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Ferguson Cop Had 'Serious Facial Injury,' Source Tells ABC News


Stockbyte/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- The Ferguson, Missouri police officer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager suffered "a serious facial injury" in the altercation before firing the fatal shots, according to a source close to the officer who spoke to ABC News Wednesday.

The characterization about Officer Darren Wilson being injured in his confrontation with Michael Brown emerged on the day that a grand jury was expected to begin hearing evidence in the shooting.

Brown, 18, was shot and killed by Wilson on Aug. 9, and protesters have been angrily calling for Wilson's arrest and indictment since that day.

St. Louis County Prosecutor David McCullough cautioned on Wednesday that a decision on whether or not the officer would be indicted will not come quickly. He told ABC News "our target date is the middle of October" for wrapping up the evidence and asking the jury to decide whether to charge Wilson. Grand juries typically meet one day a week.

A source close to Wilson told ABC News that during the struggle at the patrol car, Wilson suffered "a serious facial injury."

The injury was not described, but last week Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said that Wilson had swelling to the side of his face.

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James Foley's Parents Recall Son's 'Big Heart'


Peter Kramer/NBC(NEW YORK) -- The parents of James Foley, the American journalist who was beheaded by a masked captor, graciously remembered their son's big heart and said they were trying to not be bitter.

John and Diane Foley spoke outside their New Hampshire home Wednesday about their son's legacy and asked for mercy for other Americans being held abroad.

"There is no reason for this slaughter. Jim was just a symbol for our country. Jim was there to hear the truth and bear witness to the love and suffering...and they knew that," Diane Foley said, referring to the militant Islamic group ISIS that claimed responsibility for killing Foley.

“Jim had a big heart and that is what we shared with President Obama. We just pray that Jim's death can bring our country together in a stronger way," she said.

Her husband's voice broke as he cited his son's final words, that he wished he could have spent more time with his family. The father's last sentence was interrupted by a sob as he paused to compose himself.

"We're very proud of Jim," his mother said while speaking at times emotionally about her son. "He was a courageous, fearless journalist. A very compassionate American."

The parents showed remarkable grace while talking about the grisly execution of their son.

"Jim would never want us to hate or be bitter...We’re praying for the strength to love like he did,” Diane Foley said. "We are praying for mercy for the remaining hostages."

Her husband added, “We’re just begging for mercy...They never hurt anybody. They were trying to help.”

The Foleys, who have five children, had been through the anguish of their son's capture once before when he was held for 44 days in Libya.

Diane Foley said her son's decision to return to work abroad made some of his siblings angry after they had worked tirelessly to raise awareness during his detention in Libya.

"Jim, you have so many gifts," she said they told him. "Why are you doing this?”

John Foley said his son's decision to work in conflict zones was driven by the passion for his work, which he said "gave him energy."

"He was not crazy. He was motivated," John Foley said.

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Middle Schooler Critical After Lightning Strike at Football Practice


iStock/Thinkstock(LAS CRUCES, N.M.) -- Five New Mexico middle schoolers are recovering Wednesday after they were struck by lightning during football practice, authorities say. Four of the boys were hospitalized including one who is in critical condition after he was completely unresponsive at the scene as two parents worked to revive him.

The sudden and unexpected jolts shocked the 8th grade football team at Picacho Middle School in Las Cruces around 5 p.m. Tuesday, injuring the students along with assistant coach Arnie Castaneda.

One 13-year-old was immediately transported to Mountainview Regional Medical Center where he was later stabilized.

“He collapsed right away, and he was completely unresponsive,” Las Cruces Police Department spokesman Dan Trujillo told ABC News. According to Trujillo, the other boys were responsive and in stable condition.

Las Cruces Public School Director of Communications Jo Galvan told ABC News that the bolts hit a nearby tree and spread along the ground just as the team was retreating into the school because of the drizzle. Bystanders ran inside to alert the boy’s mother, who works at the school, Galvan said.

ABC News obtained the audio recording of a 911 call from a hysterical female witness. The phone was transferred to a more composed male witness who listens to the operator as she tells him to put the boy on his side.

“The boys were very scared,” Galvan said. “Of course coaches were yelling, there were two parents trying to help the boy. It was very emotional, very stressful, and very fearful.”

Two fathers are being called heroes after performing CPR on the unresponsive boy and can be heard in the recording trying to resuscitate him. “He’s coming back around but he’s not looking very alert,” one man says. “Come on, buddy! Please,” says another in the background.

The boy was transferred from Mountainview Regional Medical Center to the Trauma unit at El Paso Children’s Unit where he is reported to have begun breathing on his own as of Tuesday night. He remains in critical condition.

