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Ann Johansson/Corbis via Getty Images(KOKOMO, Ind.) — The mayor of Kokomo, Indiana, said he felt "very grateful" Thursday morning after no deaths or serious injuries were reported from a devastating storm and tornado that hit the town Wednesday, flattening buildings and damaging homes.

About 10 to 15 minor injuries were reported, said Howard County Sheriff Steven Rogers, who added that the community was "very blessed" that there were no fatalities.

The storm in Kokomo, about 50 miles north of Indianapolis, piled cars on top of one another and even flattened a Starbucks, where people hid in the coffee shop's bathroom.

The devastation has forced 220 people to be temporarily placed in shelters, many of whom lived in several large apartment complexes that were heavily damaged, Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said Thursday morning.

Tens of thousands of people were left without power, and Goodnight said that a major focus now is working on repairing damaged lines and restoring power.

A tornado took a similar path through this stretch of Kokomo in 2013, officials said.

Thirty-five tornadoes were reported in Indiana and Illinois Wednesday — the one in Kokomo being the strongest, where winds reached 165 miles per hour.

In Crawfordsville, Indiana, about 60 miles southwest of Kokomo, winds reached 111 miles per hour.

The tornadoes will be rated Thursday as the National Weather Service surveys the damage.


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iStock/Thinkstock(EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass.) — An online petition is calling for a judge in Massachusetts to be removed from the bench after sentencing an 18-year-old accused of sexually assaulting two classmates with two years of probation.

David Becker of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, was charged with two counts of rape and one count of indecent assault and battery, according to court documents, after an April incident in which he was accused of sexually assaulting two girls who were sleeping in a bed after a house party. Becker and the alleged victims, who are not being identified, were all seniors.

As a part of his probation, Becker must remain drug and alcohol free and not contact the victims, the court documents state. He also has to undergo an evaluation for sex offender treatment, according to the Hampden District Attorney's Office.

The district attorney's office said that if Becker does not violate his probation, he will not have to register as a sex offender, as the charges will be dismissed at the completion of probation.

The online petition creator called the probation ruling "a slap on the wrist," as prosecutors in the case recommended two years in prison. The petition calls for the removal of Palmer District Court Judge Thomas Estes and has over 16,000 supporters.

At a plea hearing this summer, Becker's lawyer, Thomas Rooke, argued the former high school athlete had already suffered due to his actions.

Estes appeared to give weight to that argument, saying, "There have already been significant consequences, collateral consequences to simply being charged with the offense in the first place." Estes added that a harsher punishment would "slam a lot of doors" for Becker.

Becker's attorney described him as a model student that deserved to go to college.

"He was a star, he was a rising star... and then suddenly, April 2, 2016, he's at a house party. There's no parents. There's alcohol, there's marijuana, there's testosterone, there's estrogen. A perfect mix for a nuclear disaster. And he makes a bad decision," Rooke said.

According to police reports, Becker told investigators that when one of the girls "didn't protest," when he digitally penetrated her, he assumed it was "OK." He denied having any physical contact with the other alleged victim.

One of the alleged victims told police Becker texted her after the incident writing, "Very sorry about last night I was very much in the wrong." The girl replied, "don't even worry about it it's all good."

The Hampden District Attorney's Office recommended two years of prison time for Becker, which it considered "appropriate and fair, based on the facts and circumstances of the case," a district attorney's office spokesman said.

Scott Berkowitz, the president of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, was disappointed by the decision.

"I think that the judge's sympathies were misplaced in this case. This offender's college career shouldn't have been the priority. Punishment for the act he committed should be the priority," Berkowitz said.

Becker's case comes on the heels of another sexual assault case that caused outrage over a six-month jail sentence given to former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner after he allegedly assaulted an unconscious woman.

The online petition compares Becker's case to Turner's, saying it is "another instance of a white athlete receiving a slap on the wrist for a violent sexual crime."

