• City of Iowa City(IOWA CITY, Iowa) — Police released bodycam footage showing an encounter last week between a black University of Iowa football player and officers who were looking for a robbery suspect.The video was released Tuesday and shows defensive end Faith Ekakitie being stopped and searched by police in Benton Hill Park in Iowa City on July 20. Police said Ekakitie had matched the description of a suspect involved in an armed robbery just 10 minutes earlier.The incident was first described by Ekakitie in a Facebook post the same day of the encounter. Ekakitie said it was "the first time that I've ever truly feared for my life," but added that the police handled the situation "very professionally" once they realized that he was not the suspect.At the beginning of the nearly seven-minute-long video, an officer can be heard telling Ekakitie to put his hands up while they approached him. The same officer could also be heard saying "It's probably not you, but we've got to double check."Ekakitie wrote that he was playing "Pokemon Go" in a public park when he was surrounded by police "with four gun barrels staring me in the face." Ekakitie said he feared for his life but understood why police did what they did.He admitted he was wearing headphones while playing the popular mobile app and didn't hear when officers initially approached him. An officer could also be heard telling another officer that Ekakitie did have his headphones on."I was actually playing Pokemon Go, believe it or not," Ekakitie said while being searched. "I believe it, actually," the officer replied.After the officers check Ekakitie's ID, one thanks him for his cooperation."Within two minutes of the initial contact, officers determined that Mr. Ekakitie was not the suspect." The Iowa City police department said in a statement. "Officers then explained why they had detained him. After routine checks to verify Mr. Ekakitie’s identify were completed, officers left the park.""I would also urge people to be more aware of their surroundings because clearly I wasn't," admitted Ekakitie.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The alleged hack into Democratic National Committee e-mails has heightened vigilance against cyber-attacks at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, according to the Secret Service.“We are trying to be proactive in addressing the cyber threat,” Agent Kyo Dolan of the Secret Service told ABC News.The Secret Service is leading a multi-layered effort to block potential hackers and other potential threats to the convention. The most visible part of the agency’s job, of course, is the physical protection of the candidates and the convention venue. There are the usual guards, gates and guns protecting the convention and its estimated 30,000 participants. But that’s hardly where the security ends.Secret Service agents took ABC News behind the scenes in Philadelphia to show us some of the multi-layered, technological fortress that is in place to protect the convention’s critical systems, and computer networks.“Every security enhancement available has been rolled out for the political conventions — some you can see, and some you can’t,” Dolan said.To combat the cyber threat, agents and analysts have set up an extensive computer monitoring system to track internet activity around the convention — the command center at the convention in is close touch with the Secret Service monitoring center at headquarters in Washington. Agents closely watch various networks looking for any kind of abnormal or suspicious activity.Dolan pointed out that national political conventions can make appealing targets for hackers.“When our protected are on a national stage like this … they are attracting various personnel, various actors and adversaries that possibly want to either cause embarrassment, disrupt the evens, or cause –potentially—harm to our protesters.”In addition to watching for cyber-attacks aimed at groups or individuals, agents are also on the alert for any internet activity that could threaten the critical systems of the Wells Fargo Center, the site of the convention.Dolan agreed that it is no longer science fiction to worry about hackers being able to access internal system controls and cutting the power, or shutting off the flow of water.“That capability is certainly possible,” Dolan said.Added to the beefed up cyber-security, a tighter credentialing system has been put in place for this year’s conventions. Embedded in each plastic ID card issued is a chip that sends out a radio frequency that is picked up by scanners located at the various entry points.“It’s automatically scanned,” Tonya Abbott of the Secret Service said of the new ID’s. “It’s not one of those where you have to physically scan.”The scanners read the radio signal to confirm the person’s identity as they approach the entry, so the security personnel will know whether that person is cleared for entry -- or not, even before they arrive at the door.The back-to-back Republican and Democratic conventions posed a challenge to the Secret Service, but Dolan and other agents told us they are used to the pace. After they finish in Philadelphia this week, some will be headed off to Martha’s Vineyard, to protect President Obama as he heads off on a family vacation.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Georgia State Lottery(WAYCROSS, Ga.) — A Georgia man who won millions in the lottery could face life in prison after pleading guilty to using a portion of his prize to invest in a crystal meth operation.Ronnie Music Jr., 45, of Waycross, Georgia, pleaded guilty last week to federal drug and gun charges after U.S. attorneys presented evidence that he "conspired with others to possess and distribute kilograms of methamphetamine," according to a statement released by the Department of Justice (DOJ)."The investigation revealed that in September, 2015, Music’s co-conspirators were caught attempting to sell approximately 11 pounds of crystal meth, with a street value in excess of $500,000," said the DOJ.Federal agents seized over $1 million worth of meth, a large cache of firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, multiple vehicles, and over $600,000 in cash as part of the case."Music decided to test his luck by sinking millions of dollars of lottery winnings into the purchase and sale of crystal meth," said U.S. Attorney Ed Tarver. "As a result of his unsound investment strategy, [he] now faces decades in a federal prison."Music had won $3 million in a Georgia Lottery scratch off game in February, 2015, according to Georgia Lottery's website.Music will be sentenced by a judge in the Southern District of Georgia and faces a maximum possible sentence of life in prison.