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Enlarge this image Amber Guyger, the former Dallas police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man in his own home told a 911 dispatcher, "I thought it was my apartment" several times as she waited for emergency responders to arrive. Guyger is charged in the September, 2018 killing of Botham Jean. AP hide caption toggle caption AP A white former Dallas police officer who shot and killed her unarmed black neighbor in his apartment goes on trial in Dallas on Monday. The former officer, Amber Guyger said she entered the wrong apartment thinking it was her own, and shot 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean because she thought he was a burglar. Jury selection began earlier this month, one year to the date of the slaying of Jean, which happened on Sept. 6, 2018. Jean was an up-and-coming associate at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Dallas and a native of the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. Guyger, then an off-duty police officer and four-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, was charged with manslaughter three days after the shooting. In November, she was indicted on a murder charge by a grand jury. Guyger has admitted to the shooting but claims it was an accident. Her account of key events aren't expected to be disputed during the trial. She has pleaded not guilty to murder. According to Guyger, she was returning home from a double shift and mistakenly entered Jean's apartment after she parked on the fourth floor of her apartment complex, instead of the third floor where her apartment is located. She walked to the apartment on the fourth floor directly above her own. Guyger said she went to insert her electronic key and the door pushed open. She walked into the dark apartment and saw a man inside. Thinking he was an intruder, she fired twice and fatally shot Jean in the chest with her service weapon. Guyger said she only realized she was in the wrong apartment afterward when she turned on the light. She then called 911. "I thought I was in my apartment. I shot a guy, thinking it was my apartment," she said on the 911 call. On the call, Guyger repeats more than a dozen times, "I thought it was my apartment." An unnamed law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the case told The Dallas Morning News that Guyger did not notice the bright red doormat that Jean had placed outside his door to help identify the apartment to visiting friends. Over the course of the trial, the defense may argue that Guyger believed she was in a dangerous situation and thought she was acting in self-defense. On the other side, the prosecution may argue that Guyger has no legal standing for her actions since she was not on duty or responding to a dispatch call at the time of the shooting and that she was a civilian who broke into a private residence when she shot Jean. The jury will need to decide if the killing of Jean was an accident or a murder. The other question the trial will likely address is whether the incident was racially motivated. Civil Rights Attorney Benjamin Crump, one of the lawyers for the Jean family, has referred to the shooting as an example of the constant threat of a deadly violence that African Americans experience daily. "The family has no doubt in their mind that she shot Botham because she saw a black man and she thought, 'criminal,' " Ben Crump, one of the attorneys for the Jean family, told NPR. Enlarge this image Brandt Jean, center left, brother of shooting victim Botham Jean, hugs his sister Allisa Charles-Findley, during a news conference outside the Frank Crowley Courts Building on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, in Dallas, about the shooting of Botham Jean by Dallas police officer Amber Guyger on Thursday. He was [...]
Sun, Sep 22, 2019
Source: Headlines -NPR Category: TOP NEWS
Enlarge this image Camille Harris performs choreographed dance moves with a fan at a soul line dancing social event in Washington, D.C. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption toggle caption Meredith Rizzo/NPR We all know we should be exercising, but wanting to is a different story. But what if your exercise regime was the highlight of your week, a chance not just to get active but to see all of your friends? Enter soul line dancing. Soul line dancing – like country line dancing – is really just choreographed dance moves that you do in a group, without a partner. The Electric Slide is a classic example. The "soul" part comes from the music used — like R & B, hip hop, soul and contemporary hits. Enlarge this image Daryl Watson (right), a pastor at a Baptist church, says dancing keeps him in shape and helps him unwind. The Addicts refer to him as "the reverend;" his other nickname is "Smooth Operator." Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption toggle caption Meredith Rizzo/NPR It's become popular, especially among African-Americans, in communities across the country. People take dance classes at local churches, gyms and community recreation and senior centers. They adopt team names like the Sassy Steppers or the Rockettes. People come for the fitness, but they stay for the friends — and the broader health benefits that come with having a supportive community. Find more stories about your life and health This story comes from Life Kit, NPR's family of podcasts for making life better — everything from exercise to raising kids to making friends. For more, sign up for the newsletter and follow @NPRLifeKit on Twitter. "It's a sneaky way to get exercise in," says Washington, D.C., resident and soul dancing devotee Andrea Powell. "You're exercising but you're not labeling it as exercise, because you're just having so much fun." "I love the people, I love the exercise, it's good for your brain," she says. Powell has been dancing for about four and a half years with the Line Dance Addicts, a soul line dance class at the Turkey Thicket Recreation Center in D.C.'s Brookland neighborhood. Her fellow Addicts dancer, Daryl Watson, is a pastor at a local Baptist church. Everyone calls him "the Reverend." He says dancing helps him unwind after long days spent ministering to the faithful. "Saving souls is good, but I also got to save mine, and part of saving my soul is to be human," Watson says. Dancing "keeps me human, keeps me healthy, in shape and fit." [...]
