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Infant toys, a Koran and shredded files: Inside California shooters’ house

Updated December 05, 2015 12:21:11

A reporter does a live shot inside the home of shooting suspect Syed Farook Photo: The media attracted criticism for conducting live crosses in front of a child’s crib. (AFP: Justin Sullivan)

Baby toys, shredded files, a Koran, computer paraphernalia: the home of the California shooters has been bizarrely and controversially thrown open to the media, offering a glimpse inside the life of the couple behind the carnage.

Two days after US citizen Syed Farook and his Pakistani wife Tashfeen Malik burst into an office party in San Bernardino and shot 14 people dead, media crews were given access by the landlord to the two-story townhouse where they lived with their six-month-old daughter.

Journalists look at personal belongings in the Redlands, California, apartment of Syed Farook Photo: Journalists sift through photos on a cluttered desk. (AFP: Robyn Beck)

In a surreal scrum, dozens of journalists flooded into the home in Redlands, jostling for space as they rifled through children’s toys and family photos for clues to what drove the couple to commit mass murder.

The FBI, which is investigating the shooting as an “act of terrorism”, said it had turned the property back over to its owner and no longer controlled access, as experts voiced consternation that media were allowed to disturb the site.

AFP photographer Robyn Beck, among those permitted to enter, said it was mayhem inside.

“People were touching everything, some reporters were removing pictures out of photo albums and photographing them,” she said.

Television crews displayed drivers’ licenses and social security cards on screen, and what some speculated may be the first known photographs of 27-year-old Malik.

There was a prayer rug, a Koran, and a children’s guide to Islamic manners.

A copy of the Koran and a list of items seized by the FBI in Syed Farook's home Photo: A copy of the Koran sits next to a list of items seized by the FBI. (AFP: Robyn Beck)

The kitchen looked a mess, with dishes littering the sides and sink. A waste-paper basket was filled with shredded documents, apparently discarded by investigators.

Reporters put out live broadcasts standing beside the baby’s crib, brimming with stuffed animals and colourful quilts, drawing scathing commentary from some fellow media.

“Nothing says ‘We’re journalists bravely uncovering the truth like pawing around a child’s bed’,” Mary Beth Williams, a writer for Salon, tweeted.

Biggest visible law enforcement screw-up in history: analyst

Some outlets, including CNN, said they decided not to broadcast close-up footage of objects that could be considered sensitive or identifiable, such as identity cards.

“I never seen anything like this,” CNN’s law enforcement analyst Paul Callan said.

“I think it indicates a shocking degree of negligence and really recklessness by law enforcement authorities here.

The California State University Fullerton student identification of Syed Farook Photo: Syed Farook’s California State University Fullerton student ID. (AFP: Robyn Beck)

“You have a contaminated crime scene now.”

Fellow CNN analyst Jonathan Gilliam said: “This is the biggest visible screw-up in history. A terrorist incident just happened and the reporters are going through and looking at IDs and pictures … it is all evidentiary.”

Among the items visible at the home were pages listing items seized by the FBI: notebooks, computer equipment, pre-paid phone cards, audio cassettes and ammunition.

Pressed to explain why media were given unfettered access, the FBI said it no longer had control over the premises.

“We executed a search warrant on that apartment. And last night we turned that over back to the residents,” FBI Los Angeles office assistant director David Bowdich said.

“Once we turn that location back over to the occupants … or once we board it up, anyone who goes in at that point, that’s got nothing to do with us.”

Killers ‘good tenants’, always paid rent

MSNBC said a reporter from another press outlet had paid the landlord $ US1,000 for access to the premises, where investigators earlier found thousands of rounds of ammunition, a bomb-making laboratory and 12 pipe bombs.

The owner pried open the door at around 9:15am and the rest of the media, followed by members of the public, dashed in behind, including one neighbour with her dog.

Elderly landlord Doyle Miller ordered everyone out about 90 minutes later and admitted he was overwhelmed by the scrum.

He told AFP the couple were “good tenants” who paid their rent every month.

Property landlord Doyle Miller speaks to media outside the home of Syed Farook Photo: Property landlord Doyle Miller admitted he was overwhelmed by the media presence. (AFP: Robyn Beck)

“I opened the door and I saw the damage,” he said.

“It’s chaos in there.

“I guess I don’t understand that type of person, it’s troubling. They don’t have flags or pins on them, how can you tell?”

Both Farook and Malik were killed in a wild firefight with police hours after the carnage at an office party attended by Farook’s co-workers in nearby San Bernardino.

Relatives have been at a loss to explain how the young couple with a baby girl could have staged the country’s deadliest mass shooting since the Newtown school massacre in 2012.


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Topics: terrorism, murder-and-manslaughter, united-states

First posted December 05, 2015 12:18:35

Agen Sabung Ayam

Man and lady face court more than infant death

By Alyse Edwards

Posted December 02, 2015 13:39:59

Map: Rockhampton 4700

A man and lady from Gladstone have appeared in court more than the death of a child in central Queensland much more than two years ago.

An 11-week-old boy was discovered with extreme injuries at a Rockhampton residence in May 2013.

Police mentioned the boy’s injuries integrated 22 broken or fractured bones and bleeding on the brain.

The baby was flown to hospital in Brisbane but died a week later.

Prosecutors stated the baby was also severely malnourished with poor fat stores, and died from an incident straight associated to violent shaking and a lack of oxygen to the brain.

