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‘Insane’: Park ranger shoots unarmed man through his heart and then handcuffs his dead body

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A ranger at Carlsbad Caverns National Park tased and then fatally shot a man during a New Mexico traffic stop and then handcuffed his lifeless body.

Charles “Gage” Lorentz was traveling March 21 from his work site in Pecos, Texas, to his family’s home in southwest Colorado when he detoured at the national park to meet a friend, and that’s where he encountered National Park Ranger Robert Mitchell, reported KOB-TV.

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The ranger stopped the 25-year-old Lorentz for speeding on a dirt road near the park’s Rattlesnake Springs area, and Mitchell’s lapel video shows him ordering Lorentz to spread his feet and move closer to a railing.

Lorentz complies with the order, but he briefly dances to music coming from a nearby vehicle before calmly refusing to turn around.

Mitchell then appears to draw his Taser as he continues to ask Lorentz to turn around, prompting a puzzling response.

“Oh, come on, get real with it,” Lorentz said, appearing to ask Mitchell to draw his handgun instead. “Other one.”

Mitchell refuses, and then, without warning, the ranger suddenly uses his Taser on Lorentz.

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The video abruptly cuts off at that point, and when the video resumes 26 seconds later Mitchell is shown on top of Lorentz, and the ranger then shoots him twice with his service weapon.

“That’s when I shot him with a Taser, it did nothing,” Mitchell tells an Eddy County sheriff’s deputy later, which was also caught on video. “I went dry stun, he hit me somewhere right here on the side of my head. The fight was on, he grabbed me around the neck, he tried to push my head into the push bar, and I came up and fired one round. I don’t know if I got him or not, but I definitely got him on the second one and he crumpled.”

Three minutes after the shooting, Mitchell put handcuffs on Lorentz’s motionless body and declared him “under arrest,” and eight minutes after the shooting removes the first aid kit from his vehicle — but doesn’t actually render aid until 12 minutes after the shooting.

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Lorentz was unarmed, and a toxicology report showed no alcohol or drugs in his system.

An autopsy showed the first bullet struck his thigh, but would have been a non-fatal injury because it missed all major arteries.

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The second shot went through his heart, killing Lorentz.

The National Park Service and Dianna Luce, the 5th Judicial District Attorney, confirmed the shooting remained under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which is trying to determine whether Lorentz’s civil rights were violated.

Lorentz’s family plans to file a lawsuit against the United States Interior Department and National Park Service, saying the ranger acted without provocation.

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“Let’s start with the fact that this man takes a Taser and shoots Gage with no provocation from Gage whatsoever,” said attorney Shannon Kennedy. “There is no communication, there is no de-escalation. That park ranger is insane, he’s out of his mind. What is he arresting him for? Driving too fast down a country road, and he takes his life over that? It’s a citation, it’s a warning. It’s not a death sentence.”


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2020 Election

Maddow reveals the ‘shocking sign’ the White House may be betting Trump is going to lose in 2020

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow returned from vacation to host the Tuesday evening edition of her MSNBC show.

Maddow noted, "in 91 days we all get to decide if the guy who's currently in charge of how we're responding to this epidemic should stay in the job for four more years or if Democratic candidate Joe Biden would do better at this."

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Trump may break with ‘presidential norms’ and give GOP convention speech from the White House lawn: report

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On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that Republicans are exploring the possibility of President Donald Trump giving his presidential re-nomination speech from the South Lawn of the White House.

"The decision to stage the most high-profile political event of Trump’s reelection campaign at the national seat of presidential power would be just the latest break by Trump in presidential norms, which have historically drawn clear lines between official business of the president and campaign events," reported Michael Scherer and Josh Dawsey. "People involved in the planning said that no final decision had been made on the location of the Republican convention’s celebratory events. Trump abandoned plans to hold the full convention in Charlotte, and later Jacksonville, Fla., over concerns that large crowds could spread the novel coronavirus."

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NYT editorial board slams McConnell for blocking stimulus with ‘political charade’ as he goes on vacation

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On Tuesday, The New York Times editorial board tore into Congress for going on vacation while crucial unemployment benefits and stimulus lapsed for millions of Americans.

"Preventing this widespread suffering should be the top priority for lawmakers," wrote the board. "Instead, the Republican-led Senate dragged its feet for months on another aid package. The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed a $3 trillion relief plan in mid-May. It took until July 27 for the Republican Senate leaders to offer their anemic, $1 trillion counterbid, which everyone seems to have a problem with, albeit for differing reasons."

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