Miami police officer arrested on charges of false imprisonment, simple battery

A Miami police officer has been arrested on charges of false imprisonment and simple battery.

Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes announced the arrest of Officer Alexi Figueroa in a statement Thursday.

Llanes said Figueroa’s arrest is the culmination of an investigation by the Miami-Dade Police Department and the state attorney’s office.

Figueroa was presented with the Medal of Heroism Award by Gov. Rick Scott in 2013 after he helped apprehend a gunman who was shooting in the direction of a supermarket where Figueroa, who was off duty, and his family were shopping.

Llanes said Figueroa has been relieved of duty with pay since February 2016 and will remain suspended pending the outcome of the criminal charges and an internal investigation.

Figueroa is charged with one count of false imprisonment and two counts of simple battery.

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Chris Soules breaks silence after arrest, fatal accident

Chris Soules is speaking out for the first time since his involvement in a fatal car accident.

“My family and I are overwhelmed with this tragedy, but we are sticking together and we’ll get through it,” Soules said in a statement. “Thank you for reaching out.”

The former “Bachelor” star was arrested Monday night, following a crash that occurred near his home in Buchanan County, Iowa.

Soules was driving a 2008 Chevy pickup that collided with a tractor, according to a spokesman with the Iowa State Patrol. The individual driving the tractor was killed.

Soules was charged with a class D felony for leaving the scene of the accident. He posted $10,000 bail and is expected in court next month.

Court documents allege that Soules was in possession of “alcoholic beverages/containers.”

After the accident, Soules’ team issued a statement saying that he was “devastated to learn” that the victim had died.

Soules has since suspended his social media pages.

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Miami police officer arrested on charges of false imprisonment, simple battery

A Miami police officer has been arrested on charges of false imprisonment and simple battery.

Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes announced the arrest of Officer Alexi Figueroa in a statement Thursday.

Llanes said Figueroa’s arrest is the culmination of an investigation by the Miami-Dade Police Department and the state attorney’s office.

He said Llanes has been relieved of duty with pay since February 2016 and will remain suspended pending the outcome of the criminal charges and an internal investigation.

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Kia invests $1 billion to build cars in India

The allure of India’s growing car market is becoming too strong to resist.

South Korean automaker Kia Motors on Thursday became the latest company to try and grab a slice of the pie, announcing a $1.1 billion investment in a manufacturing plant in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

Construction is due to begin later this year, and the plant is expected to become operational in 2019. Kia says it will produce 300,000 vehicles a year.

“It will enable us to sell cars in the world’s fifth largest market,” Kia Motors president Han-Woo Park said in a statement.

Kia, which operates in over 160 countries and territories worldwide, said it plans to develop a new compact sedan and SUV specifically for the Indian market.

More than three million passenger vehicles were sold in India in the financial year ended March 31, nearly 10% more than the previous year, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

India’s potential as an automotive powerhouse has attracted a long line of foreign carmakers in recent months. Industry experts predict the South Asian nation will be the world’s third-largest car market by 2020.

Volkswagen — the world’s biggest automaker — announced a “strategic alliance” with India’s Tata Motors last month, while Japanese rivals Toyota and Suzuki plan to team up to develop new technologies in the country.

French brands Peugeot and Citroen are returning to India after a two-decade hiatus. Their parent company PSA announced a $107 million investment in January. Also entering the fray: electric vehicle giant Tesla.

Meanwhile, Shanghai-based SAIC Motor is aiming to become the first Chinese manufacturer to sell cars in India.

Kia is part of the Hyundai group, which is already India’s second biggest car maker with 20% of the market.

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Mormon scholars fight against Trump travel ban

A group of 19 scholars of Mormon history filed a brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals over President Donald Trump’s blocked travel ban, pointing out similarities between the treatment of Mormon immigrants in the 19th century and Muslim immigrants today.

“I was very concerned about the administration’s targeting of Muslims,” Nate Oman, a professor of law at the College of William & Mary and main author of the brief told CNN. Government targeting of Mormons in the 19th century was the closest historical parallel, he said, and “I thought it would be useful to look at that story and bring it to the court’s attention.

Mob violence drove early Mormons from their homes in Missouri and Illinois in the 1830s and 1840s, and for decades after, the federal government attempted to restrict Mormon voting rights and halt foreign Mormon converts from immigrating to the US.

“The Mormon experience illustrates the harms that result from the government targeting a particular religion,” the brief reads. “The federal government’s actions against Mormons occurred at a time when First Amendment jurisprudence was in its infancy and the law blessed government actions that today would be blatantly unconstitutional.”

Oman believes attempts to restrict Muslims from entering the country are based in fear, a similarity to Mormonism. “I think most of it is fear as a result of 9/11 and terrorist attacks,” he said. “People assume Muslims are dangerous.”

The brief, filed last week, calls for the court to “prevent harms of the kind committed against the Mormon community in the past.”

Trump has attempted twice to pass travel bans by executive order, and both have been blocked by federal courts. His second, a revised ban that singled out six countries in the Middle East and Africa with Muslim-majority populations, was blocked hours before it was supposed to go into effect last month.

US District Court Judge Derrick Watson, who blocked the revised ban, said the intent was to stop Muslims from entering the country, citing Trump’s campaign promise for a “complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

Trump called the block “unprecedented judicial overreach.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly attributed a quote to W. Paul Reeve.

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Fresno shooting suspect charged with murder

California authorities on Wednesday charged a suspect with eight felony counts, including murder, after police said he killed three men in an alleged hate crime.

Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, is accused of fatally shooting the three men at random in downtown Fresno, California on April 18, police said. Muhammad is black and his victims were white.

Muhammad allegedly opened fire at a Pacific Gas & Electric truck, killing one man. He then walked away and fired his handgun at four others, as well as a motor vehicle, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office said.

The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office filed a complaint against Muhammad, charged him with counts of murder in connection with the deaths of Zackary Randalls, a 34-year-old worker for the Pacific Gas & Electric utility who was in the truck, and Mark Gassett, 37, and David Martin Jackson, 58.

Gassett and Jackson were standing near an office of the Catholic Charities social services agency where they were clients, Fresno Police said.

The murder counts include special circumstances alleging that Muhammad killed the victims because of their race and committed multiple murders, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Muhammad was also charged with one count of shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, three counts of attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a felon.

At the time, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Muhammad had previously posted on social media about his dislike for white people and government officials.

Muhammad also yelled “Allahu Akbar” (Arabic words that mean “God is greatest”) when he was arrested shortly after the shooting, officials said.

“We do not believe … that this is a terrorist-related crime,” Dyer told reporters then. “This is solely based on race.”

He said the FBI was assisting with the investigation.

When Muhammad surrendered shortly after the shootings, Muhammad told an officer, “I did it. I shot them,” according to Dyer.

Muhammad is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on the charges in Fresno County Superior Court.

At the time of the killings, Muhammad was already wanted by police in the fatal shooting on April 13 of Carl Williams, a 25-year-old unarmed security guard, police said. Muhammad is currently in custody on a murder charge related to Williams’ death outside a Fresno motel.

If convicted, Muhammad faces a sentence of either death or life in prison, according to authorities.

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