8 killed in New York City truck attack


Police and witnesses say a man deliberately drove a rented truck onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center in Manhattan which killed eight people and injured at least 12 others.

The man later got out of the truck waved around a fake gun before being shot by police.  He was wounded and taken into custody.

“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians.  It was a very painful day in our city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

This was the deadliest act of terror in New York City since 9/11.

The suspect was identified by law enforcement as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, a 29-year-old truck driver from New Jersey and Florida.  He immigrated to the U.S. from Uzbekistan in 2010.

A federal law enforcement source said a note had been found inside the truck that was in reference to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Saipov does not appear to have an extensive criminal background, according to the FBI and the NYPD.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the attack appeared to be a “lone wolf” incident with no links to a wider terrorist plot.

The incident occurred at West Street and Chambers Street at 3:05 p.m.  The truck drove down a bike path for about four blocks and stuck cyclists and pedestrians before moving back into traffic lanes and striking a school bus.

The media should pay very close attention to the fact that this attack occurred without the use of any firearms.  Lately the media has been giving a lot of attention towards the possibly of banning firearms to increase safety.  However, I believe that they do not realize that there are many other ways that criminals commit murder.

This incident shows that even without a gun, a person can murder multiple people at the same time.  Firearms aided the police in this situation.  They wound the man with their firearms and stop him from creating anymore havoc.

If firearms are banned, I believe that terrorists will find other ways commit mass murder.  As seen in Nice, France last year, a trunk ran over and killed 86 people.  This was more than the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history last month that killed 58 people.

Media should report these facts accordingly and point out the fact that this incident shows banning guns will not solve the occurrence of mass murders.

Teenagers face jail after rock kills man


Five teenagers are charged with second degree murder after throwing rocks from a bridge above a highway that killed a man.

Kenneth White was riding in the passenger seat of his co-worker’s van on his way from from work, when a rock smashed into car, hitting him in the face and killing him instantly.

Police stated that after the boys had thrown 20 rocks onto the highway as they went to go eat lunch at a McDonald’s.

The boys range from 14 to 17 years of age, but are being charged as adults. They are being charged with second degree murder as well as conspiracy to commit murder and destruction of property. They have pleaded not guilty and have been denied bond.

White’s fiancé, Aimee Cagle, sat down with reporters to talk about this tragedy. She said that White was a good father and a good man. She also said that she hopes the boy who threw the rock is sentenced to life in prison.

The news media have been tracking this story and updating the public on the charges and court hearings. Cases like these are tragic and sensitive, however the news media have done a great job informing the public on updated information.

What happened in Las Vegas?


Conspiracy theorists rejoice — Fox News’ Tucker Carlson is making waves.

The popular talk show host recently held a segment covering how little we know of what occurred leading up to, during and after the Las Vegas shooting from earlier this month. Carlson specifically attacked the story of the only eyewitness Jesus Campos, revealing that Campos left the country days after the shooting and is not in fact a licensed security guard as his testimony to police stated. Carlson raised many unnerving questions and pointed out that as this investigation proceeds, the information — or lack there of, for that matter – becomes more unclear.

Carlson’s assessment of events in Las Vegas is necessary. Falling short of conspiracy theorizing and speculation, he points out the shortcomings of the information received by the public and the misinformation that has been espoused. Most importantly, however, is the fact that Carlson is covering the story at all.

There has been what some have called a news media blackout in regard to the Las Vegas Shooting over the past few weeks. Most likely this is because no new, concrete evidence has turned up since the shooting, but the lack of attention the media is giving the largest mass shooting in modern American history is particularly surprising.

Looking at what information authorities and the public have, we should be increasingly aware at how little we know, despite many logistical questions and a substantial period of time. The current news media are no strangers to speculation or calling into question missing pieces of an investigative puzzle; they have been harping the same Donald Trump collusion with Russia in the 2016 election for about a year now. But the Las Vegas story is not receiving the same treatment. That is not right.

