With Crime rising through our nation Police reach out to the Church

Matthew 24:12 “And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

Important Takeaways:

  • As Crime Surges in US Cities, Strained Police Forces Turn to Houses of Worship for Help
  • Major American cities are facing a perfect storm. Violent crime is growing and law enforcement agencies are struggling to keep officers on the job.
  • In Gresham, Oregon, Sgt. Travis Garrison says a crime spike is forcing his department to choose which calls and crimes they can send officers to. “We’re only able to investigate murders,” Sgt. Garrison said. “We’ll routinely respond to shootings but if the person is going to survive, we are not going to follow up on that.”
  • In Philadelphia, police disbanded their abandoned car unit. In Los Angeles, police cut their homeless outreach and animal cruelty teams.
  • In an unprecedented move, departments are turning to houses of worship, hoping faith can help reduce that trend.
  • More than 25 law enforcement groups joined prominent faith leaders on Capitol Hill, Tuesday – inviting communities to participate in the National Faith and Blue Weekend.
  • Chief Patrick Ogden, Associate Chief of Police at the University of Delaware, sees these partnerships as key to building stronger and safer communities.

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After being brutally beaten an 82 year old Portland man dies from the unprovoked attack

Romans 1 :18 “But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.

Important Takeaways:

  • Portland man, 82, dies after unprovoked attack at bus stop, police say
  • An 82-year-old Portland man died Thursday of injuries he suffered last month when he was brutally beaten during an unprovoked attack at a bus stop, authorities said.
  • The suspect repeatedly punched and kicked both elderly victims and continued to assault them after they fell to the ground, according to witnesses and video evidence obtained by police.
  • The suspect, identified as 29-year-old Keffer J. White, was immediately arrested at the scene.
  • White has remained in custody at the Multnomah County Detention Center on two charges of second-degree assault and an outstanding warrant.
  • Police said homicide detectives have taken the case and additional charges are pending against White.

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After Philadelphia shooting Mayor says Nobody should have guns except the police

2Timothy 3:1-8 “Know this: In the last days perilous times will come. 2 Men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 without natural affection, trucebreakers, slanderers, unrestrained, fierce, despisers of those who are good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness, but denying its power. Turn away from such people.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Philadelphia shooting: Dem mayor rips Second Amendment, says only the police should have guns
  • Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said the US should be more like Canada
  • Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney suggested the Second Amendment and the United States Supreme Court were too lenient when it came to gun rights, following a shooting that injured two police officers near a Fourth of July event
  • Kenney told a group of reporters that only police officers should be allowed to own guns and that he is looking forward to retiring, so he no longer has to deal with gun violence.
  • “If I had the ability to take care of guns, I would,” he said. “But the legislature won’t let us. Congress won’t let us. The governor does the best he can [and] the attorney general does the best he can, but this is a gun country.”

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Philadelphia Fourth of July fireworks show ends with two police officers shot

2Timothy 3:1-8 “Know this: In the last days perilous times will come. 2 Men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 without natural affection, trucebreakers, slanderers, unrestrained, fierce, despisers of those who are good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness, but denying its power. Turn away from such people.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Two Police Officers Shot During Philadelphia Fourth of July Fireworks Show
  • Officers were shot and injured in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum while they were on duty at the Fourth of July festivities in the historic city.
  • One officer suffered a graze wound to the shoulder, while the other officer suffered a similar would to his forehead, with the bullet being found in his hat.
  • Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said: that there have currently been no arrests and no suspects have been detained as of 12:30 am Tuesday morning. It is also unclear whether the officers were deliberately targeted or if it was the result of stray gunfire.
  • The shooting, which occurred around 10 pm, resulted in a stampede of people attempting to flee the Benjamin Franklin Parkway where they had gathered to watch the fireworks display above the Art Museum. The shooting followed a free concert in the city, featuring R&B singer Jason Derulo.

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One of Texas’ 10 Most Wanted Fugitives dies in police shootout

Mark 13:12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.

Important Takeaways:

  • A Texas inmate suspected of murdering five people after he escaped from a prison bus was killed by authorities
  • The victims were four students who attended Tomball Independent School District and their grandfather, school officials said Friday.
  • Lopez, who was serving a life sentence for a capital murder in Hidalgo County and an attempted capital murder in Webb County, managed to break free from his shackles, overpower a bus driver and escape from custody

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Concerns about public safety in L.A.

Luke 21:11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

Important Takeaways:

  • More than 1,000 L.A.-area police officers, firefighters, paramedics ill or home quarantining due to COVID
  • More than 500 employees of the Los Angeles Police Department — including 416 sworn officers
  • The Los Angeles Fire Department had 201 employees out due to the coronavirus
  • Sheriff’s Department had 552 employees out, including 389 sworn deputies
  • A spokesman for L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti called it an “unprecedented surge”

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Austrian lockdown for the unvaccinated is days away, chancellor says

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria is days away from placing millions of people not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 on lockdown, as daily infections are at a record high and intensive-care units are increasingly strained, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said on Thursday.

Around 65% of Austria’s population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, the lowest rate of any Western European country apart from tiny Liechtenstein, according to European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control data.

Many Austrians are skeptical about vaccinations, a view encouraged by the far-right Freedom Party, the third-biggest in parliament.

Under an incremental government plan agreed in September, once 30% of intensive-care beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients, people not vaccinated against the coronavirus will be placed under lockdown, with restrictions on their daily movements. The current level is 20% and rising fast.

“According to the incremental plan we actually have just days until we have to introduce the lockdown for unvaccinated people,” Schallenberg told a news conference in the westernmost province of Vorarlberg, adding that Austria’s vaccination rate is “shamefully low.”