The court was told the trauma occurred over a period of one particular to four weeks due to the fact some of the bones had began to heal in a deformed manner.

Christopher Allan Holland, 31, appeared at Gladstone Magistrates Court charged with manslaughter and cruelty to kids.

He did not apply for bail and remains in custody.

His co-accused, Megan Jean Freeman, 22, is accused of kid cruelty and has been released on bail.

The case against both defendants has been adjourned till later this month.

Subjects: courts-and-trials, murder-and-manslaughter, rockhampton-4700, gladstone-4680

Agen Sabung Ayam

‘No much more infant parts’: Reports suggest motive for abortion clinic shooter

Posted November 29, 2015 14:56:22

The man accused of opening fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado and killing three people said “no more baby parts” while he was being arrested, according to reports citing law enforcement sources.

Key points

  • Reports say man accused of shooting said “no more baby parts” as he was arrested
  • Anti-abortion activists had recorded officials discussing obtaining tissue from aborted foetuses
  • Suspect Robert Dear has history of run-ins with police

The utterance would appear to reference the controversy surrounding the organisation’s health services, which include abortion, and its role in delivering foetal tissue to medical researchers.

It could hint at a possible motive for the deadly shooting, though NBC reported that its sources said investigators still did not know what had motivated gunman Robert Lewis Dear, who surrendered to police after a five-hour siege at the clinic.

Authorities have not discussed a motive for the attack at the Colorado Springs clinic, which left a police officer and two civilians dead and nine people injured.

Shortly after the media reports, attorney-general Loretta E Lynch released a statement in which she condemned the shooting.

“This unconscionable attack was not only a crime against the Colorado Springs community, but a crime against women receiving healthcare services at Planned Parenthood, law enforcement seeking to protect and serve, and other innocent people,” she said.

Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains, said the shooting was an “appalling act of violence targeting access to health care and terrorising skilled and dedicated health care professionals”.

“Eyewitnesses confirm that the man who will be charged with the tragic and senseless shooting… was motivated by opposition to safe and legal abortion,” she said.

Dear, 57, was taken into custody at the Planned Parenthood clinic and jailed ahead of a court appearance scheduled for Monday (local time).

It was not clear if Dear, a South Carolina native who appeared to have moved to Colorado last year, had retained an attorney.

The shooting was believed to be the first fatal attack at an abortion provider in the United States in six years, although it was not known if it was related to the clinic’s abortion services.

Police said a total of 24 people who had at one point been in a hostage situation were evacuated unharmed from the Planned Parenthood building, while some 300 people hunkered down in surrounding businesses.

US president Barack Obama said the suspect was armed with an assault weapon and had held hostages at the Planned Parenthood centre, from which he opened fire at people outside.

“This is not normal. We can’t let it become normal,” a clearly frustrated Mr Obama said in a statement.

“If we truly care about this – if we’re going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience – then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them.”

Planned Parenthood ‘discussed obtaining tissue from foetuses’

Colorado Springs police secure scene of shooting Photo: The gunman shot dead three people, including a police officer, and wounded nine others. (AFP: Justin Edmonds)

The Colorado Springs centre has been repeatedly targeted for protests by anti-abortion activists.

Planned Parenthood came under fire this year after officials of the organisation were secretly recorded by an anti-abortion group discussing how to obtain human tissue from aborted foetuses.

The videos have triggered protests over the national non-profit organisation’s role in such activities and have become an issue in the 2016 presidential election race as conservatives in Congress seek to cut off Planned Parenthood’s federal funding.

Planned Parenthood has strongly denied doing anything illegal or unethical.

At least eight workers at clinics providing abortions have been killed since 1977, according to the National Abortion Federation, most recently in 2009 when doctor George Tiller was shot to death at church in Wichita, Kansas.

Gunman had history of run-ins with police

Except for his name and age, police have only said that Dear recently resided in rural Hartsel, Colorado, about 95 kilometres west of Colorado Springs.

Official records showed that he has a history of brushes with the law.

Dear lived in a trailer parked 45 metres off the highway, sharing it with a woman who may have been his wife though she rarely left the property, according to Zigmond Post Jr, who lives about a quarter of a mile away.

Mr Post told Reuters that he first met Dear when a pair of dogs escaped from his property and Dear locked them in his yard.

Dear was friendly when Mr Post arrived to retrieve the dogs but took the opportunity to complain about US president Barack Obama.

The handcuffed suspected gunman at the Planned Parenthood clinic. Photo: Robert Dear has a history of run-ins with police. (Reuters: Rick Wilking)

Mr Post said he believed the woman was still living in Dear’s trailer on Saturday morning when police, SWAT teams and firefighters arrived to search it.

He said he heard a single gunshot from inside before they entered.

Court records did not show any criminal convictions for Dear in South Carolina, but law enforcement officers were called on several occasions after complaints about him.

According to the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, Dear’s wife accused him of assaulting her at their home in 1997, but she declined to file charges against him.

In 2002 he was accused of shooting a neighbour’s dog with a pellet gun, and that same year he was arrested after being accused of hiding in the bushes at a neighbour’s house and leering at her.

Court records showed he was charged with peeping to invade someone’s privacy, but the charge was dismissed by a judge and a restraining order was issued against him.

The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office also said that Dear had been arrested for animal cruelty in 2003. No court record was available online for that case.


Topics: murder-and-manslaughter, abortion, crime, law-crime-and-justice, united-states

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