I am wary of even writing on the lack of attention given to this mystery out of fear of riling conspiracy theory and government sabotage, etc. Conspiracists will jump on anything if you give them the chance. Thankfully, Carlson does none of that. He merely reminds viewers that there is more we don’t know about Las Vegas than is typical or justified. And after seeing his segment I have to wonder, why isn’t this receiving more attention?

It is a difficult story to develop, no doubt, as many people are directly affected by the tragedy and the risk of spreading rumors is great in an event of this proportion. However, silence is also not appropriate. The news media used to be on the ground floor discovering new leads when they broke, but for this story it seems we are stuck with speculation and unanswered questions.

Police charge 10 in LSU fraternity hazing


Police at Louisiana State University have issued arrest warrants for 10 Phi Delta members in an investigation on whether fraternity hazing lead to the death of a freshman student.

The student, Maxwell Gruver was a Phi Delta pledge from Roswell, Georgia whose death last month had been ruled accidental and was caused by “acute alcohol intoxication with aspiration,” according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office.

Gruver’s blood alcohol was 0.495.  Anything above 0.4 carries a moderate risk of death.

Last month, LSU President F. King Alexander said the 18-year-old’s death is being investigated as a “potential hazing incident.”

“As we’ve continually warned over and over again, hazing is dangerous, irresponsible, and unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated at LSU period,” said Alexander.

All of the 10 fraternity members were charged with hazing.  One of them faces an additional charge of negligent homicide.

Phi Delta’s LSU chapter has been suspended by the university and by the fraternity’s national office.  The national office also has opened an investigation into the incident.

Hazing incidents such as these happen far too often at American universities and colleges.  I believe the news media do not put enough effort and reporting into these cases.

Hazing deaths happen multiple times each year and usually do not receive major coverage. If college students and administrators saw these stories in the national news, they would likely think twice about the risks they bring to campuses.

With broader coverage of these stories, students would likely take time to reflect and think before deciding to join a fraternity.  Many would realize that making friends and getting into parties is never worth the risk of death.

News media miss an opportunity


Stephen Paddock killed 58 people from his 32nd floor room at the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Sunday, Oct. 1, during the Harvest Music Festival. He was  found dead.

The news media categorized this act of horror as the largest massive attempt of the U.S. history. Every newspaper in the nation, every magazine, TV news and Internet news outlet reporting has something to show  every day about this story.

During a whole week the construction and de-construction of the events, the characters, police interventions, President Trump meeting the families of the victims, witnesses snapshots and testimonials have saturated the news media. It has been a written and visual message of dead bodies, injured people and desperate families of the victims. It has become an open competition to monopolize the space to sell sensational horror news.

The press lost the great opportunity to fulfill one of the most noble aims of journalism. That of reporting and providing a strong opinion on the need of severely regulating the purchase and use of weapons.

We lost the chance to show that the news media can be a powerful weapon, not for evil, but for good. It should be used to generate thinking and commitment from the public.

Security addressed after Vegas shooting


Sunday evening in Las Vegas left many people without a friend, a sibling, a parent, a son, a daughter. And, as any tragedy, it happened in an unexpected place at an unexpected time.

Till now 58 people were shot dead at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, and more than 450 were injured.  Stephen Paddock, 64, shot festival attendees from the 32nd floor of a hotel room in Mandalay Bay Hotel.

Paddock had capability of bringing 23 guns to his hotel room, 12 of which were semi-automatic guns, also known as self-loading guns. What is worrying people is that the assassin could transport all those firearms in the hotel without going unnoticed. This brings to the surface the issue of safety and security in hotels, as well as music festivals.

Bruce Mclndoe, president of iJet international, said the Las Vegas attack has stimulated immediate changes to security protocols.

iJet international preforms around 400 security inspections globally every year.

Mclndoe said that it is likely that hotels will have to train their security surveillance staff to inspect customers with items that could be rifles such as; fishing gear, skis and other long items.