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iStock/Thinkstock(ORLANDO, Fla.) — Survivors of the Pulse Nightclub massacre who were treated at two Orlando hospitals will not be billed for their medical care, the facilities announced Wednesday.

Orlando Health, the healthcare network which includes Orlando Regional Medical Center, said in a statement, "Orlando Health has not sent any hospital or medical bills directly to Pulse patients and we don’t intend to pursue reimbursement of medical costs from them."

Orlando Regional Hospital treated 44 patients of the June 12 terror attack, during which gunman Omar Mateen slaughtered 49 people at Pulse Nightclub, one of Orlando's most popular LGBT venues.

Orlando Health said it is "exploring numerous options to help the victims of the Pulse nightclub tragedy address immediate and ongoing medical costs. These include state and federal funds, private insurance, victim funds like the One Orlando fund, disability insurance, Florida’s crime victim compensation program, funding sources established for individual victims, means-tested programs like Medicaid, as well as charity care provided by Orlando Health."

The not-for-profit healthcare network said total unreimbursed costs "could exceed $5 million."

Florida Hospital, part of the Florida Hospital Healthcare system, treated 12 survivors of the attack. It also said it will not be billing for services, according to ABC Orlando television affiliate WFTV.

"It was incredible to see how our community came together in the wake of the senseless Pulse shooting," the hospital’s CEO, Daryl Tol, said in a statement. "We hope this gesture can add to the heart and goodwill that defines Orlando."

Pulse massacre survivor Mario Lopez, 34, who was grazed by a bullet and had fragments explode into his left side, told the Orlando Sentinel he welcomes the announcement since he is uninsured. "I was so worried because I can't afford any of that," he told the newspaper, which reported that his seven-hour hospital visit left him with a potential $20,000-bill. "It's a huge relief."

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Courtesy Elizabeth Congdon(NEW YORK) -- Capybaras, giant rodents that are native to South America, may be establishing themselves as an invasive species in Florida, according to Elizabeth Congdon, the only biologist in North America studying the animal.

"Right now, they're considered exotics -- non-native animals that aren't supposed to be here," Congdon told ABC News Wednesday. "But if they breed and grow enough to the point that they're causing damage, they could be considered an invasive species."

Capybaras were first accidentally introduced to forests in northern Florida after five of them escaped a research facility in the early '90s, said Congdon, an assistant professor at the Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, who warned about the potential threat of the species at an animal behavior conference earlier this month.

Since then, Congdon said there have been dozens of capybaras sighted over the past few years in a state park near the facility -- including about 50 in 2008.

"They're definitely breeding, and there's certainly more than 50 of them there by now," she said.

As long as the capybara population doesn't grow and stays within the state park's confines, Congdon said she believes they will not pose a problem. However, they could begin breeding at more rapid rates and start spreading to agricultural areas.

Congdon explained that the dog-sized rodents are "very social" and resilient. They warn each other of predators coming and females work together and actually help nurse each other's young.

"If they start growing and expanding, they could start eating crops," she said. "They're known to eat corn and sugar cane in Brazil. That could cause significant economic damage for the state."

Congdon and her students will be studying the animals and trying to come up with a population estimate for the next few months, she said.

"At this point, we're just trying to prevent them from becoming an invasive species, and we don't necessarily know the solution right now," she said. "It could be that we have to remove large males or breeding females. It may be possible to fence in the park so they simple can't escape and control their spread that way."

The "most extreme solution" would be to kill some of them, Congdon said.

"That's the question: How do you humanely stop the spread?" she said. "And it's a fine line for those of us studying these animals. I love them, and they're my favorite animal in the planet, but at the same time, it may be necessary to remove them from here."

For now, Congdon said she will be working hard to do more research on the animal and find potential preventive solutions.

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Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two flights, two hours apart, suffered bird strikes Wednesday morning on arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, officials said.

No humans were injured during the two incidents.

JetBlue Flight 1248 reported striking a bird after landing at 8:30 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Airbus A320, which typically seats up to 150 passengers, had departed from Los Angeles.

