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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- More than 140 damaging storms were reported on Monday from Georgia up to Maine.

New Jersey and Delaware experienced gusts of 75 mph, and wind speeds in Long Island, New York, reached 67 mph. Parts of Massachusetts saw hail larger than golf balls as areas around Philadelphia had trees knocked onto power lines and cars.

Severe weather in the Midwest on Tuesday -- including potential storms all the way from Nebraska to Ohio -- is likely to make its way to the Northeast by Wednesday. Damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes are the biggest threats.

The cold front is forecast to reach the Northeast on Wednesday afternoon. Damaging winds and flash flooding are the biggest threats.

Nine southern states are under heat warnings and advisories as heat indices could top 110.

The Southwest remains hot, and parts of California, Nevada and Arizona could see record highs by Wednesday.

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rustythedog/iStock(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) -- A 15-year-old student was arrested in Central Florida on Friday after authorities said he made an online threat to shoot up his school.

The unnamed teenager, who attends Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, allegedly posted a comment on a video game chat platform on Thursday using a fake name, vowing to bring his father's M15 assault rifle to school and kill seven people "at a minimum," according to a statement from the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

The school's principal did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment Tuesday morning.

The comment was reported to the FBI, which contacted the Volusia County Sheriff's Office. The teen allegedly admitted to posting the comment but insisted it was just a joke.

"Joke or not, these types of comments are felonies under the law," the sheriff's office said in a statement Monday. "After the mass violence we've seen in Florida and across the country, law enforcement officers have a responsibility to investigate and charge those who choose to make these types of threatening statements."

Body-camera footage released by the sheriff's office shows the moment deputies arrived at the teen's home on Friday morning and handcuffed him. His mother can be heard telling deputies that she does own a gun and understands threats cannot be taken lightly.

"But," she says, "he's just a little kid playing a video game."

A Seabreeze HS student was arrested after in a video game chat:

"I Dalton Barnhart vow to bring my fathers m15 to school and kill 7 people at a minimum"

The name was fake, and the young man responsible for the comment insisted it was a joke.https://t.co/lRlZaUSE3E

— Volusia Sheriff (@VolusiaSheriff) August 19, 2019

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smolaw11/iStock(GARDEN GROVE, Calif.) -- A group of Southern California high school students sparked outrage on Monday after video surfaced of them giving the Nazi salute while a German World War II-era marching song played in the background.

The video shows several male students from Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, California, giving the Adolf Hitler salute and laughing as the song plays. At least one student appeared to sing along with the music.

Officials with the Garden Grove Unified School District said the video was taken in November 2018, but the school became aware of it in March and took “immediate action," according to a statement released Monday.

The school district said it could not disclose if any of the students had been disciplined as a result of the video, citing federal privacy laws.

"Garden Grove Unified School District and Pacifica High School strongly condemn a video recorded last year of some students who engaged in offensive Nazi-related gestures," the statement said. "It was not brought to the attention of the administration of Pacifica High School until March of 2019, four months following the banquet, at which time school administrators took immediate action and addressed the situation with all students and families involved."

The video was initially "shared within a small group of students on SnapChat" and was taken during an off-campus student athletics banquet in an empty and unsupervised room at the facility, district officials said.

The Daily Beast, which first reported on the video, said the students are members of the boys’ water polo team, but ABC News could not confirm those details.

The district called it an "unfortunate incident" and said it reached out to community organizers to help facilitate anti-bias training.

"In response to this unfortunate incident, district and school administrators have reached out to community organizations to provide support that will continue to ensure an anti-bias learning environment and address issues of hate, bias, and exclusion with all staff and students," the statement said. "Pacifica High School, along with our other district schools, will be working with students, staff, and parents to continue to address these issues in the fall in collaboration with agencies dedicated to anti-bias education."

"A highly diverse district, Garden Grove Unified School District actively combats bias and bullying, remains focused on fostering an inclusive environment for all stakeholders and is committed to holding students accountable, educating them on the consequences of their choices and the impact these actions have on our schools and community at large," it added.

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MicroStockHub/iStock(FULLERTON, Calif.) -- A retired administrator was stabbed to death on California State University Fullerton's campus Monday morning, launching a manhunt for the suspect.

The victim was identified by police Monday night as 57-year-old Steven Shek Keung Chan from Hacienda Heights. Police said he "was a retired administrator working as a consultant on campus."

Chan was found in a car in a campus parking lot with "numerous" stab wounds, according to the CSU Fullerton police.

Police located a backpack underneath Chan's vehicle that contained items including tape, zipties, blindfolds and a "very crude" incendiary device that officials said would've had to be manually set off. The device was not a bomb, but something that would start a fire, according to police, who do not believe the suspect was planning to hurt anyone else with the device.

A weapon that could be used to stab someone was also found, but police do not believe it was the one used to commit the stabbing.