Another tactic addressed to increase security measured was more specific to the idea of gatherings in outdoor situations. In an e-mail response, former director of the Center for Security Policy Studies at George Mason University, Audrey Cronin, addressed the shooting as “Horrifying but not unprecedented.” Pointing out that having large number of people in an open space next to a tall structure, makes people an easier target.

Cronin highlighted that typically, when major political events take place, law enforcement has access to high places nearby.  She suggested that this procedure also be applied to other types of gatherings, which will most likely imply changes to hotel security. Cronin said, “Unfortunately, our law enforcement practices must often adapt in the wake of major tragedies.”

Many articles also mentioned the idea of baggage screening and metal detectors in hotels. The opinion of many concerning the idea of adding metal detectors is very unlikely in hotels, especially in Las Vegas, where hotels are connected to casinos and the business model would be damaged.

The Las Vegas shooting last Saturday, Oct. 1, is the deadliest shooting in U.S. history, it will continue to be addressed and discussed, hopefully, this tragedy will lead to change, some real outcomes.

Even though violence can never be completely stopped, I do think that it is important to continue to improve security, especially in a time where gun violence in public scenarios is becoming more present. The news articles covered a lot of useful information but I really think that the changes that will be made in the Mandalay Bay hotel, should be investigated.

Challenges reporting breaking news


Last Sunday, there was a mass shooting in Las Vegas during Jason Aldean’s concert performance. A lone gunman unleashed bullets from the 32nd floor of Mandala Bay Casino and Resort.

The shooter killed at least 58 people and injured more than 500 others attending a country music festival below, according to officials.

The initially unknown shooter, now identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, fired shot after shot from his room at the hotel down on the crowd of about 22,000.

Terrified concertgoers were literally running for their lives. It has been the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

As one can see, this story was breaking news late on Sunday and early on Monday. However, most of the information was incomplete and unknown. It is a story that has been developing during the week. Each day adds new information that sometimes leads to new stories.

This is one of the challenges of covering breaking news. Sometimes you could get more information, details and sources than others.

The process begins with an alert that carries immediate, yet very limited information. That would be the first news on Sunday night. Next comes the news break, which includes the answer to main facts (who? what? when? where?), the source and the circumstances.This would be the stories from Monday and Tuesday talking about the details of the event, most importantly who committed the act and why.

Last, but not least, the updates and second stories that are stories carrying an earlier report by weaving together fresh developments, reactions, added context and analysis. These are stories like the ones about the gunman’s girlfriend, heroes that saved lives, interviews with the killer’s family.

Little by little, journalists get to weave the story, starting from the very basic and developing into the more complex details.

It doesn’t matter what his name is


This past Sunday a lone gunman unleashed rapid-fire bullets from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel, killing at least 58 people and injuring more than 500 others attending a three-day country music festival.

The act was the single-deadliest mass shooting in American history. Only one shooter was connected to the act. Inside his hotel room in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Vegas Strip was 23 guns and another 19 were found inside his house.

The suspect, who is now deceased, checked into the hotel on Sept. 28 and it was likely that he requested a room on a high floor overlooking the festival grounds, overlooking the 22,000 attendees at the concert.

President Trump visited Las Vegas on Wednesday to pay his respects and offer his condolences. Several other politicians and entertainers expressed their sorrow on social media with the hashtag, #prayforlasvegas, which has been trending on Twitter.

Police are lost as they are still looking into what the motive is for this act of pure evil. After interviewing several people close to the shooter and digging up almost every detail about his past, investigators are stumped.

The problem with the reporting of the shooting is far too many news media outlets are using the shooter’s picture and his name as if it was the president’s. They’re creating a situation of martyrdom and creating a following for him.

The truth of the matter is, it doesn’t matter what his name is. It doesn’t matter what is gender is, his age is, his occupation is, his demeanor, where he lives, who his family is, or what his hobbies are.

