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Innocent People Killed When Police Use Civilians as Shields During UPS Truck Shootout

“They murdered him.” Family members of the deceased UPS driver are speaking out.

Emma Fiala

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UPS Truck Shootout

(TMU)UPDATE (12.7.19): The previously unidentified innocent bystander who was killed Thursday during police shootout in Miramar, Florida has now been identified as Richard Cutshaw.

The 70-year-old, known as “Mr. Rick,” was driving home from work when he found himself in the middle of what has been described as a war zone.

Cutshaw, who was caught in the crossfire, has been described by neighbors as quiet and private, but also funny and willing to help when he could. “He was a good man. That’s it,” said one neighbor who lived next to Cutshaw for 20 years.

According to a senior law enforcement source, a total of 19 officers from five agencies responded to the incident on Thursday. While the total number of shots fired in the incident that left four dead is currently unknown, a source told CBS4 that it could very well exceed 200 rounds.

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In what appears set to become a series of shots heard round the world, four people ended up dead at the hands of police after a hijacked UPS truck led law enforcement on an erratic chase in Miramar, Florida.

The deceased include two suspects, a UPS driver who has been identified as Frank Ordonez, as well as an innocent bystander.

On Thursday, an armed robbery at Regent Jewelers in Coral Gables went awry when the silent alarm was triggered at approximately 4:15 pm. At least one woman was hurt during the robbery that soon escalated to the hijacking of a nearby UPS truck, according to Coral Gables Police Chief Edward J. Hudak Jr.

Officials say the two robbery suspects hijacked the truck, taking the driver hostage, before fleeing.

Less than a minute later, police were alerted to shots having been fired across the street at Coral Gables City Hall, with one bullet striking the building, allegedly originating from the fleeing UPS truck, FBI Special Agent in Charge George Piro in charge of the Miami field office, said during a Thursday night briefing. The building went into lockdown after the shooting.

According to officials, the truck then led police on a long chase in which it drove over curbs, made U-turns, and drove erratically while weaving around other vehicles, including those belonging to law enforcement. Dozens of officers were in pursuit during the ordeal that saw the UPS truck speeding through congested streets and intersections. CNN reports that “at one point, the line of emergency vehicles trailing the truck stretched for about half a mile.”

By the time the chase ended, more than 40 emergency vehicles had responded to the incident. Disturbing footage shows police exiting their vehicles and approaching the UPS truck on foot as it came to a stop in heavy traffic. Rather than treat the incident as a hostage situation, police drew their weapons and used bystanders’ vehicles as cover.

'Multiple fatalities' in shootout following theft of UPS truck in Florida: Police

HAPPENING NOW: Authorities in South Florida hold news conference after police pursuit ends with deadly shootout. https://abcn.ws/33SnxYJ

Posted by ABC News on Thursday, December 5, 2019

As seen in live aerial footage from WSVN, the Ordonez, who according to his brother was covering the route for another driver, left the steering wheel before shots appeared to be fired inside the truck at 5:35 p.m.

https://twitter.com/itsyagirllorena/status/1202738719054319616

According to Piro, both suspects as well as two innocent bystanders were killed during the ordeal. “Unfortunately the suspects are now deceased, but two additional innocent civilians were also deceased,” the agent explained during Thursday night’s press briefing.

“It’s very early in the investigative process, there are a lot of questions that are still unanswered,” he continued.

It remains unknown whether the first shots came from police or those inside the UPS truck and whether or not the driver and bystander were killed by police fire.

And now, family members of Frank Ordonez are speaking out.

Joe Merino, Ordonez’s stepfather, told Local 10 News:

“They murdered him. I hope you can understand that and how I feel because it could have been prevented.”

The driver’s brother, Roy Ordonez, told CNN his brother was an “outgoing and happy” father of two 3 and 6-year-old girls. The 27-year-old enjoyed fishing, playing basketball and video games, and “most of all,” his brother said, “what Frank really liked to do is spend time with his daughters.”

A GoFundMe page that has raised over $60,000 in its first nine hours, was set up to help Ordonez’s family.

Merino, who called the scene “a war zone,” is lashing out at police and questioning their tactics:

“I have common sense, like we all do, and it shows me, where’s the protocol? Where was protocol? Where was SWAT? Where was the hostage negotiator? Where was the sniper? They shot him dead!”

The negligence, the irresponsibility, the lack of life, the lack of concern. The disregard for life for the victim.”

Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez responded to Merino moments later, saying:

“Their perceptions are because they have lost loved ones, so you can’t argue with the way they view things. They’re speaking with pure emotion and, again, I completely understand and I empathize with the loss of their family.”

Social media users were quick to express their outrage and disgust at what many are calling irresponsible tactics by police, as both aerial news footage and shocking footage from those witnessing the scene unfold firsthand began to emerge.

https://twitter.com/KharloKong/status/1202807343328530432

UPS released the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened to learn a UPS service provider was a victim of this senseless act of violence. We extend our condolences to the family and friends of our employee and the other innocent victims involved in this incident. We appreciate law enforcement’s service and will cooperate with the authorities as they continue the investigation.”

Merino, who maintains the police were only protecting themselves, plans to continue speaking out about his stepson’s murder.

“What bothers me is the fact that the police went home that night to their families; to their daughters and sons and their wives. Frank is never coming back. He wasn’t afforded that right—the right that police is supposed to protect all of us—and they didn’t protect him when he most needed it.”

While the FBI remains tight-lipped, Merino says he knows who is responsible—the police.

The incident and deaths remain under investigation by the very agencies involved in the shocking scene that unfolded Thursday evening.

By Emma Fiala | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

Health

Humans May Have Found a Way To Not Only Stop Aging – But To Reverse It as Well

Elias Marat

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Humans have long to reverse the effects of aging and prolong their lives. Whether this was due to a love of power, a love of wealth or simple human anxiety about the loss of youth, tales about immortality can be found in the folk tales of countless cultures.

And while aging is a wholly natural process, humans have always struggled to fight against it – be it through science and medicine or through the search for supposed cures such as the mythical Fountain of Youth.

And now, Israeli scientists have claimed to have figured out a solution not only to the process of biological aging – but to reverse it as well, simply by administering pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber.

In a study published Nov. 18 in the peer-reviewed journal Aging, the scientists claim to have showed how aging could be reversed in two key biological clocks in humans related to aging and illness by administering high-pressure oxygen in a pressurized chamber.

When humans grow olders and their cells divide, the sequences of DNA at the end of chromosomes – known as telomeres – grow shorter with time. After the telomeres become too short, the cell is unable to replicate and eventually dies.

While telomere shortening can keep rogue cancerous cells from multiplying rapidly, this also results in genetic aging. As a result, geriatric cells that aren’t able to divide –  also known as senescent cells – accumulate throughout our lives, and are one of the key causes of aging.

In the clinical study, 35 people aged 64 or older were given hyperbaric oxygen treatments (HBOT) for 90 minutes a day, five times a week over the course of three months. Blood samples were collected from subjects prior to the treatment, after after the first and second months of the trial, and two weeks after the trial ended.

The patients didn’t have any lifestyle, diet, or medication changes during the study. However, their blood revealed major increases in the telomere length of their cells and a decrease in the number of their senescent cells.

For the researchers, the results of the study offered proof that the process of aging is reversible.

“Researchers around the world are trying to develop pharmacological and environmental interventions that enable telomere elongation,” Prof. Shai Efrati of Tel Aviv University told the Jerusalem Post. “Our HBOT protocol was able to achieve this, proving that the aging process can in fact be reversed at the basic cellular-molecular level.”

The groundbreak study, he added, “gives hope and opens the door for a lot of young scientists to target aging as a reversible disease.”

The oxygen treatment also improved subjects’ attention, ability to process information, as well as subjects’ executive functions, the researchers said.

While attempts to halt aging through modifying one’s lifestyle or intensively exercising can provide “some inhibiting effect on telomere shortening”, the hyperbaric oxygen treatment is more effective, said Efrati’s partner at the Shamir Medical Center, Chief Medical Research Officer Amir Hadanny.

“In our study, only three months of HBOT were able to elongate telomeres at rates far beyond any currently available interventions or lifestyle modifications,” Hadanny said.

The study could open the door to a radical new approach to medical problems and medicine in general.

“Today telomere shortening is considered the ‘Holy Grail’ of the biology of aging,” Prof. Shai Efrati of Tel Aviv University told the Jerusalem Post. “We are not [just] slowing the decline – we are going backwards in time.”

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Saturn and Jupiter Will Align and Create Extremely Rare ‘Christmas Star’ During Winter Solstice

Elias Marat

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The 2020 holiday season is widely expected to be one unlike any other, due in no small part to the ongoing public health emergency. However, Christmas celebrations will also be unique due to an extremely rare planetary alignment, the likes of which have never been seen since medieval times.

