Tag Archives: charged

‘Shock and disbelief’ in Hawkesbury, Ont., after doctor charged with murder, but locals have faith in hospital

As Susan Conway waited for her daughter to be treated at Hawkesbury and District General Hospital, she expressed more concern about safety over the recent COVID-19 outbreaks than news that a doctor has been charged with first-degree murder.

But while the arrest this week of Dr. Brian Nadler won’t deter Conway or her family from using the hospital, she also told CBC News on Saturday that the murder charge revelation has certainly rocked the small community of Hawkesbury, which is located between Ottawa and Montreal, and the surrounding area.

“The community is learning about this, and everyone is in shock and disbelief,” said Conway, who worked 15 years as an OPP dispatcher. “You don’t think about this [happening] in this close-knit town.

“Just horrible, just horrible. And I feel for the family of this poor soul who has been taken.”

WATCH | Hawkesbury residents react to doctor’s murder charge:

Residents say the town is small and most people know everyone so the news comes as a shock. 0:38

Residents of the town, which has a population of about 10,000, say they’re stunned by the arrest and word that Ontario Provincial Police are still investigating multiple “suspicious deaths” at the hospital.

It’s kind of like a cultural shock to hear these things happen here, too.– Elian Renaud, Hawkesbury resident

But most of those interviewed by CBC News also said they’ll continue to use the hospital — a bilingual, 100-bed facility with a range of programs and services from its main campus in Hawkesbury, and two satellite centres in Clarence-Rockland and Casselman.

Nadler, a specialist in internal medicine, was arrested Thursday evening. The 35-year-old, who lives in Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, Que., appeared in court on Friday and was charged with one count of first-degree murder. As of early Sunday, police hadn’t provided details about the deceased person or how many deaths they’re investigating.

“Its complete crazy, for a small town,” said resident Suzie Lalonde. “Everybody talking about it.”

Elian Renaud said these are the kind of stories you hear coming out of big cities like Ottawa, Montreal or Toronto. 

“You’re from a small town, everyone here knows each other and nothing ever happens in this town, crazy like that,” he said. “It’s kind of like a cultural shock to hear these things happen here, too.”

2 COVID-19 outbreaks

The murder case is another black mark this month for the hospital, which was also hit by two COVID-19 outbreaks.


Provincial police were called to Hawkesbury and District General Hospital on Thursday. Dr. Brian Nadler, 35, was arrested and charged with murder the next day. (Joe Tunney/CBC)

Earlier this week, the hospital confirmed 16 patients and five staff had tested positive for COVID-19, and five deaths have been linked to the virus.

Conway, who has lived in the area all her life, said the redevelopment of the hospital and how it’s been “built up all brand new,” along with the addition of more specialists, have been “wonderful for the whole community.”

But now, local officials are being forced to focus on the arrest of one of its doctors and assuage fears.

On Friday, Hawkesbury Mayor Paula Assaly asked people to remain calm and not be afraid to seek care at the hospital.

The next day, OPP spokesperson Bill Dickson told CBC News that, for the people of Hawkesbury, “this is a traumatic experience for everyone.”

WATCH | OPP spokesperson speaks on how the murder investigation is affecting families:

OPP spokesperson Bill Dickson answers questions about investigation into suspicious deaths at Hawkesbury and District General Hospital. 0:37

Retiree Ana Lecuyer had recently been transferred to the Hawkesbury hospital for her three-times-a-week dialysis treatment, a welcome development that meant she no longer had to make the hour-plus trek to Ottawa.

She has nothing but praise for the facility, but the murder charge has left her shaken. 

I’m stressed out. It bothers me a lot.– Ana Lecuyer, on learning about police investigation

“I didn’t want to come back to the hospital,” she said. “I’m stressed out. It bothers me a lot.”

Carole Gocmanac, however, says she has complete confidence in the safety of her former mother-in-law, who is 99 and currently in the Hawkesbury hospital. 

