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Producer Jared's Corner

    We’re still fresh off the NCAA College Football National Championship game and Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide empire was upset again by the Clemson Tigers on Monday night.  Yes, you may be shocked to see me writing about college sports instead of National or Georgia politics. It’s been so annoying in the political arena with all the border wall, paper ballots, and government shutdown nonsense so let’s switch it up and cling to college football for at least a few more days.  I shocked many of my friends when I told them that I pulled for Clemson in the National Championship to avenge the Georgia Bulldogs from their agonizing defeat they faced last season to the Crimson Tide in the same game.  Now when you tell people that you pulled for Clemson, most Southeastern Conference ‘SEC’ fans tell you that “you’ve got to pull for your conference” or “how could you pull for a soft conference like that” and my response is consistent, “I’m ready for the Alabama dynasty to die.”  Alabama has been annoyingly dominant in the SEC for over a decade. They’ve crushed SEC competition, something my friends that are big fans of the University of Georgia know all too well. That’s a story for another day.  I’m not here to rag on the Dawgs. In fact, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Dawgs and genuinely want them to do well. I grew up in Atlanta and some of my finest memories were riding around Atlanta in the car doing outdoorsy things in the Fall, listening to legendary Bulldogs announcer Larry Munson with my father on WSB.  Among the many legendary calls he made, one in particular stands out – back in 2001 when the Dawgs upset the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville: “We just stepped on their face with a hobnail boot and broke their nose,” Munson remarked. “We just crushed their face.”  I also remember the heartbreaking losses and crushing upsets.  With all the highs and lows of UGA football, I’ve been there with you and rode the emotional roller coaster with my friends and family that are die-hard fans.  Trust me, I remember the Jim Donnan and Mark Richt years.  But when Kirby Smart was hired as head coach back in 2015 the future seemed especially bright for UGA football.  After a decent first season with Kirby Smart, the Dawgs exceeded all expectations and stunned the country when they went to the National Championship in Smart’s second season. I think we all can recall that outcome…  Smart has the makings of a great coach and there’s no doubt that his recruiting and mindset have helped improve UGA’s roster from top to bottom. However, I’m noticing a problem developing in Athens.  Aside from Alabama’s dominance over the Dawgs, not one, but two 5-star quarterbacks that were successfully recruited to Athens have left UGA for other schools during the Smart era.  Just to put this in perspective, the hardest part for these coaches is to get these 18-year-old kids to commit and physically attend your university with all the competition in the SEC.  I know that we’ll all kick ourselves if now former UGA freshman quarterback Justin Fields, who has basically transferred to Ohio State, takes the Buckeyes to the promise land next season.  But the person who was quickly forgotten was quarterback Jacob Eason, who lost his job to current starting quarterback Jake Fromm in 2017 after injuring his left knee in the first quarter of the first game of the season against Appalachian State.  He transferred to the University of Washington and is set to start this Fall for the Huskies.  I’m also reading reports that Clemson’s freshman now National Champion quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the Cartersville, Georgia sensation, heavily considered UGA too. If you haven’t seen him, he may already be ready for the NFL.  That’s a bad trend brewing at UGA and I don’t like the long-term trajectory.  Let me first say that Jake Fromm is a great quarterback and many schools would be glad to have him. But I’ve analyzed a lot of football and I don’t see him leading UGA to a National Championship.  I really hope that I am wrong. Seriously. I want UGA to do well, but Fromm has a problem in big games when UGA is forced to throw to get back into games.  In 2017, the National Championship year, he proved that he couldn’t throw his way back into a contested road game at Jordan-Hare Stadium at Auburn.  He had horrific numbers in the National Championship game against Bama throwing 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, going 16 for 32 passing.  And in 2018, the LSU blowout in Death Valley will forever haunt Dawgs fans. Why? Because, if the Dawgs had won that game, the SEC Championship against Alabama would not have mattered for either team. Both teams would have been seeded for the College Football Playoff and we all know what happened.  Nonetheless, I don’t blame Fromm for the recent SEC Championship loss, because Coach Smart’s 4th and long fake punt in the 4th quarter will loom larger than any players performance in that game.  For UGA’s program to reach that elite tier with the Alabamas, Clemsons, Ohio States, and Notre Dames of the world, Coach Smart must take some chances and put the best players in their positions even if it means disrupting the politics of the team.  UGA has benefitted from a relatively weak SEC East over the past 3 years and as we all know, the trends will change, and Dawgs fans should be cautious about improving schools like Kentucky and Florida.  It’s not easy to win a National Championship, but the great recruits are here and UGA has a real chance to contend for the next couple of years. Now, Smart needs to make it his top priority to keep these 5-star players flocking to Athens.  Jared Yamamoto is a Doctrinaire and Producer of The Von Haessler Doctrine radio show heard daily from 9-Noon on News 95.5 and AM 750 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Email jared.yamamoto@coxinc.com  Twitter: @jaredyamamoto  Instagram: @jaredyamamoto
