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Police union won't defend Parkland, Florida, school resource officer if he faces legal action

When a shooter opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last month, sheriff’s deputy Scot Peterson, who was on duty as the school’s resource officer, reportedly failed to enter the building as 17 people died — but that’s not why the police union won’t be defending him.

According to Jeff Bell, president of the Broward County Sheriff’s Deputies Association, the union will not be stepping up to help Peterson, not due to his conduct but because he doesn’t pay the union any money, reported.

>> Walmart raising age to buy guns to 21 after Florida high school shooting

“From a legal standpoint, we say he was not a ‘dues-paying member,” Bell said, according to “If he was a dues-paying member, I would certainly have a problem with how we are trying him in the public and not giving him his due process. But because he’s not a dues-paying member and I don’t have to represent him? Whatever happens, happens.”

>> PHOTOS: Remembering Parkland Florida school shooting victims

Under Florida’s public sector union laws, Peterson is not required to financially support Bell’s union, but he’s also not legally free to associate with a different bargaining unit instead. While the law enforcement veteran of 32 years is still covered by collective bargaining agreements signed by Broward County Sheriff’s Deputies Association, the union didn’t act on his behalf when he indicated prior to his resignation that was upset that his employer suspended him following the tragedy — and they won’t be coming to his rescue should he face any legal repercussions for his inaction at the high school.

>> Florida school shooting: How difficult is it to purchase a gun in Florida?

Peterson may be eligible to collect a pension of at least $52,000 and is supposed to have half of his health insurance premiums covered the Broward County Sheriff’s Office for life. Although he claims he thought the shooting was taking place outside the school, his failure to enter the building and confront the shooter could still lead to his facing an investigation and ending up in civil court. Either way, the Broward County Sheriff’s Deputies Association won’t be involved.

>> Read more trending news 

“If the sheriff’s office decides not to, say for example, they decide you know what, we’re not going to give you your payouts and we’re not going to give you your insurance or whatever, I’m still not doing anything for him,” Bell said. “So, he doesn’t have the right to file a grievance–well, he can do it as an individual, but when he gets to the level of arbitration, we’re not covering that. If he has any lawsuits, we’re not covering that. Administrative hearings or civil hearings, we’re not covering that.”

Only “dues-paying members” get that level of protection, he added.

Judge declares man's truck 'his home' in ruling that could affect hundreds of homeless people

A Seattle man is celebrating after a judge ruled that the truck he has been living in is his home and the city can't sell it to pay for a hefty parking ticket and fines. The ruling could affect hundreds of homeless people living in their vehicles.

The judge's ruling is based on the 123-year-old Homestead Act that says the government can't force anyone to sell their home to satisfy debts. This is apparently the first time anyone has successfully argued that a vehicle can be a home.

>> On Washington becomes 1st state to approve net-neutrality rules

Steven Long has lived in a truck on the streets of Seattle since 2014. But last year, when his truck was parked on Poplar Street South for five months, the city impounded it. He said living outside took a toll.

"I had eight colds that year and pneumonia, to boot," he said. "And I normally have only one or two colds a year."

Long is not alone. A 2017 survey by the nonprofit All Home counted more than 5,400 people living on Seattle's streets. Nearly half of them were living in their vehicles.

"It's one of the first big victories in the area of vehicle residency in particular," says Columbia Legal Services lawyer Ann LoGerfo.

LoGerfo and Long's legal team argued that state law says a home cannot be sold to pay one's debts. Long's truck, the judge determined, is indeed his home, and couldn't be held for the $900 impound feeds he owes.

"So the impound system where there's an impound and you can't get your vehicle – and here a house – out until you pay pretty hefty fines violates the homestead act," LoGerfo said. 

LoGerfo said that this ruling means a vehicle is to be treated like a home. 

>> Read more trending news 

The city of Seattle argued that impounding Long's vehicle did not constitute a "forced sale." 

Moreover, the courts "have consistently held that there is no constitutional right to housing."

The city attorney would not talk on camera but issued a statement: "The City disagrees with the trial court's ruling and is evaluating its options."

Long hopes the ruling will help others living in their vehicles.

"Hope they would never have to see or do what I had to live through," he said.

The city may still ticket anyone who parks a vehicle for more than 72 hours. But if it is someone's home, they may not impound it.

The city can appeal.