TMZ the infamous celebrity gossip site took this too far when they released an article titled, SHOOTER DOESN’T FIT MASS SHOOTER PROFILE. They had this great quote, “The 64-year-old Nevada resident lived in a retirement community. He has no criminal record, at least none we’ve been able to find so far. We found Paddock has a hunting license in Alaska. He got a pilot’s license in 2003, which means he’s undergone some physical and mental evaluation.”

This is disgusting. A man killed 58 people and injured more than 500 people. Then he killed himself. He fits the mass shooter profile because he acted as a mass shooter. It doesn’t matter if he was mentally insane, or if he was “normal” to the eyes of police. He committed an act of violence and caused devastation. His name, picture and background doesn’t need to be shared. He is a mass murderer.

58 killed in Las Vegas shooting


A gunman opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and injuring more than 500. This occurred late on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017.

The shooter has been identified as Stephen Paddock, who was found dead by self inflicted injury in his hotel room. Paddock was staying in the Mandalay Bay Resort. Just past 10 p.m., on Sunday is when Paddock began shooting at people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival from his hotel room.

Videos of the shooting have been posted on Twitter, showing people running and screaming as the gunfire began. Country singer Jason Aldean had just started singing his last song of the night when the shooting started. He quickly ran off stage to take cover.

Country singer Jake Owen had performed before Aldean but was still at the festival watching Aldean perform before the start of the shooting, He spoke to CNN on the phone and said, “it was ringing off the top of the stage, you can hear it hitting trailers, people scattering, here and there, it was chaos.”

Being that this incident has been the largest shooting in modern United States history, the news media have been very sensitive and respectful. I saw several videos on reporters talking to people who were there and the police officers who were on the scene and they were very considerate towards them. The news media did a great job handling and covering this tragedy, being that it is a very serious and devastating event that occurred.

End of Pitino era at Louisville


This past Tuesday, the FBI announced that 10 people, with four being college basketball assistant coaches, have been charged and arrested in connection to fraud, bribery and corruption in the world of college basketball.

Coaches from prominent universities such as the University of Miami and the University of Arizona were linked to the investigation. But no school was connected more than the University of Louisville. Athletic Director Tom Jurich and infamous Coach Rick Pitino were both placed on administrative leave.

The basketball program acknowledged it was part of the scandal and allegedly collaborated with Adidas to pay an unnamed basketball recruit $100,000 to attend the University. The player in question is most likely five-star Brian Bowen, who was just suspended indefinitely by the university.

This scandal around Pitino is just one piece of a tarnished career. Two years ago Pitino was suspected of hiring prostitutes to entice basketball recruits into attending Louisville and was to serve a five game suspension this upcoming season because of that scandal.

Bleacher Report writer Jason King hits the nail on it’s head in his article titled, “FBI Bribery Scandal Reveals Rick Pitino Wasn’t Just a Hall of Famer, but a Phony.” In this article, King outlines Pitino’s fall from grace as a former mastermind of college basketball, who at his best, should be placed in the conversation with legendary coaches such as John Wooden and Mike Krzyzewski. Instead Pitino did acts that cost him his credibility and destroyed his name.

King accurately looked at Pitino as the perpetrator, not the victim, which he so rightfully deserved. He also took quotes from other Coaches in college basketball and related pitino to other successful coaches who did not break the rules.

In the end, Pitino did all of this to himself. From a fantastic coach who led Providence to a Final Four berth to all the way to 2013 where he won a national championship with only one player who is currently in the NBA. He started colluding and started to dig his own grave. Although Pitino pleaded ignorance, it’s hard to believe that a coach as smart as him, wouldn’t know what’s going on in his own program.

Texas’ mom arrested children die in hot car


The Parker County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office arrested Cynthia Marie Randolph, 24, for the deaths of her 2-year-old daughter and 16-month-old son, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

According to Randolph, she left them in the car to teach her daughter a lesson.

