PODCAST: ‘Fort Worth Officer Who Shot and Killed Atatiana Jefferson Resigns’ (Urban Christian News 10.14.19)

This is the Urban Christian News podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.

According to Christian Headlines, Thousands of Christians, Kurds and Yazidis are fleeing parts of Syria as violence continues between Turkey’s forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces. This week, the White House announced that American soldiers would be pulled out of northern Syria. Along with the announcement, Turkey moved its forces into northern Syria, CBN News reports. The group In Defense of Christians, said they are “deeply concerned for the Christian and Yazidi communities of Northeast Syria should the Republic of Turkey move into the region. “There are over 40,000 Christians in the Northeast, which is a dramatic decrease from the 130,000 Christians who lived in this area before the impact of ISIS and the Syrian Crisis,” the statement from the group said. A Catholic archbishop in Ebril, Iraq previously said that pulling U.S. troops from any hostile areas would lead to more violence against Christians, the Catholic News Agency reports.

According to Christian Post, A wooden cross made from oak taken from the Titanic and crafted as a “mark of respect to those lost” is up for auction in the U.K. later this month. The cross was made by Samuel Smith, a carpenter on the ship S.S. Minia, which was one of the vessels that recovered the bodies of Titanic victims in April 1912, the BBC reports. According to the outlet, crew from the S.S. Minia picked up debris from the Titanic as they retrieved the bodies. Smith made the cross from some of that wreck wood to honor the more than 1,500 passengers and crew who died when the ship struck an iceberg. The piece has remained in Smith’s family, but will now go up for auction on Oct. 19 at Henry Aldridge and Son in Devizes, Wiltshire, a world-renowned auction house which specializes in Titanic artifacts. The cross has a pre-sale estimate of $14,755 to $22,132.

According to NY Daily News, An Alabama toddler is missing after police say she was kidnapped at a birthday party Saturday night. Kamille (Cupcake) McKinney went missing about 8:30 p.m. from Tom Brown Village public housing community in Avondale, according to an Amber Alert issued late Saturday, and “is believed to be in extreme danger.” Witnesses at the party said a man and woman in a dark-colored black or blue SUV, possibly an older model Toyota 4 Runner with “rims and a tan protruding bumper,” picked Kamille up and left with her. Kamille was wearing a pink t-shirt with a Minnie Mouse/leopard print design and leopard print shorts with yellow, white and blue hair bows. She’s described as 3 feet tall and 60 pounds. “An abduction like this, a child just being taken off the street, is in no way common to the city of Birmingham,’’ Birmingham Police Deputy Chief Scott Praytor told reporters. “We’re trying to make sure we get this child back to her family.”

According to The Washington Post, The white Fort Worth police officer who fatally shot Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old black woman, in her home has resigned and could face criminal charges, police said Monday. The officer’s resignation and the outcome of multiple investigations into his actions are likely to serve as a stress test of relations between law enforcement and the black community in the region, which is still reeling from an earlier fatal shooting involving a white officer and a black victim. Police identified the officer who killed Jefferson as Aaron Dean and said he had been with the Fort Worth Police Department since April 2018. Had he not resigned on his own, he would have been fired for violations of the department’s policies on use of force, de-escalation and unprofessional conduct in connection with the shooting, Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus said at a news conference. The officer “still faces criminal charges” pending an investigation, Kraus said. The department has also asked the FBI to review Dean’s actions for possible civil rights violations, according to the chief.

According to The Associated Press, Rescue crew dug through mudslides and searched near flooded rivers for missing people after a typhoon caused serious damage in central and northern Japan, killing as many as 36 people. Typhoon Hagibis, which hit Japan’s main island on Saturday, unleashed torrents of rain and strong winds that left thousands of homes flooded, damaged or without power. Kyodo news service reported Monday that the typhoon killed 36 people and that 16 more were missing; the official count from the Fire and Disaster Management Agency was 19 dead and 13 missing. Authorities warned of more mudslides with rain forecast for the area. Some muddy waters in streets, fields and residential areas had subsided, but many places remained flooded. Public broadcaster NHK said 14 rivers across the nation had flooded, some spilling out in more than one spot. “The major typhoon has caused immense damage far and wide in eastern Japan,” Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, told reporters.

According to CNN, A former Georgia police officer was found not guilty of murder Monday more than four years after he killed a naked, unarmed black man who was mentally ill. A jury in DeKalb County found Robert “Chip” Olsen guilty of aggravated assault, making a false statement, and two counts of violation of oath, but acquitted him on two felony murder charges. Olsen faces up to 35 years in prison and is due to be sentenced November 1. Judge Latisha Dear Jackson said he can remain out on an $80,000 bond until then, though he will have an ankle monitor and be subject to a curfew. Olsen was charged with killing Anthony Hill, a 26-year-old Afghanistan war veteran, in March 2015. Prior to the shooting, someone in his neighborhood called police to report a man “acting deranged, knocking on doors, and crawling around on the ground naked,” then-DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander said afterward. Olsen was dispatched and “when (Hill) saw the officer, he charged, running at the officer. The officer called him to stop while stepping backwards, drew his weapon and fired two shots,” Alexander said. Hill had a history of mental illness and struggled to get the support he needed from the Department of Veterans Affairs, his girlfriend, Bridget Anderson, previously said. She said he stopped taking his medication shortly before his death.

According to NBC News, A Chicago man with apparent “anger management issues” killed five neighbors in an apartment complex shooting over the weekend, police said. Krysztof Marek, 66, was “identified as the individual who fired a handgun multiple times striking five victims” at about 5:35 p.m. on Saturday in the 6700 block of West Irving Place, Chicago police said in a statement on Monday. The victims included two men, one of them 61 years old and the other between 40 and 45. The three women killed were 65, 53 and one between 30 and 35. The 53-year-old slain woman was identified Jolanta Topolska, the Office of the Medical Examiner of Cook County told NBC Chicago. Another victim was Tsvetanka Kostadinova, whose age was not known, the station reported. The gunman entered a neighbor’s apartment on the city’s northwest side where three men and a woman were eating dinner and fatally shot them, Chicago police Deputy Superintendent Anthony Riccio said.

You can read these stories and more at UrbanChristianNews.com

In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!