Louis Casiano


The infamous CHOP zone was cleared out this week after weeks of reports of violence within the area and mounting criticism of city leaders

On the day he buried his 19-year-old son, who was gunned down in Seattle’s lawless ‘CHOP’ zone, Horace Lorenzo Anderson Sr. got a phone call from President Trump, who had been moved by his heart-wrenching appearance the night before on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity.”

Anderson’s son, Horace Lorenzo Anderson Jr., was killed in the early hours of June 20, when shots rang out near the border of the six-block zone the city had given up for three chaotic weeks. In the emotional interview with Sean Hannity, a tearful Anderson said he hadn’t been able to get answers from the city about his son’s death, and disclosed that he had not even been contacted by Mayor Jenny Durkan.

But, the mayor, a Democrat, did reach out to Anderson later Wednesday, and a call from Trump followed later.

“We just talked to the president of the United States,” Anderson’s friend and family spokesman Andre Taylor, who took part in Wednesday’s interview, told Fox News. “How are you going to top that?”

Taylor said Trump told Anderson he saw his interview with Hannity Wednesday night and was moved by the grieving father’s grace in the face of tragedy. In what Taylor said was a seven-minute call, Trump offered his condolences and support.

“He said he watched ‘Hannity’ last night, and told Horace, ‘Your son is looking down on you and watching over you,’” Taylor recounted. “He was incredibly gracious, and it gave Horace some extra help as he buried his son.”

In the interview, Anderson described his son as good-hearted but easily influenced. He said he took some solace in knowing that he often told the boy, who he took full custody of at age 2, that he loved him. But, when he described the pain of learning through the grapevine that his son was dead, he broke down, as Taylor comforted him.

“The only way I found out was just two of his friends, just two friends that just happened to be up there, and they came and told me,” he said. “They weren’t even from Seattle. Now, mind you, I haven’t heard — the police department, they never came.”

Compounding the father’s grief were reports that first responders who came to the CHOP zone to transport the shooting victims to the hospital encountered an angry mob that denied them entry. The pair were taken to Harborview Medical Center by self-described “CHOP medics,” and Anderson’s son was pronounced dead on arrival.

“My son needed help, and I don’t feel like they helped my son,” Anderson said. “I feel like he doesn’t — without this, he would just be nobody. He’s just — it doesn’t matter, he’s just another guy. Just another child, just swept up under the rug, and that’s it and forgotten about.”

His son’s death has left him heartbroken, Anderson told a visibly moved Hannity.

“I wake up in the morning… I look for my son in the morning,” he said. “He’s not there no more. You know what I’m saying? It’s like I go in there, I’m kissing a picture. He’s not there.”

Thursday’s phone call from Trump helped Anderson get through a day that no parent should ever face. Knowing that so many people, including the commander-in-chief, shared in his grief provided him some measure of peace and strength, Taylor said.

“It blew Horace’s mind,” he added.

The infamous CHOP zone in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood was forcefully cleared out Wednesday after the city’s leadership finally acted following two deadly shootings and weeks of scrutiny that a city would cede several blocks to protesters and not allow first responders to enter.

Elected leaders contended the protest was largely peaceful until reports of gun violence and videos of demonstrators threatening journalists and other visitors to the area surfaced online.

Since the zone was established, there have been four shootings, two of which were deadly — 19-year-old Horace Lorenzo Anderson Jr. and a 16-year-old who died in a separate incident.

Many businesses and people living within the occupied area also complained of violence and threats from demonstrators. Several businesses, including an auto repair shop, a tattoo parlor and a property-management company, filed lawsuits against the city Wednesday. The complaint alleged that city officials were complicit in letting the self-described anarchists occupy public streets that made them feel unsafe.

As crews cleared out the area this week, Seattle police retook a police station that officers had abandoned following clashes between law enforcement and protesters.

Many Republicans, including Trump, have excoriated local leaders amid reports of chaos and lawlessness within CHOP. Earlier this month, Trump vowed to not have a repeat of Seattle in Washington, D.C., as protests raged near the White House.

In a June 18 tweet, he called CHOP “the latest example of Liberal (Democrat) cities caving to lawlessness.”

“We’re not talking about some little place, we’re talking about Seattle,” Trump said during a June 20 rally in Tulsa, Okla., while criticizing Democrats in Seattle and Washington state. He said he had an offer to Seattle officials that “any time you want, we’ll come in” and straighten out the issues in Seattle “in an hour or less.”

Author: Louis Casiano

Source: Fox News: Seattle father mourning loss of son killed in ‘CHOP’ zone gets calls of support from Trump, Mayor Durkan

The governors of Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina on Monday afternoon announced new plans to bring their states’ economies closer to full force amid signs the coronavirus outbreak is slowing.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said certain businesses, including gyms and hair salons, can reopen beginning this Friday. Meanwhile, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee confirmed his state’s stay-at-home order, previously extended to April 30, will end that day. And, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said businesses previously deemed nonessential — department stores, flea markets, florists, bookstores and music shops — could reopen their doors.