The conservative-led government said on Friday it was banning the unvaccinated from restaurants, theatres, ski lifts and providers of “services close to the body” like hairdressers.

“A lockdown for the unvaccinated means one cannot leave one’s home unless one is going to work, shopping (for essentials), stretching one’s legs – namely exactly what we all had to suffer through in 2020,” Schallenberg said, referring to three national lockdowns last year.

Centrist opposition parties have accused the government of doing too little for months to boost vaccination levels and keep infections in check.

Some conservatives have argued that a lockdown for the unvaccinated would be unenforceable. Schallenberg said the police would conduct spot checks.

The surge in Austria comes at a time when Eastern European states, with the continent’s lowest vaccination rates, are experiencing some of the world’s highest daily death tolls per capita. Dutch experts on Thursday recommended a two-week partial lockdown, which would be Western Europe’s first since vaccines were widely deployed, and other countries are requiring vaccination certificates to enter public spaces.

(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Peter Graff)

New York prepares for fallout from vaccine mandate resisted by many police, firefighters

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York woke up on Monday to its first full workday under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s order that all city workers be vaccinated for COVID-19, with many police officers and firefighters still refusing the shot and one labor leader calling the mandate a recipe for disaster.

De Blasio, a Democrat who announced the mandate less than two weeks ago, has assured the city of 8.8 million people that officials could handle any shortage of police, firefighters or sanitation workers through schedule changes and overtime.

“Another great uptick to report. @FDNY EMS vaccine rates are up to 87%,” Danielle Filson, a press deputy for de Blasio, tweeted on Sunday night.

The percentage of inoculated police officers and firefighters is below that of other city employees, and union leaders say de Blasio will be to blame if emergency services are left in disarray in the largest U.S city.

“We need everyone we can to keep the city running and keep it safe. We’re trying to avoid what is going to be an inevitable disaster by design on Monday morning,” Andrew Ansbro, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, told a news conference on Friday.

Union leaders say their members were given only nine days to comply with the mayor’s vaccination deadline and that workers who have already been ill with COVID-19 should be granted an exemption. That includes some 70% of firefighters, Ansbro said.

The dispute is the latest nationwide over vaccine mandates that have been increasingly imposed by political leaders, including President Joe Biden, to help stem the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. Police officers and firefighters in Chicago and Los Angeles have also pushed back hard.

New York City health officials say that while research has yet to determine the degree and length of immunity from COVID-19 following an infection and illness, experts agree that vaccines can afford additional protection.

De Blasio has forecast that vaccination rates for city workers would continue to rise significantly.

The mayor said similar deadlines for other New York state and city workers prompted a rush for last-minute shots as reality set in that paychecks were about to stop coming.

Legal challenges by police and fire unions in New York City and elsewhere have so far been unsuccessful, with state and federal courts reluctant to overturn vaccine mandates.

(Reporting by Peter Szekely and Trevor Clifford in New York; Writing and additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Toronto says police not vaccinated by Nov 30 will be put on unpaid leave

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Members of Toronto’s police, the largest municipal force in Canada, will be placed on unpaid leave if they do not provide proof of complete inoculation against COVID-19 by Nov. 30, officials said on Thursday.

The move is the latest announcement in a crackdown by professional bodies across Canada. The police force said 90% of members had disclosed their vaccine status and of those, 94% had received two shots.

The Toronto Police Service employs over 5,500 officers and more than 2,200 civilian staff.

“Effective on November 30, 2021, any member … who has not disclosed their vaccination status or is not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will have rendered themselves unable to perform their duties. These members will be placed on an indefinite unpaid absence,” it said in a statement.

“The safety of our workplaces and the health of our members is of critical importance to the Service.”

Canada’s federal Liberal government said earlier this month it would place unvaccinated federal employees on unpaid leave if they had not proved their inoculation status by Oct 29.

Public broadcaster Canadian Broadcasting Corp said on Thursday it had set a Dec. 1 deadline for all staff, contractors, producers, vendors and guests to be fully vaccinated.

Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children placed 147 of its employees on unpaid leave on Thursday for failing to submit proof of full inoculation, a spokeswoman said.

The Ottawa Hospital, one of the biggest in Canada, has told 318 staff they will be put on unpaid leave unless they get fully vaccinated by Nov. 1, a spokesman told CTV news on Thursday.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

U.S. Supreme Court again protects police accused of excessive force

By Andrew Chung

(Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday granted requests by police officers in separate cases from California and Oklahoma for legal protection under a doctrine called “qualified immunity” from lawsuits accusing them of using excessive force.

The justices overturned a lower court’s decision allowing a trial in a lawsuit against officers Josh Girdner and Brandon Vick over the fatal shooting of a hammer-wielding man in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

They also overturned a lower court’s decision to deny a request by Union City, California police officer Daniel Rivas-Villegas for qualified immunity in a lawsuit accusing him of using excessive force while handcuffing a suspect.

The brief rulings favoring the police in the two cases were unsigned, with no public dissents among the justices. They were issued in cases that were decided without oral arguments.

The qualified immunity defense protects police and other government officials from civil litigation in certain circumstances, permitting lawsuits only when an individual’s “clearly established” statutory or constitutional rights have been violated.

The decisions on Monday indicate that the justices still think lower courts are denying qualified immunity too frequently in excessive force cases involving police, having previously chided appeals courts on that issue in recent years.

Reuters in 2020 published an investigation that revealed how qualified immunity, with the Supreme Court’s continual refinements, has made it easier for police officers to kill or injure civilians with impunity.

(Reporting by Andrew Chung in New York; Additional reporting by Lawrence Hurley in Washington; Editing by Will Dunham)