PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a hearing over whether a Los Angeles federal court judge abused his authority by releasing video of a fatal shooting by police before they could get a higher court to intervene. (all times local):
A federal appeals court in California has asked a news media lawyer why court orders to release video of deadly police encounters should not automatically be stayed pending appeal.
Judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday pressed an attorney representing The Associated Press and other news organizations to explain why it was in the public interest to release the footage without review by a higher court.
Media attorney Kelli Sager says public interest favors disclosure and the issue is moot because video of a 2013 fatal police shooting of an unarmed man in a Los Angeles suburb was published.
A Gardena city lawyer says a ruling withholding video could prevent potential rioting and violence.
Sager pointed out that no violence followed release of the footage in 2015.
An appeals court will consider whether video of police shooting an unarmed man in a Los Angeles suburb was released prematurely by a federal judge.
Attorneys for the city of Gardena will argue Monday that the judge should be admonished for not withholding the footage while it appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The appeal being challenged by The Associated Press and other news media organizations is largely procedural because the video was published after its release in 2015.
Judge Stephen V. Wilson ordered the video released after saying it was important for the public to see whether the 2013 fatal shooting of Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino was justified. He also said it was important in understanding why the city had agreed to pay $4.7 million to settle the case.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Look out, Lady Gaga. The pope is joining the Super Bowl frenzy.
Pope Francis has recorded a video message that will be shown during Sunday’s Super Bowl game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.
A Vatican spokesman says the message is expected to be played on the screen at NRG Stadium in Houston either before the game or during the first quarter.
In the message, the pope says he hopes the Super Bowl will be “a sign of peace, friendship and solidarity for the world.”
Francis is an avid sports fan who often speaks of how sports can bring about social change. He has previously taken to Twitter for the Olympics and soccer’s World Cup. This is his first Super Bowl message.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Leaked videos in which a disgraced former minister accuses Ecuador’s vice president of taking part in corruption at the state-run oil company is heating up the final stretch of the country’s presidential campaign.
In one of the videos, Oil Minister Carlos Pareja is seen taking a lie detector test in which he affirms all decisions at Petroecuador were made with the consent of Vice President Jorge Glas. The videos were posted Friday on social media by an anonymous user going by the name “Capaya Leaks” in reference to Pareja’s nickname.
Glas is running again as vice president on a ticket backed by retiring President Rafael Correa in a closely contested election Feb. 19.
In a frenzy of tweets on Friday, Correa accused Pareja of fleeing justice and working with an opposition Ecuadorean banker in Miami to derail the campaign of his hand-picked successor, Lenin Moreno, who tops the Alianza Pais ticket that also includes Glas. He published a chain of emails between him and Pareja from October, after the corruption scandal broke, in which the former ally begs for forgiveness without admitting to any wrongdoing.
“Not a single question about the money he stole,” Correa said on Twitter, in allusion to the video. “He begs for forgiveness and then sells himself.”
Several officials linked to Petroecuador have been arrested as part of the scandal, accused of taking some $12 million in bribes for the construction of an oil refinery. Pareja is among those accused of profiting from graft and has so far refused to return to Ecuador to face charges.
In the video, he says that people close to Glas, including a former top aide and Petroecuador’s current boss, Pedro Merizalde, are being protected from prosecution.
“It’s clearer than water,” Pareja says in the video, in which he appears to be speaking to two journalists. “And who protects him? Jorge Glas.”
Allegations of corruption have dogged Correa’s 10-year presidency and are hurting the leftist firebrand’s chances of electing a successor at a time of deep strains in the dollarized, oil-dependent economy. The OPEC nation is seen as third-most corrupt in South America, ahead of only Venezuela and Paraguay, in Transparency International’s latest annual ranking of corruption perceptions worldwide.
Polls show Moreno-Glas ticket with a slight edge ahead, but not with enough support to avoid a runoff in April in which his likely rival, banker Guillermo Lasso, is expected to prevail by rallying support from Correa’s many opponents.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Nestled in the basement of a building that houses the University of Michigan’s art, architecture and engineering library is a dream-come-true for that 12-year-old in all of us.
The university’s Computer and Video Game Archive features more than 7,000 titles on dozens of systems.
And unlike other video game archives, students and members of the public are permitted to visit and play any game available, whether for research or just to relax.
There’s also a walled-off room for audio-heavy games such as “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero.”
Gamers are asked to keep it down while they play in the CVGA’s main area Monday through Thursday, but managers don’t enforce low sound levels as strictly on Friday. That’s the day visitors can play one of the archive’s most popular games, “Super Smash Bros.”
