Fatalities at Ariana Grande Concert: British Police

Fatalities at Ariana Grande Concert: British Police

British police on Monday said they were responding to an explosion at Manchester Arena at the end of an Ariana Grande concert that left an unknown number of people dead and wounded.

In a tweet, police confirmed that there were fatalities.

On social media, people shared videos of people rushing from the arena and ambulances arriving.

The Guardian newspaper reported the incident happened at an Ariana Grande concert.

“I just heard a loud bang right after the concert,” Ivo Delgado told NBC News. “Only heard one. People started screaming and going to the other side of the arena. When we left [the main arena] there was smoke and people lying on the floor.”

Photo Credit: Courtesy Peter Bendicho
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Demoted Cop Speaks Candidly About Chief, Leak Investigation

Demoted Cop Speaks Candidly About Chief, Leak Investigation

A recently demoted Fort Worth police captain took part in a news conference Monday where activists called for Chief of Police Joel Fitzgerald to be fired and the City Manager David Cook to either resign or be fired as well.

Capt. Vance Keyes, who was a deputy chief until Friday when he, along with then-Assistant Chief Abdul Pridgen, were demoted following an investigation into the leak of a viral body camera video.

  • FW Police Investigate Source of Leak in Viral Video Arrest

Pridgen and Keyes were summoned to a meeting with Fitzgerald Friday and made aware of their demotions. Fitzgerald said he’ll further recommend Pridgen be demoted further to sergeant while Keyes also faces a three-day suspension.

Earlier this year both Pridgen and Keyes were placed on restricted duty amid a probe into who leaked Officer William Martin’s body camera video showing the controversial December 2016 arrest of Jacqueline Craig and her two daughters.

  • FW Officer in Viral Video Explains His Controversial Arrests

Craig called 911 to complain a neighbor had assaulted her son after accusing him of littering. Martin questioned why Craig didn’t teach her son not to litter and suggested the neighbor had the right to assault her son.

Martin was suspended for 10 days after the arrests; cell phone video of the arrests was broadcast nationwide and drew widespread criticism.

  • Two Top Fort Worth Cops Questioned in Leak Case

Weeks after the cell phone video went viral, footage of the same incident from Martin’s body camera was leaked. Martin’s private personnel file also was released anonymously.

The department launched a criminal investigation and a separate internal affairs investigation into the leak and determined Pridgen and Keyes were responsible.

Pridgen and Keyes have denied being the source of the leaks and their attorneys have already spoken out against the decision to demote them.

Keyes, speaking candidly Monday, said he cooperated fully with the investigation and that there are nine hours of recordings made during the interviews that show he was cooperative. He said he offered to allow supervised searches of his personal computer and phone and that the department declined.

Keyes punctuated his statement Monday by adding that the chief was more concerned with “upward mobility than the welfare of the community” and that “I must respect his official position, but I no longer respect his judgment.”

When asked about what led to his demotion, Keyes said: “The chief left it open, the chief leaves a lot of things open. If you have criminal charges bring it on. The administrative charges are weak. I didn’t do anything. I welcome any further inquiry into my activity.”

Family and supporters of Jacqueline Craig, and Keyes, called for Fitzgerald to be fired Monday over his handling of the case.

We’re calling on the city to send Fitzgerald packing,” said Pastor Michael Bell, with the Greater St. Stephen First Church of Fort Worth, who served on the committee that interviewed and signed off on Fitzgerald’s hiring. “He should be fired today.”

Bell said he met with City Manager David Cook on Friday, at Cook’s request, to see what could be done to repair the situation. In the meeting, Bell said Cook said Fitzgerald was brought in to make things better following outgoing Chief Jeffrey Halstead, but that he made it worse.

“In an effort to deflect attention from the wrongs done to the Craig family and this city’s African-American community, Fitzgerald, Cook, Rick Van Houten [Fort Worth POA President] and others have colluded to focus attention on the so-called leak of the body cam,” Bell said. “Consequently two of the highest-ranking, respected Fort Worth police officers, Mr. Vance Keyes and Mr. Abdul Pridgen, have been unjustly accused, demoted and lied on by Joel Fitzgerald with the backing of David Cook, Valerie Washington and the police officer’s association, led by Rick Van Houten.”

Craig and her supporters said they feel the decision to demote Pridgen and Keyes is a second injustice because it’s more severe than the 10-day suspension Martin received after the initial incident.

They also disagree with the entire premise of the investigation because they believe the body camera video the chiefs are accused of leaking should have been made public from the beginning.