Air traffic control audio indicates that a small bird struck the side of the aircraft upon landing.

JetBlue did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

About two hours later, Singapore Airlines Flight 26 hit several birds.

The Airbus jet arriving in New York from Singapore, via Frankfurt, Germany, experienced the collision upon landing, according to an airline statement.

One pilot reported "a big flock of birds just went into the right two engines of that Singapore [Airbus] A380,” according to air traffic control audio.

Officials were forced to close two runways after the incident, according to the audio.

The FAA reported 13,668 bird strikes in the U.S. in 2014, the year for which the most recent statistics are available.

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WPVI-TV(PHILADELPHIA) -- After spending nearly 25 years behind bars for a brutal crime he didn't commit, Tony Wright is a free man.

The Philadelphia resident was just 20 years old when he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the rape and stabbing of a neighbor more than two decades ago. Wright, now 44, walked out of prison Tuesday with his arms raised in the air. He held hands with his attorneys and members of the Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal organization based in New York City.

"Unbelievable, unbelievable, man. Best feeling in the world, man. I never felt like this in my entire life," Wright told ABC affiliate WPVI-TV in Philadelphia. "We did it, I mean today is our day."

Lawyers with the Innocent Project secured DNA evidence that showed Wright was not the one who committed the 1991 rape of his neighbor, 77-year-old Louise Talley. Still, the district attorney’s office in Philadelphia decided to take Wright's case to trial again in 2014. On Tuesday, after deliberating for more than an hour, a jury found him not guilty, acquitting him of the rape and murder.

"We are extremely relieved that this very long nightmare is finally over for Mr. Wright and his family," Peter Neufeld, co-director of the Innocence Project, said in a statement. "But it’s outrageous that he has been forced to endure a retrial to gain his freedom after DNA testing already proved his innocence."

"The jury made a finding and the District Attorney's Office respects their hard work," Cameron Kline, spokesman for the District Attorney's Office, said in a statement to the Philadelphia Inquirer Tuesday.

"The District Attorney's Office stands by its decision to retry Anthony Wright, based on the totality of the evidence," Kline said. "The verdict only shows that the jury did not find that his guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt."

The Philadelphia District Attorney's office did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for further comment.

Wright narrowly escaped the death penalty at his original trial by a 7 to 5 vote of the jury. At the re-trial, DNA tests revealed that the clothing police had alleged was worn by Wright to commit the crime was actually not his and could not have been in his home as authorities had claimed, according to the Innocence Project.

"We are relieved that justice has prevailed and Mr. Wright has been given back his life," attorney Samuel Silver of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, co-counsel for Wright and board member of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, said in a statement.

Wright’s new-found freedom comes just in time for his 45th birthday this weekend.

"I want to do whatever my granddaughters want to do. I want to do whatever my grandson wants to do," he told WPVI on Tuesday. "I just want to be grandpa. I just want to be dad."

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WABC-TV(KEANSBURG, N.J.) -- Millions of dead fish recently turned up in Waackaack Creek in Keansburg, New Jersey, according to an official with the state's Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).

The dead fish were all Atlantic menhaden, also known as bunker, NJDEP spokesman Lawrence Hajna told ABC News Wednesday. He said they likely died of suffocation.

The menhaden were probably chased by a predator species -- such as striped bass or blue fish -- into an inlet, Hajna said.

"From there, the water gets shallower and warmer, and the fish likely became tightly packed," he explained. "Hemmed in by the shoreline and predators, they used up the dissolved oxygen in the water and basically suffocated."

Nearby residents have been complaining about the stench coming from the rotting fish, ABC-owned station WABC in New York reported.

However, Hajna said the incident was "nothing extraordinary" and "part of a natural cycle."

"There's nothing much we can do except clean up, and that's what's been taking place," he said. "Local governments' public works crews have been scooping up the fish on the shorelines and also using a vacuum truck to take as many fish from the water they can."