Galvan said that during monsoon season in New Mexico rapid downpours are expected so it was natural for the students to begin moving inside but they did not expect lightning.

A team of counselors and psychologists have spent the day at Picacho Middle School. Students and staff members were meeting with counselors Wednesday, officials said.

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Does Cool Summer Signal Another Cold and Snowy Winter?


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It's been an unusually cool summer for much of the eastern United States. But does this mean the upcoming winter season will be colder and snowier than normal?

For clues, let's take a look at previous cool summers and how the following winter played out.

For example, Indianapolis averages 15 days per summer of 90 degrees, but through Aug. 20 it had none. Last time this happened was in 2004 when Indianapolis had zero 90 degree days. The following winter was warmer than normal for the city.

Let's look at the Washington, D.C., area for August 2014; at Dulles Airport and Baltimore-Washington International, the first 15 days of August were the third coolest on record. The coolest ever for both reporting locations was 1964; the following winter (1964-65) was near normal.

What about Chicago, which averages 14 or 15 days of 90 degrees and above? So far this summer, only three days recorded temperatures at or above 90 at O'Hare International Airport (at the city's official weather observation station). Also, Chicago had below-normal July and August temperatures. Last time Chicago had a cool summer like that was in 2009 when June, July and August averaged below normal. The 2009-10 winter in the Windy City was colder than normal.

We also have to look at phenomena known as El Niño -- warmer than normal ocean water along the equatorial eastern Pacific Ocean. Usually, El Niño means warmer than normal and slightly wetter than normal winter in the Midwest and the Northeast.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting El Niño to develop this winter.

NOAA says: "In summary, we continue to favor the emergence of El Niño in the coming months, with the peak chance of emergence around 65% (i.e. there is a 35% chance of El Niño not occurring). ENSO forecasters do not expect a strong El Niño (we can’t eliminate the chance of one either), but we are not expecting El Niño to 'fizzle.' In fact, just in the last week, we have started to see westerly wind anomalies pick up near the Date Line. Literally and figuratively, we may be witnessing the start of ENSO’s second wind."

With that said, looking back at warmer than normal winter 2004-05 in Indianapolis, El Niño was present. In the Washington, D.C. area, winter 1964-65 was near normal and there was no El Niño. But in Chicago, 2009-2010 was a cooler than normal winter and had a moderate El Niño.

Each year is unique and many variables could alter the winter forecast in either direction. In the recent years, weather patterns have been slower to move, due to weaker jet streams and lesser temperature contrast between the Arctic and the mid-latitudes. Once you are stuck in one pattern, warm or cold, it seems to continue for months, in some cases even a full year.

So far this year, we have been stuck in a colder than normal weather pattern in the eastern United States and warmer than normal weather in the West. We would need a significant pattern shift to change the current set up.

El Niño could be that trigger mechanism but it would need to be a strong El Niño in order to affect the world weather pattern. With NOAA's Climate Prediction Center not forecasting a strong El Niño, we could wind up with an early fall and colder than normal winter for the Northeast and Midwest.

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Ferguson Library Becomes Refuge for Adults, Children Amid Strife


iStock/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Amid all of the strife engulfing Ferguson, Missouri, this month, there is one spot in town that has become a refuge for children, parents and residents: the library.

The Ferguson Library has been an oasis of calm since the town's residents erupted in anger at the police after a Ferguson cop shot and killed an unarmed black teen, Michael Brown, on Aug. 9.

It has used Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to offer residents a place of respite for them to get bottled water, check their emails and avoid the unrest developing on Ferguson's streets.

As the Ferguson-Florissant School District postponed the start of the school year for more than a week, teachers set up shop at the Ferguson library, providing activities and instruction for children awaiting the start of class.

The Library has also emphasized its role as a community institution, placing signs outside the building noting that it stands with community members, at a time when the town's police department has battled protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets.

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Grand Jury Could Decide on Ferguson Shooting in October


Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) --  The grand jury looking into the Ferguson, Missouri police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown could take up to two months to hear all the evidence and decide whether or not to indict the police officer, the St. Louis County prosecutor said on Wednesday.

Brown, 18, was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. Protesters have been angrily calling for Wilson's arrest and indictment since that day.

Prosecutor David McCullough said that though the grand jury could begin hearing evidence in the case Wednesday, "our target date is the middle of October" for wrapping up the evidence and asking the jury to decide whether to charge Wilson. Grand juries typically meet one day a week.

The news came as protesters and police faced off again in Ferguson overnight, with a thrown water bottle briefly reigniting the turmoil, but authorities are hopeful the unrest in the St. Louis suburb is reaching a turning point.

Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, speaking at an early-morning news conference, thanked volunteers, clergy and community activists for helping to quell the discontent that has lingered since the shooting.

“They had a calming influence on the younger people,” Johnson said. “Tonight, we saw a different dynamic.”

Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled to arrive in Ferguson Wednesday to meet with FBI and Department of Justice officials working the case.

Holder addressed the situation in an editorial for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  “Our investigation into this matter will be full, it will be fair, and it will be independent,” Holder wrote. “And beyond the investigation itself, we will work with the police, civil rights leaders, and members of the public to ensure that this tragedy can give rise to new understanding — and robust action — aimed at bridging persistent gaps between law enforcement officials and the communities we serve.”

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Indiana Police Investigate Possible Link in MomsÂ’ Disappearances


iStock/Thinkstock(BOONVILLE, Ind.) -- The mysterious disappearances of two Indiana moms who vanished within weeks of each other could be linked, according to police.

Police say they are actively investigating any possible connection between the disappearances of Joelle Lockwood, 30, and Kristy Kelley, 27, who vanished about 20 miles apart.

“It doesn’t happen frequently that we have two women of the same age group that go missing around the same time,” Warrick County Sheriff Brett Kruse said.

Police say they have nothing linking the disappearances at this point, but investigators on both cases are comparing notes daily.

Kelley was last seen at 1:30 a.m. Friday leaving a Boonville VFW club. Surveillance footage shows what police believe is Kelley’s car heading in the direction of her home. Authorities haven’t noticed any activity on Kelley’s bank accounts, and “no evidence pointing towards any type of struggle,” Kruse said.

Meanwhile, Lockwood was last seen July 9 leaving a party in Evansville, about 20 miles away. She, too, has disappeared without a trace, and her mother, Candace Lockwood, is grief-stricken.

“She’s faced a lot of different challenges in her life, and we’re very worried for her right now,” Candace Lockwood said.

Kelley’s mother, Kathy Scales, is stunned that her daughter is missing.

“I just can’t explain the pit that I have in my stomach. And just knowing that our daughter is out there and we can’t get to her. It’s very, very, very rough,” Scales said.

Both families are pleading for the public’s help, reassuring their grandchildren that they won’t stop searching.

“It’s been difficult to keep one foot in front of the other,” Candace Lockwood said. “But we are doing that, and we will find our daughter.”

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Uneasy Calm Returns to Ferguson Ahead of Holder Visit


Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Unlike Monday night's chaos that led to the arrests of 78 people and injuries to four police officers, the situation Tuesday night in Ferguson, Missouri, was relatively calm, albeit with tension still in the air.

There appeared to be fewer people on the street protesting the shooting death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American, amid a still-heavy presence of local cops, Missouri Highway Patrol and National Guard. For the most part, the marches were orderly in stark contrast to the clashes that have cast a poor light on both law enforcement and some of the demonstrators.

Late in the night, several arrests were made after water bottles were tossed at police.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will meet Wednesday with investigators from the Justice Department and FBI for an update on their findings on Brown's death, which came at the hands of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.

At some point, Holder will determine whether civil rights laws were violated.

The prosecutor's office in St. Louis County, which has jurisdiction in the case, could begin hearing evidence against Wilson as soon as Wednesday to determine if he will be charged in the shooting.


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In other developments, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon issued a message Wednesday that lists three main objectives.

First and foremost, Nixon says that the residents of Ferguson must be protected from "increasingly violent instigators" who use "bricks and guns and Molotov cocktails" against police, a reference to nightly clashes.

Nixon also promised that "a vigorous prosecution must now be pursued" against objections to keeping St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch on the case. Some said that McCulloch has biases in favor of the police.

Lastly, Nixon said that "once we have achieved peace in Ferguson and justice for the family of Michael Brown, we must remain committed to rebuilding the trust that has been lost, mending what has been broken, and healing the wounds we have endured."

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New Mexico Teen in Critical Condition After Lightning Strike at Football Practice


iStock/Thinkstock(LAS CRUCES, N.M.) -- A New Mexico middle-school student is in critical condition and three others were injured after a lightning strike.

The lightning strike happened Tuesday at Picacho Middle School in Las Cruces in the southern part of the state. The school’s eighth-grade football team was practicing after school ended when it became overcast and started to drizzle, said Jo Galvan, director of communications for Las Cruces Public Schools.

The group started walking toward the school when lightning struck a nearby tree, sending several students and coaches falling to the ground, likely the lightning grounding itself, Galvan said.

