Charge Upgraded Against Suspect In Charlottesville Killing
CNN.com– An Ohio driver accused of plowing into a crowd protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one woman, is facing an upgraded murder charge.
James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, initially was charged with second-degree murder and other offenses, including malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death. The most serious charge is now first-degree murder.
Police say he fatally struck 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injured 36 others on August 12.
The victims were demonstrating against the “Unite the Right” rally, which drew white nationalists who opposed the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Prosecutors announced the upgraded charge at a court hearing where they showed two videos — including one from a police helicopter — that authorities said captures Fields’ car stopping down the street from protesters, then driving into the crowd before speeding away.
NYPD Opens Investigation Into Russell Simmons
CNN.com– The New York Police Department has opened an investigation into Russell Simmons based on media reports of multiple women coming forward to accuse the music mogul of sexual misconduct, including rape, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation said.
Brad Rose, an attorney for Simmons, released a statement Thursday night saying that “Russell Simmons fully supports and will cooperate with the police inquiry and is confident of a swift resolution.”
In stories published Wednesday, nine women accused the media mogul of sexual harassment and assault, in incidents alleged to have occurred over decades. Four of those women, Drew Dixon, Toni Sallie, Tina Baker and Sherri Hines accuse Simmons of rape. CNN’s policy is not to name victims of sexual assault or rape unless they make their names public.
Crackdown on ‘Stop-N-Go’ Stores Approved After Council Debate
NBC Philadelphia- A bill cracking down on liquor sales by the hundreds of “stop-n-go” stores throughout Philadelphia was approved 14-3 after long and heated debate Thursday in City Council.
Supporters and opponents of the legislation by Councilwoman Cindy Bass testified for more than an hour before the vote was held.
The bill would implement new regulations governing corner stores that have liquor licenses to sell single beers and shots of liquor. At the heart of the controversy is one of those regulations regarding bulletproof glass separating cashiers from customers in many of the stores. The glass may be required to be removed in stores after a three-year review by the city.
Mayor Jim Kenney will sign the bill into law, a spokesman said.
“The bill does not require the removal of plexiglass –it gives L&I three years to convene a diverse group of stakeholders to decide how the plexiglass issue is to be handled – that could mean L&I ultimately decides to leave the plexiglass as is, to remove it completely or something in between,” Kenney spokesman Mike Dunn said in an email.