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WDBJ 7 Roanoke News - - Thu, 26 Nov 2015 04:36:39 GMT

The night before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest bar nights of the year. It's called Blackout Wednesday.

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Charlottesville NBC29 Sports - - Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:30:00 EST

.Malcolm Brogdon scored a game-high and season-high 23 points for UVa (5-1), including 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting in the 1st half.

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Charlottesville NBC29 Sports - - Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:23:00 EST

R.E. Lee High School is in the VHSL state quarterfinals for the first time since 2008, and will travel to face Clarke County in the third round of the VHSL 2A state playoffs Friday night.

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Charlottesville NBC29 Sports - - Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:18:00 EST

The Hokies are allowing opponents to throw for only 174 yards per game, and complete just 48-percent of their passes, which is second-best in the ACC.

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Virginia NBC29 News - - Thu, 26 Nov 2015 01:36:00 EST

As Americans sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, they should give thanks to one of the original Pilgrims for their very existence.

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NBC12 News Richmond - - Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:04:00 EST

The Virginia Christian Alliance is slamming the idea of letting Syrian refugees settling in the Commonwealth, citing safety concerns.

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The Daily Progress - news - - Thu, 26 Nov 2015 01:11:41 -0500

NEW YORK (AP) — As millions of Americans prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, security will be tight in New York City with a record number of police officers patrolling the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Da

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The Daily Progress - news - - Thu, 26 Nov 2015 01:09:09 -0500

HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is in talks to buy Hong Kong's leading English language newspaper, the South China Morning Post, a person with knowledge of the potential deal said Th

Some publishers do not keep the story for very long. Thats OK, just do a Search here to find it. - news - - Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:51:40 -0500

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Patrick Kane had two assists to extend his career-best scoring streak to 17 games, leading the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night.

Some publishers do not keep the story for very long. Thats OK, just do a Search here to find it. - news - - Wed, 25 Nov 2015 23:44:53 -0500

NEW YORK (AP) — When star goalie Carey Price exited after two periods with a recurring injury, the Montreal Canadiens responded.

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WDBJ 7 National News - - Thu, 26 Nov 2015 03:31:23 GMT

Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer charged in Laquan McDonald's shooting death, had a history of complaints before he gunned down the 17-year-old last year -- and in almost every case, he was cleared in one way or another.

The allegations mostly involve excessive force, and at least one complaint alleges he used a racial slur.

There appear to be no criminal proceedings against Van Dyke before this week, but a jury did award a Chicago man $350,000 after determining Van Dyke employed excessive force during a traffic stop. (The city of Chicago also gave McDonald's mother, who had not yet filed a lawsuit, $5 million in April).

Little is available in the way of biographical information on Van Dyke, who grew up in the Chicago area.

What's known is he has two children -- 9 and 14 -- and a wife, Tiffany. Despite GoFundMe removing her page this week, his wife is attempting to raise money for her husband's legal defense. She calls him "a highly decorated and respected officer."

Before Tuesday, Van Dyke had remained with the Chicago Police Department on limited duty since the October 2014 shooting. A judge's ruling that a graphic video of McDonald's death must be released to the public spurred Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez to announce a first-degree murder charge earlier than she had planned, she said.

Outraged that it took 13 months to charge the officer, largely peaceful demonstrators took to the Windy City's streets Tuesday to demand justice in McDonald's death.

Tale of the tape

Van Dyke turned himself in to authorities Tuesday, a few hours before video of him gunning down McDonald was made public. According to the dashboard camera footage and a criminal complaint filed in Cook County Circuit Court, Van Dyke responded to the scene and remained in his car for more than 20 seconds as McDonald, armed with a knife and with PCP in his system, approached police cars in the street before veering away from officers who had their guns trained on him.

None of the eight or more officers on the scene fired their weapons, but within six seconds of exiting his vehicle, Van Dyke began unloading the 16-round magazine in his 9 mm pistol. McDonald was about 10 feet away when he opened fire.

Only two of those shots, one to the lower back and another to the upper leg, were definitively fired while McDonald was still standing, according to the criminal complaint. And though it states that only a single shot to McDonald's right hand was definitively fired after he hit the asphalt, it also notes that he was on the ground for about 13 of the 14 or 15 seconds that it took Van Dyke to empty his clip.

