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State prosecutor will seek indictment against Virginia cop who shot and killed William Chapman

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Virginia state prosecutor will seek indictment from grand jury over death of unarmed black 18-year-old, who was shot dead by a white police officer in April

A state prosecutor in Virginia will seek to prosecute a police officer who shot dead an unarmed black 18-year-old outside a supermarket in the city of Portsmouth earlier this year, it was announced on Thursday.

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Stephanie Morales, the commonwealth’s attorney for Portsmouth, will request an indictment against the officer who fatally shot William Chapman, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor said in a statement. The officer has been identified by the Guardian as Stephen Rankin.

“The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has reviewed all evidence and will seek an indictment before the next grand jury,” the spokeswoman, Tamara Shewmake, said, adding Morales “will provide an update following grand jury presentment”.

Chapman was shot in the head and chest by Rankin outside a Walmart superstore on the morning of 22 April. The pair engaged in a physical struggle after Rankin tried to arrest the 18-year-old on suspicion of shoplifting, according to police. Witnesses said Chapman broke free and then stepped back towards the officer aggressively before being shot twice.

Authorities have declined to say whether Chapman was found to have stolen anything. An autopsy report obtained by the Guardian said Chapman’s body showed no signs of a close-range shot, indicating that he was shot from several feet away.

In April 2011 Rankin fatally shot Kirill Denyakin, a Kazakh cook, less than three miles from the site of Chapman’s death. Denyakin was shot 11 times by Rankin, who was responding to a 911 call about the 26-year-old aggressively banging at the door of a building where he was staying.

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Rankin said he shot Denyakin because the cook, who was drunk, charged at him while reaching into the waistband of his jeans. The officer said he feared Denyakin would pull out a weapon. No weapon was found.


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Nobel economist says he’s done the math — and the risk Trump and McConnell pose to the economy is ‘terrifying’

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Very much a student of New Deal economics, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has often stressed that helping the unemployed during an economic downturn not only helps those who are out of work — it also benefits the economy on the whole. Krugman made that point many times during the Great Recession, and in a column published this week, the liberal economist warns that the “coronavirus recession of 2020” will become even worse if unemployed Americans don’t receive the help that they need.

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‘Friday Night Massacre’ at US Postal Service as Postmaster General—a major Trump donor—ousts top officials

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Government watchdogs, Democratic lawmakers, and pro-democracy advocates declared it a "Friday Night Massacre" for the U.S. Postal Service after news broke in a classic end-of-the-week dump that Louis DeJoy—a major GOP donor to President Donald Trump and the recently appointed Postmaster General—had issued a sweeping overhaul of the agency, including the ouster of top executives from key posts and the reshuffling of more than two dozen other officials and operational managers.

According to the Washington Post:

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Virus outbreak in Houston-area nursing home kills 17

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A novel coronavirus outbreak at a Missouri City nursing home, outside of Houston, has killed 17 residents, according to data from state officials.

City officials issued a press release this week raising alarm over 19 deaths that they said occurred at the Paradigm at First Colony Nursing Home but nursing home officials told The Texas Tribune that the number is incorrect and declined to provide the correct number.

The city also reported that the facility has 24 infected staff members and the nursing home reported 11 currently infected residents who are in stable condition.

“This harrowing development speaks to the severity of this pandemic and how everyone needs to take it even more seriously,” said Missouri City Mayor Yolanda Ford of the outbreak in a Wednesday press release.

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