• U.S.
    The Daily Beast

    Sole Witness Who Heard Cops Announce Themselves in Breonna Taylor Raid Changed His Story

    This week, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron made the bombshell announcement that the cops who fatally shot Breonna Taylor would not be charged with killing her, calling their use of force in the March raid “justified to protect themselves.”In that justification, he said that one witness corroborated the three officers’ insistence that they knocked and identified themselves at Taylor’s Louisville home while executing a search warrant in connection with a narcotics investigation. It contradicted claims from Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenny Walker, and 11 other residents, who said they didn’t hear the cops announce themselves. Instead, Walker thought he was being burglarized and fired a warning shot that triggered a tragic chain of events.But, according to documents and audio obtained by VICE News on Saturday, that sole witness initially told investigators days after the March 13 raid that he didn’t actually hear officers Brett Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly, and Myles Cosgrove announce themselves.The witness—identified by VICE as Aarin Sarpee but by other outlets and public records as Aaron Julue Sarpee—was picking up his daughter from a unit above Taylor’s when the raid took place.It wasn’t until he was interviewed a second time, about two months after the raid by a sergeant in LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit, that Sarpee said he heard police say, “This is the cops.”Sarpee’s flip-flop, the latest twist in a case that has made Taylor an icon in the Black Lives Matter movement, calls into question the strength of Cameron’s case and the grand jury report, which state officials are demanding be made public.“I never had faith in Daniel Cameron to begin with, I knew he was too inexperienced with a job of this caliber. I knew he chose to be at the wrong side of the law,” Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother, said in a Friday statement. “My hope was that he knew he had the power to do the right thing, that he had the power to start the healing of this city, that he had the power to help mend over 400 years of oppression. What he helped me realize is that it will always be us against them. That we are never safe.”On Wednesday, a grand jury indicted only Hankison, though only for recklessly firing shots that endangered people in other units. Mattingly and Cosgrove—the cop who fired the shot that killed Taylor—weren’t charged.Cameron’s charging recommendations were at least partly based on Sarpee’s testimony, since the attorney general said Wednesday that investigators had “an independent witness” corroborate the officer’s account.No Cops Charged With Killing Breonna Taylor“My office was not tasked with determining if this was a tragedy, as it was,” Cameron said Wednesday, admitting that it was unlikely more charges would be laid. “My job was to put emotions aside and investigate facts to see if state law was violated.”Wednesday’s charges came more than six months after a “no-knock” warrant was issued for Taylor’s apartment as part of a controversial narcotics investigation into the 26-year-old’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover.According to VICE, LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit first contacted Sarpee a week after the shooting. The officers involved in Taylor’s warrant had previously said Sarpee was outside the apartment upstairs and got in an argument with Hankison as they were banging on Taylor’s door.When Sgt. Jason Vance asked Sarpee if he heard anyone identify themselves as law enforcement, he answered: “No, nobody identified themselves.”At the end of the March 21 conversation, Vance told Sarpee investigators would be calling him again to conduct a formal interview. Investigation notes suggest attempts were made to contact Sarpee but he didn’t speak to the Public Integrity Unity again until May 15.In a seven minute call, Sgt. Amanda Seelye pressed Sarpee on whether he knew the individuals entering Taylor’s home were officers and if he heard them announce themselves.This time, Sarpee said he heard police identify themselves, a change that suddenly corroborated the testimonies of the officers at the scene.“It’s been so long now,” Sarpee told Seelye on the call. “I recall some of it.”Sarpee also told The New York Times that he saw the officers as he stepped out onto the exterior staircase of Taylor’s apartment unit with his 2-year-old. He said that before the officers ordered him to go back inside the apartment, he heard at least three loud knocks on Taylor’s door and heard at least one of the officers scream “Police!” Sarpee, however, insisted to the Times he only heard them say the statement once.Despite Sarpee’s changing story, his claim to have heard police from the front of an apartment doesn’t offer complete clarity on whether Taylor and her boyfriend would have heard it from their bedroom towards the back of their unit.Sarpee did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment. VICE reported that the witness declined to speak with them, saying he had to speak with his lawyer first. The LMPD and Attorney General’s office also did not immediately respond to request for comment.Hankison was fired in June for “extreme violations” of police protocol after “wantonly and blindly” firing 10 shots into Taylor’s apartment–including several shots through the patio door and window, and into a neighbor’s apartment—after Walker fired an initial shot. Mattingly, Cosgrove, and the detective who requested the warrant were put on administrative leave. Six more officers are reportedly under investigation for their role in the raid.Earlier this month, the city of Louisville reached a $12 million settlement with Taylor’s family in their wrongful death lawsuit.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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  • Politics
    The Wrap

