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I-Team: Internal investigation at KDPS over student accusations

Updated: Saturday, August 3, 2013 |
I-Team: Internal investigation at KDPS over student accusations story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Newschannel 3 I-Team has learned that Kalamazoo Public Safety Officers caught on tape directly disobeying a judge may soon have to face him in court.

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is in the middle of an internal investigation.

Dozens of charges against college students have been thrown out because a judge determined Kalamazoo Public Safety officers had provided false information to obtain search warrants at house parties.

Amid allegations of excessive force, many of the students are considering suing the department and the city for violating their civil rights.

Now, Newschannel 3 is looking into what may lie ahead for the officers involved.

Many inside Kalamazoo's legal community are looking for decisive action from KDPS to prevent incidents like this from happening.

If no decisive action is taken, Newschannel 3 has learned that Judge Westra, who signed the warrant in February, has the ability to order a public hearing where he could question all the officers involved to determine what went wrong and who's to blame.

Clearly, that would cause friction with the department, but sources say this is a systemic issue that has to be handled, and some believe the problem is demonstrated in exclusive video obtained by Newschannel 3.

In the video, an officer can be overheard getting out of his car, saying "(expletive) hate these kids. I want to punch every one of them in the face."

Once he actually reaches the party, he seems professional and reasonable, but his demeanor changes when the door is shut and locked in his face.

"If we have to go get a search warrant, everybody is going to jail who lives here, so I suggest you just open it and deal with it," he can be overheard saying. "All we're going to do is tell you to turn your music down and tell everyone to go home, but if you want to make it hard, we can definitely make it hard."

Attorney Tom Ripley represents two of the young people arrested in February.

"At the very least, there were misrepresentations made," he said.

"I believe that Judge Westra never would have signed the warrant if accurate information was presented to him."

The students arrested at that time are making allegations similar to those arrested at a home on Axtell back in October.

"They were just pulling kids from their beds," said one student.

"As I opened the door, I looked directly down a barrel," recalled another.

"I was aware of the case back in October, and frankly, I thought enough is enough, something needs to be done about this," Ripley said.

Ripley says that at least a dozen students from the two incidents in question have contacted him about the possibility of a civil suit, but no final decision has been made.

As for the internal investigation, Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley told Newschannel 3 he hopes to have a final report sometime next week.

Only time will tell if Kalamazoo's legal community will find the department's actions sufficient.
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Business News

Last Update on October 23, 2014 17:21 GMT

The price of crude oil rose $1.27 to $81.80 a barrel in New York.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Earnings gains from General Motors, 3M and other big companies are driving stocks sharply higher in early trading.

GM rose 2 percent after reporting that its third-quarter profit doubled thanks to big earnings from SUV and truck sales.

Caterpillar, 3M and Southwest Airlines also gained after reporting earnings that pleased investors. AT&T lost 2 percent after its results fell short of analysts' forecasts.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 19 points, or 1 percent, to 1,946 as of 9:35 a.m. Eastern time Thursday.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 200 points, or 1.2 percent, to 16,659. The Nasdaq composite rose 41 points, or 1 percent, to 4,424.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.26 percent.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits rose last week after falling to a 14-year low the previous week. Despite the increase, weekly applications remain at historically low levels that suggest hiring is gaining steam.

The Labor Department says applications rose 17,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 283,000. That is the sixth straight week below 300,000. Applications have fallen 19 percent in the past year.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, declined 3,000 to 281,000, the lowest in 14 years. As a percentage of the working population, applications are near their lowest levels since the early 1970s.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. Their unusually low level suggests that employers are confident enough to hold onto workers and may step up hiring.

LEADING INDICATORS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A gauge designed to predict the economy's future health posted a solid increase in September after no gain in the previous month.

The Conference Board says its index of leading indicators rose 0.8 percent last month following a flat reading in August which originally had been reported as a small 0.2 percent gain.

Economists expect that continuing strong gains in employment should boost incomes and help support solid economic growth in the United States in coming quarters despite a weaker outlook overseas.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Average U.S. mortgage rates continued to slide this week, raising prospects of a wave of consumers refinancing their loans. The 30-year mortgage fell further below 4 percent.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year loan declined to 3.92 percent from 3.97 percent last week. The average rate is at its lowest level since June 2013. It was 4.53 percent in January. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, fell to 3.08 percent from 3.18 percent.