“Her family’s always there,” said Gocmanac, who praised the hospital, and its staff and cleanliness.


Guylaine Lafrance also supports the hospital, but is concerned over its due diligence in checking the work history of doctors. (Mark Gollom/CBC)

Guylaine Lafrance also expressed support for the hospital, but raised concerns over its due diligence in checking the work history, or “the priors,” of doctors. 

During Nadler’s residency at the University of Saskatchewan’s medical school from July 2014 to September 2018, he faced two unprofessional conduct charges, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan has said.

Documents show one charge was for allegedly calling a female colleague a “bitch” after an argument and telling someone else he “felt like slapping” that colleague. Another charge involved patient record-keeping. But the college didn’t pursue the charges after Nadler apologized and took a couple of courses.


Nadler, who attended universities in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and was licensed in February 2020 to practise medicine in Ontario, is set to make his next court appearance in April. (Professional Association of Resident Physicians of Alberta)

Chris Bennett, who also was a patient at the Hawkesbury hospital, suggested it’s too early to determine whether officials there should have done a more thorough background check on the doctor.

“You can maybe understand the need for doctors,” he said. “They’re not going to turn away anybody if it’s something that was minor there.”

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CBC | Health News

Doctor charged with murder after multiple deaths at Hawkesbury, Ont., hospital

A doctor has been charged with first-degree murder as police investigate multiple suspicious deaths at the eastern Ontario hospital where he works, CBC News has learned.

Ontario Provincial Police were called to the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital, which is between Ottawa and Montreal, on Thursday evening, police said in a news release.

At a court appearance on Friday, Brian Nadler, 35, who lives in the western Montreal suburb of Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, was charged with one count of first-degree murder.

“Dr. Nadler maintains his innocence and the charges will be rigorously defended,” Ottawa defence lawyer Alan Brass told CBC News.


Nadler, photographed here in a thumbnail on the Alberta Medical Association’s website for a 2013 article, is scheduled to be in court on April 6. (Alberta Medical Association)

His next court appearance is scheduled for April 6.

Police didn’t say how long the investigation has been going on or how many deaths are being investigated. Ontario’s Office of the Chief Coroner is involved, it confirmed in an email.

“At this point in time, while we don’t know exactly how big this investigation will be, we are looking at other suspicious deaths that have occurred recently at the Hawkesbury hospital,” said OPP spokesperson Bill Dickson.

“Whether it proves that they are indeed something criminal or not, we will have to wait and see.”

He encouraged anyone with information to contact the local detachment.

“We promise we’ll conduct a complete and thorough investigation that you deserve to make sure that you in the Hawkesbury area and everyone else gets the answers,” Dickson said.


Police were called to the hospital, which is between Ottawa and Montreal, on Thursday evening, and cruisers were still there into Friday morning. (Denis Babin/Radio-Canada)

The hospital said in a statement that all patient services are being maintained and all appointments are being kept.

“We want to reassure our patients, their families and the entire community that the hospital campus is a safe place,” it said in its message released in French.

The hospital said it is working with police and is in touch with the families that have been affected. It’s also offering counselling and other services to its staff.

The hospital has also been dealing with two active COVID-19 outbreaks.


(CBC)

Doctor has Saskatchewan ties

Nadler has been licensed in Ontario since Feb. 4, 2020. He graduated from Montreal’s McGill University in 2010.

He was a resident at the University of Saskatchewan’s medical school from July 2014 to September 2018, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan told CBC in an email.

During that time, he faced two unprofessional conduct charges, the college said.

Documents show one charge was for allegedly calling a female colleague a “bitch” after an argument and telling someone else he “felt like slapping” that colleague. Another charge involved patient record-keeping.

The incidents linked to both charges allegedly occurred the same day in August 2014.

The college said he apologized and took a pair of courses about ethics and record-keeping. It did not proceed any further with the charges.