“Throughout multiple interviews, Randolph created several variations of the events which led to the death of her children,” the release said.

On May 26, Randolph found her children fooling off around the car at 12:15 p.m. To teach them a lesson, Randolph closed the car door “to teach her daughter a ‘lesson,’ thinking ‘she could get herself and her brother out of car when ready.”

Randolph then went inside and smoked marijuana before falling asleep for two or three hours. According to authorities, Randolph purposely broke into the car window to make the deaths look like an accident.

The children “entered the vehicle on their own and had locked themselves inside,” according to the release. She claimed that she broke one of the car’s windows to try to save them, said Randolph.

This incident is very unfortunate, knowing that the mother of her children lacks the love to care for her children. The real question, though, lies in whether marijuana and sleep was logically more important than the well being of her children left unattended and uncared for prior to the time of her death.

Life is something one cannot get back. The past will no longer return, life has been lost, future doctors, lawyers, engineers or even journalists that could potentially change the world, gone due to a woman’s lack of responsibility. This is problematic of her standing and this crime should not go unnoticed.

Randolph facing a two felony charges in the deaths of her children, the sheriff’s office said.

Robbers dressed as cops invade home


Two robbers impersonating police officers handcuffed a South Miami-Dade couple and stole cash from their safe at 3 a.m. on Tuesday.

No one was injured and all three of the couple’s children stayed asleep during the robbery.

Miami-Dade police Detective Argemis Colome said police don’t know how much was taken from the home just west of Palmetto Bay and robbers wore long-sleeved shirts with “Police” on a side along with police insignia, law enforcement-like vests and fake badges.

I believe The Miami Herald could have included safety tips and instructions when answering the door to someone who is believed to be of authority, especially so late at night, to prevent themselves from being in a situation that could possibly be more dangerous.

Girlfriend sends chilling text in suicide


After the life-ending tragedy of Conrad Roy III in July 2014, who inhaled carbon monoxide in his pickup truck, Samantha Boardman, friend, said she received a gruesome text message from Roy’s girlfriend.

According to CNN, Michelle Carter, 17, Roy’s girlfriend, said “He got out of the car because it was working and he got scared and I f—–g told him to get back in.”

“Is there any way a portable generator can kill you somehow?” the message said.

“Because he said he was getting that and some other tools at the store.”

Later, Carter allegedly wrote, “No more pushing it off,” “No more waiting.”

During the time of death on July 13, 2014, Roy was found dead in a Kmart parking lot in Fairhaven, Mass., approximately 40 miles from his home. Roy was wearing a blue T-shirt, shorts and sunglasses, during the time of the scene.

Text messages, such as this, are absurdly difficult to bypass. Carter’s words speak just as loudly as her actions. We cannot say someone did or did not say or do anything, but her words are in black in white, but then again, without physical proof/evidence, Carter is innocent till proven guilty.

According to Carter, “He seemed fine,” she said.

Roy, Conrad’s mother, said she exchanged messages with Carter following her son’s death and mentioned that Carter said she had not been in touch with Conrad on the day of his death. Officials need to investigate Carter’s alibi and focus on the primary concerns of where Carter was during the time of Roy’s death, who she spoke with on the day of his death. The alibis of the affiliates of who Carter was with also need to be investigated.

Workplace shooting kills five in Orlando


On Monday, June 5, just a week before the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, another shooting occurred.

An Army veteran identified as John Robert Neumann Jr., shot five people at his former business. He was fired for “unspecific reasons” from Fiamma, Inc. in April, and it has been suggested that the motive was issues in the workplace.

The five victims ranged in ages from 43 to 69, and were identified as Brenda Montanez-Crespo, Kevin Lawson, Kevin Clark, Jeffrey Roberts and Robert Snyder. Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings stated that the shooter had multiple charges on his record, but they were minor. Neumann was also said to have lived alone in Orlando with no relatives in the area.

