EDM Friday Briefing: Hurricane Nicole, Boston Shooting, 911 Operator Charged
Emergency and disaster management briefing for October 14, 2016: Hurricane Nicole reaches Category 3 and hits Bermuda; a 911 operator is fired for allegedly hanging up on multiple genuine callers; Hurricane Matthew claims its 22nd victim in North Carolina; a gunman dies after a shootout with Boston police leaves two officers critically injured; a fire triggers a major blackout in Tokyo; the suspect in the Palm Springs police ambush killings pleads not guilty; Samsung Galaxy Note 7 warnings continue for plane travelers; the Justice Department plans to track police killings in new database.
- Hurricane Nicole became a Category 3 storm before slamming into Bermuda on Thursday. Winds exceeding 120-mph caused roads to collapse and tore the roofs of numerous buildings. As of Thursday evening, the hurricane was heading northwestward and weakening – moving at 21-mph. With a total area of just 21 square miles, Bermuda has seen plenty of hurricanes make landfall in recent years including back-to-back hurricanes in 2014 that struck the British territory within one week.
- A Houston-based 911 operator was fired for allegedly hanging up more than 1,000 callers. Crenshanda Williams, 43, was under police monitoring after her manager noticed an unusually large number of her calls lasted less than 20 seconds. According to court documents, Williams answers one of the recorded calls by saying "Houston 911, do you need medical, police or fire?" When the caller states that a robbery is in progress, Williams is heard sighing before hanging up. The man dialed 911 a second time and spoke with a different dispatcher. However, by the time the police arrived at the robbery scene, a man was dead.
- Two more deaths occurred in North Carolina Thursday as a result of Hurricane Matthew, bringing the death toll to 22. More than 43,000 residents remained without power five days after the storm pounded the state. Drone footage shows the flood waters of the Tar River lapping up against the sides of numerous apartment buildings in Greenville, N.C.
— Greenville F/R (@GreenvilleFR) October 13, 2016
- A City of Boston constable was shot and killed late Wednesday after he opened fire on police outside his home. Kirk Figueroa, 33, was killed in the shootout which left two officers in critical but stable condition. Boston police identified the two injured officers as Richard Cintolo, a 27-year veteran, and Matt Morris – in the department for 12 years.
- Japan: A fire at a Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) facility in Niiza likely caused a massive blackout in Tokyo, which affected as many as 580,000 households on Wednesday and Thursday. Tokyo’s police department and other government offices briefly lost power.
- The man accused of killing two police officers and wounding a third during an ambush attack in Palm Springs, CA was formally charged on Wednesday with murder and attempted murder. He entered a plea of not guilty. The suspect, John Hernandez Felix, 26, faces a possible death penalty sentence if convicted as charged. Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin has not decided if he intends to seek capital punishment in the case. Felix, a suspected gang member, allegedly targeted the police officers specifically and was wearing body armor when he attacked them last weekend. He used an AR-15 rifle loaded with armor-piercing ammunition.
- British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair have all issued warnings to their passengers to keep their Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones switched off. Samsung issued a statement earlier in the week that urged carrier and retail partners to stop sales and exchanges of the Note 7 while it investigates the phone's battery problem which has caused the device to either explode or catch fire. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has not yet officially banned the problematic devices.
— Benjamin Malloy (@MrBenMalloy) October 11, 2016
- Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Thursday that the Department of Justice will begin to collect data on the police use of deadly force in the line of duty as early as 2017. FBI and Justice Department leaders say that a detailed database is essential to “build community trust and promote transparency.” Demands for more comprehensive data on police shootings surfaced within the past two years after a string of well-publicized and high-profile deaths of black men at the hands of the police. The federal government is currently unable to accurately report how often fatal encounters occur across the United States, and the new database is planned to expand access to records and improve police-community relations.