Hajna added that some fish will naturally sink, decompose and become part of the creek's nutrient cycle.

"Other crabs and fish will eat them, and it's all just a part of nature," he said.

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Western Virginia Regional Jail(NEW YORK) -- Mental illness has emerged as a potential factor in a weekend attack on two strangers in Virginia, even as federal authorities continue to look at whether the knife-wielding assailant may have been inspired by ISIS.

The FBI has been aware of the alleged attacker, 20-year-old Wasil Farooqui of Roanoke, for months, after he traveled to Turkey and tried to enter Syria, where ISIS is recruiting and inspiring sympathizers from around the world, according to sources familiar with the case.

ABC News was told that the FBI is now analyzing Farooqui’s laptop and cellphone, looking for any links to ISIS. It's unclear whether the FBI has found any such evidence, but federal authorities have yet to take over the entire case, suggesting the FBI so far has not found sufficient reason to take on a bigger role.

One source familiar with the case said Wednesday that authorities are still in the "assessment phase" and not ready to rule anything out.

Nevertheless, Farooqui was "hearing voices" in his head minutes before he allegedly attacked a man and woman at a Roanoke apartment complex, reportedly yelling "Allahu Akbar" -- God is great -- as he "cut the male victim’s throat" and stabbed them multiple times, according to witness accounts and newly obtained court documents.

Authorities were looking at whether Farooqui may have been trying to behead his victim, ABC News was told after the attack. But on Tuesday, a Roanoke County Police spokeswoman said her department concluded it "did not appear to be an attempt at a beheading."

Farooqui left his home Saturday night "to clear his head," and after parking at the apartment complex about a mile away, the voices in his head told him "that he was stupid [and] they also told him to attack someone," according to the court documents, citing what Farooqui allegedly later told police.

"He doesn’t know who [his victims] are or why he attacked them," said an affidavit filed by police as part of the court documents.

Farooqui allegedly followed the couple into their apartment before stabbing them, according to the court documents.

"There was a large amount of blood inside the apartment just inside the door and large amounts of blood outside leaving a trail to where the victims were located," the affidavit said.

After the attack, an injured Farooqui allegedly went to his father’s tobacco store, and his father brought him to the local hospital -- the same hospital where his alleged victims were being treated.

Farooqui was then arrested by police on charges of assault with malicious wounding, and he is being held without bond at the Western Virginia Regional Jail.

The FBI and Roanoke County Police "are working closely on the case ... to investigate the nature of the attack," and the FBI has not "taken over the county's piece of it," police spokeswoman Amy Whittaker said Wednesday. "Our detectives continue to investigate, file search warrants, etc."

FBI Director James Comey has said that many of the "troubled souls" attracted to the ISIS message online suffer from mental illness.

Farooqui is due in court again next week.

His attorney, Sheila Moheb, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — U.S. officials say they are investigating a series of cyberattacks against The New York Times’ Moscow bureau in what authorities suspect is a continuing onslaught of sneak attacks by Russia.

None of the Times’ internal systems were compromised, the paper said.

“We are constantly monitoring our systems with the latest available intelligence and tools,” a Times spokesman said. “We have seen no evidence that any of our internal systems, including our systems in the Moscow bureau, have been breached or compromised."

Richard Clarke, an ABC News consultant and former counterterrorism adviser to the White House, said, “Russian intelligence wants to know what the New York Times is going to write before it writes it.”

“They hack into political parties, into government agencies, into newspapers, to find out what they know about Russia, to find out what they’re thinking about Russia, and to find out who their sources are in Russia,” he said.

Officials told ABC News that the attacks came from the same Russian hackers who compromised the computers at the Democratic National Committee, and leaked over 19,000 emails among DNC party officials. The hacked emails showed how supposedly neutral party officials tried to undercut the campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, and revealed sensitive emails and voicemail messages about big Democratic donors and the favors they sought.

