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Jamie Dupree's Washington Insider

    Continuing to attack a whistleblower inside the U.S. Intelligence Community who has evidently raised serious questions about actions of the Executive, President Donald Trump on Monday all but said the unidentified official was betraying his government. 'Is he on our Country's side,' the President asked about the worker in the U.S. Intelligence Community. On Twitter, President Trump accused the unknown person of not knowing 'the correct facts' about Mr. Trump's conversations with the leader of Ukraine, as Democrats demanded that Republicans speak out about the matter. 'The Republican Senate’s “see no evil, hear no evil” attitude toward such a serious national security concern is unacceptable and must change,' said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer. In New York, President Trump said the matter wasn't worrying him. Democrats see it much differently - and are demanding answers. 'It's time for the Trump Administration to come clean,' said Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE). 'The administration needs to stop stonewalling and turn over the whistleblower complaint now, as required by law,' said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). 'If they refuse, President Trump should be impeached immediately,' DeGette added. Under federal law, the complaint from the unidentified whistleblower should have already been turned over to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees - but the Acting Director of National Intelligence has failed to do that. Current law does include the possibility where the whistleblower could go directly to the Congress with the information. Most Republicans in Congress have said little about the latest Trump controversy; one of the few was Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT). 'If the President asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme,' Romney wrote on Twitter.
  • Democrats on Sunday denounced President Donald Trump, the Justice Department, and the acting Director of National Intelligence, accusing the Trump Administration of violating federal law by withholding information from a whistleblower inside the U.S. Intelligence Community, as the top Democrat in Congress said this could dramatically escalate the standoff over various investigations of the President. 'If the Administration persists in blocking this whistleblower from disclosing to Congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the President, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation,' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to fellow Democrats on Sunday. Her letter came as critics of the President said Mr. Trump had used a phone call with the new leader of Ukraine to urge him to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, who did work for a Ukrainian gas company. 'We must be sure that the President and his Administration are always conducting our national security and foreign policy in the best interest of the American people, not the President’s personal or political interest,' Speaker Pelosi added. Democrats said the Justice Department and the Acting Director of National Intelligence - who took over in that position just last month when two other top officials were pushed out - were violating federal law by withholding the whistleblower information, evidently about President Trump and Ukraine. By referring to a 'new stage of investigation' involving the President in her letter to fellow Democrats, Speaker Pelosi immediately raised questions about whether she might change her mind on the idea of impeachment proceedings. 'Republicans, it's time to stop making excuses for Trump,' said Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY). 'Enough is enough.' 'No one is above the law, not even President Trump,' said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). 'The DNI needs to refer this complaint to Congress immediately.' 'Trump wants to bury a whistleblower complaint that the Inspector General has deemed urgent,' said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN). 'It’s the law,' said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL). 'It’s. The. Law.' tweeted Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). At issue is what's known as the 'Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act,' which says if an internal complaint is judged to be urgent by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community - then it is sent to the Congressional intelligence committees. The Inspector General has ruled exactly that - but the Trump Administration refuses to turn over the information. The law does include a provision that if the Director of National Intelligence refuses to give Congress the material, the whistleblower could do it on his or her own. On Sunday, President Trump told reporters his conversation with the President of Ukraine had been a 'beautiful' one, and did not involve any wrongdoing on his part. 'Well, this whistleblower - or whoever it was - because it sounds like it’s not a whistleblower,' the President told reporters.  'You can’t have that happen to a President of the United States,' he said.
