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Thu, 09 Feb 2023
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Los Angeles riots figure Rodney King found dead

Rodney King was beaten while in police custody in 1991
© Unknown
Rodney King was beaten while in police custody in 1991
Rodney King, the figure at the centre of the Los Angeles riots 20 years ago, has been found dead aged 47, according to police reports.

His fiancee found his body at the bottom of a swimming pool, but there was no sign of foul play.

King was a victim of police brutality in 1991, but the officers involved were acquitted the following year.

The verdict triggered clashes between black youths and police which left more than 50 dead and thousands injured.


Women Likely Videotaped in Sears Dressing Room

© justj0000lie/flickr
Female customers who shopped at a Sears store in North Hollywood, Calif., over the past three years may have been videotaped in the dressing rooms and restrooms, according to an attorney representing 25 women suing the retail chain.

The group is suing Sears and a former maintenance worker who allegedly videotaped them from 2009 to April 2012.

Michael Alder, the attorney for the plaintiffs, said an unknown number of female customers were also likely videotaped in the store during that period.

"There's a lot of people who were patrons and don't have any idea that they've been videotaped," Alder said.

Alejandro Gamiz, 27, a maintenance worker who worked at Sears for seven years, who is accused of placing hidden cameras behind the walls of the store. He was arrested on April 12 for burglary and surreptitious filming of unsuspecting women by North Hollywood Area Sexual Assault detectives. Gamiz posted $20,000 bail and was released from custody.

The Los Angeles District Attorney's office is still reviewing the case and has not yet filed charges against Gamiz. Gamiz did not return a request for comment.

Comment: Creepie.

Bad Guys

Country Farmhouse Used for Pedophilia Ring

A Household Cavalry soldier and his wife were among those at the centre of a paedophile ring that held sex parties at a country farmhouse, a court heard.
Nicholas Cordery, inset, owned the farm in Murcott near Malmesbury, Wilts.
Simon Davies and his wife Fiona Parsons-Davies admitted child abuse charges along with the owner of the remote chalet, sheep farmer Nicholas Cordery, 62.

Two other men, Peter Malpas and Anthony Flack, also pleaded guilty to sex offences against children at Reading Crown Court.

The court heard the five had been part of a group that abused girls as young as eight at the building where police found sex toys alongside teddy bears.

Arrow Down

One Person Dead after Radiohead Stage Collapses at Toronto Park

© unknown
Police officials are shown at the scene of a stage collapse at Downsview Park in Toronto on Saturday, June 16, 2012.
Toronto Police say a man in his thirties is dead after the stage at Downsview Park collapsed late Saturday afternoon, hours ahead of a scheduled concert by rock band Radiohead.

Toronto Police Const. Tony Vella told reporters that "a number of people" were on the stage preparing for the concert when the top portion collapsed. While a number of workers fled to safety, four others were caught in the wreckage.

Toronto Fire platoon chief Tony Bellavance said firefighters had to extricate one person, who suffered crushing injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police also said a 45-year-old man was taken to Sunnybrook hospital with a non-life-threatening head injury after the incident, which happened around 4 p.m. ET.

Two other males were injured, but were treated at the scene by paramedics.

Toronto Fire Services and contractors secured what was left of the large stage, so a full investigation could safely begin.


California Jury Finds Ex-Police Officer Guilty of Rape

© Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times
Anthony Nicholas Orban, a former Westminster police detective, exits the courtroom after the opening statements of his trial in San Bernardino County. The jury found Orban guilty on Wednesday of all eight charges, including kidnapping and rape.
A San Bernardino County jury Wednesday rejected a controversial "Zoloft" defense presented by a former Westminster police detective accused of kidnapping and raping a waitress in 2010, finding the defendant guilty of all eight charges.

Anthony Nicholas Orban's attorney acknowledged from the outset that his client attacked the woman, but argued that the former detective was rendered mentally "unconscious" by a powerful dose of the prescription antidepressant and was not responsible for his actions.

A jury of eight women and four men deliberated less than a day before dismissing that defense and finding Orban guilty of kidnapping, two counts of rape, two counts of forced oral copulation, two counts of sexual penetration with a foreign object and one count of making a criminal threat.

The victim sat in the front row of the packed Rancho Cucamonga courtroom, reacting with a subtle smile as Superior Court Judge Shahla S. Sabet read the guilty verdicts. The victim's unflinching, graphic account of the sexual assault was the most compelling testimony given during the month-long trial.

Orban showed little emotion as the verdicts were read. His wife wept gently in the back of the courtroom.


Contrition: Ex-Israeli soldier seeks Palestinian citizenship

In an odd twist to the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian saga, a former Israeli soldier has embarked on a new fight: He wants to renounce his Israeli citizenship and move to a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank.