WATCH | Hawkesbury mayor urges calm: 

Paula Assaly, mayor of Hawkesbury, says the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital remains open as provincial police investigate several suspicious deaths there. Police have charged a doctor with one count of first-degree murder. 0:30

The Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons, which regulates and investigates doctors, said in a statement it will immediately look into “these extraordinarily disturbing allegations.”

Mayor Paula Assaly asked people to remain calm and not be afraid of seeking care at Hawkesbury and District General Hospital.

She also said she didn’t know the accused.

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CBC | Health News

U.K. police officer charged with murder, kidnapping in Sarah Everard’s death

British police have charged an officer with the kidnap and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, whose disappearance in London last week has sparked anger and fears among women about their safety.

Constable Wayne Couzens, 48, who guarded diplomatic buildings, will appear in court on Saturday. Everard disappeared while walking home from a friend’s house in south London on March 3.

The Metropolitan police had confirmed that a body found in a wood outside London was that of the missing woman.

Her case has led to an outpouring of personal accounts by women of their own experiences and fears of walking streets alone at night, and a campaign for action to address this.

“The investigation continues of course,” Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave told reporters. “I would like to use this opportunity to encourage anyone that thinks they might have useful information to give, to get in contact with us.”


Police officers search a grassy area behind a house in Deal, U.K., on Friday. (Paul Childs/Reuters)

He had said earlier in the day that he understood the hurt and anger sparked by the case.

“Those are sentiments that I share personally,” Ephgrave said. “I also recognize the wider concerns that are being raised quite rightly about the safety of women in public spaces in London and also elsewhere in the country.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said she would do all she could to protect women and girls following the outcry that has followed Everard’s disappearance.

“Every woman & girl should be free to walk our streets without the slightest fear of harassment, abuse or violence,” she said on Twitter.

However, police have been criticized by organizers of a planned “Reclaim These Streets” vigil on Saturday near to where Everard was last seen, after officers said it could not take place due to COVID-19 restrictions.

A woman in her 30s, who media said was the partner of Couzens, was released on police bail after having been detained on suspicion of assisting an offender.

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CBC | World News

West Virginia lawmaker among dozens of people newly charged over Capitol siege

A West Virginia state lawmaker has been charged with entering a restricted area of the U.S. Capitol after he livestreamed himself with rioters, the Justice Department announced Friday.

Ken Kohl, a top deputy federal prosecutor in Washington, announced the charge against Derrick Evans on a call in which he presented dozens of new charges against members of a mob that stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.

It wasn’t immediately announced if Evans is in custody. Several other state lawmakers across the country travelled to Washington, D.C., for demonstrations this week but it’s unknown if any other elected official joined the mob of Donald Trump supporters attacking the U.S. Capitol.

A growing number of Republicans and Democrats said they want to expel Evans from the legislature if he does not resign. His attorney, John Bryan, said late Thursday that the delegate didn’t commit a crime and doesn’t plan to resign.

Other people who were charged include a man who was photographed in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and an Alabama man who had Molotov cocktails and firearms in his truck parked near the U.S. Capitol, Kohl said.

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CBC | World News

Some want Trump charged for call with Georgia official. His state of mind could be a defence

Some jaw-dropping snippets of audio of U.S. President Donald Trump begging, badgering, and possibly even threatening a Georgia election official on the weekend to overturn his defeat there in the recent presidential election had some people calling for charges.

A pair of federal Democratic lawmakers sent a criminal referral to the FBI. They alleged Trump broke two federal laws and one Georgia state law on election fraud.

A Democrat on the state elections board demanded a probe. And the district attorney for Atlanta’s Fulton County called the recording disturbing and promised to consider the case if state election officials sent her a complaint.

So could Trump actually face charges over this?

WATCH | The National’s report on the call: 

U.S. President Donald Trump called on Georgia’s secretary of state to ‘find’ more votes so he could win that state. The recording of the phone call emerges as the new Congress is sworn in, and with some Republican senators days away from mounting their own challenge to the election results. 2:02

A well-known expert on American election law wrote that Trump deserves to be charged, and in an email to CBC News, he said it could happen, in theory.