It appears Chan was targeted, but a potential connection between the suspect and victim was not clear, said university police. The motive is unknown, but officials called it a very violent homicide.

Officials believe the suspect arrived at the location specifically with the intent to harm Chan and they don't believe there is a threat to the community.

At this time, it does not appear Chan had received any specific threats but everyone with a connection to him is being looked at as a possible suspect, police said.

Though the suspect -- who has not been identified -- remains at large, a university police official said authorities "do not believe there is a random stabber at this point in the investigation running around."

But authorities are increasing patrols in and around campus as a precaution, according to university police. CSU Fullerton is about 30 miles south of Los Angeles.

The university said counseling and support services are available.

The slaying came on the school's first day of the academic year. Classes are scheduled to start on Saturday.

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Western Reserve Schools(NEW YORK) -- An Ohio school district celebrated one of its students in a social media post on Monday after he made a generous donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Diesel Pippert, a seventh grader at Western Reserve Local Schools, donated $15,000 -- the entirety of his livestock premiums from the Huron County Fair animal sale -- to the children's hospital in an effort to help fight cancer, the district said.

Western Reserve Schools shared an image of Diesel at the county's 2019 Livestock Show on Monday, calling him a hero who "should be an example to us all."

"A young man lives amongst us who should be an example to us all. WR 7th grader Diesel Pippert donated all of his livestock premiums to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital today at the Huron County Fair large animal sale," the district wrote in the post. "His donation of $15,000 will help to find cures for young children and save lives. Diesel, you are a hero!"

District officials weren't the only ones celebrating young Diesel. The school district's Facebook followers also fell in love with the story as the post accumulated thousands of likes and comments.

"Thank you, Diesel! My daughter is receiving treatment at St Jude's currently. I'm also a farm kid so I understand the hard work you put into the care of your animals," one Facebook user commented.

"AWESOME! What a selfless thing to do. A very generous donation that will help many sick kids. I read about you on a random act of kindness page and I hope the shares have others following your example," another added.

The school district's post had racked up more than 4,000 reactions, shares and comments on Facebook as of Monday evening.

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BlakeDavidTaylor/iStock(CHICAGO) -- The Department of Justice has announced federal charges against a Chicago man who prosecutors say threatened an attack against a women's reproductive clinic, the latest in a string of potential mass attacks thwarted by law enforcement.

Farhan Sheikh, 19, was arrested last Friday evening after posting on the social media platform iFunny that he would attack a local clinic and "proceed to slaughter and murder any doctor, patient, or visitor I see in the area and I will not back down," according to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court of Chicago.

"Consider this a warning for anyone visiting," Sheikh allegedly wrote.

The indictment does not list the clinic where Sheikh was allegedly threatening to carry out his attack, but said it is approximately 4 miles from his residence in Chicago.

In a post to the platform last week, Sheikh wrote he was "done" with Illinois' "abortion laws and allowing innocrnt (sic) kids to be slaughtered for the so called 'womans right' [expletive]."

According to the complaint, when investigators confronted Sheikh at his residence about the posts he admitted they were his but sought to downplay the seriousness of his threats, despite accompanying posts that warned his threats weren't "satirical."

Sheikh was charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.

The arrest follows at least three possible mass attacks thwarted by law enforcement over the weekend, with suspects arrested in Connecticut, Florida and Ohio.

The FBI directly assisted in two of the cases. In Connecticut, a 22-year-old man was charged with illegal possession of high-capacity ammunition magazines after authorities discovered a Facebook post where he expressed interest in carrying out a mass shooting.

In Ohio, police arrested a 20-year-old man who was a self-proclaimed white nationalist that had allegedly posted on Instagram what investigators believed was a threat to carry out an attack on a local Jewish center. He has pleaded not guilty to telecommunications harassment and aggravated menacing.

And in Florida, a 25-year-old man was arrested after allegedly sending text messages where he expressed interest in carrying out the "longest confirmed kill ever" and was strategizing about locations where to carry out his attack, officials said.

Last week, Attorney General William Barr said the DOJ was crafting a bill that would seek to expedite death penalty proceedings for mass shooters, following a directive from President Donald Trump in the wake of the El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio shootings.

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tillsonburg/iStock(NEW YORK) -- More than five years after the death of Eric Garner was captured on cell phone video, the officer responsible for causing his death was terminated from New York City's Police Department.

Since July 17, 2014, NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo has waited to learn whether he can remain on the force with the plainclothes anti-crime unit, lose vacations days or lose his job entirely.

Months after a disciplinary trial in May and June this year, Deputy Commissioner of Trials Judge Rosemarie Maldonado recommended to Police Commissioner James O'Neill that Pantaleo be removed from the force.

O'Neill announced Monday that Pantaleo was to be immediately terminated.