“There is little doubt in the case of the DNC that it was Russian intelligence related,” said Justin Harvey, the chief security officer for Fidelis Cybersecurity. “The telltale signs for the DNC were the IP addresses that were used were previously attributed to Russian attacks.”

The Russian hackers have a long list of successful operations, in both the United States and the international community. In 2015, the German domestic intelligence agency accused Russia of hacking Germany’s parliament.

A few years prior in 2007, Russian hackers were suspected of launching a sustained cyberattack against Estonian organizations, including its Parliament, banks and newspapers after a Soviet war memorial was removed from Estonia’s capital.

That was followed in 2008 with a serious attack on classified systems at the Pentagon and, more recently in the United States, Russian hackers have been suspected of hacking nonclassified systems at the White House.

And in addition to the DNC this summer, Russian hackers also successfully compromised a private communication network for the Open Society Foundation run by billionaire American investor George Soros – internal documents that were subsequently uploaded onto DC Leaks.

Laura Silber, director of public affairs at the Open Society Foundation, confirmed that the emails posted on DC Leaks appeared to be stolen from their organization.

“The hack on our organization may not have been as intrusive as what happened at the DNC, but taken together, these recent events appear to be a part of a larger effort to attack our open society and shouldn’t be taken lightly,” Silber said.

In a forum about what role cybertools should play in the United States at the Aspen Security Forum in July, John Carlin, the U.S. Assistant Attorney General for National Security, issued a warning that a symbolic criminal prosecution of Russia could soon be forthcoming.

“You haven’t seen a public action against Russia,” he said. “But it would be a mistake for them to assume that we are not going to apply this deterrence model when it comes to their action if they continue to intrude.”

The FBI had no comment to ABC News regarding the investigation.


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iStock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) — Wildlife officials in Washington state have made the decision to kill an entire pack of endangered gray wolves after several attacks on livestock.

This week, ranchers discovered two calf carcasses in addition to an injured calf, leading to the decision to eliminate the pack, KOMO, an ABC television affiliate in Seattle reported.

The wolves, known as the Profanity Peak wolf pack, have killed or injured six cows and are suspected in the deaths of at least five others since mid-July.

On Aug. 5, Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife officials culled two members of the pack, in the hopes of preventing any future livestock deaths.

"At that time, we said we would restart this operation if there was another wolf attack, and now we have three," Donny Martorello, department wolf policy lead, told KOMO. "The department is committed to wolf recovery, but we also have a shared responsibility to protect livestock from repeated depredation by wolves."

Jim Unsworth, director of Fish and Wildlife, authorized field staff to remove the remaining members of the pack after the two calves were found, according to KOMO.

The Profanity Peak wolf pack is one of 19 known wolf packs in Washington state, KOMO reported.

The pack had at least 11 members, including six adults and five pups earlier this summer.

In 1978, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service reclassifed the gray wolf as endangered.

In some areas, the wolves have made a strong comeback, prompting calls for them to be delisted, especially as run-ins with human populations have increased.

Since 2008, Washington's confirmed wolf population has grown from two wolves in one pack to at least 90 wolves and 19 packs by early 2016, wildlife figures show.

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Tulsa County Jail(TULSA, Okla.) -- The man who a Tulsa, Oklahoma family said "terrorized" them for years and called them racially offensive names has been charged with murder and a hate crime in the shooting death of 37-year-old Khalid Jabara, according to authorities.

Stanley "Vernon" Majors, 61, was charged with first-degree murder in Jabara's death and possession of a firearm after a formal conviction of a felony, the Tulsa County District Attorney announced Tuesday. In addition, Majors is accused of misdemeanor malicious intimidation or harassment with specific intent to intimidate and harass because of race, color, religion, ancestry and national origin. He "did threaten to harm" Jabara's mother, Haifa, and her family, prosecutors said.

Majors was also charged with misdemeanor threatening an act of violence.

In a statement, the family said they "continue to struggle" with the loss of Jabara.