“Potentially, yes,” said Rick Hasen of the University of California, Irvine.

But he said he doubts it will get that far. The criminal laws cited in the lawmakers’ letter to the FBI all refer to wilful intent. Hasen and several peers view prosecution as a long shot because of the challenge in proving Trump thought he was committing a crime.

“His prosecution would be unlikely given the difficulties of proving intent and going after a former president,” Hasen said.

That points to one striking takeaway from the full hour-long recording of Trump’s call last weekend with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, which also included White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and lawyers for both sides.

It’s that Trump sounds like he may actually believe he won.

‘Fellas, I need 11,000 votes’

Trump keeps insisting throughout the call, sometimes with a dejected sigh, sometimes with a defiant interjection, that he won the state of Georgia in a landslide in the Nov. 3 presidential election. 

Trump starts the call by mentioning his crowd sizes at rallies and keeps saying things like, “There’s no way I lost Georgia. There’s no way.” 

He proceeds to cycle through a series of conspiracy theories, clinging to disparate scraps of testimonials posted on random corners of the internet to piece together a claim that he was defrauded in Georgia by hundreds of thousands of votes.

And that’s the context of Trump’s most stunning demand — that Raffensperger find the votes he needs to win.

WATCH | Trump asks Raffensperger to overturn his defeat:

The U.S. president is heard pleading with Georgia’s election chief to overturn Joe Biden’s win in the state, according to audio clips obtained by The Washington Post. 1:30

In effect, Trump is telling this official that he is the aggrieved party, wronged by hundreds of thousands of votes, and all he’s seeking is a smidgen of justice, that a few thousand be corrected.

At different points in the call, Trump says:

“I just want to find 11,780 votes.”

“I have to find 12,000 votes, and I have them — times a lot.”

“I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes.” 


Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, seen here at a December news conference, allowed the recording and release of his call on Saturday with Trump. (Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters)

The Georgia officials keep insisting his claims are wrong — that they stem from deceptively edited video, from bad data, from events already investigated and dismissed by state and federal police. 

Those Georgia officials, Raffensperger and state lawyer Ryan Germany, say claims about thousands of dead and out-of-state people voting are completely off.

“The data you have is wrong,” Raffensperger says.

WATCH | Georgia election official debunks Trump’s fraud allegations: 

Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system implementation manager, accuses the legal team of U.S. President Donald Trump of intentionally misleading the public. 2:51

He tells Trump police have also examined claims about double-counting and found nothing.

“Then they’re incompetent,” Trump replies.

So, if a hypothetical case did require a demonstration of criminal intent, Trump’s state of mind would become a key factor for investigators to consider. 

The case of the wounded ego

Some observers who have opined on the president’s personality say his narcissistic tendencies will make it difficult for him to ever accept defeat.

“We know that narcissism is associated with aggression following [an] ego threat and what bigger threat than a presidential [election] loss?” said Joshua Miller, a clinical psychologist and director of clinical training at the University of Georgia who has been using Trump as a case study in his work for more than a decade.

Donald Lynam, a distinguished professor of clinical psychology at Purdue University in Indiana, agreed.

“This is what psychoanalysts call a grave narcissistic wound. … He is cut to his core. Now he reacts with absolute rage,” he said.

“I think the next two weeks will be awful.”


We’re now approaching high noon in Trump’s confrontation with the reality of defeat.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Congress votes to certify president-elect Joe Biden’s win.

Trump is encouraging supporters to flock to Washington, D.C., where thousands are expected at protests around the U.S. Capitol. Fearing the potential for violence, Washington’s mayor has activated the National Guard, and also issued a warning that anyone thinking of carrying firearms must respect the city’s strict gun laws.