"It's an extremely difficult decision," O'Neill said at a news conference Monday. "If I was still a cop, I'd probably be mad at me... [but] it's my responsibility as police commissioner to look out for the city.”

O'Neill said that he called New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to inform him of the decision before making the public announcement. He noted that he did not inform either Pantaleo or the Garner family of the decision before his announcement.

"There are absolutely no victors here today," he added, noting that the inevitability of having to make this decision was something he knew he would have to face when he was sworn in as police commissioner in September 2016.

"Today is a day of reckoning but can also be a day of reconciliation," he said.

"It's in my DNA, it's who I am," O'Neill said of his background as a patrol officer himself. "But as police commissioner, I have to think about the city, and I have to think about the rules and [regulations] of the NYPD and make sure people follow them."

Pantaleo, 35, of Staten Island, was on desk duty while collecting an annual salary of more than $97,000, according to public records. However, he was suspended after the judge's recommendation -- a practice when a civil servant is recommended to be fired, the NYPD said.

Judge Maldonado ruled that Daniel Pantaleo used the prohibited chokehold that caused Eric Garner's death and Daniel Pantaleo must be terminated," said Fred Davie, chairman of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, at their monthly meeting on Aug. 14.

Chokeholds were banned by the NYPD in 1993.

Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, said that the judge's recommendation brought "some relief" after a Staten Island grand jury and the U.S. Department of Justice declined to bring criminal charges against Pantaleo.

The New York City's medical examiner ruled that Garner's death was a homicide due to the sequence of evidence started by Pantaleo's chokehold that triggered a cascade of events and ended with a fatal asthma attack.

O’Neill’s decision elicited a swift rebuke from Patrick Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association, who said that the commissioner "has chosen politics and his own self-interest over the police officers he claims to lead." "He has chosen to cringe in fear of the anti-police extremists, rather than standing up for New Yorkers who want a functioning police department, with cops who are empowered to protect them and their families,” Lynch said in a statement. “With this decision, Commissioner O’Neill has opened the door for politicians to dictate the outcome of every single NYPD disciplinary proceeding, without any regard for the facts of the case or police officers’ due process rights.”

Davie released a statement after the decision, saying that the Garner family and the public "finally have closure."

"Make no mistake: This process took entirely too long. And the tragic reality is that neither a verdict from a judge nor a decision by a police commissioner can reverse what happened on July 17, 2014," Davie said in the statement.

"Officer Daniel Pantaleo’s termination from the New York City Police Department does not make the death of Eric Garner any less harrowing. But it is heartening to know that some element of justice has been served."

New York Attorney General Letitia James released a statement after O'Neill's announcement.

"While we will never be able to change the events that transpired or bring Mr. Garner back, today, some semblance of justice is finally being served,” she said.

Cell phone video of Garner’s death was seen by millions around the world. His last words, "I can't breathe," became a rallying cry for grassroots organizations like Black Lives Matter, which continues to lead protest against police-involved deaths of unarmed civilians.

Chants of "Fire Pantaleo" interrupted Mayor Bill de Blasio during a Democratic presidential debate in Detroit in July.

Pantaleo's attorney, Stuart London, maintained that his client used a "seat belt" method -- a technique Pantaleo was formally taught -- to subdue Garner for allegedly selling loose cigarettes on Staten Island.

London has said that Garner caused his own death because of his weight and previously diagnosed health conditions.

Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch wanted O'Neill to support Pantaleo and not fire him in order to allow officers "to be effective again."

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DraganSaponjic/iStock(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) -- As the desperate search for two firefighters who disappeared during a fishing trip off the coast of Florida continues into its fourth day, the family confirmed that a bag located by civilian searchers did belong to one of the missing men.

Brian McCluney, a Jacksonville, Florida, firefighter, and Justin Walker, a member of the Fairfax, Virginia, fire department, were last seen on Friday launching a 22-foot fishing boat at Port Canaveral, near the Kennedy Space Center, U.S. Coast Guard officials said Sunday.

On Monday, officials had 37 boats out searching for them as well as 6 aircraft. Approximately 5,000 square miles of water was searched on Monday, according to Jacksonville Fire Rescue.

Around 11 a.m. Monday, an off-shore angular fishing bag was found by a civilian searcher about 50 nautical miles east of St. Augustine, officials said. Family has confirmed that the bag belonged to McCluney.

Search efforts will be increased Tuesday in the area where the bag was found. Officials are asking anyone with a boat that can go out 30 to 50 miles off shore to assist in the search.

Meanwhile, the wife of one of the missing men is speaking out about the circumstances surrounding the men's situation.

Stephanie McCluney, wife of Brian McCluney, expressed her concerns – and her resolve -- to ABC's local affiliate station in Jacksonville, Florida, WJXX.

