National Roundup

6 officers fired over 137-shot barrage seek to get jobs back

CLEVELAND (AP) — Six former Cleveland police officers are trying to get their jobs back after being fired following a high-speed chase and deadly shooting that led to changes at the department.

The November 2012 chase began when officers mistook the sound of a vehicle backfiring near the downtown Justice Center for a gunshot. It ended in a 137-shot barrage that killed two unarmed black people in East Cleveland.

The shooting lasted 19.3 seconds, with a majority of the shots — approximately 120 — fired within a span of just over 10 seconds, reported.

At the end, 43-year-old Timothy Russell and 30-year-old Malissa Williams were left dead inside a middle school parking lot.

Thirteen officers fired shots. Six officers were fired in January. A seventh officer retired before facing discipline.

The police union president vowed to fight the discipline and has described the firings as unprecedented and politically motivated.

The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association filed grievances on behalf of the officers on the day they were terminated.

The arbitration process includes patrolman Michael Brelo, the only officer charged with a felony in the case. A Cuyahoga County judge acquitted him of voluntary manslaughter charges for firing the last 15 shots in May 2015.

In total, the city disciplined a dozen supervisors and 74 officers involved in the case.

The supervisors who were fired have had their jobs reinstated by an arbiter. Five of them still face misdemeanor charges in connection with the case.

The incident prompted Mayor Frank Jackson to request a U.S. Department of Justice review of the police department’s use of force.

Police officials implemented new training techniques and an updated pursuit policy after federal investigators found that Cleveland officers too often use excessive force and fail to de-escalate situations.

New Hampshire
Man pleads guilty to taking dead mom’s Social Security money

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire man has pleaded guilty to taking more than $101,000 in Social Security benefits erroneously paid to his dead mother.

Robert Duquette, of Hudson, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of theft of public money.

Court records say Duquette’s mother was receiving widow’s benefits from the Social Security Administration at the time of her death in October 2006. After she died, benefits were still deposited into a bank account that the 74-year-old Duquette held jointly with his mother. Court papers say the benefits were suspended in April 2014.

He failed to advise Social Security that it was making payments erroneously.

He’s scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 24.

Petition: Impeach judge who issued  incest sentence

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — An online petition with more than 12,000 signatures calling for the impeachment of a Montana judge over the sentencing of a 40-year-old man to 60 days in jail in an incest case involving a 12-year-old girl has been sent to the state’s governor and other officials.

The man was sentenced to the jail time, plus a 30-year suspended prison term last week as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

District Judge John McKeon has defended himself against criticism, saying a plea agreement that recommended a 25-year minimum sentence allowed for a lesser one, depending on the results of a psychosexual evaluation. He said that evaluation found the defendant could be safely treated and supervised in the community. McKeon also notes the victim’s mother and grandmother asked that the defendant not be sentenced to prison.

The AP is not naming the defendant to avoid identifying the victim.

New York
Police: Man buys NYC storage unit, finds frozen cats

NEW YORK (AP) — Police say a man bought a storage unit at an auction in New York City and found dozens of dead cats frozen in two freezers.

Officers responded to American Self Storage in the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City on Monday evening.

Police say one freezer had frozen cats stacked on top of each other. In the other, police say they were individually wrapped in paper and plastic bags. One cat had been skinned.

About 40 cats in all were discovered.

The nonprofit American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has taken the dead cats into its custody for necropsies. The tests can’t be performed until the carcasses thaw out.
Police are searching for an unidentified woman who originally rented the unit.

The NYPD Animal Cruelty Squad is investigating.

New York
Man gets 25 years for ramming mother with SUV

MONTICELLO, N.Y. (AP) — A New York man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for trying to kill his mother by ramming his SUV into her living room and running over her.

Sullivan County District Attorney James Farrell said Monday that 52-year-old Vincent Ryan Jr. drove to his mother’s home in Bloomingburg in May 2015, saw her in the doorway and floored the accelerator of his SUV.

Farrell says Helen Ryan suffered a broken leg, broken sternum and other injuries.

The Middletown Times Herald-Record reports Ryan’s mother had a protection order against him after repeated disputes, including an earlier incident in which he drove into the house.

Ryan was convicted of attempted murder and assault in April.

Judge retires after complaint of insensitive racial comments

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts judge who allegedly made insensitive racial comments to another judge has agreed to retire early.

The Commission on Judicial Conduct said Michael Creedon retired as a judge on Sept. 19. He was the former First Justice of Falmouth District Court.

Creedon was placed on leave in June in response to a complaint filed against him with the commission.

The panel said Creedon, a former state legislator, agreed to retire early because of the complaint and for family health reasons.

Creedon was due to retire next month under a state rule that judges retire by age 70.


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