Trump wants Republicans in Congress to block the election certification. Dozens will indeed contest the vote on his behalf, which will prolong by several hours what’s already been the most protracted battle over an American election result in nearly 150 years.


Trump, seen here in 2017 in the Oval Office talking on the telephone, continues to try to overturn the result of November’s presidential election. (Evan Vucci/The Associated Press)

And then Trump will lose.

Less than a quarter of Republican senators have said they’ll back Trump’s bid, while a far larger share of Republicans in the House of Representatives are expected to do the same.

There’s no sign the momentum is moving in Trump’s favour. In fact, it may have slowed since the Washington Post published the recording of Trump’s phone call with Raffensperger. 

Hours later, a staunchly pro-Trump senator, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and several others said they’d vote to certify the election.

The current numbers are likely trending toward approximately 85 per cent of the U.S. Senate and 70 per cent of the House of Representatives voting to cement Biden’s election win.

Divisions in the Republican Party

Trump will keep fighting.

His efforts to discredit the election process have a receptive audience. In a late-December poll for the Economist magazine, only eight per cent of self-identified Republicans said they had “a great deal” or “quite a bit” of confidence the election was fair.

Fealty to Trump, and to the discredited narrative of his unfair defeat, could potentially tear at his party for years, remaining a dividing issue in Republican politics.


U.S. President-elect Joe Biden campaigns for Democratic U.S. Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock at a rally in Atlanta ahead of runoff elections on Tuesday. Trump continues to try to overturn Biden’s decisive victory in November’s presidential election. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Cotton was deluged with threats of a primary in five years when he’s up for re-election.

In Florida, protesters have gathered at Marco Rubio’s house and warned the senator he will face a primary next year unless he backs Trump.

Trump has referred to the senators not backing him as the surrender caucus. And he’s warned them: Republican voters will never forget.

That’s a legacy that could easily outlast the impact of this audio.

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CBC | World News

Former Vancouver Whitecaps and Team Canada soccer coach charged with multiple sex offences

Former Vancouver Whitecaps and Team Canada women’s soccer coach Bob Birarda has been charged with several sex offences against four individuals, according to the B.C. Prosecution Service.

The charges include six counts of sexual exploitation, two counts of sexual assault and one count of child luring.

The offences are alleged to have occurred over a 20-year span between Jan. 1, 1988 and March 25, 2008, at or near North Vancouver, Burnaby and West Vancouver.

None of the allegations has been proven in court and the names of the complainants are protected by a publication ban.

Whistleblower and former Whitecaps player Ciara McCormack said she was shocked to hear Birarda had been charged. 

“It’s obviously been a very long journey for a lot of us,” she said. “There’s still a part of me that’s very upset about all the cover-ups that went on for years and allowed him to be on the field, and all the lives that were negatively impacted by him.” 

McCormack is not a complainant in the case but she did bring the story to light in Feb. 2019 in a blog post titled “A Horrific Canadian Soccer Story,” which alleged abusive behaviour and harassment on the part of Birarda a decade earlier.

WATCH: Ciara McCormack said she was “suprised” but “grateful” to hear Birarda had been charged:

Former Whitecaps player Ciara McCormack said she was “surprised” but “grateful” to learn former women’s soccer coach Bob Birarda was charged with multiple sex offences in December 2020. McCormack was among the first to publicly raise allegations of abuse on the part of Birarda. (She is not a complainant in the criminal case.) 2:25

Soon after, a dozen former Team Canada players published a joint statement alleging Birarda had sent sexualized text messages to players, made sexual comments to players, touched players inappropriately and used his position of power to make sexual advances.

Fan backlash

The allegations triggered a public backlash against the Vancouver Whitecaps, with fans staging walkouts during MLS games at BC Place Stadium to protest the club’s inaction in addressing the accusations.

“I’m so incredibly grateful,” said McCormack. “Because if they hadn’t done what they did, our voices wouldn’t have been amplified and I don’t know if these charges would have even happened.”

