May 11, 2018

White Yale student calls police on napping black schoolmate, college vows to become ‘truly inclusive’

Michael Marsland/Yale University(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) -- Yale University needs more work to become "truly inclusive," a dean at the Ivy League school said after a white student there called police on a black classmate who had fallen asleep in their dormitory’s common area. "Incidents like that of last night remind us of the continued work needed to make Yale a truly inclusive place," Lynn Cooley, the dean of Yale's graduate school of arts and sciences, said in an email to students Tuesday. The graduate student, Lolade Siyonbola, sparked outrage about racial profiling Monday after she posted a video of her extended interaction with campus police officers and the white student who called them. "I deserve to be here. I pay tuition like everybody else," Siyonbola, a 34-year-old graduate student in African studies, said after police asked her for identification. "I'm not going to justify my existence here. "I really don't know if there's a justification for you actually being in the building," she said to the officers, after confirming her enrollment. Siyonbola even unlocked her dorm-room door in front of the officers to show she lived there after they insisted on seeing her ID. "We're in a Yale building and we need to make sure that you belong here," one officer said in the video. The officers said the encounter lasted longer than expected because her name appears differently in the school's database. In a statement to ABC News, Yale said it allows students to have their preferred name on their ID cards, which can differ from official records. The school is also reviewing the telephone call to campus police and their response. Police "are trained on unconscious bias, de-escalation techniques, and problem solving, and seek to treat each individual with respect," according to the statement. Siyonbola, who was questioned for nearly 20 minutes, said she had fallen asleep while working on a paper in a common room of her dorm. She told police that the female student who reported her suffered from mental illness and had called police on another student in the past. Another black graduate student told ABC affiliate WTNH that the same woman called police on him about a month ago. Reneson Jean-Louis told police the woman said to him at the time, "'You're making me uncomfortable. I don't feel safe around you. You're an intruder. You need to leave, you need to get out.' "This is, again, a blatant case of racial profiling that needs to be addressed at Yale, university-wide," he added. Dean Cooley said in her email that she's "committed to redoubling our efforts to build a supportive community in which all graduate students are empowered in their intellectual pursuits and professional goals within a welcoming environment." In an email to students, Kim Goff-Crews, vice president for student Life, said officers "subsequently admonished the complaining student that the other student had every right to be present." Yale still has “so much more to do," Goff-Crews said, adding that students can expect to see listening sessions scheduled "in the coming days and months." The incident is the latest in a string of recent high-profile encounters involving black people who have been wrongfully reported. Earlier this week, a group of black Airbnb renters in Southern California said they planned to sue the Rialto Police Department over how it responded to a 911 caller reporting a burglary at their rental location. A similar situation unfolded in downtown Philadelphia last month involving two black men at a Starbucks where a manager reported them because they'd hadn't purchased anything. Siyonbola didn't immediately respond to social media requests for additional comment, but she wrote about the incident on her Facebook page Tuesday afternoon: "Grateful for all the love, kind words and prayers, your support has been overwhelming. Black Yale community is beyond incredible and is taking good care of me. I know this incident is a drop in the bucket of trauma Black folk have endured since Day 1 America, and you all have stories. Share below if you feel led." Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
May 10, 2018

‘Golden State Killer’ suspect faces 4 more counts of murder

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- The "Golden State Killer" suspect has been charged with four more counts of murder in Santa Barbara County, California. Joseph James DeAngelo, a 72-year-old former police officer, was taken into custody in late April at his home in Citrus Heights in Sacramento County, the same county where his alleged crime spree began in 1976. The crimes continued across the state until 1986. DeAngelo faces eight other murder charges in Orange, Ventura and Sacramento counties as well. The latest charges in Santa Barbara County are in the deaths of Cheri Domingo and Greg Sanchez (Oct. 27, 1981) and Drs. Barbara Manning and Robert Offerman (Dec. 30, 1979). Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley said she "teared up" when she heard of DeAngelo's arrest. "[We were] always in search of truth and justice,” Dudley said. Officials are looking at evidence to determine whether DeAngelo can be connected to any other crimes as well. DeAngelo, who has adult children, was a police officer in Exeter in central California from 1973 to 1976, officials said. He was then a police officer in Auburn in Northern California from 1976 to 1979 until he was fired, officials said. The "Golden State Killer" is believed to have killed at least 12 people and raped more than 50 people. DeAngelo has not yet entered a plea to any of the charges against him. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
May 10, 2018