"It was supposed to be a fairly short day on the water," she said. "I gave them until 6 p.m. maybe because the fishing was great. But 6 o'clock, I didn't hear and I still could see that he didn't read my messages – they hadn't even been delivered yet … at 8 p.m. we called the Coast Guard."

One of the main reasons McCluney and Walker were taking the fishing boat out for the day was to honor Brian McCluney's recently-departed father.

"[Brian] wanted to get those lines wet one more time. You know, one big final hurrah for his dad and it was just supposed to be one great day in his honor … he was excited to get out there on the water," said Stephanie McCluney.

Instead, the day ended with a massive search party being launched for the two missing men.

About 50 firefighters from the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department joined the Coast Guard in searching for the lost firefighters, combing the waters between Daytona Beach and Vilano in 11 boats over the weekend.

Also looking for the men were crews from the U.S. Navy, the Florida Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Brevard County Sheriff's Office. The Coast Guard also deployed a C-130 plane to search from the air.

Search-and-rescue crews had covered an estimated 24,000 miles of ocean between Port Canaveral and north of the city of Jacksonville, Coast Guard officials said on Twitter Monday morning.

"He was prior military, navy veteran. He has SERE [Search, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape] training, survival training through the navy. Of course, firefighter, paramedic. So he is built to help people. He was a combat medical corpsman during the push through Fallujah so if there is anyone built of an iron man, that's him," said Stephanie McCluney of her husband.

 Her confidence in her husband's ability to survive is not just based in the skills he learned throughout his career, but also bolstered by her faith.

"I have an army of support. I know that the ocean is large and my God I serve is larger. He can change the wind and the waters at his command. I have faith. I have so many prayer warriors behind me … the fire department hasn't left my side. I feel so well held between my spiritual family, my fire family, and my family family," McCluney described.

"If there is ever two people," McCluney stated confidently, "I mean those two men are survivors and they are going to find their way home."

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vmargineanu/iStock(NEW MIDDLETON, Ohio) -- The alleged white nationalist who was arrested for making threats towards a Jewish community center in Ohio appeared in court and pleaded not guilty.

The home of James Reardon Jr., 20, was raided, and authorities seized dozens of rounds of ammo, multiple semi-automatic weapons, a gas mask and bulletproof armor. In light of the alleged threats he made against a local Jewish community center, Reardon has been charged with telecommunications harassment and aggravated menacing.

If Reardon posts the $250,000 bond that was set against him, he will be released to house arrest and ordered to keep at least 500 feet away from Jewish places of worship or community centers. He will not be allowed to possess firearms, use social media, and be subject to random home searches.

The next hearing is set for Sept. 13.

Police have confirmed that Reardon, who was being held Monday morning in the Mahonging County Jail, was interviewed on camera in a National Geographic video during the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. That rally turned deadly when a white nationalist plowed his car into a group of counterprotesters.

Police initially became aware of Reardon on July 11 when he posted a video on Instagram of a man shooting a semi-automatic rifle with sirens and screams in the background. He tagged the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown in the post.

"That kicked off an intense investigation, a very rapidly evolving investigation, because of the way the world is," New Middletown Police Chief Vince D'Egidio told Youngstown ABC affiliate WYTV-TV.

During the raid on his house on Friday, police also discovered anti-Semitic and white nationalist propaganda.

Reardon had publicly stated that he wanted to see a homeland established for white people when he was interviewed for the National Geographic documentary, according to D'Egidio. Police also discovered that his social media feed was filled with racial slurs and derogatory statements about minorities.

"This is a person that has declared himself as a white nationalist. With the hate crimes and everything else going on, we want to make sure we do our part to make sure this person was taken off the streets very quickly," D'Egidio said.

The FBI has not yet announced whether they will pursue federal charges against Reardon.

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Marco Curaba/iStock(NEW YORK) -- New York Police Department Commissioner James O'Neill announced on Monday the decision to fire the police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, who was seen putting Eric Garner in a chokehold before he died.

That 2014 incident, which led to Garner's death, prompted outcry against the police, but it wasn't until Monday that O'Neill announced Pantaleo was fired.

Over the past five years, Pantaleo has been working on desk duty. O'Neill announced that he will be immediately terminated, allowed to keep any contributions he put into his pension, but will not be able to keep the vested pension.

Here is the full text of O'Neill's speech as prepared for delivery:

Good afternoon, everyone.

Today, I’m here to announce my decision in the disciplinary case of Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who is accused of violating NYPD policy while helping effect the lawful arrest of Eric Garner in Staten Island on July 17, 2014.

It is a decision that necessarily requires fairness and impartiality for Mr. Garner, who died following that encounter with police. It is also a decision that requires fairness and impartiality for Officer Pantaleo, who was sent by this department to assess a situation and take appropriate police action.

First, I will discuss how I reached my decision, and then I will answer any questions you have on this topic.