Three 13-year-old boys and one coach were injured, Galvan said, with a parent and a coach performing CPR on the critically injured boy.

Kelly Duke, marketing director of Mountain View Regional Medical Center, confirmed to ABC News that the players and coach were taken to the hospital, with the critically injured boy later transferred to University Medical Center, listed in critical but stable condition.

The other two students were listed in stable condition, Duke said. The coach’s injuries aren’t life-threatening.

Counselors and district school physiologists will be at the school Wednesday to speak with students, Galvan said.

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Staten Island District Attorney to Convene Grand Jury in Police Chokehold Case


iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Staten Island, New York District Attorney has opted to convene a Grand Jury to determine whether or not charges will be filed against the police officer who allegedly choked a man last month, leading to his death.

District Attorney Daniel Donovan assured the public that he is, "committed to conducting a fair, thorough, and responsible investigation" into the death of Eric Garner on July 17. The incident provoked outrage last month after a witness filmed NYPD cops placing Eric Garner in what appeared to be a chokehold while arresting Garner for selling cigarettes illegally. Garner, who was 6-foot-3 and 350 pounds, could be heard yelling that he could not breathe.

Earlier this month, the New York City Medical Examiner determined that the cause of Garner's death was, "compression of neck (choke hold), compression of chest, and prone positioning during physical restraint by police."

According to a statement from Donovan released on Tuesday, a Grand Jury will be convened and evidence will be presented beginning in September.

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Man Braves Muddy Flood Waters to Rescue Elderly Woman From Car


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- Heavy rain in Arizona has flooded streets and one major freeway, stranding cars and trapping drivers and passengers.

One dramatic rescue in Sun City West was caught on the camera by ABC affiliate KNXV.

In the video, a white minivan was swamped on a main street in Sun City West. The fast-moving stream had submerged the minivan to its hood.

One rescue worker from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office approached the vehicle with nothing in his hands but a stick. He didn’t have a security belt tied to his waist, only his co-worker pulling him from behind, just in case he lost his balance.

The rescue worker slowly approached the minivan, hitting the front window repeatedly with a stick and eventually breaking it. He tried to open the passenger door, but the water pressure from the flooding made it difficult to pop the door open.

After finally sliding open the door, he got inside the minivan and pulled out an elderly woman. Wrapping her arms around the worker's neck, the woman appeared to be struggling with the muddy road.

As soon as the two rescue workers brought the woman to safety, the flood fully covered the minivan’s hood.

The two rescue workers brought the woman to a neighbor’s garage and sat her down on a chair. A neighbor offered the woman towels to keep her warm.

The several inches of rainfall in less than an hour caused havoc during the morning commute for commuters in the state.

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Alleged School Massacre Plot in California Foiled


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SOUTH PASADENA, Calif.) -- Two Southern California male teenagers were being held in juvenile hall Tuesday after an investigation by authorities using social media led authorities to suspect taht the two were allegedly in the early stages of a plot to commit a mass shooting at South Pasadena High School.

“It was a very viable threat what they were plotting,” said South Pasadena Police Chief Art Miller. “They were making a huge plan of a school massacre. … During our interviews with the suspects, they, more or less, confirmed what they had talked about, very cold-heartedly.”

Miller said the suspects, whom police did not identify, were 16 and 17. They were arrested Monday on suspicion of conspiracy and criminal threats.

The investigation started Thursday after an anonymous person informed the school’s staff about the alleged plot. The staff then contacted police about a possible school shooting in the works.

Miller said detectives watched the teens’ conversations on social media and eventually were able to get a search warrant Monday.

Miller said that three staff members were targeted by name as were “random” students.

“As they put it, they just wanted to kill as many people as possible,” Miller said.

On Monday afternoon, officers went to two homes in South Pasadena and removed two computers. Miller said a search of the teens’ computers found the students had researched weapons as well as how to make bombs.

He said the students were in the beginning stages of their plan and were also looking online about tactical training.

He said they told detectives they were prepared to die.

“[They were] very monotone, very matter-of-fact, and when you are talking about killing people, shooting them in the head and to be so calm about it. It’s very chilling,” he said. “It’s very frightening.”

No weapons were found in the houses. Miller did not reveal a motive or a target date and said that the parents were stunned.

“I can’t emphasize enough how that one phone call to us got the ball rolling,” he said. “This press conference today would have been a much different one, had we not acted.”

School is set to start Thursday.

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Ferguson Chants Heard After St. Louis Cops Shoot Suspect


ABC News(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- A 23-year-old black man was shot and killed by St. Louis police Tuesday after he charged at them with a knife.

The incident comes just 10 days after police shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, less than 6 miles away.