Andre Pshenichnikov palestinians
© Unknown
Andre Pshenichnikov
Andre Pshenichnikov, a 23-year-old Jewish immigrant from Tajikistan, was recently detained by Israeli police for residing illegally in the Deheishe Refugee Camp near Bethlehem. There he told police that he wants to break all ties with Israel, give up his Israeli citizenship and obtain a Palestinian one instead.

Pshenichnikov is currently traveling in Europe for two months. When he returns, he hopes to move to the West Bank.

It's incredibly rare for Israelis to seek to live under Palestinian rule. There are only a few known cases of Jewish Israelis who have done so, mostly ones who have married Palestinians, as well as a journalist for the Israeli daily Haaretz who moved to Ramallah and reports from there. None are known to have renounced Israeli citizenship - though some Israelis living abroad have. Nor are any known to have sought Palestinian residency instead. People are not allowed to be dual citizens.

Reached at his Israeli home, Pshenichnikov's mother Svetlana said she was troubled by her son's plans.

"I'm his mother and I am trying to support him like a mother should," she said. "But I don't support his war."

The family immigrated to Israel when Pshenichnikov was 13. Israel grants automatic citizenship to anyone who is Jewish. He later completed his three years of mandatory military service, enlisting as a computer programmer in the army's signals corps, and even served an additional year and a half as a career soldier.


Update: Suspect Arrested in Edmonton Armoured-Car Triple Homicide

Travis Baumgartner
© Edmonton Police
Travis Baumgartner
Police have arrested the lone suspect after a trio of homicides at the University of Alberta Friday, ending a 36-hour manhunt.

Travis Baumgartner, 21, was arrested Saturday evening at a border crossing in Lynden, Washington, south of Abbotsford, B.C.

He was arrested without incident, police said, and will be sent back to Alberta, where he will be charged with three counts of first-degree murder and another of attempted murder. Mr. Baumgartner, who worked for private security company G4S Solutions Canada, is accused of killing three of his coworkers, shooting and severely wounding a fourth before fleeing with an armoured car and, later, his Ford truck.

The same truck, with his mother's license plate, was also seized at the border crossing.

"We're grateful to the border officials at Lynden, Washington, for their excellent work in arresting a man we believe was armed and extremely dangerous," said Bob Hassel, the superintendent of criminal investigation for Edmonton police.


Swastikas, Hate Graffiti Found on Brooklyn Synagogue, Stores

Police are seeking the sick vandals who painted a half-dozen swastikas found this morning in a Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn.

The swastikas were found at a synagogue, a Jewish bath house and several businesses around 16th Avenue in Borough Park.

Cops are investigating the vandalism as a hate crime, and are reviewing surveillance video from the area. No arrests have been made.

Surveillance video from Fischman's Food Center at 4421 16th Ave., one of the vandalized businesses, shows two men in hoodies walking up to the store at about 2:45 a.m.

One of the men spray-painted the store's front roll down gate, and then drew a swastika on the front plastic window panel.

Alarm Clock

Drunken Mob of 150 Teenagers Run Wild in Portland

© unknown
Portland's bureaus of Police and Parks will join forces this weekend to increase security in Laurelhurst Park after reports of two large-scale fights there Wednesday and Thursday nights.

According to those who reported the incidents to police, both assaults involved a large group of teenage boys who attacked either an individual or a small group.

Police say they learned of the first incident Wednesday evening when called to the Southeast Portland park about 10:36 p.m. to investigate a report of 150 drunken teens. When they arrived, they told the teens they found to leave. But they were then flagged down by a young woman who told them that a 14-year-old boy had been beaten up and was lying on a picnic table at the west end of the park.

Officers found the boy, who said he'd been with a friend when he was attacked by five to 10 other boys who seemed to be randomly attacking others, including at least one transient. The boy said the group also stole his cell phone, his iPod, his headphones and a hat.


Police Taser Nude 80-Year-Old Woman Attempting Hit Officers With Cane

© Unknown
Police in Dorchester County, S.C., used a Taser on a nude 80-year-old woman after she allegedly attempted to attack police with her walking stick. WCSC reports that when police answered a complaint of someone making loud noises in the area, they were met by an elderly woman wearing no clothes on her porch, reportedly hitting the steps of her porch with her cane.

According to police, the woman, who spoke "confusingly," began to swing her cane at the officers when police tried to take it away from the nude woman. As police continued to talk the woman out of swinging her cane at them, another officer used his Taser on the woman's back. The woman was immediately transported to a nearby medical facility for treatment.

When police investigated the area, they discovered that the woman, a former tenant, had broken three windows at the property after the owner attempted to give the deposit back to the woman.

WCSC reports that no charges were filed against the woman despite the $250 worth of property damage.