  • I wake up around 5:30 most mornings and like most people I have a well-defined routine. I smack my snooze button on my old-school Sanyo alarm clock, then crawl out of bed. I practically sleepwalk into my living room, turn on the lights, grab a glass of water, plop on my couch. Once my brain begins to turn on, I flip on my TV, radio, and computer and begin consuming news and browsing news aggregators from overnight. As I scroll through news sites, I can’t help but stumble upon trends and the latest has been the daily headlines from outlets that often rag on newly elected Democratic Representative-Elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York’s 14th district.  Not sure who she is? Ocasio-Cortez made history this year by becoming the youngest elected female member to the U.S. House of Representatives and is a self-proclaimed Democratic-Socialist.  She’s 29 years old and what’s amazing about her story is that she has not spent a single day in office. In fact, her first official day will be January 3rd, 2019. And yet, she is already creating a stir in Washington.  Don’t believe me? Here’s a few headlines from this morning:  'Ridiculous' it's unconstitutional for Ocasio-Cortez to run for president - Vox  Ocasio-Cortez on call to run for president: ‘How about … no’ – The Hill  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn't in office yet and she's already revealing inner workings of Congress – Yahoo Finance  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s new favorite pastime appears to be trolling conservative critics – Washington Post  I’m 29 years-old too and couldn’t imagine being in her position at this age. Regardless, we need to address this news phenomenon for what it is.  She’s very active on social media and right-wing news sources are obsessed with her. Political readers from both sides of the aisle hang on to every tweet and can’t believe that she’s preaching the ideals of a Democratic-socialist. My right-wing friends are secretly terrified of her and want to silence her. They paint her as a moron.  To my friends on the right, she’s one representative in a House of 435. Sure, she’s annoying on Twitter and I’m sure that you and I disagree with her on many philosophies, but in this new age of American politics, there are many politicians that are annoying on Twitter…  And to my friends on the left, this is not a piece where I’m trying to stand up and rescue the damsel in distress. I’m also not a misogynist. I’m genuinely happy for her and the energy she’s created in Washington. I have zero political affiliation. I try my best to be objective and call things as I see them and there’s no doubt that her primary victory over mainstay Democrat Joe Crowley was historical.  However, I disagree with most of Ocasio-Cortez’s political philosophies. In her young political career, she appears to have a poor grasp of basic economics. She, like many, think that the government has endless funding and her views on climate change are extreme. All topics are fodder for another piece.  The difference between this piece and the stories I read every morning is that I believe that Ocasio-Cortez should have a place to express her viewpoints. She was elected fairly and has a right to be noisy like other politicians, but people shouldn’t obsess over her.  Ocasio-Cortez represents something bigger for American politics and one that the Republican Party should strive for… youth.  I cannot count how many times I’ve seen prominent Republican figures targeting her on their TV hits with, “Can you believe that 29-year old Ocasio-Cortez said,” or, “Clearly Ocasio-Cortez is not ready for prime-time.” This needs to stop.  These people need to get over it. She’s going to be around for at least two years and yes, she is going to say dumb things, but so do the other 434 members of House of Representatives.  I don’t understand why Republicans have such a problem recruiting young-budding politicians. Their youngest representative is Elise Stefanik, who represents New York’s 21st district. She’s been in office since 2014, but when’s the last time you heard something about her? She’s 34 now and admittingly I had to look her up for this piece.  In her three years in office, why hasn’t she made a name for herself or strove to promote youth in the Republican party?  Republicans need to find a way to channel young voices. In some of the right-wing pieces I’ve read it almost feels like there’s a problem with America’s youth which is not a strategy for party longevity.  So, let’s all relax and stop the keyboard war for a day about Ocasio-Cortez. Let’s wait until she spends a meaningful day in the 116th United States Congress and hopefully in the next two years we can make a meaningful judgement of her.  Jared Yamamoto is a Doctrinaire and Producer of The Von Haessler Doctrine radio show heard daily from 9-Noon on News 95.5 and AM 750 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Email jared.yamamoto@coxinc.com  Twitter: @jaredyamamoto  Instagram: @jaredyamamoto
