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Chicago police watchdog releases hundreds of tapes of past incidents

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The watchdog group that monitors Chicago’s police released on Friday audio and video recordings of 101 police shootings and other use-of-force incidents that are under investigation, and said in the future it would make such footage public within 60 days of an event.

The Independent Police Review Authority, or IPRA, said release of the footage was part of new transparency policies it was adopting in the wake of uproar over shootings by Chicago police officers, mostly of young black men.

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IPRA, which is due to be overhauled in coming months after a mayoral task force blasted its investigations of police misconduct as ineffective, said in the future it would make public large quantities of information about police use of force on a website.

“These past few months, as this city has struggled with so many questions about policing and about police accountability, it has been clear that we all agree that there’s a lack of trust and that increased transparency is essential to rebuilding that trust,” IPRA chief Sharon Fairley told a news conference.

The information to be made public in the future will include videos from police body cameras, patrol car dashboard cameras, cameras in lockup cells and third-party security cameras, as well as audio files from emergency calls and police department radio, and police reports.

IPRA was formed in 2007 to investigate problems at Chicago’s police force, which has a history of complaints of abuse. But the agency has been plagued by budget and staffing shortages.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired his police chief when protests erupted in November after the city released a video of a white police officer fatally shooting a black teenager in October 2014.

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It was one of a number of U.S. police killings that have sparked a national movement over policing and race. The officer, Jason Van Dyke, has been charged with murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, and his trial is pending.

Federal investigators are looking at the Chicago Police Department’s history of use of force.

From 2007-2014 Chicago consistently had more police shootings than other major U.S. cities. Over that time Chicago police shot and killed an average of 17 people a year. Total shootings, including injuries and fatalities, averaged 50 a year, and three-quarters of the people shot were African-American.

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Police shooting incidents have dropped significantly since early 2015, to an average of fewer than seven a quarter, from a previous average of 12.

(Writing by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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Trump declares impeachment ‘dead’ — and demands apology — in late night Twitter outburst

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President Donald Trump lashed out on his favorite social media platform late Thursday evening.

Eight minutes before midnight eastern time, Trump unloaded.

Trump wrote, "Democrats must apologize to USA: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said that 'United States Ambassador Gordon Sondland did NOT link financial military assistance to a request for Ukraine to open up an investigation into former V.P. Joe Biden & his son, Hunter Biden. Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigation.'”

Trump did not say why he was taking the word of a foreign official over multiple sworn testimonies from members of his own administration.

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Pelosi is ‘marrying up the facts and the law’: Ex-prosecutor says ‘bribery’ is a critical indictment of Trump

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi was masterful in using the word "bribery" to describe President Donald Trump's actions with Ukraine that are at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, according to a former federal prosecutor.

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed former Assistant U.S. Attorney Berit Berger on Thursday evening's "The Last Word."

Please expand for us on why it is significant and why is it important to label this bribery," Williams said.

"So I think Nancy Pelosi was very specific in calling this bribery for two reasons," Berger replied.

"The first is that -- unlike quid pro quo -- ribery is something that most people understand, especially people who have children," she said, with a chuckle. "We all sort of have a general understanding of that."

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Giuliani henchmen showered Republican with cash — and Trump almost made him ambassador to Ukraine: report

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Yet another bombshell report has shed new light on President Donald Trump's suspicious Ukraine policies.

"At the same time that Rudy Giuliani and his now-indicted pals were pushing for President Donald Trump to remove Amb. Marie Yovanovitch from her post in Ukraine, Trump administration officials were eyeing potential contenders to take over her job. One of the people in the mix, according to three sources familiar with the discussions, was Rep. Pete Sessions, a former Congressman who called for Yovanovitch’s firing," The Daily Beast reported Thursday night. "He is also a longtime ally of the former New York Mayor, and is believed to have taken millions of dollars from Giuliani’s indicted cronies."

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