Caitlyn Jenner: Trump has ‘kind of disappointed me’ on LGBT issues
Caitlyn Jenner: Easier to come out as trans than Republican

Caitlyn Jenner told Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that President Trump has “kind of disappointed me in the first hundred days” on LGBT issues.

The former Olympic gold medalist, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, told host Tucker Carlson that Trump initially “looked like he would be pretty good on all LGBT issues,” but she criticized the administration for revoking the Obama administration’s guidelines allowing public school students to use restrooms and other facilities that correspond to their gender identity.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION REVOKES OBAMA-ERA TRANSGENDER BATHROOM GUIDANCE FOR SCHOOLS

Jenner also hit Attorney General Jeff Sessions for refusing to prosecute the murders of transgender women as federal hate crimes and criticized Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Army, Mark Green for anti-transgender comments.

“I need to tell Mark Green I don’t have a disease, OK?” Jenner said. “He talked about fighting the bathroom issue as ‘The Bible tells me I have to go after evil,’ you know? And I’m not an evil person.”

“There’s a lot of issues out there for our community that I’m fighting for and I want the Republican Party to do a better job,” Jenner added.

Jenner said she was on the “Republican-conservative side” politically, but added “what I’m fighting for is my community, the LGBT community, and particularly the trans issues that are out there, because there are many of them.”

However, Jenner denied she was a “one-issue voter” and said that “I believe in limited government [and] in our Constitution.”

“I would rather convince the Republican Party to do a better job when it comes to all LGBT issues than to try to convince the Democrats to lower taxes and lower regulations and let our country thrive economically,” she said.

Experts discuss the exponentially worsening space debris problem

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Science
Experts discuss the exponentially worsening space debris problem
File photo: A photo taken by Expedition 46 flight engineer Tim Peake of the European Space Agency (ESA) aboard the International Space Station shows Italy, the Alps, and the Mediterranean on January, 25, 2016. (REUTERS/NASA/Tim Peake)

File photo: A photo taken by Expedition 46 flight engineer Tim Peake of the European Space Agency (ESA) aboard the International Space Station shows Italy, the Alps, and the Mediterranean on January, 25, 2016. (REUTERS/NASA/Tim Peake)

Last month, while setting a record for the most spacewalks by a women, astronaut Peggy Whitson lost her debris shield. Although initially concerned, NASA soon determined that the blanket had floated far enough away from the International Space Station to not pose any immediate danger. Instead, it went on to join the very debris it was intended to protect against.

In the grand scheme of things, Whitson’s shield is insignificant, but it ironically showcases the growing mass of space debris orbiting our planet.

In under 25 years, the amount of junk big enough to destroy a spacecraft has more than doubled, the Agence France-Presse reports from the seventh European Conference on Space Debris in Germany this week.

“We are very much concerned,” said Rolf Densing, who heads operations at the European Space Agency (ESA).

The big concern is that accumulating space debris may lead to something called the Kessler syndrome, a chain reaction of collisions that exponentially increases the amount of junk. A collision between two satellites may make thousands of smaller objects. Those thousands of objects could collide into millions more objects, and so on. The end result is an impenetrable cloud of debris that would make space travel treacherous.

But this isn’t science fiction. The amount of space debris is already in the hundreds of millions, according to experts.

“Today, we find in space roughly 5,000 objects with sizes larger than one meter (3.25 feet), roughly 20,000 objects with sizes over ten centimeters,” said Holger Krag, who heads ESA’s space debris office, “and 750,000 ‘flying bullets’ of around one centimeter.”

“For objects larger than one millimeter (0.04 inch), 150 million is our model estimate for that,” he added. “The growth in the number of fragments has deviated from the linear trend in the past and has entered into the more feared exponential trend.”

Krag told the conference that ESA receive a collision alert on its ten satellites about every week, and each has to shift position to avoid collision about once or twice a year.

Over the past few years, organizations like ESA and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have been researching methods to clean up space debris, including corralling the debris with massive nets and attracting junk with magnets. Unfortunately, JAXA failed in its attempt earlier this year.

The scientists will spend the next few days discussing the problem and reviewing tentative solutions.