Mom charged after 5 children found living in filth with no food, lights, blankets

Police charged a Mount Oliver, Pennsylvania, woman with five counts of endangering the welfare of children after reportedly finding her home in deplorable condition.

>> Watch the news report here

When officers responded to the Suncrest Street home early Sunday, they found the front door open and the front windows shattered, police said. The low temperature that day was 22 degrees.

>> 2-year-old dies after mirror falls on her inside Payless shoe store, family says

Neighbors said they heard glass shattering and ear-piercing screams coming from inside the house in Knoxville for hours over the weekend. 

Shikia Mosley, 35, answered the door naked and apparently intoxicated with a blanket over her shoulders, police said. When they went inside, they found garbage and animal feces scattered across the home.

Officers could see the basement through holes in the kitchen floor, the bathroom sink wasn’t working, the tub was filled with stagnant water and bedroom walls upstairs were covered in spray paint and littered with holes, police said.

>> Read more trending news 

Floors in the home were covered in clothing, trash and broken glass, police said.

Upstairs, police said they found five children, ages 2 to 14, upstairs. In one bedroom, a young girl and a toddler were lying on a hardwood floor covered by a coat and two more small children were sleeping on a single-sized bed with no covers, police said.

A boy in another bedroom allegedly told police their mother had been drinking and began throwing things around the house.

>> Father speaks of 'unimaginable pain' after daughter, 2, killed by falling mirror at Payless store

Police left the home and contacted youth services, saying they intended to return to take the children to a safe place. When they returned, one of the children told police Mosley had left and taken three of the children with her to her mother's home in Swissvale.

The two children went to an aunt's house nearby, and police arrived at Mosley's mother's home, where she was taken into custody, police said. The three children stayed at the home with their grandmother.

The Department of Children, Youth and Family said it didn't have any current cases involving Mosley and her children, but it did have a case back in 2017 that involved "unusual punishment."

‘You’re evil!’ Mother of slain children screams at nanny on trial in grisly deaths

It has been more than five years since Marina Krim discovered the bodies of two of her children stabbed to death in the family’s Manhattan apartment, but her emotions were raw Friday as she wrapped up two days of testimony in the trial of the nanny accused of killing them.

“You’re evil! You’re evil! Please get me out of here,” WABC in New York reported Krim shouted at Yoselyn Ortega as Krim left the courtroom. Ortega, 56, is charged with two counts of murder in the slayings of Lucia “Lulu” Krim, 6, and Leo Krim, 2, inside the family’s Upper West Side apartment.

Krim was the prosecution’s first witness in the trial. 

Ortega’s defense team does not deny that she killed the children, but is arguing that a lifetime of untreated mental illness in her native Dominican Republic drove her to the crime. Prosecutors, however, argue that the woman, who had worked for the Krims for about two years, knew what she was doing when she killed the victims. 

Marina Krim had taken her younger daughter, Nessie, to a swimming lesson on Oct. 25, 2012, and the pair then went to Lulu’s dance studio to pick her up after class. She became frantic when Lulu was not there, and hurried home. 

Krim described the discovery of the bodies as “like a horror movie,” according to an Associated Press report published in Time. With 3-year-old Nessie in tow, she went room to room in the apartment, finding them all empty, until she reached a bathroom.

“I go down, I walk down the hall and I see the light on under the back of the door, and I’m like, ‘Oh God, it’s so quiet in here, oh God. Why is it so … quiet?’ And I open the door … and I open the door, oh God,” Krim said, weeping, the AP reported

Inside the bathroom, she found Lulu and Leo in the bathtub, both covered with blood. Krim testified that she knew immediately that Lulu was dead because her eyes were open and fixed. 

As Krim stood looking at her dead children, Ortega stabbed herself in the neck, ABC News reported

>> Read more trending news

Assistant District Attorney Courtney Groves told jurors during opening statements that Ortega waited until Krim found the bodies to stab herself. She also argued that Ortega waited until she knew Krim was not home to kill the children with knives from the family’s own kitchen.

Leo, who could not defend himself, suffered five stab wounds, Groves said, according to ABC News. Lulu did fight back, sustaining defensive wounds among the approximately 30 stab wounds inflicted to her body.

Both children’s throats were slashed, Groves said. The prosecutor said the wounds were so deep that first responders initially thought the children had been decapitated. 

ABC News reported that Krim ran to a security guard and a doorman, who called 911 to report the homicides. Krim testified that she screamed, “I just saw my kids dead,” and banged her head against a marble pillar “to wake up from this nightmare.”