  • It’s hard to imagine that today is already Election Day 2018. I remember less than 3 years ago when a friend invited me to attend a ‘Make America Great’ rally for Donald Trump at the Fox Theatre in Downtown, Atlanta. I wasn’t sure what to expect and left the rally speechless. I didn’t think politicians were allowed to be so vulgar, throwing red meat talking points out to a pack of hungry wolves. Sure, I had seen many Trump rallies on television and heard them on the radio, he was running for President, but to actually witness such a circus was eye-opening. I was genuinely worried about Trump’s rhetoric and thought that his tone wouldn’t help fellow Republican Party candidates running alongside him in the heated 2016 political race. I didn’t think he was ready to lead the United States.  With that being said, I was ready for change. At the time we had heard for 8 years that the U.S. was no longer a world power and that we needed to level the global playing field. I didn’t understand these viewpoints. I continued advancing in my career and distanced myself from my college years. I began to realize that hard work is the one thing that will help you prevail in this world, no matter where you came from in life. For years, we were told that the best days of America were behind us and the days of America leading the world were numbered. I disagreed.  The Democrats quickly transformed from the party in power to the party of self-entitled victims. There were some exceptions, but let’s not forget that they also believed that Hillary Clinton deserved the presidency without a single vote being cast. Middle America didn’t agree and the rest is history.  I proudly vote in every election and in 2016, I threw my vote away to Libertarian, Gary Johnson and voted for all parties on my ballot. I have zero party loyalty.  Fast-forward 3 years and Donald Trump is now President Trump and some of the polices that concerned me as a voter are being accomplished at the executive level. I still hate his rhetoric but can honestly say that my original assumption was incorrect. Trump has done a better job than most expected and few will admit it. The economy is booming, and unemployment is at a record low. You can’t give him all the credit, but he certainly deserves some of it. Trump has many weaknesses, but I vote for the individual and encourage others to do the same. Just because you don’t agree on everything a politician stands for doesn’t mean that the person is a bad candidate. If Donald Trump were on my 2018 midterm ballot today, I’d take a deep breath and probably vote for him. Why?  I hoped that the Democratic Party would have learned their lesson of going too far to the left in 2016, but to my dismay, the party of ‘Hope’ and ‘Change’ in 08’ and 12’ quickly became the resist party and party of whiners. Instead of shifting to the political center they decided to shift further to the left. Don’t forget that in 2016 the Democrats rigged their primary debates to give Hillary Clinton an edge over Bernie Sanders for their presidential nomination. Today, the party is not much different. We have a party whose main goal, if elected, will be to impeach and obstruct Trump.  I’m not saying Republicans are better. I think we all remember the gridlock between John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and President Obama. We also can’t leave out the current immigration fiasco, lack of vision for healthcare, and the 2nd tax cut bluff that many Americans sniffed out weeks ago. Generic Democrats have polled better than generic Republicans for months now.  Nationally, Democrats and Republicans are fighting for both chambers of Congress. I predict that the Democrats will narrowly retake the House of Representatives and Republicans will hold the Senate. We’ll find out tonight.  What I’m most concerned about is the poor explanations of the candidates. I watch a good amount of television and I cannot point to a single political advertisement that changed my opinion. Perhaps it’s a good thing? This election has devolved into a battle where each side is throwing out the most outrageous advertisements to sway voters to vote straight down party lines. Don’t fall for them!  I watch these pitiful advertisements and wonder who these parties are targeting. The Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are quick to bark out that they’re targeting Millennials. Again, don’t fall for them!  Before you vote later today, look up your ballot and take some time to read about your candidates. Your city government has more of a direct impact on your daily life than the national election or even the governorship. Don’t be a pawn for one party and vote for the individual that you think will do the best job.  Here in Georgia we have a gubernatorial race that’s become the contest to see which candidate says the least. Republicans use their typical attack ads suggesting that (Insert Generic Democrat Name Here) is a socialist and that he or she wants to take your guns, raise taxes, and fund abortions while Democrats paint (Insert Generic Republican Name Here) as gun-toting irresponsible rednecks that give money to the wealthy. Both assumptions are untrue.  