"In charging Majors with a hate crime in addition to first degree murder, the district attorney's office is making a much-needed and powerful statement that hatred and violence based on race, color, religion, ancestry, and national origin has no place in our society," the family said.

On Aug. 12, Majors allegedly shot and killed Jabara, the Tulsa Police Department said. Earlier that evening, police had responded to a 911 call made by Jabara, but left the scene after they were "unable to locate any criminal activity," they said.

"If we knock on the door and [Majors] doesn’t answer, there’s nothing that gives us the opportunity to go into his house," Tulsa Police Sgt. Dave Walker told ABC News last week.

Police said that there had been "many calls to the area that involved Majors acting aggressively towards his neighbors." In an interview with ABC News, Jabara's sister, Victoria Jabara Williams, said Majors increasingly bullied the family by calling them racial slurs, throwing rocks and even running her mother over with a car.

Majors is currently awaiting trial on an assault with a deadly weapon charge involving Haifa Jabara stemming from 2015, according to authorities. He was initially held without bond, but a judge allowed his release three months ago, according to CNN. Majors had pleaded not guilty in that case.

Police said Majors had a protective order against him "that stated that he was supposed to stay a certain number of feet away from the victim's mother and household."

"The protective order was issued by the Tulsa County District Courts," police said. "The Tulsa Police Department does not determine who can live somewhere and who can’t. We would only take action if someone were to violate that protective order."

The family emigrated to the United States from Lebanon and settled in Tulsa County, Oklahoma, in the 1980s, Williams said.

"We were scared," Williams told ABC News. "He just terrorized us. He was hateful, just hateful."

Williams said she believes hate was a motivation in her brother’s murder.

"This was hate driven," she told ABC News. "Why our family? Why is there so much hate in your heart?"

In a family statement, Williams said that Majors was someone they "continuously brought to law enforcement's attention." When Jabara called police the night of his death, he stated that Majors "had a gun" and "was scared for what might happen," Williams said.

"He repeatedly attacked our ethnicity and perceived religion, making racist comments," she continued.

Majors is currently being held without bond in a Tulsa County jail, records show. An initial arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday morning, prosecutors said. It is unclear if he has obtained a lawyer.

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Stockbyte/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — A newly released video of an arrest made in October of 2014 by the Los Angeles Police Department depicts a police officer appearing to kick and punch a black man who seems to be surrendering.

In the three-minute video, several officers apprehend a man, Clinton Alford Jr., who is trying to evade capture. The officers bring him to the ground before another patrol car pulls up and Officer Richard Garcia gets out and runs toward Alford. Garcia appears to kick and elbow Alford Jr., and then appears to deliver several punches to his head, which is resting against the hard pavement. Later, as other officers move several feet away, Garcia appears to pin Alford to the ground by resting his knee along his spine.

The video, which was taken from a closed-caption surveillance camera on an adjacent factory, was used as evidence in the criminal case against Garcia. It was not released to the public until the Los Angeles Times obtained the footage by court action.

According to the Times, the LAPD refused to make the recording public for two years, even after prosecutors agreed to a plea deal that kept Garcia from doing jail time, provided that he "completes community service and donates $500 to a charity by late May of 2017."

The LAPD has not yet provided a statement to ABC News on the video of Alford's arrest, but said they will comment.

In a statement provided to the Times, an LAPD spokesman said that Garcia had been relieved of duty without pay, as of March of this year, and must appear before an internal disciplinary committee. The spokesperson told the Times that three other officers seen in the video are no longer with the department.

Peter Bibring, Director of Police Practices with the American Civil Liberties Union of California, told ABC News that the video "so clearly conveys what Garcia did," which he said had previously been left to police reports.

"Videos like this don't necessarily come as a surprise to many residents of Los Angeles," Bibring said, referring to conflicts between the police and the city's black community.

"What they can effectively do is let people who may not know about this sort of thing," he said, "what this kind of experience is really like."