DANBURY, Conn. (AP) — Authorities say a Connecticut police officer has been charged with breach of peace because he struck a handcuffed suspect.
Police say David Williams, a 15-year veteran of the Danbury Police Department, turned himself in Tuesday after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Connecticut State Police opened an investigation last year after a dash-cam video surfaced showing the July 29 encounter, which occurred during the arrest of a man charged with assaulting another officer.
Williams does not have a listed phone number.
The Associated Press left a message for the city’s police union. Officer Bryan Reed, the union’s president, told the Danbury News Times that he questioned the timing of the arrest and suggested there was “no victim and no complaining party.”
Danbury Police say Williams also faces possible disciplinary action.
DALLAS (AP) — Bodycam video from a white Fort Worth police officer who was suspended for wrestling a black woman and her daughter to the ground appears to show the officer using his foot to push the 15-year-old girl into a police car.
The footage was provided to The Associated Press on Thursday from attorneys representing Jacqueline Craig, who had called police last month to report that a neighbor choked her 7-year-old son for allegedly littering in his yard. The attorneys also provided internal affairs documents showing the officer had been disciplined for a previous use of force complaint when he allegedly used a Taser on a black teenager to end a foot chase.
Police spokeswoman Tamara Valle said the department could not authenticate the video or the disciplinary report at this time.
Also Thursday, Fort Worth police said they had dropped all charges against Craig and her 19-year-old daughter, Brea Hymond, who had recorded the interactions between Craig and Officer William Martin in a separate video they posted on Facebook in December. Attorneys for Craig said at a Thursday afternoon news conference that charges also had been dropped against Craig’s 15-year-old daughter, Jacques Craig.
The daughters were charged with resisting arrest and interfering with public duties. Jacqueline Craig was charged with resisting arrest, failure to identify herself as a fugitive and three outstanding traffic warrants.
The AP doesn’t typically identify juveniles accused of crimes, but the family and the teen have spoken out publicly.
Police also said Thursday that the neighbor, Itamar Vardi, has been issued a citation for misdemeanor assault by contact related to Craig’s son. Vardi did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Jacqueline Craig’s attorneys said they had hoped for more serious charges against the neighbor. They called the misdemeanor ticket “a slap in the face,” noting the boy visited the emergency room and was given medication after the injury prevented him from sleeping.
The bodycam footage provided by Craig’s attorneys also depicts Martin pushing Hymond’s arms, which were handcuffed, above her head from behind when she refuses to answer his question. It also shows him pushing another young female who approaches the police car. Those two incidents along with the use of his foot to push the 15-year-old into the police car were cited in a letter from Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald to the city’s Civil Service Commission explaining the finding that Martin had used excessive force in the situation and asking for his suspension.
The Fort Worth Police Department has denied media requests to release Martin’s bodycam footage.
Martin has returned to work after serving a 10-day suspension that he’s appealing with the city’s Civil Service Commission.
Craig’s attorneys said the family would like to see the officer fired and criminally charged.
The internal affairs documents Craig’s attorneys provided to The Associated Press said Martin was one of a handful of officers to respond to a trespassing complaint at a high school. A foot chase ensued and Martin fired his Taser twice, striking one of two black teenagers in the back as he fled. The report said Martin was ordered to undergo coaching with a supervisor for violating department policy that prohibits officers from deploying weapons to stop a foot chase, particularly if a suspect is not armed or posing a threat.
Martin’s attorney, Terry Daffron, said she would not comment “on the distorted portrayal of the facts” until she receives a copy of the investigation report.
Valle, the police spokeswoman, said the department does not release complaints against officers that do not result in a suspension or firing.
Fitzgerald’s report about the December incident said Martin violated department policy by failing to thoroughly investigate, neglecting his duty, and being discourteous to the public and conduct prejudicial to good order.
The video also shows Martin’s conversation with Craig and one of her daughters after he places them in the back of a patrol vehicle.
“Here’s the deal. When somebody’s under arrest, if anybody interferes, they go to jail too,” Martin told them.
“Well, I don’t know this. I’m 15 years old,” Craig’s daughter replied.
Craig responds: “He got mad at me for saying what I said. That’s why he did it. But it’s all recorded, it’s all recorded.”
Police said Thursday that Martin would not return to the same neighborhood where the incident occurred. That followed comments Fitzgerald made earlier this month saying Martin would return to the same community “to repair relationships.”
“The Police Department recognizes we must work to repair the fractured relationships in our community. We are committed to ensuring all Fort Worth Police officers live up to restoring the trust you have lost in our department,” the statement said.
Associated Press reporter Jamie Stengle contributed to this report.