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‘I saw hate in his eyes’: White security guard pulls gun on black police officer

‘I saw hate in his eyes’: White security guard pulls gun on black police officerSheriff’s deputy Alan Gaston thought they were on the same side.One man, Mr Gaston, was a high-ranking officer in the Lucas County, Ohio, sheriff’s department with 34 years of experience.The other was a security guard contracted to protect an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office in Toledo.But then the guard pulled his gun. He raised his voice. He put a hand on Mr Gaston’s arm and rested his finger on the trigger.In a matter of seconds, what began with a routine errand at the IRS escalated into a frightening standoff between a white security guard and a black police officer, who said he heard hate in the guard’s shouts and believed he would be shot.“You don’t expect to be ambushed by someone who you think is on the same team,” Mr Gaston told The Washington Post.“I feel there was definitely some racial overtones involved. And I’m not the type of person to throw the race card, I’m just telling you the facts. I looked in his eyes and I saw hate in his eyes.”He had stopped by the IRS office during his shift on 31 May to ask a question about a letter the agency sent him.He was in full uniform, his badge and his firearm in clear view.The security guard, identified in court documents as Seth Eklund, asked Mr Gaston to leave his gun in his patrol car.When Mr Gaston replied he couldn’t do that, he said Mr Eklund became hostile. Mr Eklund accused Mr Gaston of reaching for his weapon, shouting “get your hands off your gun”, even though Mr Gaston said his hands were visible and nowhere near his holster.Mr Gaston, who has years of experience teaching defensive tactics, decided it was time for him to leave.He recalled a wide-eyed elderly couple in the office waiting room watching the exchange, and he said he feared for the bystanders’ safety. Mr Gaston turned to go.As he walked out of the cramped office, Mr Eklund drew his gun, trained it on Mr Gaston’s back and followed him. At one point, Mr Gaston said, Mr Eklund tried to arrest the uniformed officer.“He came around the corner with his weapon out, telling me, ‘you had your chance, you’re not going anywhere, I’m detaining you’,” Gaston said.“That’s when I was preparing myself to be shot. The hate and anger he had against me, I was getting ready to be shot by this security guard for no reason.”Mr Eklund, who could not be reached for comment, pleaded not guilty to one charge of aggravated menacing in a court appearance on Monday.Mr Gaston and his wife have also filed a lawsuit against Mr Eklund and the two security firms that apparently employed him.Representatives of those companies, Paragon Systems and Praetorian Shield, did not respond to requests for comment. The IRS declined to comment.The local news station WTVG published what it claims to be security camera footage of the interaction and The Washington Post obtained screenshots of the video.The images show Mr Gaston backing away and attempting to leave the building in an elevator. But Mr Eklund, gun still drawn, blocks the door with his foot.Mr Gaston says he felt cornered, scared. He took out his phone to take a picture of Mr Eklund, he said, and the security guard finally holstered his weapon.Heather Taylor, president of the Ethical Society of Police in St Louis, said that Mr Eklund behaved recklessly and likely would not have treated a white officer the same way.“We know what it’s like being an African American police officer in a city,” Ms Taylor said. “A lot of us realise that, hey, even though you’re in uniform, that doesn’t mean you’re safe.”The tense scene recalled other, infamous incidents with grisly endings. Ms Taylor pointed to the case of Jemel Roberson, a black security guard who was killed by a Midlothian, Illinois, police officer while they both responded to a shooting at the bar where Roberson worked.She also mentioned Detective Jacai Colson in Maryland, who was killed by a fellow officer while working undercover. Mr Colson, according to a lawsuit, had his badge in his hand and was shouting “Police! Police!” before he was killed.“You’re not given the benefit of the doubt as a minority,” Ms Taylor said. “It’s something we’ve been highlighting forever and now here’s another example of it.”She applauded Mr Gaston’s cool demeanour in the face of what she said was potentially lethal bigotry.Mr Gaston said he didn’t feel that Mr Eklund respected him as a law enforcement officer, and in more than three decades of police work has never dealt with anything like that.He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depression, he said. He’s been on medical leave and is seeing a counsellor twice a week. The civil suit Mr Gaston and his wife filed seeks compensation.The standoff between Mr Gaston and Mr Eklund ended, he said, when Toledo police officers responded to a 911 call from inside the building that mentioned a man who has “got a gun” and “won’t leave”. The caller didn’t mention that the man was a police officer.When Toledo police arrived, Mr Gaston recounted, they told Mr Eklund: “You know he’s a uniformed deputy sheriff, right? We can go anywhere in this building we want.”Washington Post



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First Democratic Debate Begins With All Eyes on Sen. Elizabeth Warren