It was the fifth straight week of declines for mortgage rates.

Across the country last week, homeowners and would-be homeowners eager for a bargain rate fired off inquiries to lenders.

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The company has wrestled with a slowing global economy and took a restructuring charge of 9 cents per share during the quarter tied to cost cuts. However, CEO and Chairman Doug Oberhelman said that he is hopeful that economic growth will pick up next year.

Caterpillar, based in Peoria, Illinois, reported third-quarter net income of $1.02 billion, or $1.63 per share, in the three months ending Sept. 30, compared with $951 million, or $1.45 per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Adjusted to remove restructuring costs, earnings came to $1.72 per share, blowing past Wall Street expectations of $1.33 per share.

Revenue rose slightly to $13.55 billion, also topping the $13.37 billion analysts expected, according to Zacks Investment Research.

EARNS-3M

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Diversified manufacturer 3M's third-quarter net income rose 6 percent on higher revenue across all divisions.

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The St. Paul, Minnesota-based company narrowed its guidance to net income of $7.40 to $7.50 for the year, compared with prior expectations of $7.30 to $7.55. Analysts expected $7.46 per share.

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DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors says its third-quarter profit nearly doubled as strong earnings in North America and China outweighed struggles in Europe and South America.

The automaker posted a net profit of $1.38 billion, or 81 cents per share, from July through September. A year ago, GM made $698 million, or 45 cents per share.

It was the first quarter this year without significant charges for recalls. GM has issued 75 recalls in 2014 covering more than 30 million vehicles, costing the company more than $2.8 billion.

Without $331 million in one-time items, GM would have made 97 cents per share, exceeding Wall Street's expectations. Analysts polled by FactSet expected 95 cents.

Revenue grew 2 percent to $39.25 billion. That also beat expectations of $38.79 billion.

EARNS-SOUTHWEST AIRLINES

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CEO Gary Kelly says the trend toward higher revenue has continued into October, and bookings for November and December look good.

Southwest Airlines Co. said Thursday that net income rose 27 percent to $329 million , or 48 cents per share, in the July-to-September quarter.

Excluding one-time items such as the falling value of some fuel-hedging contracts, the profit would have been 55 cents per share. On that basis, analysts expected 53 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 5.6 percent to $4.80 billion, a tick better than analysts' forecast of $4.79 billion.

The average one-way fare inched higher -- to $160.74, an increase of $1.35 from last summer. Passengers flew 5.6 percent more miles, and planes carried record loads -- the average flight was 84.4 percent full, an increase from 80.8 percent the year before.

Southwest spent $2.94 per gallon on fuel in the third quarter, down from $3.06 a year earlier. And the discount will grow -- the airline predicted that it will pay between $2.70 and $2.75 per gallon in the fourth quarter.

Fuel spending dropped 4.4 percent in the third quarter, but labor costs rose 7.2 percent.

AT&T-BEYOND PHONES

Tablets, cars drive AT&T wireless gains--not phones

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The net increases in the July-September quarter included nearly 1.3 million connected devices, such as home-security systems. Cars made up more than 500,000 of that total. On top of those figures, Dallas-based AT&T added 342,000 tablet customers.

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COMCAST-RESULTS

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The nation's largest cable provider says its net income rose to $2.59 billion, or 99 cents per share. That compares with net income of $1.73 billion, or 65 cents per share, last year. Excluding one-time tax settlement, net income totaled 73 cents per share, beating analyst expectations of 71 cents per share.

Revenue rose 4 percent to $16.79 billion from $16.15 billion last year. Analysts expected $16.8 billion.

Cable hookup revenue rose 5 percent to $11.04 billion, and NBCUniversal revenue rose 1 percent to $5.92 billion.

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The Atlanta-based company says Marcos De Quinto, a company veteran, will replace Joe Tripodi starting Jan. 1.

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Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts made the call in a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who oversees the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The letter delivered Thursday also asks Foxx to encourage automakers to provide free loaner cars if parts aren't available.

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The hospital says emergency room visits have fallen more than 50 percent, and its daily patient census fell 20 percent.

Presbyterian Hospital has been criticized for its initial care of Duncan, who was released after coming to the emergency room Sept. 25 with a fever and other Ebola symptoms. He returned three days later by ambulance and was diagnosed with the disease.

Its two infected nurses were transferred to other hospitals for treatment.

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