Tag Archives: authorities

San Francisco mayor vows to remain sanctuary city

A large crowd cheered earlier this week as San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee vowed that the city will remain a sanctuary for immigrants, gays and lesbians and religious minorities despite the election of a president who strikes fear into many of those communities.

President-elect Donald Trump has promised to cancel federal funding for sanctuary cities such as San Francisco that decline to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. He also said he plans to deport millions of criminals who are living in the country illegally.

“We will always be San Francisco,” said Lee from the rotunda of city hall as dozens of people roared with approval at an event that featured the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and a host of public elected officials.

“I know that there are a lot of people who are angry and frustrated and fearful, but our city’s never been about that. We have been, and always have been, a city of refuge, a city of sanctuary, a city of love.”

San Francisco receives roughly $480 million directly from the federal government and more than $900 million from the state, much of it pass-through federal money, city Controller Ben Rosenfield said.

The largest share goes toward health care, but federal dollars also fund public assistance and infrastructure, he said. The city’s budget is $9.6 billion.

It’s uncertain how the city would recoup that money should Trump make good on his promise to cut off sanctuary cities.

Also reacting to Trump’s statements on deportations, Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck said his officers will stay out of immigration issues as they have for decades. “I don’t intend on doing anything different,” Beck told the Los Angeles Times on Monday.

“We are not going to engage in law enforcement activities solely based on somebody’s immigration status. We are not going to work in conjunction with Homeland Security on deportation efforts. That is not our job, nor will I make it our job,” Beck said.

Trump excoriated San Francisco last year when 32-year-old Kate Steinle was shot and killed by a Mexican native who said he had found a gun and it accidentally fired.

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez had a federal detainer on him, but he was released from San Francisco’s jail after the district attorney declined to prosecute a decades-old marijuana sales charge. The sheriff at the time freed Lopez-Sanchez in keeping with city laws not to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

San Francisco’s sanctuary policy, which was tweaked and re-affirmed earlier this year, bars city employees from cooperating with federal immigration officials in deportation efforts except in rare situations. The law dates to 1989.

The current sheriff, Vicki Hennessy, also supports sanctuary policy as a public safety tool. Sanctuary advocates say people who live in the country illegally are more likely to report crimes to local police if they know they won’t be deported.

She said Monday that she’s concerned but taking a wait-and-see approach to a Trump presidency

“I’m following Hillary Clinton’s advice in her concession speech, which was to give the new president a chance to lead, and hopefully he’ll lead with compassion and understanding, as well as making sure our cities are safe for everybody,” Hennessy said.

92 cats, dead and alive, taken from Wisconsin home

Authorities have removed dozens of dead cats from the freezer of a home in southern Wisconsin.

Police confiscated 50 live cats from the residence in Monroe. Authorities say when they executed a search warrant, 35 kittens and six adult cats were found in a freezer.

They also found a dead cat in the garage.

WKOW-TV reports firefighters wore gas masks and oxygen tanks to enter the residence because of the smell.

Police Chief Fred Kelley says one of the 50 cats taken had to be euthanized because of its poor condition.


Russia to investigate Greenpeace activists for piracy

Russian authorities on Sept. 24 released a statement saying that Greenpeace International activists on board a ship detained at Murmansk would be investigated for possible criminal acts of piracy.

The authorities have not said the activsits would be charged or prosecuted for piracy, but reather that Russia’s Northwestern Federal District Investigations Directorate has “opened a criminal case” into possible offenses.

Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo, in a statement released earlier on Sept. 24, said, “Peaceful activism is crucial when governments around the world have failed to respond to dire scientific warnings about the consequences of climate change in the Arctic and elsewhere.

“Any charge of piracy against peaceful activists has no merit in international law. We will not be intimidated or silenced by these absurd accusations and demand the immediate release of our activists.”

The Russian Coast Guard seized the Greenpeace ship, the Arctic Sunrise, last week, after activists on board tried to to climb onto a state-owned oil-drilling platform in the Arctic.

About 30 activists from 18 countries – including the United States – are involved in the Greenpeace demonstration against drilling in the Arctic waters, according to The AP.

A Russian spokesman, in a statement, said the Greenpeace “activities not only infringe on the sovereignty of a state, but might pose a threat to the environmental security of the whole region.”

NYC man allegedly killed older man for blowing kisses at him

A 22-year-old New York City man was arrested and faces a charge of second-degree murder in the killing of a 69-year-old man. Authorities are investigating the slaying as a hate crime.

Steven Torres of the Bronx is accused of fatally stabbing Edward Orozco with an 8-inch knife under the elevated train in Queens at about 1:15 p.m. on Sept. 16. Orozco was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

New York Daily news reported that Torres allegedly stabbed Orozco because the man was blowing kisses at him. The paper also reported that there was a fight or “fracas” involving the two men.

Torres was taken into custody shortly after the incident, which occurred in the early afternoon, with witnesses nearby, who pursued Torres.

This is the third reported anti-LGBT homicide in New York City in 2013, following the deaths of Mark Carson in May and Islan Nettles in August, according to the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

The NYAVP also reported that Torres faces a charge in connection with the non-fatal stabbing of a second man on Sept. 12. In that incident, the NYAVP said Torres allegedly believed the 47-year-old man was making sexual advances toward him.