For some time prior to July 17, 2014, neighborhood residents purposely avoided the area in and directly around Tompkinsville Park in Staten Island. The conditions at that time arose from an array of criminal activity: Drug dealers worked the edges of the park, and across the street, selling narcotics. A handful of men regularly sold loose cigarettes made cheaper by the fact that New York State taxes had not been paid on them. A liquor store nearby sold alcohol to people who would drink that alcohol in the park – people who would sometimes use drugs, urinate, and pass out on benches there.

That summer, the week before, there had been reports of theft and two robberies in the park. There were 911, 311 and other complaints from residents and merchants on an ongoing basis. In some cases, warnings or summonses were issued. In other cases, arrests were made.

And that was the situation at Tompkinsville Park on the day Officer Pantaleo was sent with another officer to conduct an enforcement operation. When the second officer observed Mr. Garner hand out cigarettes in exchange for money, they approached Mr. Garner to make an arrest. That offense could have resulted in a summons, but Mr. Garner refused to provide identification, which meant he would have to be brought to the precinct for processing.

For several minutes on the widely-viewed video, Mr. Garner makes it abundantly clear that he will not go willingly with the police officers.

He refused to cooperate with the arrest and to comply with lawful orders. The video also makes clear that Officer Pantaleo’s original efforts to take Mr. Garner into custody were appropriate – in that he initially attempted two maneuvers sanctioned by the police department.

Officer Pantaleo first grabbed Mr. Garner’s right wrist and attempted an arm-bar technique in preparation for handcuffs to be used. Mr. Garner immediately twisted, and pulled and raised both of his hands while repeatedly telling the officers to not touch him. Officer Pantaleo then wrapped his arms around Mr. Garner’s upper body.

Up to that point in the tense and rapidly-evolving situation, there was nothing to suggest that Officer Pantaleo attempted to place Mr. Garner in a chokehold. But what happened next is the matter we must address.

The two men stumbled backward toward the large plate-glass window of the storefront behind them, and Officer Pantaleo’s back made contact with the glass, causing the window to visibly buckle and warp. The person videotaping the episode later testified at the NYPD trial that he thought both men would crash through the glass. It is at that point in the video, that Officer Pantaleo is seen with his hands clasped together, and his left forearm pressed against Mr. Garner’s neck in what does constitute a chokehold.

The NYPD court ruled that while certainly not preferable, that hold was acceptable during that brief moment in time because the risk of falling through the window was so high. But that exigent circumstance no longer existed, the court found, when Officer Pantaleo and Mr. Garner moved to the ground.

As Mr. Garner balanced himself on the sidewalk on his hands and knees, Deputy Commissioner of Trials Rosemarie Maldonado found that Officer Pantaleo “consciously disregarded the substantial and unjustifiable risks of a maneuver explicitly prohibited by the department.”

She found that during the struggle, Officer Pantaleo “had the opportunity to readjust his grip from a prohibited chokehold to a less-lethal alternative,” but did not make use of that opportunity.

Instead, even once Mr. Garner was moved to his side on the ground “with his left arm behind his back and his right hand still open and extended, [Officer Pantaleo] kept his hands clasped and maintains the chokehold. Mr. Garner’s obvious distress is confirmed when he coughs and grimaces.”

Moreover, Trials Commissioner Maldonado found that Officer Pantaleo’s conduct caused physical injury that meets the Penal Law threshold, and that his “recklessness caused multi-layered internal bruising and hemorrhaging that impaired Mr. Garner’s physical condition and caused substantial pain and was a significant factor in triggering an asthma attack.”

For all of these reasons taken together, even after reviewing Officer Pantaleo’s commendable service record of nearly 300 arrests and 14 departmental medals earned leading up to that day, Trials Commissioner Maldonado recommended that he be dismissed from the NYPD.

“In making this penalty recommendation,” she wrote, “this tribunal recognizes that from the outset Mr. Garner was non-compliant and argumentative, and further notes that the Patrol Guide allows officers to use ‘reasonable force’ when necessary to take an uncooperative individual into custody. What the Patrol Guide did not allow, however, even when this individual was resisting arrest, was the use of a prohibited chokehold.”

As you know, a number of external authorities have asked many of the same questions we have about this incident:

On August 19, 2014, about a month after Mr. Garner’s death, the Staten Island District Attorney’s Office announced it would empanel a grand jury and present evidence on the matter. On December 3, 2014, those 23 Staten Island residents voted to not indict Officer Pantaleo, clearing him of criminal wrongdoing.

That same day, the United States Attorney General announced that the U.S. Department of Justice would conduct its own investigation into Mr. Garner’s death, and weigh bringing federal civil rights charges against Officer Pantaleo.

In the intervening years, the Justice Department made ongoing requests to the NYPD – asking us to delay our internal disciplinary process until its civil rights investigation was complete. And we honored those requests as their process stretched from one administration to the next, with no action by federal prosecutors.