It’s a heated battle between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp. I would throw in Libertarian Ted Metz, but he is consistently polling around 2% and may pull just enough votes to create a runoff scenario, but that’s it. I had the privilege of meeting Abrams and Kemp earlier this year and both are good people. I happen to agree more with one than the other, but I don’t hate either of them. Take some time and read about these candidates before casting your vote. No matter what happens or if your candidate loses, the wonderful thing about America is that another election is always near.    Jared Yamamoto is a Doctrinaire and Producer of The Von Haessler Doctrine radio show heard daily from 9-Noon on News 95.5 and AM 750 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Email jared.yamamoto@coxinc.com  Twitter: @jaredyamamoto  Instagram: @jaredyamamoto
  • What a hot start to Summer 2015. Atlanta’s already recorded record breaking temperatures and technically Summer just started last weekend. These high temperatures are not only in Metro Atlanta, but around the country as well.  Apparently these hot Summer temperatures are a trigger to meteorologists and climatologists, promoting the annual Global Warming and Climate Change discussions at the beginning of Summer. This strategic scientific marketing is similar to sports teams rebranding and rebuilding. Marketers and General Mangers think that if they update their team’s color scheme, uniforms and build shiny new stadiums then suddenly fair-weather fans will suddenly flood the stadiums and buy the updated merchandise and follow the rebranded team without any concern for the mediocre product on the field. Yes, friends I’m complaining about the Atlanta Braves. We’ll get back to the Braves, but Climate Change has followed a similar marketing trajectory. Why? Because Global Warming was the hot topic of the early 2000’s and was a profit driver for the Green Revolution. I’ll explain, during the 2000’s, the U.S. experienced some of the hottest years on record, alarming climatologists that the Earth was warming at an unprecedented rate. Scientists convinced businesses that the trend would continue. When the warm trends shifted and mild summers followed from 2009 onward, the marketing buzz words changed from Global Warming to Climate Change. Earlier this year, the Atlanta Braves traded away their top 3 hitters and top two bullpen pitchers for prospects and a shot at the future. Admirably, the 2015 Braves are playing above expectations and staying fairly competitive in a weak division, but this rebuild was done at the expense of the fans and intentionally utilized to draw attention to the Braves’ new stadium, Sun Trust Park. Trust me, they’ll try to tell you otherwise. These marketers want the fans back from the 1990’s that came out to support the winning product on the field, but there’s no guarantee these new prospects will work out. I’m a huge Braves and I’ll admit that this year’s team is mediocre and wasn’t built to compete. This year’s team was sacrificed to draw attention to 2017 when the shiny new stadium will open in Cobb County and all the fans will dreamily come running back. It’s an assumption that Braves management made without clear evidence that the team would actually be better in 2017. Attendance has been dwindling over the past couple of years and the Braves needed something to convince the fans to come back. So similar to the original Global Warming scientists, the Braves’ management team has essentially played us and now expect us to stick with the team and willingly fall for their future forecasting. Follow me here, in the early 2000’s you could not turn on the news without hearing a story about Global Warming and the detrimental impact humans were causing to Earth. The U.S. did have some insanely hot summers and the temperature trends appeared to be rising, but climatologists saw the polar ice caps melting, panicked, and alerted the world of Global Warming. Businesses saw an opportunity and the Green Revolution ensued, companies profited from the change scientists were predicting. Again, this warm trend corrected and the Summers and Winters are starting to average pre-global warming levels. The Scientist’s promise wasn’t fulfilled and we were played. Look, I’m not denying that the earth’s climate doesn’t change and I legitimately hope that the Braves are contenders in 2017. We’ve got to be realistic and gather the research. For example, the Toronto Blue Jays haven’t made Major League Baseball’s postseason since 1993, despite predicting playoff expectations in many of those seasons. The Earth naturally changes and humans definitely have some impact on the environment, but the Earth’s climate also changes naturally.  It may appear irregular to us, because we’re associating this shift to the limited records we have on file. We need to measure the data and be careful with our predictions, because the implications are huge on modern society. The Atlanta Braves are showing us a ray of hope, but if the rebuild fails, an new empty stadium will follow, if scientists continue their profit driven motives then their credibility will dwindle.