Police make arrest in ‘road rage’ killing of Air Force veteran

Courtesy Kerrie Harter(ST. LOUIS, Mo.) -- Missouri police have made an arrest in the killing of a 24-year-old Air Force veteran and Missouri Air National Guard reservist who was stabbed in an apparent road rage incident. Detectives had been working around the clock to solve the death of Cody Harter, Sgt. Chris Depue, a spokesman for the Lee's Summit Police Department, told ABC News over the weekend. Several witnesses saw the two men "arguing" outside of Harter's truck and the suspect's vehicle -- both were pulled over and jutting out of a median between Interstate 470 and MO-291, Depue said. Harter was driving his maroon Chevy Silverado C71 extended cab, with a newly purchased lawnmower in the back, around 7:30 p.m. Saturday when he apparently pulled over and stepped outside to argue with another driver. The suspect was driving a "mid-size car," Depue said. "Both cars were stopped near the middle of the road," Depue said, noting multiple witnesses would have had to navigate around them to avoid seeing the men square off. "The witnesses have told us that it looked like they were arguing," he added. "You could tell by their body language there was an altercation." Moments later, a wounded Harter was then seen staggering into traffic, eventually finding the arms of a good Samaritan who held him and prayed with him until his dying breath, Cody Harter's mother, Kerrie Harter, said. "At this point, police are looking at road rage as the probable cause," Depue said. "There's nothing to indicate a robbery occurred." Kerrie Harter described her son as a dutiful soldier who "would help anybody" and was about to graduate with an engineering degree from Missouri Western State University. "He had been to war and back, and to die because someone was angry?" she said. "My son drove 65 miles per hour because he was so frugal with his gas mileage. I can only imagine someone was upset because he wasn't going fast enough. But that's not a reason to take his life and leave him there." In a statement, The Missouri National Guard said it was "sad to learn of the death of Senior Airman Cody Michael Harter ... our thoughts and prayers are with [his] family and loved ones." Cody Harter enlisted in the National Guard in 2012 and completed an overseas deployment to Qatar as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the statement confirmed. Harter, his family said, recently was part of the military response to hurricanes that ravaged both Houston and Puerto Rico. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
May 10, 2018

Volcano observatory warns of further ‘explosive eruptions’ in Hawaii

U.S. Geological Survey(HONOLULU) -- The threat of dangerous volcanic activity in Hawaii could continue for weeks and violent explosions could occur with "very little warning," the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory cautioned on Wednesday. The observatory, which is part of the U.S. Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program, released a warning stating that the current conditions near and in the Kilauea volcano may provoke further explosions. The lowering of the lava lake at the volcano "has raised the potential for explosive eruptions in the coming weeks," the agency said in its statement. "At this time, we cannot say with certainty that explosive activity will occur, how large the explosions could be, or how long such explosive activity could continue," the observatory added. Part of the concern about a steam-driven explosion is that there will be "very little warning" before it occurs. The observatory warned that "a sequence of violent steam-driven explosions may be the first sign that activity of concern has commenced." The threat of future explosions was not the only bad news to come out in the past 24 hours. The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said a new fissure had opened near the Kilauea volcano, bringing the total number of vents in the area to 15. Lava continued to spread throughout Wednesday as well, increasing the coverage area from 104 acres to 116.57 acres Thursday morning, the agency wrote in a Facebook post. In their latest update Thursday morning, the agency noted that there has been no change in damage to property, however, with the number of destroyed structures remaining at 36 overnight. The eruptions at the Kilauea volcano began a week ago on May 3. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.