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Sacramento Officer Killed After Domestic Disturbance Call

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  • Sacramento Officer Tara O’Sullivan was shot and killed after responding to a domestic disturbance call.
  • Officers responded to the shooting, which led to an eight-hour standoff with the suspect, who eventually surrendered.
  • The suspect has been booked on unspecified charges related to O’Sullivan’s death.
  • Leaders in the Sacramento community have spoken about O’Sullivan’s death, and are honoring the memory she leaves behind.

Officer O’Sullivan Shot Responding to Incident

A man accused of killing a Sacramento officer and causing an eight-hour standoff with police forces was arrested on Thursday, and has a long history of abuse allegations.

On Wednesday night, 26-year-old Tara O’Sullivan was helping a woman move her belongings out of a residence after a reported domestic disturbance incident. According to a statement from the Sacramento Police Department, shots were fired at the scene at 6:10 p.m. O’Sullivan was the only officer hit and died of gunshot wounds after being transported to a local hospital.

Officers from the Crisis Negotiation Team responded to the shooting and remained on the scene for eight hours. During this time, the suspect opened fire, prompting officers to fire back, but no one was injured. Officers eventually established communication with the suspect, who has been identified as Adel Sambrano Ramos. At 1:54 a.m. on Thursday, Ramos surrendered to authorities and was taken into custody.

Ramos’ Previous Charges

Ramos has been booked on unspecified charges relating to O’Sullivan’s murder. According to criminal records obtained by local media, Ramos has a long criminal history dating back to 1995, when he was charged with a DUI.

Since then, he has been charged with domestic violence and theft, was issued now-expired restraining orders that required him to give up his guns, and was cited for misdemeanor battery on a minor. According to the Associated Press, a warrant was issued for his arrest nine days prior to the shooting after he failed to appear in court for the misdemeanor charges.  

Ramos’ younger brother Orlando told the Associated Press that he does not care if his brother spends the “rest of his life” in prison.

If he goes to prison for the rest of his life, I could care less,” said Orlando Ramos. “I’m a lot more heartbroken for seeing the pain in my mother and for the police officer and her family than I am for him going to prison.”

Leaders Respond

O’Sullivan began working with the Sacramento Police Department in January 2018 as a Community Service Officer. In July 2018, she entered the police academy and graduated in December.

During a press conference, Deputy Chief Dave Peletta said that the Sacramento Police Department was heartbroken by the news of O’Sullivan’s death.

“We are devastated tonight. There are no words to convey the depth of sadness we feel for how heartbroken we are for our family of our young, brave officer,” Peletta said. “The men and women of our department will continue to do our jobs to protect the community and we will draw from the strength and courage of Tara. Our hearts are with Tara’s family, whose pain can hardly be imagined.”

Governor Gavin Newsom requested that capitol flags be flown at half-staff in O’Sullivan’s honor. He also issued a statement saying that he is grieving with the Sacramento community.

“Officer O’Sullivan represented the best of what we hope to be as human beings in her selfless service to the community and readiness to help those in need,” Newsom said. “She knew the dangers of the job, yet chose to dedicate herself at such a young age to those values anyway. Today, Jennifer and I join the Sacramento community and all Californians in expressing our deep condolences, and stand in solidarity with Officer O’Sullivan’s family, fellow officers and those she served so honorably.”

Ramos is currently scheduled to appear in court on Monday, June 24. The shooting is still being investigated by the Sacramento Police Department.

See what others are saying: (Sacramento Bee) (Associated Press) (ABC 10)

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New COVID-19 Variant Could Become Dominant in the U.S. by March, CDC Warns

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  • The CDC warned Friday that a new highly transmissible COVID-19 variant could become the predominant variant in the United States by March.
  • The strain was first reported in the United Kingdom in December and is now in at least 10 states.
  • The CDC used a modeled trajectory to discover how quickly the variant could spread in the U.S. and said that this could threaten the country’s already overwhelmed healthcare system.

CDC Issues Warning

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Friday that the new COVID-19 variant could become the predominant variant in the United States by March.

While it is not known to be more deadly, it does spread at a higher rate, which is troubling considering the condition the U.S. is already in. Cases and deaths are already on the rise in nearly every state and globally, 2 million lives have been lost to the coronavirus. 

The variant was first reported in the United Kingdom in mid-December. It is now in 30 countries, including the U.S., where cases have been located in at least ten states. Right now, only 76 cases of this variant have been confirmed in the U.S., but experts believe that number is likely much higher and said it will increase significantly in the coming weeks. It is already a dominant strain in parts of the U.K.

Modeled trajectory shows that growth in the U.S. could be so fast that it dominates U.S. cases just three months into the new year. This could pose a huge threat to our already strained healthcare system.

Mitigating Spread of Variant

“I want to stress that we are deeply concerned that this strain is more transmissible and can accelerate outbreaks in the U.S. in the coming weeks,” said Dr. Jay Butler, deputy director for infectious diseases at the CDC told the New York Times. “We’re sounding the alarm and urging people to realize the pandemic is not over and in no way is it time to throw in the towel.”

The CDC advises that health officials use this time to limit spread and increase vaccination as much as possible in order to mitigate the impact this variant will have. Experts believe that current vaccines will protect against this strain.