First Democratic Debate Begins With All Eyes on Sen. Elizabeth WarrenJim Watson/AFP/GettyIn the opening moments of Wednesday night’s first Democratic debate, it was clear where the spotlight was: on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), the highest-polling candidate of the 10 presidential hopefuls on stage in Miami. The debate’s moderators directed four questions to Warren in the first 20 minutes, more than any other candidate, and those questions touched at the heart of her policy agenda —  the economy, income inequality, and sweeping change to the nation’s health care system.That gave Warren an opportunity to get at the heart of her stump speech from the get-go. “We need to make structural change in our government and our economy and in our country,” she said to wrap up the debate’s first answer, to applause. The rest of the field found themselves chasing Warren’s agenda, too, illustrating just how much the liberal senator has set the policy framework of the crowded 2020 primary.  The first question, for example, directed to Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) was framed as a response to an idea championed by Warren: breaking up Facebook, Amazon, and Google, something Booker has criticized. “Why do you disagree?” he was asked. In recent weeks, Warren has surged to the top tier of the two dozen-strong field of Democrats after a shaky first stretch in the race. Several polls have shown her trailing only former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) nationally and in key states, even surpassing Sanders in some surveys. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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UPDATE 2-Trump eyes more Iran sanctions; military action still on table

UPDATE 2-Trump eyes more Iran sanctions; military action still on tableU.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday he will impose additional sanctions on Iran in an effort to prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons, adding that military action was still a possibility. Trump, who was speaking to reporters at the White House, made his comments after recently calling off military action against Iran to retaliate for the downing of a U.S. military drone. “We are putting additional sanctions on Iran,” Trump said.



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UPDATE 7-Iran says it will confront any U.S. threat, Trump eyes new sanctions

UPDATE 7-Iran says it will confront any U.S. threat, Trump eyes new sanctionsIran said on Saturday it would respond firmly to any U.S. threat, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, amid escalating tension between Tehran and Washington over the shooting down of an unmanned U.S. drone by the Islamic Republic. On Thursday, an Iranian missile destroyed a U.S. Global Hawk surveillance drone. Tehran repeated on Saturday that the drone was shot down over its territory.



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Global shares trend lower as world eyes Trump-Kim summit

Global shares trend lower as world eyes Trump-Kim summitTOKYO (AP) — Global shares were mostly lower in muted trading Wednesday as investors awaited the outcome of a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam.



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As Maduro holds on, Venezuela opposition eyes negotiated transition

As Maduro holds on, Venezuela opposition eyes negotiated transitionLast month, Venezuelan opposition leader and Congress chief Juan Guaido invoked the constitution to assume the interim presidency after declaring Maduro’s reelection in May 2018 illegitimate. In an effort to secure the backing of Venezuela’s military, Guaido proposed an amnesty for officers who turn on Maduro’s government. Amid fears the changes have stalled, opposition leaders have begun to talk in the past week about bringing ruling Socialist Party stalwarts into a potential transition government.



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Mueller eyes Manafort meeting with Russian partner in 2016: court filing

Mueller eyes Manafort meeting with Russian partner in 2016: court filingThe Aug. 2, 2016 meeting between Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik was one of several at which the two discussed a topic related to Ukraine, according to the transcript of a sealed Feb. 4 court hearing in Manafort’s criminal case in Washington. Mueller contends that Manafort lied about the number of times he and Kilimnik discussed the topic, the description of which is mostly redacted in the transcript. Andrew Weissmann, one of the prosecutors on Mueller’s team, told the judge that Manafort’s alleged lies about his meetings with Kilimnik were significant because they related to “what we think is going on, and what we think the motive here is.” “This goes, I think, very much to the heart of what the Special Counsel’s Office is investigating,” Weissmann said, according to the court transcript.



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U.S. eyes Taiwan risk as China's military capabilities grow

U.S. eyes Taiwan risk as China's military capabilities growThe senior U.S. defense intelligence official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, did not predict that China’s military, known as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), would take such a step but said such a possibility was the top worry as China expands and modernizes its military capabilities. “The biggest concern is that … they are getting to a point where the PLA leadership may actually tell Xi Jinping that they are confident in their capabilities,” the official said, referring to China’s president. Pressed on whether the official was referring to Chinese confidence in its capabilities to be able to successfully win a battle with Taiwan, the official said, “Well, specifically that would be the most concerning to me.” Taiwan is only one of a growing number of flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, including a trade war between the countries, U.S. sanctions on the Chinese military, and China’s increasingly muscular military posture in the South China Sea.



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'Bird Box Challenge' crash: Teen was driving with eyes covered, police say

'Bird Box Challenge' crash: Teen was driving with eyes covered, police sayPolice in Utah say a teen driver covered her eyes and participated in the so-called "Bird Box Challenge" when she crashed into another vehicle Monday.



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Imagining a school shooting through the gunman’s eyes: Sandy Hook Promise releases chilling new video

Imagining a school shooting through the gunman’s eyes: Sandy Hook Promise releases chilling new videoA chilling new public service announcement, released Monday by the gun violence prevention organization Sandy Hook Promise, depicts the moments leading up to a school shooting from the shooter’s perspective.



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