Attorney Daniel Herbert, who has repeatedly told CNN that Van Dyke feared for his life, says the video hardly tells the entire story.

"Video by nature is two-dimensional, and it distorts images," he said. "So what appears to be clear on a video sometimes is not always that clear."

The criminal complaint paints Van Dyke's response as excessive -- an allegation his lawyer has denied -- and it isn't the first time Van Dyke was accused of using unnecessary force.

On at least 20 occasions in Van Dyke's 14-year career, citizens have filed complaints against Van Dyke, according to the Citizens Police Data Project, a database of misconduct complaints filed against more than 8,500 Chicago police officers. The database, a collaboration between the Invisible Institute and the University of Chicago Law School's Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, is not comprehensive and represents only three data sets spanning 2002 to 2008 and 2011 to 2015.

To put the complaints against Van Dyke in perspective, the Chicago Police Department has about 12,000 officers. Like Van Dyke, 402 officers have 20 or more complaints on file in the database. The most complaints against any officer, according to the database, is 68.

The database shows that of the 20 complaints against Van Dyke none resulted in discipline.

Five complaints in the database were "not sustained," five were unfounded, four resulted in exoneration, five had unknown outcomes and one resulted in no action taken.

Code of silence?

Though Van Dyke is considered to have a below-average "allegation rate," according to the database, at least one member of the organization that put the clearinghouse together believes the complaints point to a troubling pattern.

"The misconduct complaints we do have in our data tool show by and large excessive force and racial slurs. And he has largely operated with impunity and under a code of silence with the same huddle of officers again and again," Alison Flowers of the Invisible Institute told CNN affiliate WLS.

Van Dyke has also faced at least two lawsuits alleging excessive force during his time on the force. One was dismissed, but in the other, a jury ruled for the plaintiff in a civil case accusing Van Dyke and his partner of excessive force, assault, battery and illegal seizure.

According to the complaint, Edward Nance, an African-American, was driving with his cousin, Carlton Clark, on July 9, 2007. Van Dyke and his partner pulled the pair over.

Van Dyke painfully cuffed Nance, injuring his shoulders, before pulling him out of the car, the complaint said. The car was impounded after Clark was arrested for possession of marijuana. No criminal charges were filed against Nance, but he had to go the hospital and required surgeries on his shoulders, according to the complaint.

A jury awarded Nance $350,000, and a judge tacked on $180,000 for Nance's legal fees, court records show.

CNN's attempts to reach Nance were not immediately successful, but the cable company employee and high school basketball referee told the Chicago Tribune earlier this year that he felt the Police Department didn't take his complaint seriously and that Van Dyke and the partner were "back on the street like nothing ever happened."

Told that Van Dyke was under investigation in McDonald's death, Nance said during the April interview that it never should've gone so far.

"It just makes me so sad because it shouldn't have happened. ... He shouldn't have been on the street in the first place after my incident," he told the newspaper. "It makes me feel like it could have been me."

Show of support

Despite Van Dyke's history of past complaints -- and Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy demanding that the officer be held accountable in McDonald's death -- his lawyer, wife and police union are standing beside him.

Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police lodge asked its current and former members Tuesday to contribute to a fund to post Van Dyke's bail, WLS reported. (The same day, a judge ordered he be held without bail until at least Monday.)

The local FOP also directed visitors to its website to a GoFundMe webpage set up by Van Dyke's wife. On it, Tiffany Van Dyke asked for $80,000, saying her husband "was in a shooting that has been covered extensively by the media and we ask for your patience for all the facts to come out in the trial."

She cited her husband's awards and letters of commendation, pleading, "I do not want to have to fight this battle alone nor can we afford to fight it. We desperately need your help. I know this is a very large amount of money, and I have no idea how I could ever begin to thank every one or repay them for their kindness."

As of Wednesday morning, GoFundMe had deactivated the page. Its terms and conditions state the site cannot be used to raise money for "the defense or support of anyone alleged to be involved in criminal activity."

In response, the FOP said on its site, "Anyone wishing to donate to the (James Van Dyke) Bond Fund may do so at any of the four locations of the Chicago Patrolmens' Federal Credit Union."