  • The White House campaign of Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) teetered on the edge of being abandoned in coming days, as the candidate on Saturday publicly confirmed the existence of an internal memo which bluntly said that unless Booker could get a surge of donations in the next ten days, his 2020 campaign was doomed. 'I want people to see where we are and understand that we have a pathway to victory,' Booker wrote on Twitter Saturday morning, 'but I can’t walk it alone.' Booker's comments came soon after NBC News had reported that the campaign's top aide told the candidate and staff that a major infusion of money was needed to keep Booker's campaign going. 'This isn’t an end-of-quarter stunt or one of those memos from a campaign trying to spin the press,' said Addisu Demissie. Booker's predicament in the Democratic race is much like a large number of other candidates right now - they are mired in low single digits in most polls, and have shown no ability to break out of that group to challenge the leaders in the race. For example, in the latest national poll from Fox News on the Democratic race, Booker is a 3 percent - that's where he was in August, June, and May. Others who have shown little to no ability to jump up in recent polls would include Marianne Williamson, Tim Ryan, Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, Julian Castro, John Delaney and Michael Bennet. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was also in that group - he officially quit the race on Friday. Others stuck in the polls have been Andrew Yang, Amy Klobuchar, and Beto O'Rourke - and even Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris - who while they are above most of those in the race, the two have been unable to make up ground on the Democratic Party leaders. Harris encountered rough waters in the last week as repeated stories reported that her campaign was going to focus much more on Iowa - a decision which is often a signal of broader difficulty for a presidential candidate. Meanwhile, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders seem locked in to the top three spots in the Democratic race, with little evidence that any of the other Democrats were going to be able to pull them down at this point. And for Booker - it's been a bridge too far. “Now or Never,” his campaign chief wrote.
  • Led by California, almost two dozen states filed a federal lawsuit on Friday to stop the Trump Administration from revoking a waiver which has allowed California and other states to set tougher auto emission standards than required by the federal government. “California won’t bend to the President’s reckless and politically motivated attacks on our clean car waiver,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom, who has clashed with the President on a variety of policy fronts.  'The Administration insists on attacking the authority of California and other states to tackle air pollution and protect public health,' added California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. But under federal law, California had the right to ask for a waiver to permit tighter emission controls on new cars - and the state had been doing so for nearly 50 years.  A number of others states had joined in accepting those same requirements. The Trump Administration argues there should only be a single national standard for emissions and gas mileage. The change by the feds 'will insure there is one - and only one - set of national fuel economy standards, as Congress mandated and intended,' said Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Thursday. The lawsuit can be seen here.
  • While saying he does not know the identity of a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community who lodged a complaint about unknown actions involving the President and another world leader, President Donald Trump on Friday blasted the unidentified accuser, labeling the episode a 'political hack job.' Asked if he had discussed the ability of the government of Ukraine to start an investigation related to Democratic Party front runner Joe Biden and his family, the President brushed off the query, as he ridiculed the press corps in the Oval Office. 'It doesn't matter what I discussed,' as he called the media a 'joke,' and the 'laughing stock of the world.' The comments came in the wake of reports in recent days that the Trump Administration was preventing the Congress from finding out details behind a whistle blower complaint. The Inspector General for the Intelligence Community had judged the issue to be of 'urgent concern,' but instead of following established federal law - which requires notifying Congress - the Justice Department and the acting Director of National Intelligence had refused to pass on the material. The President argued that it was all politics. 'I just hear that it's a partisan person,' Mr. Trump said, who was asked specifically if he had requested the help of the government in Ukraine to investigate someone who might be his opponents in 2020. 'This is all impeachable,' said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI). 'Not a close call. We need more facts, but we would be derelict in our duties not to pursue the facts wherever they lead,' he added. 'Everybody's read it,' President Trump said of the whistle blower's complaint, without confirming any details. 'They laugh at it.' 'It doesn't matter what I discussed,' the President said of his conversation with another world leader - presumably of Ukraine. 'But I will say this, somebody ought to look into Joe Biden's statement,' as Mr. Trump all but confirmed his desire for a foreign country to help investigate the Democratic Party leader for 2020. On Capitol Hill, top Democrats said the President was clearly not following the law. “The President and Acting DNI’s stonewalling must end immediately, and the whistleblower must be provided with every protection guaranteed by the law to defend the integrity of our government and ensure accountability and trust,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  • Unable to make any substantive impact on the 2020 race for President, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday that he was giving up his bid for the Democratic Party nomination for the White House, saying it was obviously not his moment. In a series of appearances on news programs from New York, the mayor of America's biggest city acknowledged that he was never able to break out of a group of candidates consistently mired at the bottom of the polls, and far behind Democratic leaders. “It’s true: I’m ending my candidacy for president,” de Blasio said.  “But our fight on behalf of working people is far from over.” “I feel like I've contributed all I can to this primary election and it's clearly not my time,” the Mayor said. DeBlasio's two Democratic Party debates left little in the way of memorable moments for him. In the second debate in Detroit, de Blasio tried a unique tactical move on stage, using his time to direct questions at front runner Joe Biden, in an effort to confront the race leader. But the effort did little to change the dynamic of the race, where de Blasio and other candidates were unable to qualify for future debates, and had become asterisks in the 2020 race. The news gave President Trump a target which he could not resist. The latest national poll on the Democratic field, from Fox News, showed de Blasio far back in the pack - along with a number of other Democrats.