And so, on July 21, 2018, we decided to begin NYPD proceedings. Members of the public, in general, and Mr. Garner’s family, in particular, had grown understandably impatient. The trial began on May 13, 2019.

On July 16, 2019 – one day before the five-year statute of limitations expired, the Justice Department announced it would not file federal charges against Officer Pantaleo.

Then, on August 2, 2019, with Officer Pantaleo’s NYPD trial concluded, Trials Commissioner Maldonado ruled that: “[Officer Pantaleo’s] use of a prohibited chokehold was reckless and constituted a gross deviation from the standard of conduct established for a New York City police officer.”

After noting that Officer Pantaleo had admitted he was aware that chokeholds are prohibited by this department, she further concluded:

“With strongly-worded and repeated warnings about the potentially lethal effects of chokeholds found throughout multiple sections of the training materials, it is evident that the department made its 2006 recruits keenly aware of the inherent dangers associated with the application of pressure to the neck. Given this training, a New York City police officer could reasonably be expected to be aware of the potentially lethal effects connected with the use of a prohibited chokehold, and be vigilant in eschewing its use.”

From the start of this process, I was determined to carry out my responsibility as police commissioner unaffected by public opinions demanding one outcome over another. I examined the totality of the circumstances and relied on the facts. And I stand before you today confident that I have reached the correct decision.

But that has certainly not made it an easy decision.

I served for nearly 34 years as a uniformed New York City cop before becoming Police Commissioner. I can tell you that had I been in Officer Pantaleo’s situation, I may have made similar mistakes. And had I made those mistakes, I would have wished I had used the arrival of back-up officers to give the situation more time to make the arrest. And I would have wished that I had released my grip before it became a chokehold.

Every time I watched the video, I say to myself, as probably all of you do, to Mr. Garner: “Don’t do it. Comply.” To Officer Pantaleo: “Don’t do it.” I said that about the decisions made by both Officer Pantaleo and Mr. Garner.

But none of us can take back our decisions, most especially when they lead to the death of another human being.

I was not in Officer Pantaleo’s situation that day. I was chief of patrol and, later that year, chief of department. In that position, I proposed our Neighborhood Policing model so that the same cops would be in the same neighborhoods every day, so that relationships would replace preconceptions, so that problem-solving and prevention would become tools officers were trained in and supported in using.

And, therefore, one of the great challenges of the policing profession, here in New York City and elsewhere, will always remain arresting someone who intends to resist that arrest. Communication and de-escalation techniques are employed where possible, but – more often than the police and the public, alike, would prefer – varying levels of force are used to ensure compliance. Society gives our police the legal authority to use acceptable levels of force, when necessary, because police cannot otherwise do their jobs.

Every day in New York, people receive summonses or are arrested by officers without any physical force being used. But some people choose to verbally and/or physically resist the enforcement action lawfully being taken against them. Those situations are unpredictable and dangerous to everyone involved. The street is never the right place to argue the appropriateness of an arrest. That is what our courts are for.

Being a police officer is one of the hardest jobs in the world. That is not a statement to elicit sympathy from those we serve; it is a fact. Cops have to make choices, sometimes very quickly, every single day. Some are split-second life-and-death choices. Oftentimes, they are choices that will be thoroughly, and repeatedly, examined by those with much more time to think about them than the police officer had. And those decisions are scrutinized and second-guessed, both fairly and unfairly.

No one believes that Officer Pantaleo got out of bed on July 17, 2014, thinking he would make choices and take actions – during an otherwise routine arrest – that would lead to another person’s death. But an officer’s choices and actions, even made under extreme pressure, matter.

It is unlikely that Mr. Garner thought he was in such poor health that a brief struggle with police would cause his death. He should have decided against resisting arrest. But, a man with a family lost his life – and that is an irreversible tragedy. And a hardworking police officer with a family, a man who took this job to do good – to make a difference in his home community – has now lost his chosen career. And that is a different kind of tragedy.

In this case, the unintended consequence of Mr. Garner’s death must have a consequence of its own.

Therefore, I agree with the deputy commissioner of trials’ legal findings and recommendation. It is clear that Daniel Pantaleo can no longer effectively serve as a New York City police officer.

In carrying out the court’s verdict in this case, I take no pleasure. I know that many will disagree with this decision, and that is their right. There are absolutely no victors here today – not the Garner family, not the community at-large, and certainly not the courageous men and women of this police department, who put their own lives on the line every single day in service to the people of this great city.

Today is a day of reckoning but can also be a day of reconciliation.

We must move forward together as one city, determined to secure safety for all – safety for all New Yorkers and safety for every police officer working daily to protect all of us.