Herbert, Van Dyke's attorney, has said his client "truly was in fear for his life, as well as the lives of his fellow officers." He further said that McDonald had already "punctured a tire on a police car" when Van Dyke encountered him.

"At the point which my client confronted Mr. McDonald, my client was aware of the fact that the individual (McDonald) had not complied with numerous police orders to drop the knife," Herbert said.

While those watching the tape will have "the brilliance and benefit" of hindsight, the case should be tried in a courtroom, not in the media or the streets, he told reporters Tuesday.

"This is not a murder case, despite what you heard in the courtroom. It's truly not a murder case, and we feel that we will be very successful in defending this case," the attorney said.

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WDBJ 7 National News - - Thu, 26 Nov 2015 03:30:00 GMT

Marlin Daniels was driving his car when he was pulled over by police and told they were tracking cars similar because they had been reporting stolen.

He knew nothing of it and reached to take out his ID. When he showed it to them, a veteran's ID, he says the entire tone of the conversation with police changed.

"I had my military ID on me, my veteran's ID, they saw it, and they let me go. No conversation, anything else," he says. "It happens."

All too often, he says. Ask anyone.

"Every minority, well, black man that I know had an issue with police officers," he says.

But things still shock him, even if those everyday stops are more commonplace, he says. Tuesday night was one of those times. He was in utter disbelief at the content of the video released showing the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald and the length of time it took for officials to release it. Thirteen months to be exact.

"Why does it take that long to get this information out?" he asks, noting that in his 10 years of living in Chicago, he's seen enough incidents that he expected the case would've been taken more seriously from the start.

Daniels has a lot of friends who are cops and retired cops who have no issues with race or excessive force. He points to the "small percentage that spoils it for the whole bunch." He spoke to friends and family like others in the black community after the video was released. That conversation, he said, "wasn't nice, I'll put it like that."

"We come to expect this from Chicago police," he says. "It's a way of life sometimes. But at least something is happening."

He hopes the "something," that Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer who shot McDonald 16 times, was charged with first-degree murder would spark a conversation. But justice?

"It will change [things] a little," he says. "But I think the officer is going to get off."

"We're helping them to kill us"

Darlene Perkins wants the black community to wake up.

She saw the video and was hurt like many others -- saying it's a feeling that cuts deep through her bones and picks at the scabs of old wounds.

"I was hurting from a long way back because our people have been suffering this racism since before I even was born, since slavery, over 400 years ago," the 61-year-old says says.

But she also believes you can't just blame the police for the recent spate of officer-involved shootings or attention to gun violence. Especially not in Chicago. And she says if there is to be real change, the black community has to look inward.

"What I don't like is there's so much black on black crime," she says. "So how can you speak totally out against other people, but we have to -- because we're helping them to kill us."

She recalls an old saying: "It's a mighty poor dog that won't wag its own tail."

Perkins says it would help if the black community not only united by boycotting certain stores and shopping at black retailers, despite the costs, but by doing more to empower their community for long-term change.

"Get up and get an education, put those games down. Put the phone down, read something and come out [and make a difference]," she says, her voice steadily growing more intense.

Don't get her wrong. She and her friends and family have choice words and thoughts for officers, too.

She wishes cops would think of their families as they showed up on the scene of an incident: "Would you want someone to kill your own children like that? Put yourself in the place of the victim."

The first conversations she had after seeing the video?

"Lord, when is this going to end?" Perkins tells CNN. "We don't want to be afraid. We are not going to be silenced and shut in the house by fear because the next thing that happens is fear. You thinking if you're walking down the street the police going to pull you over for walking."

She has more she wishes she could say to be open and honest about the conversations she has in her community, but she says people wouldn't take it the right way.

"We have a whole lot of deep conversations -- stuff that I can't even say ... because it might sound like 'Oh, they being racist too.' But the minute black folks stand up for their rights, all the sudden its racism."

There's an opportunity here for both sides, she says. The black community must do theirs to help change the cycle of violence and police must honor their badge.

"They have to have some pride and respect for their uniform, for what it really stands for -- to serve and to protect. Not to kill, steal and destroy," she says.

Police shooting conversations like 'a broken record'

Prince Coakley, 35, says he's talked about Laquan McDonald just like he's talked about all of the other black teens being killed at the hands of police, but it is the same as always.