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Amid deadly shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a major purchase of heavy ballistic protective equipment by the country's largest police department illustrates the sense of danger among cops that experts say is at its highest in decades.The New York City Police Department -- which employs more officers than any other police force in the country -- announced on Monday that it would spend $7.5 million to buy 6,000 heavy ballistic vests and 20,000 ballistic helmets for its officers.The purchase, the department and the mayor said, was in response to recent terror attacks, mass shootings and police ambushes.For John Cohen, an ABC News contributor with over 30 years in law enforcement and homeland security experience, the recent incidents have cast a specter of danger over the law enforcement community unlike anything he has seen over his career.The NYPD's purchase of the body armor, he said, is the product of an evolving threat that law enforcement on American streets now face on a regular basis and the changing expectations we have of those who are often the public’s first line of defense.And he predicts that the NYPD will only be the first department to make a major purchase like this in wake of recent attacks.“Law enforcement officers are increasingly having to respond to heavily armed individuals using high-capacity weapons seeking to commit mass murder,” he said. “Criminals are going in with a plan, high-capacity weapons, and their job is to kill as many people as possible.”And whether it's an ideologically motivated terror attack or the work of a deranged person with a grievance, police officers are expected to intervene in ways that they weren’t previously.In recent years, Cohen explained, tactics have changed -- seeing first responders engage with active shooters directly rather than wait for backup.“Based on the increasing number of mass casualty attacks, more and more patrol officers are needing tactical gear that they can put on quickly so that they can enter a mass shooting scene while its ongoing and seek to engage with the shooter and stop him from killing more people,” he said.And increasingly, cops aren’t just protecting members of the public, but are increasingly becoming the targets of violence themselves.“We are actually seeing an increase in police officers being the target of extremist groups and others,” who are trying to bring, “notoriety to their cause,” Cohen said.And regardless of whether perpetrators are targeting members of the public or the police themselves, Cohen said, experts have noticed that “criminals are generally using higher caliber weapons with higher capacity magazines.”This evolving threat requires new equipment that isn’t regularly worn underneath the uniforms by officers patrolling our streets, he said.The body armor needed to stop rounds coming from rifles, as opposed to handguns, is much heavier, more expensive, is worn outside of the uniform and features greater protection than the standard-issue Kevlar vests most officers currently wear.The new body armor, however, likely wouldn’t be worn on a day-to-day basis, but would be available to first responders during major incidents.“The idea is that you have patrol cars where they may have this heavier gear in the back that they can throw that on to deal with an issue,” Cohen said.The NYPD said that it will place two of these heavier vests -- which feature “level-three” protection -- in some 3,000 vehicles.“Once again, we’re seeing NYPD leading the way, not only in the way they’re dealing with these problems, but making sure their officers have the type of equipment needed to deal with them as well,” Cohen said. “I think it's safe to say that most state and local agencies will go the way of the NYPD in providing this typ
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- The state of California declared a state of emergency Tuesday night, as firefighters feverishly tried to control a fast-moving wildfire that has scorched 37,473 acres near Los Angeles since Friday, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department."Acting Governor Tom Torlakson today issued emergency proclamations for Los Angeles and Monterey counties due to the effects of the Sand and Soberanes fires, which have burned tens of thousands of acres of land, threatened thousands of homes and other structures and caused the evacuation of residents," read a statement from the office of California governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.More than 3,000 firefighters have been deployed to halt the blaze in the Santa Clarita Valley, according to the department. About 25 percent of the fire has been contained.About 10,000 homes were evacuated because of the massive blaze, dubbed the Sand fire. Some evacuated residents were allowed to return to their homes last night, fire officials announced, while residents of areas still deemed too dangerous were not.As of yesterday, one death has been reported, and 18 structures have been destroyed, officials said.The U.S. Forest Service has asked residents not to fly drones over the fire."Recent drone activity has occurred over the fire in the Bear Divide area. When drones interfere with firefighting efforts, a wildfire has the potential to grow larger and cause more damage. On the Sand fire­­, an FAA temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in effect, and any private aircraft or drone that violates the TFR could face serious criminal charges," according to a statement on the agency's site.
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  • Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As heat advisories popped up again across the Mid-Atlantic and a heat wave continued in the East, people were reminded again of the deadly dangers of kids and cars as two additional heat-related child deaths were reported.KidsAndCars said late Monday that it had learned of two additional children -- one in Florida and another in Missouri -- who had died after being found in hot cars this weekend.That raised the total number of children who have died of heatstroke in a vehicle so far this year from 23. KidsAndCars said that a total of 25 children had died in heat-related car deaths in 2015."We simply cannot accept these deaths as tragedies and move on," the organization said in a news release.In Missouri, the McDonald County Sheriff's Office said that a 2-year-old boy, identified by his family as Raiden Wells, had been found unconscious around 3 p.m. Saturday inside a vehicle parked in the yard of a home in Rocky Comfort.The boy and other children had been playing in the yard as the father checked on them repeatedly, authorities said. When the father did not see the boy with the others, he went looking and found him in the back floorboard of the four-door vehicle, authorities said."The car's doors were locked and the father immediately broke a side window to gain access to the child," the sheriff's office said in a statement, which also noted that the father called 911 and then started CPR.The little boy was taken to a hospital in Joplin, Missouri, where he was pronounced dead.Rocky Comfort was under an excessive heat warning that weekend, with temperatures in the mid- to upper-90s as well as high humidity, according to the National Weather Service.Authorities said its Children's Division would be investigating.In Dallas, police were still investigating the death of a 2-year-old boy who had been left in a hot car as his family attended church Sunday. The little boy's death made him the fifth child to die in a hot car in Texas this year.National Heatstroke Awareness Day is Sunday, according to the National Child Passenger Safety Board. The board offered several safety tips, including never leaving a child in a car; calling 911 if you see a child unattended in a car; and always locking your car and teaching your children not to play in vehicles.
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