NYPD recalls body cam devices after one explodes
An NYPD officer on Staten Island retrieved a Vievu LE-5 body camera Saturday, noticed smoke rising from the device and took it off before it exploded, the department said in a statement Sunday.
No one was injured in the incident, which happened before the officer began duty, the NYPD said.
"The incident revealed a potential for the battery inside the camera to ignite," the department's statement said. "The cause and scope of the defect are currently being investigated."
According to NYPD, 2,990 of the 15,500 body cams in use by police officers were the LE-5 models.
All officers outfitted with LE-5 cameras have been asked to immediately discontinue use and return them to their commands. For the time being, those officers will not be equipped with body cameras, the NYPD told CNN.
Other body cameras manufactured by Vievu remain in service.
The NYPD has been phasing in body cameras since April 2017.
Before Saturday's incident, officers in 18 of the city's 77 precincts had not yet been issued body cameras.
The department has stated that it aims to equip patrol officers with body cameras in all city precincts, transit districts and public housing by the year's end.
"Nothing is more important than the safety of our officers and equipping the NYPD with the best equipment is a paramount priority," the NYPD said.
CNN has reached out to Vievu's parent company Axon for comment.
Man accused of killing Atlanta-area police officer may have been spotted
Gwinnett County Police tweeted at 9 a.m. ET Monday that someone had seen Tafahree Maynard in the previous 12 hours.
Maynard, 18, has been charged with aggravated assault and felony murder in the Saturday afternoon killing of officer Antwan Toney near Snellville, authorities said.
Sgt. Jake Smith, Gwinnett police spokesman, said Sunday that several locations in the area were checked. A SWAT team executed a search warrant at the home of a suspected associate of Maynard, near the initial location of the shooting, Smith said.
"He's still at large as far as we're concerned," Smith said.
A second suspect, Isaiah Pretlow, 19, was arrested and has been charged with aggravated assault, police said.
Toney, 30, was responding to an anonymous 911 call reporting a suspicious vehicle parked near Shiloh Middle School when he was killed, Police Chief Butch Ayers said. The caller believed the vehicle occupants might have been smoking marijuana.
The officer was approaching the car when, police say, Maynard fired a weapon from inside the vehicle and struck him. Another officer returned fire and dragged Toney away. He died at a hospital, Smith said.
Police have not released details about Toney's injuries and have not said whether anyone in the suspects' car was hit or how many shots were fired.
After the shooting, the suspects' four-door black sedan sped away and crashed about a mile away. The suspects fled.
"They fled the scene and crashed without an officer in hot pursuit," Smith said.
Police believe Pretlow was driving the car and that as many as four people were inside.
At some point after running from the car, Pretlow pointed a gun at an officer, and the officer fired his weapon at him, police said. Pretlow, who was not injured, is facing an aggravated assault charge stemming from that encounter.
He ran to a wooded area but was arrested hours later by federal marshals, police said.
Police presence was heavy Saturday evening in neighborhoods a few miles east of Stone Mountain as officers, SWAT and K-9 teams searched for those who fled the car. A helicopter flew above the vicinity of the middle school.
Officer was 'a jovial person'
Toney, who was originally from Southern California, had been with the department for almost three years.
His visitation is scheduled for Tuesday at a Peachtree Corners funeral home, and his funeral will be held Wednesday at a Lawrenceville church, Gwinnett County Police said in a tweet.
Before Toney was an officer, he had been a security guard, police said.
His Gwinnett colleagues "recall a very jovial person who was dedicated to his job and dedicated to his community," Ayers said.
A memorial was set up in front of police headquarters in Lawrenceville and flags there were at half-staff.
Gwinnett County is in the metropolitan Atlanta area and has 920,000 residents. Toney's killing is the first in-the-line-of-duty death in the county since May 1993, when an officer was killed in a traffic incident. Three officers were shot to death in April 1964.
Toney's death was the second fatal shooting of a law enforcement officer in the span of a few days. North Carolina State Trooper Kevin K. Conner was killed Wednesday during a traffic stop near the South Carolina border. A suspect was taken into custody.