Demings said that some of the victims had multiple gunshot wounds and others had taken shots directly to the head. Four of the deceased were pronounced dead at the scene, while another passed away after being taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center. There were another eight people present at the business at the time of the attack who escaped injury. After what Demings determined to be a “premeditated plan of action,” Neumann committed suicide with the same gun just before deputies arrived.

Sheila McIntyre, a woman who was in the building at the time of the shooting, had reportedly been on the phone with her sister, Shelley Adams, during the attack. She assured her sister that she was alright, but kept repeating that her boss was dead. Two witnesses who owned businesses near Fiamma gave statements on their sight of law enforcement swarming the location, both expressing their disbelief that something so tragic could happen so close to home.

The Pulse shooting, which happened on June 12 last year, saw 49 deaths and another 53 injuries. Although the two tragedies were not similar in motive or magnitude, they are tragedies all the same, and have both rocked the Orlando community.

Both Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs have issued statements about the shooting, with prayers for the victims and their families as well well as a call for all citizens to keep their eyes open and be aware for their safety.

Cop suspected in aiding murder working


Miami Police officer Adrian Rodriguez is working again after refusing to cooperate with homicide detectives in his involvement in a murder and getting fired.

He is suspected of helping set up a robbery at a Miami cell phone store that ended with the death of store manager Yosbel Millares back in 2007.

This is outrageous news, especially for the victim’s family, who is still grieving today. “We’re in shock,” said Magnolia Millares, the victim’s sister. “We can’t believe he was able to get his job back. We’re all very sad and disappointed.”

The reporters of The Miami Herald tried to sound neutral and hopeful about the whole thing by saying he “gets his job back” but “won’t return to patrolling the streets because he remains a suspect in the 2007 killing of Millares. He will most likely be relegated to desk duty – while drawing a paycheck” and “won’t be getting back pay, under the arbiter’s ruling.”

But I believe they should have been more aggressive. Instead, they sound like they’re somewhat in favor of the ruling.

“He exercised his U.S. constitutional right to assert the Fifth Amendment. He was thoroughly interviewed the day of the shooting. It was our position that he shouldn’t have been terminated,” said Eugene Gibbons, Rodriguez’s union-appointed attorney.

But they seem to remain hopeful as they include Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes saying: “I’m disappointed with the outcome and will be meeting with our city attorney to look at our options.”

UM, FIU students arrested in Gables


Students from the University of Miami and Florida International University were arrested yesterday during a prostitution sting in Coral Gables.

Acacia Friedman, a 23-year-old from UM, Maury Noun, age 21 from UM, and Samara Charlotin, a 19-year-old FIU student were all charged with prostitution after an undercover police investigation on Wednesday night.

Friedman and Charlotin were said to have met with and undercover detective at the Colonnade Hotel after they agreed to have sex for $5,000.

Once inside the Colonnade, the detective handed Friedman the money and asked for reassurance as to what was happening.

Both Friedman and Charlotin faced additional charged for having drugs on them.

Noun was charged with aiding or abetting prostitution.

Local 10 news reported the judge saying, “You’re a smart girl, and if you want to see age 20, you need to find a new line of employment…. A very risky thing you are doing, alright, for someone with a lot of potential such as yourself. You need to stay away from them.”

UM has declined information about the ongoing investigations.

CNN spews celebrity gossip


Kim Kardashian West was robbed at the No Address Hotel in Paris on Oct. 3. News media speculated the robbery was motivated by Kardashian West’s flaunting of her wealth, particularly a 20-carat diamond ring, on social media.

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-7-32-04-pmKardashian West has kept a low-profile since the incident, particularly on her many social media pages, leaving fans concerned.

The robbery was old news until hotel employee Abdulrahman, who preferred to use only his first name for security reasons, sat down with Entertainment Tonight and claimed he believes the thieves were after money, not jewelry.

With this new evidence, apart from the impressive haul and Kardashian West’s celebrity status, the incident sounds like your average, everyday robbery.