Sun, Sep 22, 2019
Source: Headlines -NPR Category: TOP NEWS
Enlarge this image Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says President Trump's call with the Ukrainian president was "an overwhelming abuse of power." Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images Joe Biden, the former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate, is accusing President Trump of "an overwhelming abuse of power." Biden's comments on Saturday come amid reports that President Trump urged the leader of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate Biden's son during a phone conversation this summer. According to multiple reports, what was allegedly said during that July 25 conversation between Trump and the Ukrainian president is now at the center of an intelligence community whistleblower complaint that has roiled the White House. Speaking to reporters at the Iowa Steak Fry, Biden said that if the reports are true, Trump crossed a line. "Trump's doing this because he knows I'll beat him like a drum," Biden said. "And he's using the abuse of power and every element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me." Trump and his allies allege that while vice president, Biden sought to have a Ukrainian prosecutor that was reportedly looking into his son Hunter's business affairs fired. In 2014, Hunter Biden was a board member of a Ukrainian energy company called Burisma Holdings. According to a report by Bloomberg in May, the prosecutor general in Ukraine said there was no evidence that either of the Bidens committed any wrongdoing. The older Biden was asked by reporters Saturday if he ever had discussions with his son about Hunter's business dealings. He denied ever doing so. He then turned the discussion back to President Trump. "I know Trump deserves to be investigated," Biden said. "He's violating every basic norm of a president." ....story about me and a perfectly fine and routine conversation I had with the new President of the Ukraine. Nothing was said that was in any way wrong, but Biden's demand, on the other hand, was a complete and total disaster. The Fake News knows this but doesn't want to report!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2019 Biden has called for the release of the phone transcript of the Trump conversation. Earlier Saturday, Trump in a series of tweets doubled down on his stance that he did nothing wrong in his conversation with the Ukrainian president. He called it "a perfectly fine and routine conversation" where "nothing was said that was in any way wrong." As NPR reported Friday, President Trump dismissed the whistleblower allegations as a "political hackjob." The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Trump "repeatedly pressured" the Ukrainian leader "about eight times" to work with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, on a probe of Hunter Biden. The Washington Post reported that the conversation also included an unspecified "promise" made by President Trump. A little more than two weeks after that conversation, on Aug.12, the acting Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, Michael Atkinson, said his office received a disclosure involving an alleged "urgent concern." The Trump administration has so far ignored calls to release the contents of the whistleblower complaint, even though congressional Democrats say they are legally entitled to the information. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement Friday, that Congress "must be sure" the administration is engaging in national security and foreign policy that's "in the best interest of the American people." "The Administration's blocking of Acting [Director of National Intelligence] Joseph Maguire from providing Congress with the whistleblower complaint violates the federal statute, which unequivocally states that the DNI 'shall' provide Congress this information," Pelosi said. Trump on Saturday accused the media and Democrats of trying to protect the Democratic front-runner. He even gave the controversy a new moniker: the "Ukraine Witch Hunt." Let's block ads! (Why?) [...]
Sat, Sep 21, 2019
Source: Headlines -NPR Category: TOP NEWS