“I was destroyed,” she testified

Jurors on Friday also heard testimony from the doorman and security guard, as well as the 911 call the doorman placed to summon help, WABC reported. Krim’s screams could be heard in the background of the call. 

Krim’s husband, Kevin Krim, flew back that day from a business trip in California, ABC News reported. NYPD homicide detectives met him at the airport. 

Groves said during her opening that there is no clear motive for the slayings, but she suggested that Ortega resented Marina Krim for being able to provide for her children in a way Ortega could not. Ortega left her own young son behind in the Dominican Republic to be raised by his aunt when she came to the United States.

The son arrived in the U.S. to finish high school just months before the double homicide. Groves argued that with his arrival came a heightened level of stress and anxiety for his mother, who struggled to pay his private school tuition. 

Ortega’s defense attorney, Valerie Van Leer-Greenberg, said during her own opening statements that Ortega has a “corroborated history of hearing voices and disassociating from reality since the age of 16,” the news agency reported. She argued that evidence will show what her client’s mind was like when she killed the Krim children. 

“You will know a diseased mind when you see it,” Van Leer-Greenberg said

Groves told jurors that the only contact Ortega had with a mental health professional in 30 years was with a psychologist she saw days before the killings, ABC News reported. In that session, she talked about feelings of stress and anxiety, as well as feelings of failure in her relationship with her son, the prosecutor said. 

Krim testified that, in the past, she and her husband had bought Ortega plane tickets to visit her family in the Dominican Republic and even made the trip themselves to meet Ortega’s family, the AP reported. She said that she never saw any signs of mental distress in the nanny. 

Groves said Ortega told police investigators immediately after the killings that she hurt the children because she had money problems and was angry at the Krims, the AP reported. She complained about a shifting schedule and having to work as a cleaning woman when she did not want to. 

ABC News reported that some of those extra cleaning jobs were efforts by Krim to help Ortega make more money to better support her son.

Krim and her husband, who started the Lulu & Leo Fund following their children’s slayings, have since had two more sons, Felix in 2013 and Linus in 2016. 

The Lulu & Leo Fund provides funds for Choose Creativity, which the fund’s Facebook page describes as a curriculum-based initiative that centers on 10 principles of creativity. Working with schools and community organizations, the program brings the initiative to children and families in underserved communities. 

As of November, the curriculum was being taught in more than 20 schools and community centers, impacting more than 2,000 students, the page states. 

In a video the Krims posted on the fund’s Facebook page last month, updating the charity’s followers on the impending start of the criminal trial, they urged people to use the trial as a springboard to spread positivity.

“Over the next few months, the story of Lulu and Leo and our whole family will be painfully in the news again,” Kevin Krim said in the video. “This trial will be very hard for us, and for a lot of you. We feel like this community, all of you, have been with us along through this whole experience.”

Kevin Krim said that even people who never met Lulu and Leo love them and feel inspired by them. 

As Nessie, now 8, played on a couch behind the couple and Felix and Linus on a rug in the corner of the room, Marina Krim said people had been asking her how they could help the family during such a difficult time. 

“We thought about it, and we realized that we’re going to handle this the way we handled everything,” Marina Krim said. “We’re going to focus on the positive, and the goodness that’s come out of all of this. When you hear about us on the news, or we come up in conversation, we want you to tell people about the Lulu and Leo Fund, and the Choose Creativity initiative and the 10 principles of creativity.”

“This is the legacy of Lulu and Leo. And this is what matters,” Marina Krim said. “So, this is how you can help us.”

Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg reverses course, says he will likely cooperate with Mueller subpoena

UPDATE: Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg reversed course Tuesday after a series of defiant interviews Monday, saying he will now likely end up cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s subpoena, The Associated Press reported.

Read the original report below.

On Monday, Nunberg publicly declared that he would refuse to appear before a federal grand jury in Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling and its possible ties to Trump and his campaign officials, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Nunberg told The Washington Post that he was subpoenaed to appear Friday before a grand jury in Washington.

“Mr. Mueller should understand I am not going in on Friday,” Nunberg told the newspaper. “Let him arrest me.”

Nunberg served for six weeks as an adviser to Trump before he was fired during Trump’s run for the White House.

Nunberg provided the Post with a copy of his two-page grand jury subpoena, which also sought documents related to Trump and nine others, including departing White House communications director Hope Hicks, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and adviser Roger Stone.