As expected, entertainment media have dedicated a lot of time and effort in thoroughly covering the case since celebrity gossip is what their audiences want. Even if the incident had been far more minor, voyeuristic interest would still tempt readers to pick up a copy.

But why are news media, which typically focus on hard news, such as CNN, still covering it?

Across the nation, this year’s unprecedented presidential election has caused citizens to question party values. In North Dakota, hundreds are protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. In Indiana, a 25-year-old mother overdosed in her car with her 10-month-old son in the backseat.

With all the newsworthy happenings of the world, why is a nonviolent robbery worth mentioning on a hard news site, regardless of the celebrity status of the victim?

It goes without saying that a robbery is a terrifying incident for the victims and should be taken seriously by authorities and the news media. However, the personal distress it causes a victim doesn’t automatically warrant newsworthiness.

Kardashian West should not receive special treatment or coverage by media, unless that medium’s focus is entertainment and celebrity gossip.

Rather than dredging up old events the public is already aware of, news media should focus on educating readers on the various far-reaching events taking place around the globe.

194 victims and counting


Since the birth of this nation, racism has torn people apart. The last few weeks have been no different as black men continue to be assaulted, gunned down and murdered by police officers without just cause.

Yesterday, the governor of North Carolina declared a state of emergency after protests broke out in response to the shooting deaths of Keith Scott, Tyre King and Terence Crutcher, and the countless others, at the hands of police.

I first became aware of the protest when I was scrolling through my news feed on Facebook. One of the pages I follow shared another person’s live broadcast of the protest. There were more than 44,000 people watching the video that this Facebook user posted.

Watching this video made me realize the true impact that social media are having on television news broadcasting. Live broadcasting, tweeting, etc. allows anyone to function as a journalist. I actually preferred to watch this person’s broadcasting over CNN’s or Fox’s because it felt much more authentic and was entirely uncensored.

According to The Guardian’s police killings database, since the beginning of 2016, 194 black people have been killed by the police, making blacks the most killed race by police officers.  The Guardian also states that black men are nine times more likely than any other American to be killed by police.

The Wall Street Journal reports that in all of 2015, cops killed about 1,200 people, yet not a single officer was convicted of murder.

This lack of accountability of police officers, and their seeming disregard for the lives of people of color inspired Colin Kaepernick, quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, and others around the country, to sit or kneel during the playing of the National Anthem as an act of protest against these injustices.

Though so many people were quick to criticize Kaepernick and his supporters for their peaceful protest calling attention to the injustice, many of these critics have nothing to say about the injustices themselves. People are calling out this tendency with the trending statement “Take a knee, people riot … take a bullet, people quiet.”

New York City blast raises questions


On Saturday, Sept. 18 at 8:30 p.m., one of New York City’s most popular neighborhoods, Chelsea, was rocked when a bomb exploded.

The first blast was believed to be the result of a home-made, pressure-cooker, flip phone and Christmas lights. Another bomb that looked similar to this was found on 27th Street but did not detonate. Officials say that these bombs were intentional and appeared designed to create maximum chaos and deaths.

These bombs were filled “fragmentation materials.” The bomb that exploded at 23rd  Street was packed with small bearings. The bomb that did not explode appeared to be filled with the same materials.

On Saturday morning, a bombing took place in New Jersey at a marathon for marines. In New Jersey, three pipe bombs were tied together, placed in a trash can and also employed a flip phone as a timing mechanism.

“There is no evidence of an international terrorism connection with this incident,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Sunday, but many experts believe it could be international terrorism.

Experts proved that the explosive material was similar to a compound called tannerite. Tannerite is made by combining ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder and has hardly been used in improvised bombing strategies in the United States. An expert on unplanned explosive devices used by terrorists worldwide said that a device constructed as intricate as this one indicates a higher-than-average competence than what people in the United States can create.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, was charged for the Saturday night blast in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, an explosion in Seaside Park on Saturday morning and a foiled bomb attack Sunday night near a train station in Elizabeth, NJ.