"It's a broken record," he says, wanting to know when actual change will happen.

He believes a more diverse police force is the place to start. In white communities, the officers are white, in Hispanic neighborhoods, he contends the only reason there is diversity is because of the language barrier.

"Or that would be all white," he says. "In our communities, we barely see black policemen."

The video of McDonald being shot was just another reminder of how he believes the mindset of police departments -- not every single one, he admits, but many -- feel about the black community.

"As a whole the mindset toward African American youth...that's why they're on edge. And it's just not in Chicago: it's nationwide" he says.

Protesting is fine, he says, as he understands the need to express frustration. But he also believes a more strategic plan could yield more effective results.

"We have to take stands when it's time to vote," he says. "We may not have a strong presence in America, but we have a strong presence in Chicago as far as our vote."

"We have to, you know, get out and unite, and the leaders have to stop selling out for money. It's about their agenda and not about the people."

There shouldn't 'be a second, third or fourth time'

Chris Jones feels like enough should be enough.

"After so many of these police brutality situations, you would think that someone would have some empathy and be able to [bring people] together and stop this disheartening violence," he says.

But then again, when he talks with his friends, they all feel like nobody cares whether black people are being killed by police.

"If they did, there wouldn't be a second, third or fourth time," he says. "We just feel like nobody cares. If you've got a heart and you're genuine and care about people ... you wouldn't do this. And if you have some time of power, you would stop it from happening."

His personal interactions with cops have been only for minor traffic violations, he says. But he also says conversations never feel quite right.

"I feel like they talk to me like I'm a child or something or like I'm not an adult or human like them," he says.

But he also has hope for the future. That if both sides worked a little bit on how they worked together, maybe something could be different.

"We all need to be empathetic towards everyone, have a little bit more love and compassion and just come together and realize we're all humans," he says. "We all have feelings and emotions, but at the same time, you have to be able to control those when you are in a place of power."

Police officers 'are like a gang here'

For 23-year-old Columbia College student Elliott Wills, this is personal.

He says as a black male in certain parts of Chicago, you just get used to being targeted by the police.

"Police officers [are] constantly pulling people over on the side blocks and unlawfully searching them and unlawfully detaining them, you know just doing whatever they want to," he tells CNN. "You know, they're like a gang here."

It's a popular phrase, one even chanted on the streets as protesters took to Michigan Avenue in the city on Tuesday night.

They repeated "16 shots" as they calmly walked down the main road, and "We hear the shots bang, the police are a gang."

Wills says he was arrested last week sitting in his car and eventually charged with simple assault. He doesn't say it with shame. He says it's all part of the norm.

"It's something you get used to as you get older in the city. Honestly when you travel outside the city, you notice a big difference. It's not like how it is here. People walk outside, and it's a sense of tension and you really feel it in the air when you're hear versus being in California or somewhere."

There's a divide he says that's certainly noticeable when you cross from the North Side, which he describes as "a chill environment," into the South Side, which Wills likens to "a police state."

"It's very unjust: we're modern slaves out here, and there should be change so I'm very adamant about this," Wills proclaims.

He's proud to be out on the streets taking part in peaceful protests, and he hopes it will build awareness and stop another incident from happening

"Chicago is in a bad place right now," he says. "I just want it to get better. This is my home."

Police murder 'black people with impunity'

Jay Travis has lived on the South Side of Chicago for 43 years and knows this story all too well -- a young black male is killed by police and nothing is done about it. She hopes this time will be different.

Travis loves her city and the Bronzeville neighborhood she calls home. And that's exactly why she says she's was out protesting. She took to the streets of Chicago on the night the video was released to support the young black leaders in this community that protested in the lead up to the video's release -- which she believes are likely the only reason the Chicago officer was charged.

She believes that kind of activism from the youth of the city and a continued push for change can make a difference -- and a statement -- that Chicago won't let another black person die at the hands of police this way.

"We love our neighborhoods, but unfortunately this has been a persistent problem in terms of excessive force being used by the police and the murder of black people with impunity by the police," Travis says. "So we're out of here for love for our city, we're out of here pushing for change ... and we're out here because we value the lives of black people that live throughout the city"

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