  • In the first hearing by Congress in a quarter century on the subject, leaders from the nation's capital urged a House committee on Thursday to make the District of Columbia into the nation's 51st state, as Democrats said the current political setup for the over 700,000 residents of the nation's capital wrongly denies them proper voting representation in the Congress. 'I'm not here to talk about one person, but about 702,000 Americans who deserve full representation in this House,' said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. 'What's more we pay more federal taxes per capita than any state,' the Mayor added. 'And we pay more federal taxes - total - than 22 states.' It was the first time since 1993 that Congress held hearings on the idea of making Washington, D.C. into the 51st state - it's something routinely backed by Democrats, but receives folded arms and furrowed brows from many in the GOP. Supporters of the idea point to numbers which show the District has more people - over 700,000 - than the states of Vermont and Wyoming, and about 20,000 less than Alaska. While some calls for D.C. statehood have been bipartisan in the past, that was not the case on Thursday, as the reaction of GOP lawmakers at the hearing on D.C. statehood was basically one of furrowed eyebrows. 'I think our Founders wisely gave us a Federal City,' said Rep. Jodi Hice (R-GA), who joined other Republicans in saying the only way a change could be made is by a Constitutional Amendment. 'At the end of the day, we are dealing with a Constitutional issue,' Hice said at the hearing. Republicans not only harped on what they said was a requirement for a Constitutional amendment, but they also cited political corruption in the city as a reason to not consider the idea. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) went back to 1995, when the D.C. budget was running large amounts of red ink, and Congress had to step in to create a special financial board. 'The federal government had to take control of the D.C. budget,' Jordan said - though a top city financial official said since then, the District has had 24 straight years of balanced budgets. Jordan also raised the name for former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, rattling off the names of other politicians who were caught up in corruption investigations. 'We cannot ignore these facts,' Jordan added. It's not clear if Democrats will try to bring a D.C. Statehood bill to the House floor in the 116th Congress.  Even if it could get through the House, it would be unlikely to make the agenda in the GOP Senate.
