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Man, 24, arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after Edward Colston statue toppled in Bristol

A 24-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after the statue of Edward Colston was pulled down in Bristol.

Avon and Somerset police launched a criminal damage investigation after the statue of the 17th-century slave trader was torn down and thrown into Bristol Harbour on June 7.

The 18ft statue was pulled from its plinth by Black Lives Matter protesters at 2.30pm, defaced and dragged through the city in retaliation to the death George Floyd who died while he was under arrest in Minneapolis, US, in May.

Avon and Somerset police said they were hunting for 15 people they wanted to speak to in relation to the incident.

The force said the man arrested had been released under investigation and enquiries were ongoing into the incident.

Detective Superintendent Liz Hughes said at the time that "in the eyes of the law" a crime had been committed and she and the team were "duty bound to investigate without fear or favour."

She called for the public to help police identify the CCTV images, saying: "We've made a small handful of identifications and we've spoken to some of those individuals.'

"They will be coming in for voluntary interviews in the coming days.

"However, despite every effort being made to identify the remaining people we'd like to talk to, we still don't know who they are which is why we're now releasing images of them in the hope the public can help.

There's no denying it has polarised public opinion – but in the eyes of the law a crime has been committed and we're duty-bound to investigate this without fear or favour.

"Some of the images are not as clear as we'd like, and some of those we want to identify are wearing masks but we're confident someone will know them and be able to provide us with their name."

The statue had been in the city centre since 1895.

The bronze statue had caused anger and controversy among the people of Bristol for years, with campaigns to have it removed

Edward Colston's ships captured around 80,000 men, women and children from Africa and transported them to the Americas between 1672 and 1689.

After it was toppled, it was thrown in the water near Pero's Bridge – named in honour of an enslaved man.

Just days after it was tossed into the water, council workers rescued the Colston effigy from its watery grave and it will be given a new home in a city museum along with the Black Lives Matter placards.

The toppling last month was slammed by MPs, with Home Secretary Priti Patel describing the moment as "utterly disgraceful" and "completely unacceptable."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson branded the incident a "criminal act" and called for police action.

Det Supt Hughes added: "The incident attracted worldwide attention and there's no denying it has polarised public opinion – but in the eyes of the law a crime has been committed and we're duty-bound to investigate this without fear or favour. 

"I'd like to reassure people we're carrying out a thorough, fair and proportionate investigation and have sought early investigative advice from the Crown Prosecution Service."

Anyone with information relating to the CCTV images has been asked to contact the Avon and Somerset Police on 101, providing the reference number 5220123926, or anonymously via the Crimestoppers charity.

Statues throughout the UK have been targeted by Black Lives Matter demonstrators, with some demanding the removal of Churchill's statue in Parliament Square in London.

The statue of wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston was daubed with graffiti accusing him of being a racist.

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Teacher, 49, arrested for ‘performing sex act on boy,15, at graduation party’ before she was confronted by his mom – The Sun

A MIDDLE school teacher was arrested on Thursday after she allegedly had sexual contact with a 15-year-old boy at a graduation party.

Leslie Bushart, a former teacher at Lake Gibson Middle School near Lakeland, Florida, was arrested and charged with one count of felony lewd battery, after attending a graduation party on June 6 where the incident occurred.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Bushart, 49, told police that she and the boy had walked away from the crowd during the party.

“She attempted to smoke marijuana, but was so drunk that she couldn’t get it lit,” the Sheriff’s press release alleges.

“At that point she began performing oral sex on the victim.”

Then, according to the release, Bushart and the boy rejoined the party and the teacher talked about what had happened.

“Bushart told another person at that party that she had just performed oral sex on the teenage victim,” the release states.

“That person then informed the mother of the victim. The mother confronted Bushart, who then quickly left the party.”

Bushart allegedly reached out to the victim’s mother through Facebook Messenger after the party and said that she had been drunk at the party.

The parents informed police and an investigation opened on June 16.

In a press conference on Friday, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd reiterated the charges against Bushart and said the victim’s mother was angry.

“You can imagine that she wasn’t too pleased with that set of circumstances,” Judd said.

Judd called Bushart’s alleged actions a ‘betrayal” and vows to prosecute her aggressively.

“Leslie Bushart victimized a teenage boy. She betrayed her profession, as well as her friends during what was supposed to be a very special day,” Judd said in the press release.

“There is technically one victim in this case, but the entire family and school community have suffered from this.”

According to PEOPLE, Bushart is being held at the Polk County Jail on $15,000 bond.

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Montana man arrested for pulling down Ten Commandments monument

Montana police arrested a man who they said pulled down a courthouse Ten Commandments monument with a chain and a pickup truck, according to reports.

Anthony Weimer was booked into jail on a charge of felony criminal mischief following the incident Saturday in Kalispell, KHQ reported.