“These businesses will open according to specific guidance that we will provide in accordance with state and national experts in both medicine and business,” Lee said in a statement. “Social distancing works, and as we open up our economy it will be more important than ever that we keep social distancing as lives and livelihoods depend on it.”

Kemp said Monday that his state would expand COVID-19 testing and that hospitals were in a position to resume elective surgeries after securing necessary protective personal equipment.

“Given the favorable data, enhanced testing, and approval of our healthcare professionals, we will allow gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers, nail care artists, estheticians, their respective schools and massage therapists to reopen their doors this Friday,” Kemp said.

Movie theaters in Georgia will be allowed to reopen and restaurants can resume in-person dining on April 27, Kemp said. Bars, amusement parks and nightclubs will remain closed until further notice, according to the governor.

“By taking this measured action, we will get Georgians back to work safely, without undermining the progress we all have made in this battle against COVID-19,” Kemp said. “Today’s announcement is a small step forward and should be treated as such.”

Monday’s announcements came as states were feeling the pressure to roll back social-distancing measures and reopen an economy decimated by forced business closures and layoffs.

Dozens of protests have sprouted up in front of state capitols and governors’ mansions across the country with participants calling for an end to tough restrictions.

President Trump last week unveiled a plan for reopening the economy in several phases based on the severity of the outbreak in each state or region.

“We can begin the next front in our war, which we are calling ‘Opening Up America Again,'” Trump said during a White House news briefing. “To preserve the health of Americans, we must preserve the health of our economy.”

He held a call with several governors over the weekend to discuss how to successfully reopen states.

In South Carolina, McMaster’s executive order allowed stores to open at 5 p.m. Monday but with requirements to adhere to social distancing guidelines, WYFF-TV reported. Beaches can reopen Tuesday. No decision was made about reopening schools or keeping them closed for the rest of the school year.

Health officials have warned that allowing businesses to reopen too quickly could result in a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Author: Louis Casiano

Source: Fox News: Georgia, Tennessee, SC announce plans to reopen some businesses, wind down coronavirus stay-at-home orders

LOS ANGELES – California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday evening announced he’s enacting a “statewide order” for its nearly 40 million residents to “stay at home,” a wide-reaching measure for the most populous state in the country as the coronavirus spreads.

The order took effect midnight on Friday morning. It prohibits gatherings outside and requires nonessential businesses to close in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

“We need to bend the curve in the state of California,” Newsom said during a news conference. “There’s a social contract here. People, I think, recognize the need to do more. They will adjust and adapt as they have.”

He added, “This is a moment we need to make tough decisions. This is a moment where we need some straight talk and we need to tell people the truth.”

Public events have been canceled and bars, dine-in restaurants, gyms and clubs will be closed. Essential services such as grocery stores, pharmacies and banks will stay open.

Newsom’s office projected the virus will infect more than half of Californias within two months, according to a letter he sent to President Trump on Wednesday where he said the state has been disproportionality impacted.

“In some parts of our state, our case rate is doubling every four days,” he wrote Trump.

Newsom’s order came just after Los Angeles County officials announced a near-lockdown of the county, affecting 10 million residents who were urged to stay home except in cases when they need to go outside for essential needs.

“We’re about to enter into a new way of living here in Los Angeles,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a news conference. “What we do and how we do it and if we get this right will determine how long this crisis lasts.”

On Wednesday, Newsom directed $150 million to go toward local governments for emergency housing and shelter support for homeless individuals. San Francisco officials on Monday ordered the country’s first “shelter in place” order.

Statewide, more than 900 people have contracted the virus and 19 have died. More than 10,000 people have been infected nationwide.

Author: Louis Casiano

Source: Fox News: California Gov. Gavin Newsom announces statewide coronavirus ‘stay at home’ order

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., introduced a bill Wednesday that would posthumously revoke 20 Medals of Honor awarded to U.S. soldiers who slaughtered hundreds of Native Americans — mostly women and children — at the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890.

The Remove the Stain Act accompanies a House version introduced earlier this year by Democrats Paul Cook of California, Denny Heck of Washington and Deb Haaland of New Mexico.

“The horrifying acts of violence against hundreds of Lakota men, women and children at Wounded Knee should be condemned, not celebrated with Medals of Honor,” Warren said in a statement. “The Remove the Stain Act acknowledges a profoundly shameful event in U.S. history, and that’s why I’m joining my House colleagues in this effort to advance justice and take a step toward righting wrongs against Native peoples.”

