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Baltimore cop shoots man armed with chapstick and warns his brother: ‘I’ve got a bullet for you, too’

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A Baltimore police officer shot and wounded a man after he reached into his pocket to show the chapstick he was carrying.

John Rau was with his brother Monday night when he was stopped by police Major Byron Conaway, although the police department has not said why, reported WJZ-TV.

“All the guy said was, ‘What’s your name, sir?’ and I was like, ‘For what?’ and then he jumped out of the car with his gun and told me to put my hands up,” Rau said. “(The officer asked), ‘What you got in your hand?’ I had a cigarette in one hand, and I just put my hand in my pocket, because I was just putting chapstick on, and I said 10 times, ‘It’s chapstick, only chapstick, officer.”

Witnesses said the officer, who is black, shot the 40-year-old Rau, who is white, in the thigh when he reached into his pocket.

“You see the man walking across the street, the truck pulled right in front of him, pulled past him,” said a witness who did not want to be identified. “He jumped out the car, said, ‘Get on the ground.’ The man kept continuing walking. The police ran around the car with a gun in his hand and shot him. Nothing else was said, just ‘Get on the ground.'”

Ronald Birmingham, Rau’s brother, said Conaway threatened to shoot him, too, when he tried to assist his wounded brother.

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“The officer clearly stated to me, ‘I got a bullet for you too,’” Birmingham said. “I said, ‘My brother’s bleeding,’ (but) he said, ‘Back up,’ and he kept pointing the gun and me and pointed the gun at my brother.”

Rau, who was not carrying a weapon, was hospitalized and is expected to recover from his wounds.

“If I wouldn’t have moved, I’d have been Freddie Gray — I’d be dead,” Rau said.

Police said the officer immediately rendered aid and applied a tourniquet, but Rau’s family angrily disputes their claims.

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Dianna Warren, Rau’s sister, said Conaway stood over her wounded brother and held him at gunpoint until an ambulance arrived.

“He missed my brother’s artery by so much over that,” Birmingham said, holding up his brother’s chapstick. “There’s no way you can mistake this for a weapon.”

Rau had been on his way to meet Warren’s teenage son to walk the boy home from art class.

“How do you explain that to a 13-year-old?” Warren said. “He’s asking me, ‘If police stop me, should I run?’ I don’t want my child to run, but…”

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Conaway, a 16-year veteran, was placed on administrative leave and has 10 days to make a statement to investigators.

The police major received a departmental Bronze Star last year for his actions that resulted in the shooting of a man in 2009, reported the Baltimore Sun.

A woman slipped Conaway a note during that incident pleading for help, and the officer saw a man who had been in a car with the woman reach for a handgun — so he shot him.

The city paid a $67,500 settlement four years ago to another man who claimed that Conaway and other officers beat him unprovoked during a robbery interrogation in 2007, the newspaper reported.

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Conaway claims that he pushed that man, Terrell Perkins, to the ground after he reached for his service weapon.

Perkins claims the other officers beat him up when he tried to leave, even though police told him he was not under arrest.

He was charged with assaulting Conaway, although that charge was later dropped, and then acquitted by a jury of resisting arrest.

Watch this video report posted online by WJZ-TV:

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Republican lawmakers ask judge to destroy smoking gun documents proving GOP’s white supremacy

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Republicans on Monday sought a court order to block damning documents from being used against them in a lawsuit.

"North Carolina Republican lawmakers on Monday asked a court to make sure the files of the now-deceased GOP strategist Tom Hofeller are destroyed, or at least kept secret, instead of being used in a high-profile gerrymandering lawsuit," the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

"The filing comes after the groups behind the lawsuit, including Common Cause, accused Republican lawmakers of making false statements in court in a previous gerrymandering case, when the state’s 2011 maps were ruled unconstitutional," the newspaper noted. "That blockbuster accusation made national headlines and was, it said, based on Hofeller’s files which had been secret until recently."

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Trump angrily demands newspaper reveal unnamed sources behind bombshell report on his Russia policy

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President Donald Trump on Monday evening again lashed out at The New York Times for reporting on his Russia policy.

"The story in The New York Times about the U.S. escalating attacks on Russia’s power grid is fake news, and the failing New York Times knows it," Trump argued in a tweet sent after 10 p.m.

"They should immediately release their sources which, if they exist at all, which I doubt, are phony," he continued.

"Times must be held fully accountable," he demanded.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1140804748423118848

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Trump seethes and calls Fox ‘fake news’ after seeing a story that made him mad

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Trouble appears to be brewing between President Donald Trump and the cable news station he loves: Fox News.

In a tweet Monday night, the president lashed out at the network over its polling and called it “fake news’ — an epithet he usually reserves for mainstream outlets:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1140768516288782336?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Media Matters for America Senior Fellow Matthew Gertz, who has previously noted that Trump appears to record news segments and watch them a few hours later, suggested that the president appeared to be reacting to an earlier segment from Special Report with Bret Baier. The segment showed that, even according to Fox News’ polling, Trump trails every single leading candidate in the Democratic field in head-to-head matchups.

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