  • Patterns are a common tendency in American politics. A popular story breaks and several filler stories follow to feed the main breaking news story. You uncover the actual truth by following specific trails of information as the news breaks. It’s become extremely difficult to find objective reporting, so we're practically forced to consume massive amounts of information to decipher the actual truth. Security has been the ‘go to’ issue for the week and the news cycle has a funny way of ratting itself out on controversial stories. For example, the day after the controversial Patriot Act expired, a mysterious report uncovered that Transportation Security Administration or 'TSA' airport agents fail 95% of the time on their basic airport security screening measures. Folks, what a crazy coincidence. How stupid do they think we are? Again, let’s reflect on this week’s security themed obsession. First, on Sunday evening the controversial Patriot Act expires, then on Monday morning a report breaks stating that the unpopular TSA has a 95% airport security failure rate, followed by the new Freedom Act passing the Senate with 67 out of 100 votes on Tuesday morning and President Obama signing the bill into law later that evening after adamantly campaigning against the Patriot Act during his presidential runs in 2008 and 2012. The Freedom Act is essentially a watered down version of the Patriot Act and still encourages a spy friendly culture. Now I understand that it’s easy to justify spying on your enemies because it’s an essential part of the art of war, but do we really need to spy on every single American citizen? As technology improves and society progresses this new bill could continue using communication technology to incriminate American citizens for petty crimes. Memory is an underrated commodity in modern society. We consume so much information that it’s easy to miss the point and the strange commonalties of our deliberate news cycle are dismissed as white noise. In fact, 7 years ago our nation was uniformly against the Patriot Act and the national focus was on increased individual civil liberties. I remember that, do you? Have people’s opinions changed that much or do we need to wake up and pay attention? It’s no coincidence that the TSA failure story broke immediately after the expiration of the Patriot Act. A suggestion for more security is not the answer. Why? Because, those in power are afraid to lose their power and the Freedom Act is an attack against America’s founding principles. We need to hold these people accountable for what they say and the actions they take, otherwise the surveillance state will expand to bounds we can’t imagine.
  • Women’s rights have highlighted the news cycle this week. From what I’m viewing, apparently every male corporate CEO in America is shadowing their female secretary, ready to pounce on her and the stranglehold of the sexist American patriarchy remains strong. What a load of crap. These old sexist workplace tendencies are indicators of America’s troubled past, but apparently some feminists want to take things a step further. First, as a millennial male, I’m all for equal rights and equal pay. Period, if you work hard and do a great job, then you deserve to make more money, regardless of sex or race. Secondly, men and women are equal and our roles in society are interchangeable. Period, but I’ve witnessed a new trend among my generation. Is it a crime for men to communicate differently with women? Last week, I introduced myself to a couple of girls out at a few Atlanta bars on two separate occasions. Naturally we talked and I reached out to introduce myself by shaking hands. Normally, when shaking a woman’s hand, my handshake is a little softer with my wrist slightly turned to the right, and a lighter clasp around the hand compared to a standard business handshake. I figured it was a kind gesture and I did it out of respect to them as attractive women, but based on their harsh responses I was dead wrong. Fellas you shouldn’t do that, because I pissed both these ladies off. I was greeted with disgust and an awkward sexist lecture by one girl, while the other asked me to shake her hand the ‘correct’ business way. I’m sorry, but I didn’t realize that a flirtatious gesture was suddenly a sign of sexism. Again, my handshake was never intended to say that men are suddenly superior over women. It was simply to address her as a woman. In fact, it’s strikingly similar to opening a door or offering your jacket to a girl when it’s cold. Is that rude and sexist now? Does chivalry die in an attempt to make everyone equal? I’m a big believer in millennials and the bright future we’ll bring to America, but do we really want to be treated the exact same in every little way? Let’s address this now or do you prefer a future filled with all sexes sporting the same haircuts, wearing the same clothes and lacking sexuality and originality? I hope not, but maybe I’m completely wrong. What do you think?

