Daily Archives: Aug 15, 2019

    A gunman who police say shot six city officers was in custody Thursday after surrendering to end a dramatic, 7 ½-hour standoff during which two officers were trapped in the rowhouse where the suspect was firing away.

    Shots were first fired about 4:30 p.m. when narcotics officers tried to serve an arrest warrant at the house in the 3700 block of North 15th Street in the Tioga section of North Philadelphia.

    Two Narcotics Strike Force bicycle officers were pinned on the second floor with three other people who were handcuffed, police said. The officers were not injured but they and the three people in custody were at risk of getting shot because the suspect on the first floor was firing into the ceiling. A SWAT team reached the five and removed from the building about 2 ½ hours before the suspect surrendered.

    None of the six officers who were shot suffered life-threatening injuries and all were treated at hospitals and released, police said. At least three other officers sustained non-shooting injuries during the standoff. The gunman was briefly hospitalized, then jailed, after the standoff.

    President Donald Trump weighed in on the shootout Thursday morning, saying the alleged gunman “should never have been allowed to be on the streets.”

    “He had a long and very dangerous criminal record,” he wrote in the tweet. “Looked like he was having a good time after his capture, and after wounding so many police. Long sentence — must get much tougher on street crime!”

    Police identified the suspect as Maurice Hill, a 36-year-old Philadelphia man with alengthy history of gun convictions and of resisting attempts to bring him to justice.

    President Trump was briefed on the incident Wednesday.

    Commissioner Ross describes negotiations with gunman

    Police Commissioner Ross said Thursday morning that he personally took part in negotiations to get the gunman, identified as Maurice Hill, 36, to surrender.

    “This was the first time, and I hope it is the last time,” Ross said of his unusual foray into negotiating with a barricaded gunman.

    Ross said Hill rebuffed initial attempts by police to negotiate, but was using his phone to talk to other people, including his girlfriend with whom he recently had a daughter.

    Ross said he asked the police negotiator if it would help if he talked to Hill and the negotiator agreed.

    The negotiator instructed Ross on what questions to ask throughout his communications with the gunman, the commissioner said.

    Hill, he said, spoke of his newborn daughter and his criminal record. Hill also made “outlandish” but unspecified demands.

    “But we weren’t going to lie to him and tell him we were going to acquiesce to what he wanted, because that’s not what you do either because that creates problems as well,” he said.

    Still, Ross said, despite the negotiations it was the “the tear gas that ultimately brought him outside.”

    Lawyer: Typically they don’t ‘take black defendants into custody’

    Shaka Johnson, the lawyer of suspected gunman Maurice Hill, told FOX 29 on Thursday he was unaware his client was involved in the shootout until Hill called him at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

    Johnson, a former police officer, said at one point, he was involved in a four-way conversation that included Hill, Police Commissioner Richard Ross, and District Attorney Larry Krasner.

     

      NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Cory Booker on Thursday said he would create a White House office to combat white supremacy and hate crimes if elected, becoming the latest Democratic presidential candidate to call for action after a racially motivated massacre in Texas.

      Booker said he would also require the FBI and the Justice Department to allocate the same level of resources and attention to white supremacist-inspired violence as they devote to international terrorism.

      The New Jersey senator announced his plan less than two weeks after a gunman in El Paso, Texas, killed 22 people inside a Walmart after posting an anti-immigrant screed online that echoed some of President Donald Trump’s heated rhetoric. The attack was among three mass shootings in the span of a week that killed 34 people in all.

      The incidents have roiled the presidential race, with Democrats accusing Trump, a Republican, of fomenting hatred while failing to embrace common-sense gun restrictions. Several candidates, including Senator Kamala Harris on Wednesday, have released plans to fight gun violence and white supremacy in the days since the El Paso massacre.

      Trump, who has said he is not a racist, has expressed support in the wake of the shooting for “red flag” laws that limit access to guns for dangerous people and a potential expansion of background checks for gun purchases. He has not endorsed any specific legislation.

      Last week, at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, where a white supremacist gunned down nine people in 2015, Booker criticized Trump’s language while linking the El Paso shooting to the United States’ long history of racism.

      “To say this is to speak the truth plainly, because with the truth there can be no reconciliation,” said Booker, who is African-American.

      The proposal builds upon Booker’s sweeping anti-gun violence plan that would, among other things, establish a national licensing program for gun ownership.

      Booker’s campaign likened his proposed White House Office on Hate Crimes and White Supremacist Violence to other agencies that presidents have convened to coordinate responses to major domestic crises, such as the White House Office of AIDS Policy.

      Under his proposal, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies would be required to conduct assessments of white supremacist threats and improve reporting of hate crimes. Booker would also create an advisory group of leaders from communities hurt by hate crimes to advise his administration.

      Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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