Bibring said that the video calls into question whether the leniency Garcia received from his plea deal is indicative of the legal system "going soft on police officers."

As the department incorporates body cameras, he said the ACLU is fighting for greater transparency around that footage, which is currently under the authority of the LAPD. He said that restricting public access to that footage "undercuts public trust."

The footage from the Alford arrest comes from a private security camera.

The release of the Alford video comes on the heels of the release of a video earlier this month, published by ProPublica, appearing to show the last moments in the life of Vachel Howard, a 56-year-old black man who was in custody for driving while intoxicated in 2012 and may have suffered from schizophrenia, according to the publication.

In that video, Howard is in the jailhouse following what police say was a visit to the nurse where he became aggressive. He appears to be surrounded by LAPD officers and placed in a chokehold by Officer Juan Romero. Subsequently, he lies motionless on the floor. Less than an hour later, Howard was pronounced dead, ProPublica said.

A spokesperson for the LAPD declined ABC News' request for comment on the video of the Howard incident. A police commission which investigated the incident found that the LAPD officer's lethal use of force in applying the chokehold was "out of policy."

The commission found that Romero's "explanation of the unfolding events, the Subject’s resistance and his attempt to bite [him] did not constitute a threat that the officer’s life or the lives of others were in immediate peril,” in their report.

The City of Los Angeles settled with the family for $2.85 million in a wrongful death claim and Romero was suspended for 22 days.

These recent video footage cases have raised references to the Rodney King video from 1991, in which officers of the department appeared to beat King, following a high-speed car chase.

During the King arrest in 1991, a witness, George Holliday, videotaped much of the incident from his balcony and sent the footage to local news station KTLA-TV in Los Angeles.

Subsequently, it became one of the first widely-viewed recordings of police violence involving black residents and played a significant role in inspiring riots in the city a year later, following the acquittal of the officers involved.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Federal authorities are investigating a series of cyberattacks on The New York Times and other U.S. media organizations, and they believe those web-based assaults were "probably" carried out by the same Russian hackers who recently infiltrated Democratic organizations, a source familiar with the probe told ABC News.

The intrusions were discovered in recent months, and it's unclear exactly why the hackers would have targeted news outlets. Journalists, however, routinely interact with countless officials across the U.S. government as part of their jobs.

ABC News was unable to determine what other news outlets, aside from The New York Times, were hit. CNN first reported the intrusions and subsequent investigation.

The New York Times said its Moscow bureau was targeted, but noted no "internal systems" were breached.

"We are constantly monitoring our systems with the latest available intelligence and tools. We have seen no evidence that any of our internal systems, including our systems in the Moscow bureau, have been breached or compromised," the Times said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

For months, the FBI has been investigating what appear to be coordinated cyberattacks on Democratic organizations, with the hacking of the Democratic National Committee being the most damaging so far.

Not only did the hack apparently allow cyber operatives to steal opposition research on Republican nominee Donald Trump, but many suspect it led to the theft of internal messages that showed efforts by DNC officials to undermine Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders during the primary season. After those damaging emails were publicly released by WikiLeaks, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepped down as DNC chairwoman.

The FBI declined to comment for this article.

Asked last month whether Russia might have intentions to undermine the U.S. political process, James Clapper, the nation’s top intelligence official, said Russian officials “believe we’re trying to influence political developments in Russia, we’re trying to affect change, and so their natural response is to retaliate and do unto us as they think we've done to them."

Speaking at the annual Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado, Clapper said Russian President Vladimir Putin is "paranoid" about the potential for revolutions in Russia, "and of course they see a U.S. conspiracy behind every bush, and ascribe far more impact than we’re actually guilty of."

Referring to cyber warfare, Clapper said it is not "terribly different than what went on during the heyday of the Cold War," just with different tools and "a different modality." And, he said, the U.S. intelligence community is now "at war" with Russia, conducting operations every hour of every day against Russia and other adversaries.