News

  • Family and friends are remembering a University of Georgia student who died in a fiery crash. William Aaron Whitaker, of Carrollton, died Thursday night in the crash that shut down the interstate between I-285 and Fulton Industrial Boulevard for about 10 hours, UGA spokesman Greg Trevor told AJC.com.  Learn how his loved ones are honoring him, on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m.  Whitaker was a sophomore studying exercise science and athletic training, according to an obituary on the Hightower Family Funeral Homes website.  Mario Vilan Polier, 53, of Hialeah, Florida, faces charges of improper lane change, following too closely and second-degree homicide by vehicle in connection with the incident.  Polier’s tractor-trailer overturned onto its passenger side while traveling on I-20 east around 7:30 p.m., crashing into a concrete barrier between the eastbound and westbound lanes, the Georgia State Patrol said. Debris from the concrete barrier went into the westbound lanes, striking two vehicles. TRENDING STORIES: Blood pressure medication recalled due to cancer risk Heads up, drivers: Multiple roads close for Super Bowl events beginning today DFCS dismissed abuse report before Georgia kids were found buried One of those vehicles was Whitaker’s, who died at the scene, GSP said. Three other people were also injured in the crash, but their conditions were not released. The deadly wreck shut down all eastbound I-20 lanes and all but one westbound lane Thursday night, and it brought brought I-20 traffic to a standstill back to Thornton Road, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.  Polier is in the Fulton County Jail on a $35,000 bond, according to county jail records. He also has a hold placed on him by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  • A 9-year-old boy driving an all-terrain vehicle crashed over the weekend, killing a 58-year-old passenger in Osceola County, the Florida Highway Patrol said. >> Read more trending news Troopers said the boy was trying to avoid another ATV Saturday on 8 Mile Ranch Road when the vehicle he was operating hit a brim and overturned onto Laura Bizzell, of Avon Park. The boy suffered minor injuries, but Bizzell died, according to the FHP. The other ATV driver, Samuel Christmas, 53, suffered minor injuries.  Authorities continue to investigate the incident.
  • The first time Tom Brady won a Super Bowl ring, Sean McVay was just 16 years old. Now the Los Angeles Rams head coach, who turns 33 on Thursday, will have chance to defeat Brady and the Patriots more than 17 years later in the place where he grew up. “It’s kind of ironic that the only Super Bowl that I’ve been to as a fan was the last time the Rams played the Titans,” McVay said. “I was at that game. My Grandpa, when he was still involved in the NFL, he got me tickets for my birthday.” Channel 2's Berndt Petersen traveled to Marist School in DeKalb County, where McVay led the War Eagles to a 6-AAAA state championship in 2003.  Hear from Marist coaches about what it means to have one of their own play for Super Bowl in their background, on Channel 2 Action News at 4 p.m.  Stay with Channel 2 Action News and WSBTV.com for complete Super Bowl LIII coverage leading up to the big game. Download our news app to get FREE alerts sent to phone and tablet and find complete coverage of Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta here  
  • Police in Tallahassee, Florida, responded to a video of a toddler exiting a truck with her hands up over her head, mimicking her parents’ arrest, and walking toward officers who had their guns drawn, by releasing body camera footage taken from a different angle, WCTV reported. >> Read more trending news  The incident took place Thursday, and after the cellphone video taken by a passerby during a shoplifting arrest went viral, Tallahassee police Chief Michael DeLeo released several clips from officer body cameras, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. DeLeo said 10 different body camera angles were used in reviewing the incident. 'I believe that incidents like this justify our investment in body worn cameras and the importance of getting all the facts,' DeLeo said in a video released on the Police Department’s official Facebook page. The video released by the Tallahassee police shows the original video that went viral, followed by a statement from DeLeo about the incident. It ends with the body camera footage. On Thursday afternoon, Chad M. Bom, 34, and James W. McMullen, 38, were charged with theft from a Bealls Outlet store in Tallahassee, according to the news release posted on the Police Department’s Facebook page. Both men were charged with petit theft, the Democrat reported. The mother of the toddler was at the scene Police had responded to reports of a theft by an armed suspect at the Bealls shopping outlet around 4:30 p.m. and pulled over a truck. They were surprised when the toddler got out and began to mimic her parents, WCTV reported. 