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White Texas man guns down black teenager for setting off fireworks — then claims self-defense

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A white man in Austin has been charged with first-degree murder after shooting and killing a black teen over a fireworks dispute early on Independence Day.

The Austin-American Statesmen reported Friday that 41-year-old Jason Roche claimed he shot 19-year-old Devonte Ortiz in self-defense after the young man allegedly reached for his gun. According to police, video evidence taken at the scene of the crime proved otherwise.

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Roche told police in his sworn affidavit that he shot Ortiz after coming outside for a second time early on the morning of July 4 to ask him and his friends to stop shooting fireworks. In his testimony, the older man claimed he saw the teen reach for a gun that he’d taken out of his car. The Statesmen‘s report noted that although police did find a rifle and a handgun at the scene, cell phone video shows that Ortiz was not holding a gun when Roche shot him.

Jason Roche is observed displaying a firearm at Ortiz, re-holstering the firearm then displaying the firearm multiple times,” the affidavit, as quoted by Austin’s KXAN, stated. “During this point of the video footage, Ortiz was not holding a firearm.”

The affidavit also noted that the older man was seen in cell phone video following Ortiz around a car, and that “police believe Ortiz was moving away from the firearm and not lunging toward it like Roche had told detectives.”

Roche made headlines in April when he sued the city of Austin and Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services after EMTs treated a police officer he hit with his truck before him.

According to a GoFundMe page created by Ortiz’s family, the young man was an honor roll student at the William B. Travis Early College High School, where he graduated in 2017. Commentary about his killing on Twitter also revealed that he was a star football player with the Travis Rebels football team. His family and friends are holding a memorial for him at the school’s football field on Friday night.

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“My cousin was shot and killed earlier this morning by a racist ignorant white man for popping fireworks,” Ortiz’s relative tweeted shortly after the teen’s death.

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“I am tired of this,” he added. “I lost a brother, cousin and friend. This world is cruel and dangerous. White people have a reputation of killing young black teens. His voice will live on.”

https://twitter.com/Jayvibes15_/status/1014598384332759041

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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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