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., gestures as she speaks during a campaign stop in Manchester, N.H. Warren has introduced a bill that would revoke Medal of Honor for 20 U.S. soldiers who participated in the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890.(AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

The proposal is co-sponsored by Democratic Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden of Oregon, Kamala Harris of California and Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent. Several Native American tribes, including descendants of the victims, have backed the legislation along with veterans groups such as VoteVets and Veterans for Peace.

Wounded Knee took place on Dec. 29, 1890 when U.S. troops with the 7th Calvary began to crack down on a religious movement known as the Ghost Dance. Lakota leader Chief Big Foot and his people were confined to a camp in South Dakota and ordered to give up their weapons.

When a weapon accidentally went off, the cavalry troops opened fire and killed as many as 250 people. Congress apologized for the massacre in 1990 but did not revoke the medals, the military’s highest award.

“The Medal of Honor is the highest award our nation can bestow upon its servicemembers for acts of valor,” Heck said. “There was no valor in the killing of unarmed Lakota men, women, and children at Wounded Knee Creek in 1890, and the Medals of Honor given for the massacre must be rescinded.”

Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota has said he does not support the effort because “we’re now guessing” about the roles of individual soldiers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Author: Louis Casiano

Source: Fox News: Elizabeth Warren introduces bill to revoke Medals of Honor awarded for Wounded Knee Massacre

President Trump said Thursday he may read the transcript of his July 25 telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky aloud to Americans in the style of the famous fireside chats delivered by President Franklin Roosevelt during the 1930s and 1940s.

“This is over a phone call that is a good call,” Trump said in an interview with the Washington Examiner. “At some point, I’m going to sit down, perhaps as a fireside chat on live television, and I will read the transcript of the call, because people have to hear it. When you read it, it’s a straight call.”

Roosevelt delivered a series of informal radio addresses, dubbed fireside chats, meant to garner support for his New Deal policies and update Americans on the course of World War II, among other issues.

President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House Sunday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A public reading of the call transcript would mark the latest effort by Trump to thwart the impeachment inquiry against him by congressional Democrats. The president has repeatedly denied Democratic claims that he withheld crucial military aid to Kiev in order to press Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Several witnesses have raised concerns over the call. Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who serves as a director on the National Security Council (NSC), testified privately before Congress this week that he was alarmed by Trump’s request to Zelensky.

“Everybody knows I did nothing wrong,” Trump told the Examiner. “Bill Clinton did things wrong; Richard Nixon did things wrong. I won’t go back to [Andrew] Johnson because that was a little before my time. But they did things wrong. I did nothing wrong.”

During the interview, Trump said he was being responsible by reviewing aid to Ukraine, a country with a history of endemic corruption.

“We are giving them money, we are giving them weapons,” he said. “We have an obligation to look at corruption.”

Author: Louis Casiano

Source: Fox News: Trump says he wants to read Ukraine call transcript in televised ‘fireside chat’

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Tuesday said he’ll ask President Trump to withdraw his request for $5 billion in border wall construction funds, and to instead use that money to battle gun violence and white-supremacist extremism following two deadly mass shootings this month.

Schumer’s office said he will formally petition the president to put the funding toward gun violence research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Homeland Security counterviolent extremism programs, FBI domestic-terrorism investigations and other programs.

“The dual scourges of gun violence and violent white supremacist extremism in this country are a national security threat, plain and simple, and it’s time the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress starting treating them as such,” Schumer said in a statement.

“Now Republicans and this administration need to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to addressing gun violence and stopping the rise of domestic terrorism, especially stemming from white supremacy,” the statement continued.

In February, Trump used a national emergency declaration to divert funding from the Pentagon for his long-promised border wall. He took that tack after Congressional Democrats refused to fund the project.

Schumer’s request came after CQ Roll Call reported that Senate Republicans were looking to divert about $5 billion from a domestic spending bill to fund the wall. The shootings in Texas and Ohio earlier this month have intensified the pressure on lawmakers to address gun violence and white nationalism,

The gunman in El Paso, Texas, who killed 22 people inside a Walmart targeted Hispanic immigrants.

Fox News’ Caroline McKee contributed to this report.

Author: Louis Casiano

Source: Fox News: Schumer to ask Trump to divert $5 billion in border wall funding to fight gun violence, white-supremacy extremists

The Mexican government on Sunday threatened legal action against the United States for its response to Saturday’s mass shooting at Walmart in El Paso, Texas that left 20 people dead, including six Mexican nationals.

Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard made the announcement in a video posted to Twitter, in which he expressed indignation for the mass shooting at the Cielo Vista Mall.

“The president of the Republic has instructed me so that this posture and indignation from Mexico is translated, first in protecting affected families, and then in legal actions, efficient and prompt, quick and convincing so that Mexico can demand the conditions to protect to the Mexican-American community and Mexicans in the United States,” Ebrard said.