Police said they responded after callers reported seeing a man on the grounds of the Flathead County Courthouse attach a chain to a pickup truck before pulling down the monument into the street, according to the station.

The man was then said to have collected the chain before driving off in the pickup, the station reported.

Officers later located the truck, found the suspect and arrested him, according to the station.

Police said they didn’t know what provoked the act of vandalism.

Online records show Weimer has a court appearance on Monday.

The Associated Press reported in 2011 that the Kalispell City Council was asked to take possession of the statue and six others that included historical texts from the Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence at the courthouse. Together, the monuments formed a “cornerstone of law” display.

The council declined, fearing a lawsuit on First Amendment separation of church and state grounds.

The AP reported that the Fraternal Order of the Eagles had given the Ten Commandments statue to Flathead County in 1950. At that time it was placed in front of the courthouse.

The group took possession again prior to 2011 when the monuments became the target of a legal challenge.

Workers later moved the monument to the courthouse’s southwest corner during a courthouse renovation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Suspect arrested in shooting at Breonna Taylor protest in Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A suspect has been arrested in the death of a Kentucky man who was fatally shot amid a protest in Louisville over the killing of Breonna Taylor, police said Sunday.

The suspect was hospitalized and being interviewed by homicide investigators, interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder said at a news conference. The man’s name was not immediately released.

Police were conferring with prosecutors on criminal charges to be filed, Schroeder said. Neither Schroeder nor Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said why the suspect was in the hospital.

Tyler Charles Gerth, 27, of Louisville, died after being shot at Jefferson Square Park in downtown Louisville, authorities said. The Courier Journal reported that Gerth was an avid photographer and a vocal supporter of the ongoing protests whose godfather is a columnist at the newspaper.

In a video of the shooting shown during the news conference, the suspect was surrounded by several people before shots were fired and people scrambled for cover. Schroeder said the suspect had been participating in the protests since they began and had been arrested a few times.

“He had been repeatedly asked by other members at the park to leave due to his destructive behavior,” Schroeder said.

Another video posted on social media later showed at least one person bleeding profusely on the ground.

Several other people fired gunshots after the suspect began firing, but no one else was hit, Fischer said.

“Whether they were there at the time of the shooting or not, I know the sadness of those who have been organizing and participating in peaceful protests for racial justice. This is absolutely not what they wanted or any of us wanted,” Fischer said. “We cannot let one senseless act by one individual derail that dream, that vision that we have as a city.”

The shooting was at least the second during nearly a month of protests in Louisville over Taylor’s death. Seven people were wounded May 28 when gunfire erupted near City Hall, prompting Taylor’s mother to issue a statement asking people to demand justice “without hurting each other.”

Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was killed in her Louisville home in March by police who were serving a no-knock warrant. Protesters have been calling for the officers involved in her death to be charged. One of the officers was recently fired.

Several dozen people gathered Sunday at the park. A few Louisville police officers arrived to hand out flyers that said overnight camping and cooking were banned at the site, but protesters would be allowed to continue gathering during the day. Police removed tents from the site and told protesters they could pick them up at a separate location.

John Kriner knelt for nearly 30 minutes at the site to pray for peace. He said it was his first visit.

“I just want there to be peace and calm,” Kriner said.

For weeks, the park has been the epicenter for protests in Louisville after the police killings of Taylor and George Floyd, who died last month at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was originally charged with attempted murder after he fired a shot at one of the officers who came into the home. Walker has said he thought he was defending against an intruder.

The no-knock search warrant that allows police to enter without first announcing their presence was recently banned by Louisville’s Metro Council.

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Three arrested for murder of missing couple who vanished in 2017

Three men were busted in the murder of missing California couple who were last heard from when they sent relatives a selfie three years ago, authorities said.

Jesus Ruiz Jr., 41, Manuel Rios, 28, and Abraham Fregoso, 32, were arrested in the deaths of Coachella Valley couple Audrey Moran and Jonathan Reynoso, who disappeared in 2017, the Palm Springs Desert Sun reported.

Moran, 26, told family members on May 10, 2017, that she was going to pick up her 28-year-old boyfriend, Reynoso, after he returned from a trip with pals.

The couple was last heard from when Moran sent a selfie of them at Reynoso’s Palm Desert home to her sister the same evening, the outlet reported.

But the photo was not taken the same day that it was sent to her sister, authorities said. Her phone was shut off at some point after that.

Relatives unable to reach Moran contacted police and then her vehicle was found abandoned on the side of the road of Oak Valley Parkway in Beaumont, the newspaper reported.

“No forced entry on the vehicle, no signs of forced entry in the vehicle, no blood or anything like that,” Indio Police Department Sgt. Dan Marshall said, according to news station KESQ.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department announced Saturday that “information” that “led to the arrest of three suspects in connection with the murders of Audrey Moran and Jonathan Reynoso.”