“Effective public health measures, including vaccination, physical distancing, use of masks, hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantine, will be essential,” the CDC said in their report.

“Strategic testing of persons without symptoms but at higher risk of infection, such as those exposed to SARS-CoV-2 or who have frequent unavoidable contact with the public, provides another opportunity to limit ongoing spread.”

See what others are saying: (Wall Street Journal) (New York Times) (NBC News)

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Former Michigan Gov. and 8 Others Charged Over Flint Water Crisis

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. (Al Goldis/AP)

  • Ex-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was charged with two counts of willful neglect of duty Wednesday for his role in the Flint water crisis
  • By Thursday, eight more former state and city officials were charged with crimes ranging from involuntary manslaughter to extortion.
  • Flint residents have long awaited this news. In 2019, prosecutors dropped all criminal charges against 15 officials and said they would start the investigation from scratch, citing concerns about how the special counsel had conducted its probe.

Rick Snyder Charges

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office said Thursday that it had filed 41 charges against nine former state and city officials for their role in the Flint water crisis.

The most high-profile figure to be charged was former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. On Wednesday, he was hit with two counts of willful neglect of duty.

He was the state’s top executive when local officials decided to switch the city’s drinking water source to the Flint River in 2014.

The switch was supposed to be a temporary cost-saving measure while a pipeline was being built to Lake Huron. However, the water wasn’t treated properly for corrosion, so lead-contaminated water was released into the homes of people all over the city. Because of that, 12 people died and at least 90 were sickened with Legionnaires’ disease.

Snyder appeared in court this morning via Zoom, pleading not guilty to the two misdemeanor charges. If convicted he could face up to a year in prison and as much as a $1,000 fine.

His charges alone are significant because they make him the first governor or former governor in the state to ever be charged with a crime for alleged conduct while in office.

8 Others Charged

Along with Snyder, eight others were charged, including a former state health director Nick Lyon. Lyon received nine charges of involuntary manslaughter, among others.

Richard Baird, one of Snyder’s closes advisors was changed for extortion, perjury, and obstructions of justice. Others who were charged include:

  • Jarrod Agen, Snyder’s former chief of staff and Vice President Mike Pence’s former communications director.
  • Dr. Eden Wells, a former chief medical executive for the state Department of Health and Human Services. 
  • Darnell Earley, former Flint finance director and state-appointed emergency manager.
  • Gerald Ambrose, former state-appointed emergency manager.
  • Howard Croft, former Flint Public Works Director.
  • Nancy Peeler, the state’s director of maternal, infant and early childhood home visiting for the health department.

Flint residents have waited a long time for justice over the water contamination issue. Prosecutors previously dropped all 15 criminal charges tied to the Flint case in 2019 and said the investigation would begin again from scratch.

At the time, they cited concerns about how the special counsel had conducted its probe.

It also wasn’t until last year that the state reached a $600 million settlement with victims, establishing a fund from which residents can file for compensation.

See what others are saying: (NPR) (The Detroit News) (Detroit Free Press)

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Three Lawmakers Test Positive for COVID-19 Following Capitol Attack

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  • At least three Congressmembers have tested positive for COVID-19 following Wednesday’s pro-Trump attack on the Capitol. 
  • Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), and Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) believe they contracted the virus after locking down in close quarters with numerous Republican lawmakers who refused to wear masks.
  • Jayapal and Schneider are calling for those who did not wear a mask to face consequences.

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman Tests Positive

At least three members of Congress have tested positive for COVID-19 after locking down in close quarters with other House members during Wednesday’s pro-Trump attack on the Capitol. 

Congress’ attending physician, Brian Monahan, warned that members may have been exposed during the lockdown. He recommended that everyone who was isolated inside should get tested for the virus. 

On Monday Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) became the first to announce that she tested positive. Watson Coleman believes she was exposed while in the Capitol lockdown. In her statement, she cited the multiple Republicans who refused to wear masks while inside. Video footage from Punchbowl News shows a Democratic lawmaker handing out masks and a handful of Republicans declining to take one. 

Watson Coleman is a 75-year-old lung cancer survivor. While she said she is only experiencing cold-like symptoms, she tweeted that per a doctor’s suggestion, she headed to a local hospital for antibody treatment. She also encouraged those who sheltered in place to get tested. 

More Cases Follow

Later on Monday, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said she too had tested positive, also blaming a lack of mask-wearing in the Capitol. In a lengthy Twitter thread, she said Republicans created a superspreader event and demanded consequences for their actions. 

Many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum COVID-19 precaution and simply wear a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic—creating a superspreader event ON TOP of a domestic terrorist attack,” she wrote. 

“Any Member who refuses to wear a mask should be fully held accountable,” Jayapal added. 

“I’m calling for every single Member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol to be fined and removed from the floor by the Sergeant at Arms.”

Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) echoed her frustrations on Tuesday after releasing a statement saying he has become the third House member to have tested positive following the lockdown. 

“Today, I am now in strict isolation, worried that I have risked my wife’s health and angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff,” he wrote.

Like Jayapal, he is calling for sanctions against those who opted to not wear masks. 

Many health officials feared that this lockdown could lead to a surge in cases. They also worry that the mob itself could lead to a superspreader event as most of those who attacked the Capitol were not wearing masks and were crowding together both inside and outside of the building.

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (NPR) (NBC Chicago)

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