Rahamj’s most recent address is in Elizabeth, NJ. This city is where investigators discovered five skeptical devices, one which exploded near a train station on Sunday night.

Rahami had been on the radar of federal agents two years ago, when his father told the police that he suspected his son to be involved in terrorism. They checked him for almost two months and said that he was not a terrorist. Now, the FBI says he is a terrorist. After Rahami was captured during a shootout on Monday, the police found a notebook with a bullet hole in it. The notebook expressed jihadist beliefs, and wrote of killing the “unbelievers.” It also praised Anwar al-Awlaki, once Al Qaeda’s leading propagandist who died in a drone strike in Yemen.

Rahami is linked to 10 explosive devices found in the region. The investigation of whether he worked alone, or was part of a terrorist organization is still ongoing. They believe he worked alone.

It is important for the news media to cover stories like this because terrorism and public safety are huge topics today. The United States is going through a period of time that terrorist attacks are happening at least once every few months. Bombings are important for the news media to cover because the public wants to know what is going on and if people are safe or were killed because of these attacks.

Nowhere to hide for Stockton’s Silva


Mayor Anthony Silva (R) of Stockton, Calif., has had one interesting run as mayor.

Pending the results of the upcoming November election, that run has the potential to continue.

Anyone privy to Valley politics is aware of Silva’s tenuous term as mayor. Perhaps none more so than Stockton Record columnist Michael Fitzgerald.

Silva’s bad rap has only been brought on by Silva himself. He has a laundry list of boneheaded decisions and proposals to his name.

What’s on that list, you ask? Bear in mind that this is an abridged version…

There’s the time he walked around town putting up campaign posters. At 2 a.m., In his bathrobe…

At a city council meeting, he declared himself Stockton’s first black mayor. Silva is Hispanic.

He proposed a vision he called “Stockton Proud” that would bring in cruise ships, mini golf, “fun rides,” and a space needle to Stockton’s port. It’s not as if Stockton was the largest American city to declare bankruptcy before Detroit.

When Carrie Underwood came to Stockton and had the misfortune of performing on the night of a city council meeting, Silva moved his agenda to the beginning of the meeting, declared a 10-minute break after some time and skipped the rest of the meeting to attend the concert.

After partying one night, he got into a drunk fight in his limo with a friend after a dispute about his wife.

Then there’s his Aug. 4 arrest while at his Mayor’s Youth Camp in Silver Lake, Calif., for providing alcohol to minors, playing strip poker with nude teenagers and recording conversations during last summer’s camp.

At every turn, Fitzgerald has been there to call the mayor on his bull. Or his weirdness. Sometimes it overlaps.

Fitzgerald’s responses have made an impression on me.

There’s something that tickles me in the right spot when I read one of his intelligently written articles or comments on Silva’s latest inane exploit. It must be the juxtaposition of idiocy and brains.

Such as what Fitzgerald had to say when Silva bounced from the city council meeting to see Underwood.

“It’s ironic that Silva postured as a Public Safety candidate,” Fitzgerald said. “Because one of the votes he skipped out on was the new health plan for city employees. Exit interviews with departing police cited unsatisfactory health insurance as a prime reason for quitting. The new health plan is therefore the most important step the city can take to retaining police hires.”

He proceeded to finish Silva off.

“A mayor sincerely concerned with law enforcement would want to vote on that,” Fitzgerald said. “A mayor who knows only how to campaign and to party would not.”

I had a good chuckle when reading about what Fitzgerald thought of Silva’s “half-baked” homeless plan.

Sometimes all Fitzgerald needs is a few words to get his point across. 

I love Fitzgerald’s reporting. He doesn’t let Silva off the hook for anything, nor should he. Yet he’s able to do it with a comedic tone that I simply eat with a spoon.

Or maybe it’s just that juxtaposition.