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Bastiaan Slabbers/iStock(PHILADELPHIA) -- An "extensive" investigation is underway after a gunman shot six Philadelphia police officers in a dramatic, hours-long standoff that left the city "reeling," prosecutors said Monday.

All officers survived the Wednesday violence and the suspected shooter, Maurice Hill, is in custody on charges including attempted murder.

But Anthony Voci, the district attorney's homicide chief, warned Monday that the "the scale of this investigation ... is immeasurable" and will take months to complete.

Over 100 rounds of ammunition were fired, Voci said, and investigators are now digging bullets out of cars, ceilings and walls.

Investigators are also working to process footage from over 250 body-worn cameras as well as footage from home surveillance cameras, Voci said.

"That is why it would be premature to talk about any and all the details as it relates to these charges because it's our anticipation that there will be more based on what we see on the film and what we find throughout the investigation," Voci said at a news conference on Monday.

Officers were serving a narcotics warrant on Hill and had entered a North Philadelphia home when gunfire erupted Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

Hill allegedly barricaded himself inside and fired from the first floor as he held two officers and three civilians hostage on the second floor, police said.

Gunfire rained down on police for hours. Gunshots ricocheted off sidewalks and homes as officers crawled and crouched behind cars to avoid getting hit.

After a tense, seven-hour standoff -- during which Hill and his lawyer spoke over the phone with the district attorney and police commissioner -- tear gas was deployed and Hill surrendered.

Hill, who has an "extensive" criminal record, has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault of a law enforcement officer, simple assault, unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment, violations of the uniforms firearms act, causing or risking a catastrophe and possession of an instrument of crime, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said at Monday's news conference.

Hill's attorney, Shaka Johnson, told ABC News last week that he believed the standoff wasn't planned. He said Hill, who welcomed a baby two days earlier, was caught up in the moment and the situation escalated quickly.

According to Johnson, Hill wasn't making demands to police and just wanted to end the situation in a way that ensured him no harm.

Hill will appear in court on Sept. 5, Krasner said. Johnson could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday.

Four others, whom Krasner did not name, were arrested in the case on charges including drug and paraphernalia possession and conspiracy, Krasner said Monday. They will appear in court on Sept. 3, Krasner said.

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Montgomery County Police Department(SILVER SPRING, Md.) -- Police in Maryland are investigating why a newborn baby girl was left alone in the woods without so much as a diaper.

The baby was rescued in Silver Spring, Maryland, on Friday when a passerby heard her crying from a nearby street, police said. The baby's cries may have saved her life.

"He went to investigate the sound and found a naked baby approximately ten feet from the sidewalk in the woods," the Montgomery County Department of Police said in a statement on Friday. "The female newborn was transported to a local hospital where she is in stable condition."

Medical personnel at the hospital said the baby appeared to be just a few hours old. Investigators located the child's mother on Sunday, but they have not determined why the baby was left naked and unattended.

Police said the mother was receiving medical care at a hospital, but did not offer details on her condition. The baby was listed in stable condition as of Sunday evening.

The department said its Special Investigations division is handling the ongoing probe and said "no additional information will be released at this time."

It also shared a link to the Maryland Department of Human Resources website to make residents aware of the state's safe haven law.

The law allows a "distressed parent" who is unable or unwilling to care for their infant to surrender custody of the baby with no questions asked.

Under the law, a parent, or another adult with the approval of the mother, has up to 10 days from birth to anonymously leave a baby with a responsible adult at a designated Safe Haven location, according to the Department of Human Resources.

“In Maryland, no one ever has to abandon a newborn baby," Department of Human Resources said in a statement. "A person who invokes Safe Haven is immune from civil liability or criminal prosecution provided the child is unharmed."

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Mitshu/iStock(EL PASO, Texas) -- Two teachers in El Paso, Texas, who put out a call for people to send postcards to their students after a mass shooting at a local Walmart, have been inundated with more than 1,000 cards and counting.

“It has been a very humbling experience to receive such an outpouring of love and kindness from everyone,” Teresa Garrett, a fourth-grade teacher at Tom Lea Elementary School, told ABC News' Good Morning America.

"We’re just so blessed and overwhelmed and happy with the response," said Elvira Flores, a fourth-grade teacher at Hillside Elementary School. "The students’ reactions are priceless."

Flores, an El Paso teacher for the past 20 years, decided to post a request on Facebook for cards for her students after feeling "sad and in disbelief" herself after a gunman opened fire at the Walmart on Aug. 3, killing 22 people and injuring more than two dozen others.

The gunman allegedly targeted the Walmart in El Paso, which sits near the U.S. border with Mexico, because it is frequented by Mexicans who come there to shop, according to police.

"The following day was going to be our first day of school and I thought, I don’t know [my students] yet but I know they need to hear this message, as opposed to the message of the man who came to our city," she said. "We heard his message. I wanted them to hear the voices of other people who love them."

Flores posted the request in a closed teachers' group on Facebook.