    Trump Lashes Out at Fox News After Poll Shows Him Down in Key States

    President Donald Trump lashed out once again at Fox News after the network’s latest poll showed him losing to Democratic nominee Joe Biden in key states like Pennsylvania and Ohio.“One of the worst polls in 2016 was the @FoxNews Poll. They were so ridiculously wrong. Fox said they were going to change pollsters, but they didn’t. They totally over sample Democrats to a point that a child could see what is going on. Rasmussen, which was accurate, at 52%,” wrote the president on Twitter.The new poll, released Thursday, shows Biden at 52% in Nevada while Trump is at 41%. In Ohio, Biden had 50% and Trump and 45%. Pennsylvania earned Biden 51% and Trump 44%. A majority of respondents in each state were displeased with Trump’s handling of the coronavirus and indicated they’d prefer Biden to make the next Supreme Court nominee.Also Read: Trump Faces Boos, 'Vote Him Out' Chants at Ruth Bader Ginsburg Memorial (Video)The president regularly chastizes Fox News and its polling unit when he dislikes the findings of a poll, and while Fox News doesn’t respond to direct attacks, the network has been consistent in defending its polling unit.Earlier this month, the president falsely claimed that he was actually leading in battleground states, but the “fake news” wouldn’t report it.“I must tell you that Fox has among the worst pollsters of all. I think they’re terrible,” Trump told Fox News Sean Hannity Sept. 9, while calling into his show.Read original story Trump Lashes Out at Fox News After Poll Shows Him Down in Key States At TheWrap

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  • World
    The Telegraph

    More horses will be abandoned because of the economic downturn caused by Covid, warns RSPCA

    Thousands of horses are at risk of being abandoned because of the economic downturn predicted due to covid-19, the CEO of the RSPCA has said as he encouraged those with money and land to adopt a pony. During the 'equine crisis' caused by the 2008 recession, the number of horses in care of the charity increased threefold. As the economic crisis hits, along with predicted cold weather, flooding and a potential second wave of the virus, the future for the country's horses is bleak. The charity warned that for some families, the cost of an equine can be equivalent to a second mortgage - leading to a likelihood of the horse being dumped in difficult times. Despite all this, horse breeding has continued at the same rate as before the coronavirus crisis, making it more difficult to rehome those which have been abandoned. The horse rescue sector has warned it cannot cope with increased numbers of abandoned animals, as during the crisis fundraising has dropped by 50 per cent. Last recession saw rescue RSPCA horses rise by almost 150 per cent, from 722 in 2009 to 1797 in 2013. RSPCA CEO Chris Sherwood told The Telegraph: “We have a perfect storm brewing. We have the recession and the economic pressures that will have on people who own horses, we have a potential second wave where people can’t get out to see their horses if they are quarantined and that leading to people not wanting to have a horse anymore, and we have the potential for a hard winter with flooding and bad weather which will lead to more issues around horse welfare." He urged Telegraph readers with the time and space to consider adopting a horse, explaining: “Readers should consider adopting a horse if they have the means and the land - we currently have 760 horses in our care and we are in need of those individuals who want to come and rehome from us. We started rehoming equines at the end of lockdown as well in a socially distanced way, it’s very safe. “There are 7-10,000 equines at risk that might need support and intervention." Animal rescues have been ignored by government bailouts, he said, with many having to let staff go and close centres. Mr Sherwood added: “We are calling upon the government to extend support to the equine sector and we have met with ministers to ask for their help on what could be a very difficult winter.” The RSPCA recently announced it is to make nearly a fifth of its 1,600 staff redundant due to the covid-19 crisis. Predictions by the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) and Charity Finance Group (CFG) show that UK charities face collective financial losses of £12.4bn by the end of this financial year as a result of rising costs and a steep fall in donations.

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  • News
    Dr. Phil CBS

    Black Couple Claims They Felt Racially Profiled By White Manager At A Sporting Goods Store

    Joel and TaMiya, who are Black, say they had just left a sporting goods and apparel store after purchasing their young son his first basketball when the white female manager followed them outside and falsely accused Joel of stealing the item. TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: Accused of something terrible? “Anytime a white woman gets into a conflict with a black man in public it’s not a good situation,” says TaMiya, noting that the manager then flagged down police. WATCH: Weigh In: Ever Witness A Black Person Being Treated Unfairly Because Of Race Or Ethnicity? “I was afraid my husband would get tased – or shot,” she says. Joel says, “She sicced those officers on us and told them that we stole a ball that we couldn’t have stolen, because - obviously I didn’t steal it - because I had a receipt,” adding, “I feel like, just [her] lying to a police officer could have got us killed.” Joel and TaMiya say they felt they were racially profiled by the store manager. Watch the video above to find out how claim police treated them. This episode of Dr. Phil airs Friday. Check here to find out where you can watch. TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY:Have an outrageous story that will shock Dr. Phil?

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  • Politics
    Business Insider

    John Legend says that Americans 'will have to start thinking about going somewhere else' if Trump is reelected

    In an interview with Cosmopolitan UK, John Legend opens up about the 2020 election, saying that he believes America "is exhausted" from Donald Trump.

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