Smith urged anyone with information about the shooting or Maynard's whereabouts to call the police tip line at (770) 513-5710. Smith said Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for anyone with information. Tipsters can remain anonymous.
Clemson floor collapse at apartment clubhouse leaves 30 injured
"You could hear the floor about to go through, kind of," he said, "but nobody thought it was going to happen. They just kept going."
Suddenly, the floor gave way. Dozens of partiers dropped into free fall and landed in a mass of sprawling bodies in the basement.
Police said 30 people were injured when the floor of the apartment clubhouse collapsed during a party during homecoming weekend in Clemson, South Carolina.
No individuals were trapped during the collapse and no one suffered life-threatening injuries, Clemson Police Chief Jimmy Dixon told CNN affiliate WYFF. A total of 30 people were sent to three area hospitals with broken bones and lacerations.
"We're just thankful that it was not any worse than it was," Dixon said.
Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity party
Clemson University said the event was an annual homecoming weekend party sponsored by Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and attended by students and non students alike. In a statement Sunday, the university said it was working to identify Clemson students involved and to notify any other institutions whose students attended.
"The University will continue to do everything it can to help and support our students who were affected by this terrible situation, as well as their families and friends," campus President Jim Clements said in the statement.
Provost Bob Jones said the university's faculty had been asked "to exercise some flexibility in attendance policies for those students who were involved in this traumatic event."
Chaos and screaming
Tester said emergency responders were there in just minutes, and he saw people holding their arms or with bloody legs.
Video from the scene shows the floor opening up like in a horror movie. The scene of joy and celebration quickly turned to chaos and screaming.
Franzie Pendergrass and Leroy Pearson told WYFF they were in the middle of the clubhouse during the party. Pearson said he was jumping with his hands in the air when he suddenly felt a falling sensation, then blacked out.
When he came to, he saw "girls everywhere with blood all over their face and everything like that," Pearson said.
Pendergrass left with injuries.
"I got five stitches on my leg from a slash, a real bad cut after people grabbed me and jumped over the ones in there," he said.
Floor moved like trampoline
Jaylen Adams said he felt the floor going up and down like a trampoline as people jumped around to the music. He told his friends they needed to go on the balcony but the floor cracked before they could get out of the way. Adams didn't fall.
"They weren't hurt at all but other people were crying, bleeding, it was just a shocking moment for everyone," he said. "They then evacuated everyone and ambulances and a helicopter came for all of the injured individuals."
The incident occurred just after midnight Saturday at the clubhouse of the Woodlands of Clemson apartment complex, Woodlands Property Management President Tal Slann said.
The complex is about three miles northeast of Clemson University. The clubhouse building where the collapse happened is a common area within the complex and was built in 2004, Slann said.
Police said the investigation is ongoing.
911 call traced to phone of missing Wisconsin girl's mother, authorities say
Authorities have been searching for Jayme Closs, 13, since early Monday, when a mysterious 911 call led deputies to discover that her parents had been shot dead at the family's home in northwestern Wisconsin's Barron County.
Investigators say Jayme apparently vanished just after the shootings and is in danger. An Amber Alert was issued for her Monday, and the FBI has added her to its online list of kidnapped or missing people.
"We believe Jayme was in the home at the time of the homicides and we believe she's still in danger," Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said this week.
The investigation began when someone called 911 shortly before 1 a.m. Monday. No one on the line talked to the dispatcher, but the dispatcher could hear a disturbance, authorities said.
Deputies responded about four minutes later and found Jayme's parents, James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, shot dead in their home outside the small city of Barron -- and Jayme was nowhere to be found, authorities said.
A city of 3,400, Barron is about 75 miles northeast of Minneapolis.
A dispatch log that the Barron County Sheriff's Department released Friday offers a few new details from that night:
• The dispatcher "could hear a lot of yelling" during the 911 call.
• The call was "pinged" to the Closs' home. When the dispatcher called the number back, a voicemail greeting indicated that the phone belonged to Denise Closs.
• A responding officer found "the door has been kicked in."