The man had taken two energy drinks from a store and returned to take a package of pastries without paying, according to St. Louis City Police Chief Sam Dotson. The suspect then went into the street and was "acting erratically," and talking to himself, Dotson said. When the store employee followed him outside, the man threw the pastries into the street, the chief said.

Police responded to a 911 call, and the suspect walked toward the officers' vehicle and put his hand on his waistband, pulled out a knife and held it in an "overhand" position above his shoulder, Dotson said.

The chief said the officers got out of their vehicle and drew their weapons, telling the man to drop the knife, but he continued to advance, reportedly saying "Shoot me, kill me now."

When he got within four feet of one officer, both cops fired their weapons at the man, who has not yet been identified. Dotson said that witnesses described it as "suicide by cop."

A crowd of about 150 gathered at the scene of the shooting in the moments after the incident. Many expressed anger that cops had not used other means of restraint.

"You don’t need to shoot if you’ve got a Taser and he's got a knife," one bystander said.

"You just kill, kill, kill because you got a gun," another said. "They could've tased him. He was by himself."

"They’re trying to shoot us down," a third onlooker said.

Many in the crowd began chanting "Hands up, don't shoot," and "No justice, no peace," the chants that have been a hallmark of the protests in Ferguson over the past 10 days.

Reporters asked Dotson whether the officers should have used lethal force in this situation, given the tensions in the area over Brown's death.

"Our policy is at the end of the day the officer should be able to go home, so (he should use) the amount of force necessary to overcome resistance. If a person is charging you within 3-4 feet that’s a lethal range,” Dotson said.

"I think officer safety is the number one issue and we can all understand the officers' right to defend themselves. I understand what’s going on in Ferguson, but I think everyone has to understand that right and think of officer safety," Dotson said.

Dotson said the officers would be placed on administrative duty while the department investigates the shooting, as per policy.

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Coast Guard Responding After 8,000 Gallons of Diesel Spilled in Ohio River


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CINCINNATI) -- The U.S. Coast Guard is responding after 8,000 gallons of diesel oil spilled into the Ohio River near Cincinnati.

The spill took place at the Duke Energy W.C. Beckjord Power Station. Duke Energy has assumed responsibility for the cleanup and is working with an approved oil spill response organization.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were three Coast Guard vessels on scene helping to contain the oil.

An investigation into the cause of the spill is underway with local, state and federal officials. Cincinnati Waterworks and Northern Kentucky Waterworks have been contacted to address possible concerns regarding municipal water intakes.

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Investigations into Ferguson Shooting Continue, Holder Urges Peace Ahead of Visit


Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- The police officer accused of fatally shooting Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson, Mo. earlier this month has been interviewed by local investigators and will be given the chance to testify before a grand jury.

A spokesman for St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch, Edward Magee, said on Tuesday that the St. Louis County Prosecutor will try to begin presenting evidence to the grand jury on Wednesday. That decision remains dependant on witness availability.

In addition to the local investigation, a federal investigation remains ongoing into the fatal shooting of Michael Brown that has prompted days of protests, as well as clashes between police and protesters.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to visit Ferguson on Wednesday, with Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo. joining him. Holder wrote an op-ed published in Tuesday's St. Louis Post Dispatch ahead of his arrival, saying that "hundreds" have already been investigated as part of the FBI and Department of Justice investigation.

Holder also called for an end to the violence that has marred protests repeatedly over the last week. "Although these acts have been committed by a very small minority -- and, in many cases, by individuals from outside Ferguson, they seriously undermine, rather than advance, the cause of justice," Holder wrote. He also added that violence interrupts the, "deeper conversation that the legitimate demonstrators are trying to advance."

As of Tuesday night, the Missouri National Guard will remain in Ferguson, once again operating under the command of the Missouri Highway Patrol to provide protection for the Unified Command Center.

Also announced on Tuesday was the funeral for Michael Brown, which will take place on Monday, August 25.

Gov. Jay Nixon released a statement on the ongoing tension on Tuesday, calling the shooting a "tragedy," while echoing Holder's calls for peace. Officers, Nixon said, have tried to, "protect the public, while at the same time preserving citizens' rights to express their anger peacefully." Once peace is achieved, "a vigorous prosecution must now be pursued," against the officer, Nixon said.

Perhaps more important, Nixon said, once peace and justice are achieved, "we must remain committed to rebuilding the trust that has been lost, mending what has been broken, and healing the wounds we have endured."

In his statement, Nixon also declined to ask McCulloch to recuse himself from the investigation despite some residents claiming the prosecutor has biases in favor of police.

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