“I’m not some back-door dealing, double-talking, side-stepping political puppet. I’m a career public servant,” Keyes said. “Unfortunately, because I’m speaking here today, I fully expect to suffer further retaliation at the hands of the city, the chief and his executive command staff.”

After learning his punishment Friday, Pridgen said justice would be done and added, “I’m pretty sure they can expect a lawsuit.”

Following Monday’s news conference, the deaprtment said “In the interest of respecting the officers’ rights to due process in this investigation, we are unable to discuss the particular facts in the case. The charging letters that were sent to the Civil Service Commission are available and were provided Friday at the press conference. The Chief does not have a comment on Vance Keyes’ position. The case will be forwarded in its entirety to the CS Commission.”

Chief Details Investigation into Leak, Says Demotions Were Difficult

“This has been one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make as chief,” Fitzgerald said at a Friday night news conference.

The chief said Pridgen and Keyes were “two men I trusted, called colleagues and called friends.”

The evidence showed the same files that were leaked had been downloaded from Pridgen’s office computer at a time he and Keyes were in his office, Fitzgerald said.

Both men were less than candid with internal affairs investigators they once supervised, the chief added.

“Both of these men knew more than they disclosed to investigators,” Fitzgerald said.

As assistant chief, Pridgen earned $167,999, according to city records. Keyes earned $133,972 as deputy chief.

NBC 5’s Scott Gordon, Alice Barr, Larry Collins and Frank Heinz contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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Lewisville Police Use Taser on Naked Man Running Down Street

Lewisville Police Use Taser on Naked Man Running Down Street

Lewisville police say an officer used a Taser to subdue a man who was running in the street without wearing clothes Monday afternoon.[[423701294,R]]

Callers to 911 reported that man was running down North Valley Parkway, near Old Orchard Lane.

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Officers responded to the area at about 3 p.m., and one used a Taser to stop the man, police said.

The man, whose identity was not released, has been taken to a hospital for evaluation. His condition was not immediately available.

  • Sisters Give Birth to Daughters an Hour Apart

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Former Kroger property near downtown has a buyer

Spalding University officials have reached a verbal agreement to purchase the old South Second Street Kroger location, according to a university spokesman. Rick Barney, chief marketing and public relations officer for Spalding, said in an interview that the Louisville-based college has reached a verbal deal with the Ohio branch of the State Teachers’ Retirement System for the the 924 S. Second St. property. Louisville Business First previously reported that Kroger left behind a 26,410-square-foot…






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BART Police Accused of Illegally Collecting Private Cell Phone Data and Tracking Riders Through App

BART Police Accused of Illegally Collecting Private Cell Phone Data and Tracking Riders Through App

A federal class-action lawsuit filed today in San Francisco by an Albany resident alleges that BART police have been secretly collecting data that can identify private cell phones and track the mobile devices of anyone who has downloaded the “BART Watch” app.

According to the lawsuit, the agency has been “secretly amassing tens of thousands of cellular identifiers linked to personally identifiable information.”

See also: BART Riders Racially Profile via Smartphone App

The transit district rolled out the BART Watch app in August 2014 as a means for riders to report criminal activity and other concerns.…






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Lawmakers start search for solutions for ailing rural Georgia

Lawmakers start search for solutions for ailing rural Georgia

A newly created committee of Georgia lawmakers has begun a two-year search for solutions to the economic woes plaguing rural Georgia even as metro Atlanta’s recovery from the Great Recession continues picking up steam. “Your zip code or county of residence should not dictate your lot in life,” Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, told members of the House Rural Development Council Monday at its kickoff meeting in Tifton, Ga. “Moving to the big city should not, cannot be the only way…






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Grande Communications combined into heavyweight telecomm provider

Grande Communications combined into heavyweight telecomm provider

Grande Communications Networks LLC, a telecommunications company based in San Marcos south of Austin, will become part of the nation’s sixth-largest internet and cable provider through a $2.36 billion roll-up deal. Fort Worth-based private equity firm TPG Capital, which already owns Grande and New Jersey-based RCN Telecom Services, announced Monday it plans to acquire Kirkland, Washington-based Wave Broadband and merge all three — reaching nearly a million residential and business customers along…






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Outdoor Grill Sparks Fire at Plano Home

Outdoor Grill Sparks Fire at Plano Home

Plano firefighters say an outdoor grill started a fire at a large two-story home Monday afternoon.

This happened in the 3300 Block of Snidow Court, not far from Legacy Drive and Independence Parkway.

  • 2 Missing Boaters Found, Rescued in Carrollton

The Plano Fire Department says a grill that was outside caught fire, which then spread into the attic of the home.

Everyone inside the home made it out safely.

  • Sisters Give Birth to Daughters an Hour Apart

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