Star-gazers will be in for a major treat come December 21, 2020 – the date of the winter solstice – when Jupiter and Saturn will appear extremely close to one another in our night sky, making the planets appear that they might almost collide and becoming one extremely luminous point of light.

The rare celestial treat coinciding with Christmas week will see the Solar System’s two largest planets appear as a “double planet” for the first time in almost 800 years.

“Alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to one another,” said astronomer Patrick Hartigan in a press release from Rice University in Houston, Texas.

“You’d have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky,” he added.

Of course, these massive planets won’t be close to one another. Consider our own planet’s distance from the sun. Astronomers use what’s called astronomical units (au) to measure distances in the sprawling expanse of our solar system. Jupiter lies 5 au from the Earth, while Saturn lies 10 au away.

Since the summer, Jupiter and Saturn have been headed towards each other in our own night sky. And from Dec. 16-25, they will appear to be separated by only less than the diameter of a full moon.

While astronomers are recommending that the best views will be seen from around the equator, if good weather permits then the alignment will be clear from any location here on Earth.

Jupiter and Saturn will also be clear during the twilight, for roughly an hour after sunset every evening. However, a telescope tilted toward the western sky will be the best way to catch a glimpse of the extremely rare event.

“On the evening of closest approach on Dec 21 they will look like a double planet, separated by only 1/5th the diameter of the full moon,” Hartigan explained. “For most telescope viewers, each planet and several of their largest moons will be visible in the same field of view that evening.”

“The further north a viewer is, the less time they’ll have to catch a glimpse of the conjunction before the planets sink below the horizon.”

Websites like Stellarium will also be helpful in figuring out where you should look for the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction.

If you don’t get a chance to catch Jupiter and Saturn this close together, you can catch the pair again relatively soon – on March 15, 2080.

However, the next time Jupiter and Saturn will be so close in earthly night skies will be in 2400.

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Breonna Taylor Protest Leader, Suspect in Drug Case, Both Shot Dead Within Days

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Two people with close ties to the Breonna Taylor case have been shot and killed this week, and no suspects have announced in either case. Last Thursday, 28-year-old Adrian O. Walker was shot and killed in west Louisville, Kentucky, according to the Courier-Journal. Walker was one of the primary suspects in the investigation that led to the raid on Breonna Taylor’s home back in March. 

Adrian Walker entered a not guilty plea in late July to charges of engaging in a criminal syndicate, along with drug and gun charges, in connection with the investigation. He was one of the three people listed on the search warrant for Taylor’s home. 

Adrian Walker is not related to Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker, who fired back at police when the home was raided, they just happen to have the same last name. 

Police believed that Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, was storing cash and receiving packages of drugs at Taylor’s home, and that Adrian Walker was working with him.

Glover previously told reporters that he was offered a plea deal in which he would be promised a lighter sentence if he agreed to claim that Taylor was a criminal who belonged to an “organized crime syndicate.”

Glover turned down the deal. He believes that Taylor’s house may have been targeted because she bailed him out of jail when he was in trouble in the past. Police say that Glover was selling drugs out of a house nearly ten miles away from where the raid occurred, but he has pled not guilty to those charges and claims that the police are mistaken.

Adrian Walker, who was listed as an associate of Glover’s in the warrant, was found dead sometime in the afternoon on November 19th, on the 2300 block of Magazine Street, and police have not shared any details about the case with the public.

Just a few days later, one of the protest leaders behind the justice for Breonna Taylor movement was shot and killed, the Courier-Journal reported. On Monday, Hamza “Travis” Nagdy, was killed on the 2100 block of Crittenden Drive, also in Louisville.

Alton Strupp / Courier Journal

There are no suspects in his shooting either, and police have not revealed any details about the case.

In a post on Facebook, Nagdy’s mother and stepmother both confirmed his death. His sister, Sarah Nagdy, launched a GoFundMe for Nagdy’s funeral expenses, which has already raised over $17,000 in the first day that it was posted. A candlelight vigil in Nagdy’s honor will take place at Jefferson Square Park at 6 p.m. on Monday evening.

There is no indication that these two shootings are connected, but it is concerning that two people with connections to such a high profile case have died in unexplained murders.

So far this year there have been over 140 homicides in the city of Louisville, breaking the city’s record of 117 homicides in 2016 over a month before the end of the year.

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