• The family dog was there when deputies arrived, and was eventually taken to a relative's home.
The log does not indicate who made the 911 call, who was yelling or what was being yelled.
Closs' parents were shot and their deaths have been ruled homicides, Fitzgerald said Wednesday. No gun was found at the scene, he said.
Investigators believe Jayme was at home during the shooting based on details from the 911 call and evidence from the home, Fitzgerald said.
"Is it a random attack or a targeted attack? I don't know that answer," Fitzgerald told reporters. "That's why those leads are so important."
Volunteers scour the area
Volunteers and law enforcement combed the sides of US 8 -- the road where the Closs' home is located -- on Thursday, looking for evidence. But they didn't turn up anything of value, Fitzgerald said.
Hours earlier, Fitzgerald asked for 100 volunteers to participate in Thursday's search, which took place about 3 miles from the family's home, according to CNN affiliate WCCO.
The Barron County Sherriff's Department has received more than 1,000 tips for missing teenager Jayme Closs, according to a news release on the department's Facebook page. Officials are asking the public to come forward with any information they may have about the Closs family and to remain vigilant in watching the behavior of others, as a change in normal behavior could lead police to additional tips, according to the release.
The sheriff said Thursday he has a "100% expectation that she's alive." On Friday, Fitzgerald said investigators still believe she's alive and hope to bring her home.
Motive in parents' death is unclear
Deputies are also trying to determine who killed Jayme's parents, and why.
On HLN's "Crime & Justice" Wednesday night, Fitzgerald told host Ashleigh Banfield that additional agencies, including the FBI, are involved.
"They are the experts in breaking down 911 tapes, looking at our phones and taking care of all evidence in that manner," he said.
Joan Smrekar, who lives next door to the Closs home, told Banfield she heard two shots a couple of seconds apart just after 12:30 a.m. Monday.
"It was just, 'bang' and 'bang,'" Smrekar said.
Jayme Closs is 5 feet tall, weighs 100 pounds and has green eyes and blond or strawberry blond hair, the sheriff's department said. Anyone with information can call the tip line at 1-855-744-3879.
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Man imprisoned for more than 20 years says new evidence proves he didn't abuse his son
Now a Florida judge will decide if there's enough new medical evidence to give him a new trial.
Thursday, Judge Michael Andrews held an evidentiary hearing in Pinellas County, Florida, to evaluate Duncan's case and what his team said is newly discovered evidence that could have resulted in an acquittal at his original trial in 1996.
Duncan, who also goes by Jim, and his wife took their infant son, Kody, to the emergency room in 1993, and doctors discovered he had 13 broken bones and a skull fracture.
Duncan was convicted of child abuse and sentenced to 70 years in prison. He's maintained his innocence in the years since.
Duncan's attorneys are relying on a 2014 study that could suggest Kody's injuries were the result of a metabolic bone disease like rickets, and not the result of child abuse.
"The basis of Mr. Duncan's new evidence claim is this article," defense attorney Lisabeth Fryer said Thursday.
But expert witnesses called by the state cast doubt on the peer-reviewed study, and said its findings were not widely accepted.
The first witness was Duncan's son and the alleged victim, Kody Duncan, who is now in his 20s and coaches tennis at a college in Pennsylvania. He believes his father should go free.
Since the conviction, father and son have seen each other only at one hearing more than a decade ago. Kody has never been allowed to visit his father in prison because he is allegedly the victim of his father's abuse, but they have phone calls once a week.
"I believe my dad is innocent," Kody told the court, before he was cut off by an objection from the prosecution.
Duncan smiled at his son as he left the stand.
Defense: Baby could have had fragile bones
Dr. David Ayoub, one of the authors of the study on which Duncan and his attorneys have based their case, testified for the defense as an expert witness.
According to the article, a type of fracture called a "classic metaphyseal legion," known as CML, that is commonly associated with child abuse has "features similar to infantile rickets."
Ayoub, a diagnostic radiologist, has said he believes Kody had a case of infantile rickets, a disease in which bones do not mineralize properly.