He called Saturday’s shooting “an act of barbarism.” Ebrard didn’t offer specifics but said Mexico would take action to protect its citizens living in the U.S.

“What happened is inadmissible and today, at 4 p.m., we will announce the first judicial actions that the Mexican government will take in accordance to international law,” he added.

Among the 20 killed are six Mexican citizens and seven injured. Mexico revised the number of its citizens killed Sunday from three to six.

“Today, unfortunately, the update provided by the FBI… the regrettable part is that they’ve confirmed that 6 Mexicans have lost their lives, and there are 7 injured in El Paso, Texas,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said.

Ebrard said five of the Mexican citizens killed were: Sara Regalado, Adolfo Cerros Hernandez, Jorge Calvillo Garcia, Elsa Mendoza de la Mora, and Gloria Irma Marquez. The sixth victim has not been identified.

El Paso, home to 680,000 residents, sits across the southern border from Cuidad Juarez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

The gunman, Patrick Crusius, 21, of Allen, Texas, was charged with capital murder. Investigators are looking into a manifesto they believe he wrote that could be a “nexus to a hate crime.”

Author: Louis Casiano

Source: Fox News: Mexican government vows legal action against US in response to El Paso mass shooting

Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign a bill on Friday prohibiting sanctuary cities, keeping a pledge he made during his campaign last year.

The bill — it’s designated SB 168 — will require local and state governments to honor immigration detainers’ requests from federal agencies and to cooperate with immigration authorities. Local governments would be barred from adopting sanctuary city policies to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation, requiring them to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when an inmate subject to a detainer hold is released.

The bill was one of the most debated of the 2019 legislative session. Several versions were tossed between the state Senate and House before being passed 22-18 and 68-45, respectively, last month, largely along party lines.

“Earlier this year, Governor DeSantis asked the Florida Legislature to present him with meaningful legislation to uphold the rule of law and ensure that no city or county jurisdiction can get in the way of Florida’s cooperation with our federal partners to enforce immigration law,” DeSantis spokeswoman Helen Ferre told The Orlando Sentinel in an email.

Nine states — they are Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas — have passed laws requiring law enforcement to cooperate with ICE.

“We are a stronger state when we protect our residents, foster safe communities and respect the work of law enforcement at every level,” DeSantis said in a statement last month after the bill’s passage.

Other states, like California, have enacted laws that limit cooperation between local and state law enforcement agencies and the federal government.

Florida’s measure sparked protest from immigrant-rights groups and is expected to be challenged in court.

Fox News reporters Greg Norman and Frank Miles contributed to this report.

Author: Louis Casiano

Source: Fox News: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis expected to sign measure banning sanctuary cities on Friday

President Trump slammed the Green New Deal during a speech to energy industry workers on Tuesday, saying the progressive proposal to fight climate change “might be a bigger hoax” than the investigation into Russian meddling in U.S. elections.

“The Green New Deal is a hoax like the hoax I just went through,” Trump said during a speech promoting a liquefied natural gas export at an LNG Export Facility in Hackberry, La., The Washington Examiner reported. “I’m not sure, it might even be a bigger one. And mine was pretty big.”

Trump told the audience “everybody in this room gets fired” if the plan is ever implemented.

“Everybody go home, you just lost your jobs,” he added, according to the news site.

The sweeping progressive legislation spearheaded by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., calls for the U.S to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 while shifting to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.

Republicans have called the deal unworkable and unaffordable.

“The United States, we have been lowering our emissions over the past dozen years,” Sen. John Barrasso, R, Wyo., the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, told “America’s Newsroom” on Tuesday. “The cost of doing what they’re proposing is so expensive and it would blow a hole in our strong and healthy and growing economy.”

Ocasio-Cortez and presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., hosted a rally Monday to support their environmental goals and to call for an end to all tax breaks and subsidies for oil and gas companies.

Ocasio-Cortez has accused the GOP of intentionally spreading misinformation about her plan.

“The reason why you hear constant disinformation about the Green New Deal is because they know how vulnerable they are,” Ocasio-Cortez said, according to The Examiner. “If it really was just a silly little fairy tale, they would have just let it rock. But they know the knowledge and energy that is behind this.”

The Senate failed in March to reach the 60 votes necessary to bring the nonbinding resolution to a debate, and the House refuses to take up the matter. Democrats decried the vote as a sham to force them into a quick vote. More than 40 chose to vote “present.”

In addition to mocking his Democratic challengers in the 2020 White House race on Tuesday, Trump focused his speech on efforts to increase liquefied natural gas exports. He argued it has added jobs and bolstered America’s reputation as an energy provider in international markets.

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.

Author: Louis Casiano

Source: Foxnews: Trump says Green New Deal ‘might be a bigger hoax’ than Russia probe

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