Birarda was released from his duties as head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps women’s team and the U-20 Canadian women’s team in 2008 with little explanation. 

At the time the Canadian Soccer Association called it a mutual parting of ways.

Within months he was back coaching girls at a club team in Tsawwassen, B.C.

He continued coaching girls soccer until February 2019, when he was suspended from Surrey, B.C., club Coastal FC after McCormack’s blog when viral. 

‘The system failed us’

McCormack says the Canadian Soccer Association and Whitecaps still have a lot to answer for.

“The individual behaviour of people within both those organizations was disgusting,” she said. “The Canadian Soccer Association has not addressed it and his coaching licence has not been suspended.”


Ciara McCormack playing for the Republic of Ireland in 2010. She also played for the Vancouver Whitecaps women’s team. (submitted by Ciara McCormack)

“The system … failed all of us and it’s still failing players because nothing has changed.”

Birarda coached the Whitecaps and U-20 Canadian team in 2007 and 2008. He was also an assistant coach with the Canadian Olympic women’s soccer team in 2008.

In a written statement sent to CBC on Thursday evening, Vancouver Whitecaps CEO and sporting director Axel Schuster called the women who have come forward “brave,” writing “we should have been better, and for that we are sorry.”

“We maintain our commitment to the Safe Sport process we began last year to fulfill our responsibilities and do everything possible, so this never happens again,” the statement read in part.

CBC News has also reached out to the Canadian Soccer Association.

Birarda made his first appearance in North Vancouver Provincial Court on Wednesday. His next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 28, 2021.

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CBC | Soccer News

Family does not want officers who shot Black man in Philadelphia charged with murder: lawyer

The footage from body-worn cameras that was taken as Philadelphia police responded to a call about Walter Wallace Jr. shows him emerging from a house with a knife as relatives shout at officers about his mental health condition, a lawyer for the man’s family said Thursday.

The video also shows Wallace became incapacitated after the first shot of 14 that two officers fired at him, said lawyer Shaka Johnson, describing footage he said police showed him and other members of Wallace’s family before a plan to release it and 911 calls publicly.

“I understand he had a knife, but that does not give you carte blanche to execute a man, quite frankly,” Johnson told reporters at a news conference outside Philadelphia City Hall. “What other than death did you intend when you shoot a man — each officer — seven times apiece?”

The family does not want the officers, who have not yet been publicly identified, to be charged with murder, Johnson said, because they were improperly trained and didn’t have the right equipment to do their job.

The video shows “instant panic” from officers whose training taught them only how to open fire, he said, noting he saw no viable attempt from officers to de-escalate the situation.

“What you will not see is a man with a knife lunging at anyone that would qualify as a reason to assassinate him,” Johnson said.


People stand near the scene of the shooting. A lawyer for the Wallace family says they do not want the officers who opened fire charged with murder. (Tom Gralish/The Philadelphia Inquirer via The Associated Press)

Police also faced rebuke from Philadelphia leaders as the anguished city bemoaned the department’s response to a year of extraordinary, and sometimes violent, civil unrest.

The city council, joining leaders of other cities, voted to block police from using tear gas, rubber bullets or pepper spray on peaceful protesters after hearing hours of testimony from people injured or traumatized by them, including a group hit with tear gas as they were corralled near a highway overpass.

“It was undisciplined, it was indiscriminate and it hurt a lot of people,” said Council Member Helen Gym, who introduced the bill.

The moves follow days of protests, store break-ins and ATM thefts after the death of Wallace, a Black man, that led the mayor to lock down the city Wednesday night with an overnight curfew.


A person is handcuffed and detained by police on Wednesday in Philadelphia, after the citywide curfew had passed, two days after Wallace was killed. (Tom Gralish/The Philadelphia Inquirer via The Associated Press)

The family had called Monday for both medical services and police, but only the latter arrived, lawyer Shaka Johnson said. Less than 30 seconds into the encounter, Wallace was dead, felled by a blast of 14 bullets, he said.