  • Democrats in Congress demanded more information from the Director of National Intelligence on Thursday about an 'urgent' whistle blower complaint from inside the U.S. Intelligence Community, which the Trump Administration has refused to detail for key lawmakers, while the President said he had done nothing wrong. 'Another Fake News story out there,' President Donald Trump tweeted from the White House. 'It never ends!' In a series of tweets, the President ridiculed the idea that he would say something inappropriate, or give away confidential intelligence information to another world leader. 'I would only do what is right anyway,' as the President finished with a familiar tweet. 'Presidential Harassment!' he wrote. But in a letter from the Inspector General of the U.S. Intelligence Community, internal watchdog Michael Atkinson told lawmakers that an action - defined under law as an 'urgent concern' - had been brought to his attention by an unnamed person, but was never forwarded to the Congress as required by law. In his letter, which was released by the House Intelligence Committee, Atkinson gave no details about the allegation, or any hints of who was involved - but made clear, he had decided to alert the House and Senate Intelligence Committees because of the serious nature of the information involved. 'I determined that the Complainant's disclosure met the definition of an urgent concern,' Atkinson wrote, describing it as a 'serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of the law or Executive order' - involving classified information. In a second letter released by the House Intelligence Committee, Atkinson said he was at an 'impasse' with the Acting DNI over action on the whistle blower complaint. “The Director of National Intelligence has made the unprecedented decision not to share the complaint with Congress,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), as he emerged from an over four hour closed door briefing with the internal watchdog of the Intelligence Community. Schiff shared no details with reporters - indicating that lawmakers themselves still don't know anything about the alleged incident, which the Washington Post reported on Thursday may have involved a phone call between the President and another world leader. Schiff has already set a public hearing for next Thursday with the Acting Director of National Intelligence on the matter. “I believe that there is an effort to prevent this information getting to Congress,” Schiff told reporters, as he was pressed on what was at issue. “At one level or another, it likely involves the President or people around him,” Schiff said.
  • After the Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday that it was cutting interest rates for the second time in two months, President Donald Trump skewered the Fed for not being aggressive enough to help the economy, while the Fed chair said too much economic uncertainty was being created by President Trump's various trade fights. 'This is a time of difficult judgments,' Fed chair Jerome Powell told reporters at a Washington news conference, as he indicated that trade gyrations involving the US, China, and other nations, is not helping with domestic economic growth. 'We do feel that trade uncertainty is having an effect,' Powell told reporters. 'We see it in weak business investment, weak exports.' 'Trade policy is not the business of the Fed,' Powell said. 'It's the business of the Congress and of the Administration.' While the President has said further rate cuts would spur even more growth, the Fed continues to forecast that overall economic growth will be just over two percent this year, down from 2018. Democrats in Congress pointed the finger of blame straight at President Trump for creating economic uncertainty, especially for farmers. “Our family farmers need stability right now - not more uncertainty,” said Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN).  “I don’t agree with the reckless trade war we’ve created without a coherent strategy.” Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, lawmakers were at odds over how to deal with President Trump's second bailout for farmers, who have been hit hard by retaliatory tariffs from China and other nations. In a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), raised questions as to where the money was going to come from for the $28 billion in farm bailout payments announced by the President over the last two years. 'For context, that amount is larger than the entire discretionary budget Congress appropriates to USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) each fiscal year,' DeLauro wrote. While Democrats had initially threatened to block approval of that extra money, now party leaders were demanding to know where that bailout money was going. 'That lack of transparency regarding a $28 billion federal program is outrageous,' DeLauro wrote. 'Maybe an accounting of who is getting the money up to this point would be a start,' said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), as Democrats said the GOP was resisting efforts for a public accounting of the farm bailout billions.
  • In the face of strong opposition from California elected officials and parts of the auto industry, President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that his administration will revoke a special waiver which has allowed California to set stricter auto emission and fuel mileage standards than the federal government. 'The Trump Administration is revoking California’s Federal Waiver on emissions in order to produce far less expensive cars for the consumer, while at the same time making the cars substantially SAFER,' President Trump announced in a series of tweets from California. The announcement drew immediate condemnation from California officials and Democrats in the Congress. 'The President is completely wrong,' said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). California officials expressed outrage at the President's plans, arguing the main impact would be to create more pollution in the Golden State. 'You have no basis and no authority to pull this waiver,' California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said. 'We’re ready to fight for a future that you seem unable to comprehend; we’ll see you in court if you stand in our way,' Becerra added. The authority for California comes from the federal Clean Air Act, which allowed the feds to grant waivers to states that wanted to set tougher emission standards than the federal government. The announcement opens a second legal fight with the Golden State over auto emission standards, as last week the Trump Administration said it would investigate agreements made between California and major automakers about those standards. 'This investigation appears to be nothing more than a politically motivated act of intimidation,' Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) wrote in a letter to the U.S. Attorney General.