Nevertheless, Clapper said he's "taken aback a bit by ... the hyperventilation over" the hack of the DNC, adding in a sarcastic tone, "I'm shocked somebody did some hacking. That’s never happened before."

The American people "just need to accept" that cyber threats and computer-based attacks are a major long-term challenge facing the United States, and he said Americans should "not be quite so excitable when we have yet another instance of it."

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iStock/Thinkstock(EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass.) -- An 18-year-old accused of sexually assaulting two high school classmates is facing two years of probation despite the district attorney's office's recommendation of two years in prison.

David Becker, of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, was charged with two counts of rape and one count of indecent assault and battery, according to court documents, after an April 2 incident in which he was accused of digitally penetrating two girls who were sleeping in a bed after a house party. Becker and the alleged victims, who are not being identified, were all seniors.

On Aug. 15, Becker's case was ordered continued without a finding for two years by Palmer District Court Judge Thomas Estes.

As a part of his probation, Becker must remain drug- and alcohol-free and not contact the victims, the court documents state. He also has to undergo an evaluation for sex offender treatment, according to the Hampden District Attorney’s Office.

In a continuance without a finding, the court agrees to continue a case without a guilty finding for a certain period, as long as the defendant adheres to the terms of his or her probation. If the probation is successfully completed, the case is dismissed. In this case, if Becker completes his probation, he will not have to register as a sex offender, according to the district attorney's office.

According to police reports, Becker told investigators that when one of the girls "didn't protest," he assumed it was "OK." Becker denied to police having any physical contact with the other alleged victim.

A clerk for Estes' office told ABC News he could not comment on his decision to continue the case without a finding.

The Hampden District Attorney’s Office recommended two years of prison time for Becker, a recommendation it considered "appropriate and fair, based on the facts and circumstances of the case," according to a district attorney's office spokesman.

Scott Berkowitz, the president of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, was disappointed by the decision.

"It's really discouraging when everyone in the process does their job and ... then you see a sentence like this," he told ABC News Tuesday.

He said the judge's decision in this case is probably "discouraging for the victims" and likely "deters other people from reporting their crimes" and "putting themselves through this entire criminal justice process" because they will wonder, "Is it worth it?"

Berkowitz said sexual assault should be taken seriously, even with an 18-year-old.

"I don't think it would ever occur to a judge or lawyer that after someone [was] convicted of a murder, that they [would] just get probation because they deserve a second chance," he said. "There would be a universal understanding that there are consequences for committing a crime that bad."

Becker's defense attorney, Thomas Rooke, did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment, but he told The Republican that his client "can now look forward to a productive life without being burdened with the stigma of having to register as a sex offender."

Becker's case comes just months following the outrage after former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, who was found guilty of the assault of an unconscious woman, was given just six months in jail.

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Daniel K. Harris Foundation(RALEIGH, N.C.) -- North Carolina police shot and killed a deaf man who was the father of a 3-year-old after a traffic stop following a brief chase, according to authorities.

On Aug. 18, police said they tried to stop a car driven by Daniel Kevin Harris for speeding on I-485.

After a brief pursuit the suspect got out of his vehicle and a confrontation took place with officers, during which a trooper fired a shot, police said.

Harris died at the scene.

"At the request of the Highway Patrol, the State Bureau of Investigation is conducting an investigation into the shooting," the North Carolina Highway Patrol said in a statement. "All questions regarding this investigation should be forwarded to their office."

The SBI said "details of the encounter are still being investigated" and that the agency is working on getting body and dash-cam footage.

It was not clear if police knew that Harris was deaf at the time of the shooting.

Harris' brother, Charles, said in a statement posted on Facebook: "my family and I dont understand why it had to happened."

He said his brother was "really scared" of cops because of publicized police confrontations with unarmed or black people.

"Worst thing is...my brother Daniel is deaf. how he can communicate with polices and able to feel safe and protect himself from polices? My brother is UNARMED and still get shot by police," Charles Harris wrote in the statement.

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