>> Related: Report: White House communications director Hope Hicks resigning

He told MSNBC that he would not be complying with the subpoena.

“What they sent me was absolutely ridiculous,” he said.

“I’m not spending 80 hours going over my emails with Roger Stone and Steve Bannon and producing them,” Nunberg told the Post. “Donald Trump won this election on his own. He campaigned his (expletive) off. And there is nobody who hates him more than me.”

Still, he told MSNBC that he thought Trump “may have done something during the election.”

“But I don’t know that, for sure,” he said.

>> Related: Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates pleads guilty in Mueller investigation

He told the Post that despite his suspicions, “the Russians and Trump did not collude.”

“Putin is too smart to collude with Donald Trump,” he said.

It was not immediately clear what consequences Nunberg might face for his refusal to appear before a grand jury.

Five people have pleaded guilty to charges levied against them in Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling. Most recently, former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates pleaded guilty to making false statements and conspiring against the United States.

Florida Senate to vote on school safety bill that excludes ban on assault rifles

The Florida Senate will vote on a school safety bill Monday.

Senators hammered out the legislation during a rare special session in Tallahassee over the weekend.

The push for school safety and gun control measures comes in the wake of the Parkland mass shooting, in which 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day

>> On Trump says arming teachers in schools 'up to states'

The Senate spent nearly eight hours Saturday debating dozens of amendments to the 100-page bill before finally approving the legislation for a final vote on Monday.

Democratic proposals to ban assault rifles and large-capacity magazines were rejected, as was a Democratic proposal to strip language from the bill that would create a program to arm teachers who have gone through law-enforcement training if school districts choose to take part in the so-called marshal plan.

>> On Police advocacy group says it opposes arming teachers

It was clear that senators were divided on the bill, and not just on party lines. While crafted by Republicans, some GOP senators still opposed it because they don't agree with raising the minimum age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21 or requiring a waiting period to buy the weapons.

Democrats believe the legislation doesn't go far enough in some ways and goes too far in others. And while some oppose the bill, others believe it's at least a first step toward gun safety.

>> Company working on bulletproof doors in wake of school shootings

Democrats want to ban weapons such as the AR-15 assault-style rifle, which was used in the Parkland attack. Many also oppose arming teachers. The bill also includes provisions to boost school security, establish new mental health programs in schools, and improve communication between schools, law enforcement and state agencies.

Jeff Xavier, a survivor of the Pulse attack, was hoping the legislation would include a ban on assault rifles.

>> Walmart raising age to buy guns to 21 after Florida high school shooting

“I think that, as Americans, we do have a right to arm ourselves, however, I do not believe that high-powered, high-velocity (guns) should be available to the general public,” said Xavier.

But much of the debate Saturday revolved around gun control and whether people should have a right to own an assault rifle.

"Every constitutional right that we hold dear has a limitation," said Democratic Sen. Gary Farmer. "These are just military-style killing machines and the right of self-defense and the ability to hunt will go on."

Republicans argued that banning such weapons would violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

>> Florida school shooting: How difficult is it to purchase a gun in Florida?

"Our founding fathers weren't talking about hunting, and they weren't talking about protecting themselves from the thief down the street who might break in," said Republican Sen. David Simmons. Simmons said people need guns to protect themselves from a tyrannical government.

"Adolf Hitler confiscated all the weapons – took all the weapons, had a registry of everybody – and then on the night of June 30th, 1934, sent out his secret police and murdered all of his political opponents," Simmons said. "You think it doesn't happen in a free society? It does."

>> Read more trending news 

The Legislature wraps up its annual session on Friday. Lawmakers are scrambling to take some kind of action before then. The full House has yet to take up its version of the bill.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott has been lobbying lawmakers to pass his plan to assign at least one law-enforcement officer for every 1,000 students at a school. Scott is opposed to arming teachers.

Unlicensed day care worker accused of breaking baby's legs

A day care worker in Utah is accused of breaking a baby’s legs by slamming him onto a bathroom floor. Salt Lake City police say the woman was not licensed to take care of children.

>> Watch the news report here

According to the New York Post, Elvira Ortega, 66, allegedly operated an unlicensed day care out of her home. She was arrested on Feb. 23 after the 10-month-old child’s parents brought him to a hospital. Ortega acknowledged slamming the baby feet-first onto the floor, police claim.