News

  • Four men are accused of abducting a Maine man at gunpoint, forcing him to strip naked, and then shooting at him as the man attempted to escape by running down a road, police said Monday, >> Read more trending news  Ajoung M. Malual, 22, of Westbrook, Maine, Mahdi B. Ali, 23, of Boston, Noh Y. Okubazghi, 20, of Boston, and Samson S. Samsom, 22, of Minneapolis, were charged with drug trafficking and may face other charges, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said in a news release. Each man is being held in lieu of $150,000 bond apiece, the Sheriff's Office said. Deputies said they received reports of gunshots fired at a naked man about 1:30 a.m. Monday, WMTW reported. When deputies located the 39-year-old Naples resident, he told them he was taken at gunpoint from his home and put into a trunk, the Sheriff's Office said in its news release. He told deputies he was taken to an area and told to strip naked, and at that point began running through the woods while he was being shot at, deputies said. The victim gave deputies a description of the vehicle, which was located in Windham and stopped by authorities, the Sheriff's Office said. The four men in the vehicle were detained and subsequently arrested, deputies said. The victim, who was wounded, was taken to an area hospital and is in stable condition, deputies said.
  • What was an exciting celebration for one Texas couple became the subject of criticism on Twitter. The New York Post reported Jonathan Joseph and Bridgette Joseph were at Capital of Texas Zoo in Cedar Creek, Texas, where they enlisted the help of Tank the hippo for their gender reveal. >> Read more trending news  Video was posted to the zoo's Facebook page, but not before going viral on Twitter, where Ana Breton, a filmmaker, posted a screen recording of a TikTok post of the gender reveal. 'I did it. I found the worst gender reveal,' she tweeted Saturday. Time reported that the video showed Tank chomping on a watermelon, which revealed a blue color, meaning the couple is expecting a boy. Criticisms soon followed. 'The whole reveal concept is just completely stupid to begin with, but I guess you can make it even dumber,' one person tweeted. 'That person's baby is not remotely important enough to feed a hippo 10 pounds of food coloring,' another person replied. On Sunday, Breton said she got in contact with Bridgette Joseph, although it's not clear if Bridgette Joseph reached out to Breton to respond or not. 'While I’m not a fan of gender reveals, it was not my intention to bring darkness to their special day,' Breton tweeted, which included a response from Bridgette Joseph. 'This was one of the happiest days of our lives,' Bridgette Joseph said, according to Breton's tweet. 'With the help of the zoo and the amazing Tank the hippo, we learned that we are having a baby boy. After many years of raising our beautiful young lady, we decided to try for another baby. It took some time and some extra money in fertility treatments, but we finally got pregnant!' Bridgette Joseph said she and her husband would have been happy to have another girl, but for them, it would have meant they 'would have had to keep tying for a boy.' Michael Hicks, the director of the zoo, told The Post the Jello-O was not harmful to Tank, despite what some said on social media. 'This is the same Jell-O people feed their kids. It's totally harmless,' zoo director Michael Hicks told the tabloid. Hicks said the hippo wasn't forced into the gender reveal. 'You can't make a hippo do anything. He weighs 4,000 pounds,' Hicks said. 'He enjoyed it as much as anybody else did.