Police have said the two officers fired after Wallace ignored orders to drop a knife. Wallace’s mother and wife were outside, shouting to police about his mental health problems, Johnson said.

In a news conference Wednesday, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw lamented the lack of a behavioural health unit in a department she joined only this year.

She pledged to address that need and also told the council that she supports the goal of their bill, which she said aligns with current police policy. Mayor Jim Kenney also supports the ban in principle but wants to review it before signing it into law, a spokesman said.

Cities review use of force against protesters

The city had a strong record of accommodating protesters in recent years, until the Black Lives Matter protests erupted in the city on May 30, following the death of George Floyd. Chaos and violent clashes ensued, and broke out anew this week after Wallace’s death in a mostly Black section of west Philadelphia.

“The unjustified shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. this week has our city both raging and grieving, but also extraordinarily purposeful about taking action,” Gym said.

Several other cities across the U.S. have debated or enacted similar measures to limit the use of chemical sprays and rubber bullets against protesters.

Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney William McSwain, who was appointed by U.S. President Donald Trump, announced charges Thursday against a Philadelphia social studies teacher and three others for their alleged roles in the torching of two police cruisers during the May 30 protests.

According to McSwain, 29-year-old teacher Anthony Smith and two others put “combustible materials” into a cruiser near City Hall that was already on fire. Another man was charged separately with setting fire to a second cruiser. Smith helped organize the Philadelphia Coalition for Racial and Economic Legal Justice, known locally as Philly for REAL Justice.

Smith’s lawyer, Paul Hetznecker, noted the arrest came five months after the incident and five days before “the most important presidential election of our time.”

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CBC | World News

George Floyd’s family sues City of Minneapolis, officers charged in his killing

George Floyd’s family filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the City of Minneapolis and the four police officers charged in his death, alleging the officers violated Floyd’s rights when they restrained him and that the city allowed a culture of excessive force, racism and impunity to flourish in its police department.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota, was announced by attorney Ben Crump and other lawyers representing Floyd’s family members.

“This complaint shows what we have said all along, that Mr. Floyd died because the weight of the entire Minneapolis Police Department was on his neck,” Crump said in a statement. “The City of Minneapolis has a history of policies, procedures and deliberate indifference that violates the rights of arrestees, particularly Black men, and highlights the need for officer training and discipline.”

Crump said the lawsuit seeks to set a precedent “that makes it financially prohibitive for police to wrongfully kill marginalized people — especially Black people — in the future.”

Floyd, a Black man who was handcuffed, died on May 25 after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other officers at the scene — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Kueng — are charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter.

All four officers were fired the day after Floyd’s death, which set off protests that spread around the world and turned into a national reckoning on race in the United States.


The four officers charged in Floyd’s death are, from left: Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office/File/The Associated Press)

Floyd’s death also sparked calls to abolish the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a new public safety department. A majority of city council members support the move, saying the department has a long history and culture of brutality that has resisted change.

A public hearing was planned later Wednesday on the proposal, which requires a change in the city’s charter that could go to voters in November.

Body camera footage available by appointment

The lawsuit comes on the same day that a court allowed public viewing by appointment of video from the body cameras of Lane and Kueng. A coalition of news organizations and attorneys for Lane and Kueng have been advocating to make the videos public, saying they would provide a more complete picture of what happened when Floyd was taken into custody. The judge hasn’t said why he’s not allowing the video to be disseminated more widely.

WATCH | What systemic racism in Canada looks like:

The police killing of George Floyd and the protests that followed have brought renewed attention to systemic racism. In Canada, some have been quick to deny its existence. But these experts say racism has been normalized within Canadian institutions. 10:01

According to documents in state probate court, Floyd is survived by 11 known heirs, including five children and six siblings. They live in Texas, North Carolina, Florida and New York. All but one of Floyd’s children are adults. He has no living parents or grandparents.