She was arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, according to KSTU.

Salt Lake City Police Detective Greg Wilking said Ortega and her adult daughter were responsible for multiple children. The alleged incident occurred on Feb. 22, and doctors diagnosed the child with broken legs at Primary Children’s Hospital on Feb. 23.

>> Read more trending news 

Wilking told the Deseret News that authorities believe the number of children being cared for at the unlicensed day care changed from day to day. Wilking also said that he wasn’t certain if Ortega’s daughter was at the house during the alleged incident.

Police said the incident is another reminder that parents must research where they choose to send their children for day care and should learn whether or not a day care is licensed.

When the mother picked up the boy, “she could tell that [he] was in pain,” according to court documents.

>> On Four children died after a security guard lit a day care on fire, authorities say

The following day, the mother noticed her son “did not want to sit, crawl or move and only wanted to be held,” according to the documents. She then went back to the day care and confronted Ortega and her daughter, and she “felt their explanations were inconsistent and unsatisfactory,” per the documents.

Doctors determined that of both the child’s tibiae were fractured, injuries to the lower legs that were “atypical” for a child who wasn’t walking yet, according to the documents.

Authorities said that when they interviewed Ortega, she admitted that she had become “frustrated” because the baby “would not stop crying,” the Deseret News reported.

Father speaks of 'unimaginable pain' after daughter, 2, killed by falling mirror at Payless store

A grieving father is speaking out following the sudden death of his 2-year-old daughter

>> Watch the news report here

>> 2-year-old dies after mirror falls on her inside Payless shoe store, family says

Police said she died after a mirror inside a Payless ShoeSource store in Riverdale, Georgia, fell on top of her

“They don’t understand what kind of pain I feel," Mohsin Siddique said.

Siddique told WSB-TV's Lauren Pozen that his wife, daughter and son were shopping at a Payless store on Georgia-85 on Friday in Clayton County for new shoes for the children. 

>> On Bus carrying Georgia college team overturns; driver arrested

“The mirror just fell down. She was screaming, my daughter," Siddique said.

Police said the mirror wasn't secured.

The family took a picture of the mirror after the accident. They said they went in the backroom to take it after it was cleaned.

>> On Police, friends start new search for missing CDC worker

They also gave Pozen a picture where you see the edge of the shoe rack where that mirror once hung.

"It only had one or two screws, and it’s not secure. It just fell down," Siddique said. 

>> Read more trending news 

Payless' corporate office said company officials are cooperating with authorities in the investigation. That offers little relief for this grieving father. 

>> On Family of man accused of killing son says he should have been locked up before

"I don’t want any money," he said. "People say, 'Lawsuit money, money.' I don’t need money; I need my daughter. And who did this? They have to have consequences."

Man claims diet pills caused him to meet up with teen for sex, police say

Police in Owasso, Oklahoma, arrested a man who allegedly told officers that diet pills caused him to have inappropriate sexual thoughts.

Officers arrested Brandon Lopez, 29, when he reportedly tried to meet a 16-year-old for sex at an area elementary school near 76th Street North and North 81st Street.

>> Read more trending news 

Police said the teen contacted them after Lopez made lewd proposals to the boy on Facebook. Then officers reportedly used the teen's phone to keep messaging Lopez. They said Lopez wanted to meet the boy for sex at the area elementary school, but he found police there instead.

Officers took Lopez into custody, and they said they found marijuana in his car and photos resembling child pornography on his phone.

An arrest report said Lopez told police he was taking diet pills at the time, and he claimed those pills led to the inappropriate thoughts.

Lopez faces complaints of soliciting lewd acts to a minor, marijuana possession and four complaints for possession of child pornography. His bond was set at more than $100,000.

Company working on bulletproof doors in wake of school shootings

A South Carolina company is trying a new way to protect against deadly school shootings.

>> Watch the news report here

R2P Innovations has been working on bulletproof doors for the past four years.

>> Walmart raising age to buy guns to 21 after Florida high school shooting

The doors are capable of withstanding assault rifles and high-power, military-grade weapons.

Tony Deering, the company's CEO, said the door would be a lasting contribution to school security.

>> Read more trending news 

“Some instances, the shooter was actually outside of the classroom shooting into the classrooms through the door,” Deering said about the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida. "That would have never occurred in an instance where a particular door solution was employed."

Each door costs roughly $4,000 and weighs 285 pounds.

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