That could mean Kody's bones were very fragile, and that a simple act, like dressing a child or holding them for a vaccine, could result in broken bones.
According to Ayoub, there were shortcomings with earlier studies that identified CML fractures as high indicators of child abuse and argued the injury is actually a sign of a metabolic bone disease, like rickets.
Ayoub acknowledged that these fractures did not guarantee the child had not also been abused, but said these CML breaks were not a sign of it.
"Kody could have had healing infantile rickets, or copper deficiency," Ayoub testified.
"There is no question there is metabolic bone disease," he said. "There is no question."
The defense also called Dr. Marvin Miller, a pediatrician and medical geneticist. He was one of Ayoub's co-authors on the peer-reviewed study, which he said was the first to challenge the widely accepted medical theory that CMLs were "unequivocally" caused by child abuse.
Miller, testifying for the defense by video, told the court he studied Kody's medical records and found the injuries were "highly unlikely to be child abuse."
He pointed to the fact that Kody's medical reports at the time didn't identify any bruising or underlying tissue damage as a sign that the injuries were caused by problems with his bones.
Miller also said that based on psychological profiles done of Duncan, and the fact he had another son who wasn't abused, "My gut feeling is that he's a low risk to commit child abuse."
Theory not widely accepted, experts say
Ayoub and Miller's position is not widely accepted, witnesses called by the state testified.
Mainstream science does not recognize healing rickets as a legitimate cause for CMLs, which are typically associated with child abuse.
In a rebuttal to Ayoub's article, which was not presented in Thursday's hearing, the Child Abuse Committee of the Society for Pediatric Radiology said bone breaks of that type are "highly specific for child abuse."
"To deny this fact is to disregard the extensive experience and research of generations of pediatric radiologists," they wrote.
Expert witnesses called by the state agreed that Ayoub and Miller's study fell outside the mainstream.
"There is a lot of scientific evidence that refutes their positions and opinions," said Dr. Sally Smith, a pediatrician and medical director for the Pinellas County Child Protection Team.
She said Kody's fractures were the result of child abuse, and that most cases of abuse in children Kody's age do not have bruises, and tissue damage doesn't always happen.
Smith said it was possible for babies to get rickets, but it was rare in the United States, because babies get calcium and vitamin D from a variety of nutritious sources.
And if a baby does get rickets, it takes "many months, usually at least six months, before there's any overt signs" of rickets, Smith said. That's several months older than Kody was at the time of his injuries.
Prosecutors also called Dr. Mark Morris, a pediatrician who evaluated Kody in 1993 at All Children's Hospital, and testified against Duncan at his trial.
It was clear to him that Kody did not suffer from a disease like rickets.
"There are specific things you look for in metabolic bone disease that were not seen in this case," he said.
Kody had normal blood chemistry and X-rays, Morris said.
"A lot of different things were thrown out as possible, but there weren't any recognized chemical or radiological signs found in this child."
Morris also told the court that Ayoub's research was not widely accepted.
"There is a small group of people who agree with that, but the widespread opinion is this is not correct analysis of that injury," he told the court.
'I am encouraged'
Now the judge will have to decide whether the evidence Duncan presented could have resulted in an acquittal if it had been available in 1996. If so, the conviction will be overturned and a new trial ordered.
Duncan's family is cautiously optimistic.
"It was mentally draining, physically draining, too, but I am encouraged. I'm going to keep faith in God and hopefully things will go well," Kody told CNN after the hearing.
Duncan did not speak in court, but earlier in a jailhouse interview told CNN he was innocent and did not harm his son.
The judge told lawyers he would provide an update on his progress October 30.
On Saturday, Duncan called CNN from the Pinellas County Jail, where he's being held until the judge makes a decision on the case, which could take weeks. Duncan is nervous, he said, but hopeful.
He was grateful that so many of his family and friends came from around the country to attend Thursday's hearing, packing the moderately sized courtroom.
But he was most struck by his son Kody, whom he hasn't seen since he was a little boy, Duncan said.
"He's such a good looking young man," Duncan said. "I just wanted to hug him."