It’s unclear how authorities know that the missing couple has been killed or what information led them to the suspects.

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Man is arrested for taking a TIGER for a walk on street in Mexico

Roar and order: Man is arrested for taking a TIGER for a walk through the streets in Mexico

  •  A man was arrested for taking a Bengal tiger for a walk down the street in the city of Zamora, in the western Mexico state of Michoacán  
  • Mexican National Guard soldiers spotted the animal while on a patrol tour
  • The man, who was identified as Atanacio G., was arrested for failing to produce legal documents for the tiger 
  •  The female tiger, which weighed 77 pounds, was tested by a veterinarian and said to be in good health
  • The cat was placed in custody of the Zamora municipal fire department, before transferring its care to Mexico’s Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection

A man has been arrested in Mexico after taking his unusual pet for a walk – a 77lb Bengal tiger. 

A Mexican National Guard unit was on a patrol tour in the municipality of Zamora, in the western state of Michoacán, when troops spotted the female Bengal being walked by a man on the side of a road that connects the cities of Morelia and Jiquilpan.

The soldiers arrested the man, identified as Atanacio G., for failing to produce the necessary legal documents to prove ownership of the wild cat, Mexico’s attorney general office said Monday. 

A member of a local fire department in Michoacán, Mexico, poses with a female tiger after she was confiscated by the National Guard while being walked by a man on the side of a road

The female Bengal weighed 77 pounds and was found to be in good health condition

Members of Mexico’s National Guard were patrolling the western city of Zamora last week when then encountered a man who was walking a female Bengal tiger on the side of a road that connects the cities of Morelia and Jiquilpan

The Bengal weighed 77 pounds and was found to be in good health after it was examined by a local veterinarian.  

The cat was placed in custody of the Zamora municipal fire department, which posted several images of the cub on its Facebook account.

One of the firemen held the tiger up-close while posing for a photo.  

The fire department provided care for the tiger before transferring over its care Monday to the office of Mexico’s Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection [PROFEPA], which would ensure the tiger’s safety. 

The office of Mexico’s Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection [PROFEPA] has taken over the custody of the tiger to ensure its wellness 

The wild cat was held by the fire department in the western Mexican city of Zamora before its care was transferred to the officer of Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection

A police officer in Zamora, Mexico, holds the female tiger moments after it was confiscated

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Journalist arrested for exposing Wuhan coronavirus ‘cover-up’ after posting videos of crematoriums burning bodies 24/7

A CHINESE independent journalist who reported from coronavirus epicentre Wuhan has been arrested, it was reported.

Zhang Zhan, 40, travelled to the city to collect first hand accounts of life under lockdown and posted videos of crematoriums working at midnight that cast doubt on the official death toll.

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Her detention is the latest clampdown by the Chinese authorities on independent reporting from Wuhan, where Covid-19 emerged at the end of last year.

Zhang live streamed scenes to Twitter and YouTube including quarantine hospital and also filmed the outside of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which some have claimed was the source of the outbreak.

She is believed to have been taken from her hotel room in Wuhan by police on May 14 and has since been charged with “provocation and trouble making”, The Times reports.

The catchall law – aimed at curbing criticism of the government – has a 100 per cent conviction rate and carries a maximum sentence of up to seven years in jail.

The Chinese authorities have been accused of covering up blunders made at the start of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan and of stifling independent journalism.

Whistleblowers, including Dr Li Wenliang, who tried to alert the authorities at the start of the outbreak were also targetted.

There has also been scepticism about the official death toll, given by the authorities as 4,634 from 83, 418 which is considerably lower than many less populated countries with better developed healthcare systems.

“The problem our country faces is that everything is being covered up,” Ms Zhang said in one of her videos.

“All dissenting voices are deemed as rumours.”

Zhang, a native of Shanghai, has also fallen foul of the authorities for her support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.

During Wuhan’s 76 day lockdown, news from the city was tightly controlled with the official media focussing on efforts such as the rapid construction of a hospital and the mobilisation of healthcare workers from other parts of China.

But a small number of independent reports and bloggers were able to paint a more balanced picture.

Three other citizen journalists are known to have disappeared in Wuhan, including Li Zehua, also known as Kcriss Li.

The 25-year-old was live streaming a report from the city when he filmed himself being pursued by security officials and later detained.

He re-emerged on social media in late April after he had been missing for nearly two months and has since said he was held at a quarantine centre in the city and then sent to an isolation facility in his hometown.

“I was fed three meals a day, with guards ensuring my safety, and I watched the evening news on the state broadcaster every day,” said Li, who has not been seen since.

The whereabouts of Chen Qiushi, 34, a former human rights lawyer turned video journalist, travelled to Wuhan in late January to report on the worsening situation as also unknown.

High-profile vlogger, Fang Bin has also disappeared after reporting from Wuhan.

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