The families of victims of other high-profile police killings have received high payouts in Minnesota. Last year, Minneapolis agreed to pay $ 20 million US to the family of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, an unarmed woman who was shot by an officer after she called 911 to report hearing a possible crime happening behind her home.

The settlement came three days after the officer, Mohamed Noor, was convicted of murdering her and is believed to be the largest payout ever stemming from police violence in Minnesota.

At the time, Mayor Jacob Frey cited Noor’s unprecedented conviction and his failure to identify a threat before he used deadly force as reasons for the large settlement.

The mother of Philando Castile, a black motorist killed by an officer in 2016, reached a nearly $ 3 million US settlement with the suburb of St. Anthony, Minn., which employed the officer. The officer, Jeronimo Yanez, was acquitted of manslaughter and other charges.

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CBC | World News

White woman who called police on Black birder in NYC’s Central Park charged with filing false report

A white woman who called the police during a videotaped dispute with a Black man birdwatching in Central Park after he asked her to put her dog on a leash was charged Monday with filing a false report.

In May, Amy Cooper drew widespread condemnation for calling 911 to report she was being threatened by “an African-American man” as birdwatcher Christian Cooper appeared to keep his distance as he recorded the interaction on his phone.

District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement on Monday that his office had charged Cooper with falsely reporting the confrontation, a misdemeanor. She was ordered to appear in court on Oct. 14.

After the backlash, Cooper released an apology through a public relations service, saying she “reacted emotionally and made false assumptions about his intentions.”

“He had every right to request that I leash my dog in an area where it was required,” she said in the written statement.

“I am well aware of the pain that misassumptions and insensitive statements about race cause and would never have imagined that I would be involved in the type of incident that occurred with Chris.”

More to come

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Hong Kong court denies bail to 1st person charged under new national security law

A Hong Kong court denied bail on Monday to the first person charged with inciting separatism and terrorism under the city’s new national security law after he carried a sign saying “Liberate Hong Kong” and drove his motorbike into police.

Tong Ying-kit, 23, was arrested after a video posted online showed him knocking over several officers at a demonstration on July 1, less than 24 hours after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on its freest city.

The city’s government has said the protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times,” connotes separatism or subversion under the new law, stoking concern over freedom of expression in the former British colony.

Tong, who was unable to appear in court on Friday as he was being treated in hospital for injuries sustained in the incident, appeared in court in a wheelchair.

In rejecting bail, Chief Magistrate So Wai-tak referred to Article 42 of the new law, which states that bail will not be granted if the judge has sufficient grounds to believe the defendant will continue to endanger national security.

WATCH l Protests erupt in 1st hours after new law goes into effect:

Hong Kong police made their first arrests under a new security law Wednesday. In a statement on Facebook, police said they arrested 300 people. 3:58

The case was adjourned until Oct. 6 and Tong was remanded in custody.

Critics say the law — which punishes crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison — is aimed at crushing dissent and a long-running campaign for greater democracy.

Activist pleads not guilty in 2019 incident

Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong have repeatedly said it is aimed at a few “troublemakers” and will not affect the rights and freedoms that underpin the city’s role as a financial hub.

Also on Monday, prominent democracy activist Joshua Wong pleaded not guilty to inciting others to participate in an unlawful assembly during anti-government protests last year.

Fellow activist Agnes Chow pleaded guilty to a similar charge. Their case has been adjourned to Aug. 5.

Hong Kong-based journalist Mary Hui says pro-democracy demonstrators are considering a plan to target China by inflicting economic pain. She says many younger protesters are no longer interested in working within the “one country, two systems” framework. 8:31

Wong and Chow, who were both granted bail last year, led a pro-democracy group called Demosisto that they dissolved hours after Beijing passed the national security law.

The United States, Britain and others have denounced the new legislation, which critics say is the biggest step China has taken to tighten its grip over the city, despite a “one country, two systems” formula meant to preserve its freedoms.

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