  • Officials in an Iowa city said the U.S. Department of Transportation has asked the city manager to remove multi-colored sidewalks, according to KCCI. >> Read more trending news  Ames officials said they received a letter from the USDOT's Federal Highway Administration, explaining the crosswalk at Fifth Street and Douglas Avenue did not meet codes and requested its removal 'as soon as it is feasible,' the television station reported. The crosswalks, installed earlier this month, feature a minority-inclusive rainbow on Douglas Avenue, KCCI reported. The crosswalks on Fifth Street feature gender non-binary colors on the east crosswalk and pride transgender colors on the west crosswalk, the television station reported. Ames officials said the FHWA's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices prohibits the use of anything but white paint in crosswalks, adding that colored crosswalks and multi-colored crosswalks were not allowed. Ames officials are contesting the request. “I note that the FHWA’s letter included a “request” -- not a demand -- for the City to remove the colored crosswalk markings,' Ames City Attorney Mark O. Lambert told KCCI. 'This is not a lawful order or demand by a federal agency, it is merely a request.”
  • While this is only the first part of the Golden Ray and the St. Simons Sound incident, there remains a lot of work to do, threats to the environment, hazards to the people and to the Port of Brunswick continue to be addressed through a unified command,' said U.S. Coast Guard Captain John Reed, Charleston sector Coast Guard commander.   While an ongoing review and investigation unfolds of a fire and the subsequent capsizing of the South Korean automobile transport tanker, the Golden Ray, off the Georgia coast, you can bet millions that the ship's owner, automobile manufacturer/shipper and insurer were all hoping that there were some very experienced hands at the wheel the night that this massive cargo ship fell over on its side.
  • Chicago police have captured a man suspected of nearly killing an officer over the weekend, three days after he is accused of shooting a 28-year-old woman in the back as he rode a bicycle near downtown. Michael Blackman, 45, was in critical condition Sunday after he was shot during an armed confrontation with police, authorities said Sunday. As of Monday morning, he had been charged with four counts of attempted murder, according to Anthony Guglielmi, chief communications officer for the Chicago Police Department. A news conference was slated for later Monday to provide more details, but a time had not been set.  Blackman was captured Saturday afternoon, several hours after he allegedly shot a 40-year-old police officer on Chicago’s South Side. Chicago Deputy Police Chief Brendan Deenihan said Blackman was caught after investigators who were canvassing the Englewood community, where the officer’s shooting took place, obtained surveillance footage that showed Blackman fleeing through a vacant lot several blocks away. The footage did not show him leave the lot. Detectives and patrol officers descended upon the area, Deenihan said. “When they went to go search that lot, this defendant popped up,” Deenihan said. “This is when the gun battle ensued between the defendant and the officers.” Blackman ran over some railroad tracks, where he encountered more officers. Additional shots were fired, and Blackman was struck multiple times. “He has eight holes in him at this time and a broken femur,” Deenihan said. Watch Deputy Police Chief Brendan Deenihan talk about the shooting and capture of Michael Blackman below.  Blackman was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, the same hospital where the officer he is accused of shooting was rushed earlier that morning. No officers were injured in the second encounter with Blackman, Deenihan said. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said during a news conference Saturday that the 16-year veteran officer who was shot serves on the department’s fugitive apprehension team. The team, which was looking for Blackman in connection with Wednesday’s bicycle shooting, went shortly after 8:30 a.m. that morning to a home in the 1900 block of West 65th Street, where Blackman was believed to be hiding, Johnson said. >> Read more trending news  When members of the team knocked on the door, Blackman ran out the back of the house, where the injured officer and his partner were stationed, Johnson said. “At that time, a physical struggle ensued, followed by an armed confrontation,” Johnson said. The unnamed officer was shot in the groin and in the lower leg, doctors said. Fellow officers loaded him into a patrol car and rushed him to the hospital, where he underwent surgery. He was in stable condition Saturday afternoon. “It is reported that the injured officer had the self-awareness to apply his own tourniquet, as his partner maintained pressure on the gunshot wound on the way to the hospital,” the superintendent said. Guglielmi tweeted that the officer lost nearly a third of his blood volume. “He came basically bleeding to death,” trauma surgeon Dr. Jane Kayle Lee said during Saturday’s news conference. “He had already lost a significant amount of blood and was taken emergently to the operating room for surgery.” Lee said the officer had a hole in one of the largest veins in his leg. She was able to repair the injury. The surgeon said the bullet to the officer’s groin remains in his body. The gunshot to his leg was a “through-and-through” wound, with both an entrance and exit wound. The officer suffered significant fractures to his leg when that bullet tore through his body, Lee said. His leg was splinted for the time being, but he will need additional surgery. “I do expect that he will have a good recovery,” Lee said. Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who met with the man’s family at the hospital, said the shooting is a reminder of the sacrifice police officers make every day to protect the city’s residents. She also praised the work of the officer’s colleagues in the fugitive apprehension unit. “Their quick work saved this officer’s life,” Lightfoot said. She asked the public to pray for the officer’s full recovery. “I ask that all Chicagoans continue praying for the officer and his family throughout his recovery,” Lightfoot said at the news conference. “Also, keep all of our first responders in our thoughts and prayers because, as the superintendent said, and we see on a daily basis, they run to danger to protect us.” Like the officer, the woman Blackman is accused of shooting on Wednesday is expected to survive. According to The Chicago Tribune, the woman was headed to lunch with co-workers around noon in the city’s Fulton Market District when she was shot by a man on a bicycle. Watch police and city officials, along with medical personnel, speak below about the Saturday shooting of a Chicago police officer.  “Based on the information we have right now, the shooter passed by a group of individuals and went directly to her to extend his arm and fire one single gunshot,” Johnson said at the time, according to the Tribune. “Appears right now the victim may have been targeted by the offender.” As the gunman fled the scene, the woman was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious to critical condition, the newspaper said. Her condition was unknown Monday. Police officials released still images and video the day of the shooting that showed the alleged gunman riding his bicycle near the scene of the shooting. Guglielmi tweeted Friday that detectives had been given a tip to go to a bicycle shop, where they discovered security footage that showed a man fitting the description of the shooter getting his bike fixed about an hour before the woman was shot. The clearer images, which show a man later identified by police as Blackman, offer a full view of the man’s face as he stands at the counter. At one point, he takes off his black Nike baseball cap and wipes his head with paper towels. He is seen standing and chatting with the employee working on his bike and leaning on the counter, his wallet out, as he pays his bill. The man smiles several times as he talks to the worker. Blackman was identified as a suspect in Wednesday’s shooting based in part on the images from the bike shop, Johnson said. His motive in the woman's shooting was unknown as of Saturday. The superintendent declined to speculate on Blackman’s state of mind but pointed out that he was accused of shooting two people, including a police officer. “Obviously, this is not a person that should be walking the streets of Chicago,” Johnson said Saturday while Blackman was still at large. “He’s a dangerous individual. There’s no hiding that.” Blackman has an extensive criminal history dating back to 1991, Johnson said Saturday. His previous charges range from burglary and domestic battery to drug charges. He remained hospitalized in police custody Monday morning.
  • Some Michigan students were startled last week to see what looked like an alligator living in a pond behind the school. It took a day to catch the reptile after the pond was drained, school officials said. >> Read more trending news  The reptile was identified by animal experts as a 3-foot-long caiman, according to WDIV. Caimans are not native to Michigan, but they're often kept as pets, wildlife experts told the television station. They share many characteristics with alligators and crocodiles but are often smaller, officials said. That did not matter to students at Bedford Junior and Senior High School in Temperance, who believed a gator by any other name was just as scary. The body of water at Bedford Junior and Senior High School is called the Biology Pond and is used by both junior and senior high school classes for academic study, WXMI reported. A teacher spotted the reptile Thursday and reported it, the television station reported. Joe Garverick, the owner of the Indian Creek Zoo in nearby Lambertville, attempted to catch the alligator with his bare hands Thursday, but the reptile proved to be elusive, WTVG reported. “It got loose or somebody let it loose — one or the other,” Garverick told the television station. The reptile was finally caught and will join three alligators at Indian Creek Zoo, Garverick told WXMI.