'It's OK, sweetie. You don't have to put your hands up,' one officer can be heard saying in the body camera footage. Footage also showed the police allowing the child’s mother to hold the baby while they found a pellet gun in the back seat of the vehicle near a 1-year-old boy who was still strapped into his car seat, WCTV reported. DeLeo said he was 'proud' of his officers' response, adding he felt they showed compassion for the family. “This video footage captures the compassion demonstrated by our TPD officers during an intense situation. I’m very proud of their actions and appreciative of the work these men and women do each day to keep our community safe,” Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey said in a statement. 
  • Two people were injured Sunday night after a police car struck them as they lay in a Florida roadway, apparently to watch the lunar eclipse, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news The incident happened just before midnight Sunday near the Apoxee Trail, a 2.5-mile nature trail in West Palm Beach, according to WPBF and city officials. A police officer was patrolling the trail Sunday in a Ford Explorer when he struck a man and a woman, both 24, while traveling 5 mph, WPEC and WPBF reported. At the time, the area was extremely dark, according to officials. Police told WPBF that investigators believe the pair was lying in the road to photograph and watch the super blood wolf moon lunar eclipse. They were taken to a hospital with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, according to the news station. The officer who struck the pair, who was not identified, was placed on paid administrative leave as police investigate the incident, WPEC reported. Authorities continue to investigate.
  • Speaking at a commemoration of what would have been her father’s 90th birthday, Rev. Dr. Bernice King criticized the Trump administration Monday for misquoting her father’s works “to suit our own purposes.” >> Read more trending news King’s remarks were aimed at Trump’s border wall push and comments by Vice President Mike Pence, who during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, said: “One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was ‘Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.” “You think of how he changed America. He inspired us to change through the legislative process to become a more perfect union,” Pence said on the show. “That’s exactly what President Trump is calling on the Congress to do. Come to the table in the spirit of good faith. We’ll secure our border, we’ll reopen the government and we’ll move our nation forward.” >> Reflecting on MLK: 'The baddest brother of the 20th century' On Monday, during remarks at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Bernice King said: “If we really want to make real the promises of democracy, now is the time on this King holiday to stop quoting King out of context and misquoting him to suit our own purposes.” The Ebenezer audience applauded warmly. Bernice King also called for action on problems facing the country, ranging from the partial government shutdown affecting federal workers’ livelihood to the resurgence of white supremacist ideologies and voter access problems. “We are in a state emergency because of our humanitarian crises, and it’s not at our southern border,” she said. “The concern for human welfare is being threatened.” “When prejudice and bigotry are emboldened…. when schools continue to be unsafe spaces because of impotent gun control laws…. this is a humanitarian crisis and we are in a state of emergency,” King said. >> Delta contributes grant funding to re-open MLK national park During remarks at the service, U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., called for reflection on King’s words, saying: “He often reminded us that what united us is far greater than what divides us.” The service came on the holiday weekend when the Martin Luther Jr. National Historical Park reopened to visitors after a closure due to the partial federal shutdown. The reopening was funded with the help of a $83,500 grant from Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines. Reopened for Martin Luther King Jr. weekend through the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, are the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where King was co-pastor, the home where Martin Luther King Jr. was born, the park’s visitor center and historic Fire Station No. 6. “We ought to be concerned that the cradle of the civil rights movement is also the capital of income inequality in this country today,” said Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church.