Garrett had meanwhile also been trying to think of ways to help the El Paso community. She said that when she saw Flores' post, she asked that her name and school address be included too.

“We are teachers in El Paso. We would like to know if anyone is interested in sending us postcards to help our students know there is plenty of good in the world,” the post read. “As teachers, we may only be able to say so much. We think concrete messages of support would help us calm some fears. Any thoughts?”

The post was quickly shared more than 1,000 times, according to Garrett.

“On Monday we took the addresses out and asked everyone to message us for the address and by Tuesday we took it down as we were overwhelmed by the response,” she said. “After we breathed and discussed it, we decided to go forward with the project.”

The teachers then began telling their students about what strangers were sending them, which included not just postcards but t-shirts, books, school supplies and even a football signed by the Notre Dame football team.

"One card had a fire truck on it and a student was so excited because he wants to be a fireman and he started asking all these questions about becoming one," Flores said. "Another girl whose dad was actually there [at the shooting[, she just smiled at her card."

Garrett is having her students deliver the items to other classrooms and said they “loved doing this act of kindness and paying it forward.”

Because of the overwhelming response to their request, Flores and Garrett plan to distribute the gifts and postcards they’ve received to other schools in the district of around 57,000 students.

“We are a family,” Garrett said. “To be honest, El Paso is a family. We may be large but as our Texas Pledge says, ‘We are one and indivisible.’”

The support for students in El Paso in the form of postcards and gifts is indicative of the support the community has felt as a whole, according to Melissa Martinez, a spokesperson for the El Paso Independent School District.
 
“I think people have just really opened up their hearts, whether they are here locally or from afar,” she said. “What the teachers experienced is really just indicative of what the community has experienced, an outpouring love and support.”

Flores said she wants the people sending postcards and gifts to El Paso students to know that "their message is being heard."

"I know that we won’t be able to respond to all of them but it’s made a huge difference for our community," she said. "I honestly believe there’s so much more good out there [than bad]."

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Tumultuous weather is expected to continue across much of the middle of the country after a weekend of heavy summer weather.

There were 422 damaging storm reports over the weekend from the central Plains into the Northeast corridor, including wind gusts of 94 MPH in Texas and winds topping 60 mph in Indiana, Ohio and Illinois.

The hot and humid air mass currently sitting over the Midwest will fuel storms expected to hit the Ohio Valley and the Northeast Monday and into Tuesday. Strong winds, lightning and heavy rain are expected.

By Tuesday, a new storm system is expected to replace the hot and humid air mass in the Midwest, and severe storms could be possible from Nebraska to Indiana with damaging winds, large hail and even isolated tornadoes.

The West Coast, however, will remain incredibly dry and hot for the early part of the week, with red flag warnings issued for most of Wyoming because of high fire danger.

Heat warnings that were in place over the weekend will also continue across much of the Southwest, all the way from California to Las Vegas and into Arizona with many areas anticipating record highs by midweek.

A similar weather pattern in the South will see the Heat Index close to 110 Fahrenheit through parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri.

That heat and humidity should stretch into the Northeast, with heat advisories issued up the east coast from Delaware to Massachusetts, where temperatures will approach 100 degrees Monday.

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Trinity County Sheriffs Office(NEW YORK) -- A Northern California hiker was found dead on Sunday after an intense three-day search, police said.

Rescuers found the body of Daniel Komins late Sunday morning in a remote wilderness area in the Trinity Alps, where he had embarked on a five-day solo hike on Aug. 10, according to the Trinity County Sheriff's Office.

His family reported the 34-year-old missing when he did not return home as planned on Aug. 14. Preliminary investigation indicates that he may have fallen "in the steep and rocky terrain," the office said.

"Komins’ remains were flown from the area via helicopter," the sheriff's office said in a statement Sunday. "Although this was not the outcome that was wanted, the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office as well as family members of Komins, wanted to thank the Search and Rescue members as well as all other volunteers, for assisting in bringing Daniel Komins home."

Komins, who is an experienced hiker, had spoken with his girlfriend on the night of Aug. 11 and "informed her that the trip was going as planned," according to the sheriff's office.

Komins' empty car was found near the trailhead on the same day, officials said. He had food, water and backpacking supplies with him on the hike.

"During the late morning, a California Highway Patrol helicopter observed what appeared to be a backpack. The backpack had been off trail, between L Lake and Mirror Lake," the statement said. "Ground search teams, who were already near the area, went to the location of the backpack in an effort to recover it. The backpack was recovered and later determined to have belonged to Komins."

Authorities had organized a 40-person ground search for him last week.

The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office, Trinity County Search, Butte County Search and Rescue, Marin County Search and Rescue, Contra Costa County Search and Rescue and the California Highway Patrol had all been involved in the search, which included ground and helicopter teams.

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