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Police body camera video shows that a Salt Lake City police officer was justified in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man in August, prosecutors in Utah say.

Dillon Taylor died in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven on Aug. 11 after Officer Bron Cruz responded to reports of an armed man in the area. Police said Cruz approached Taylor and two of his friends because they matched the description he was given.

Although no weapon was found on Taylor, Cruz was cleared of wrongdoing in the case Tuesday. Prosecutor Slim Gill said that the shooting was justified because Cruz thought Taylor had a weapon and that he would use it against him.

Video of the incident (above) shows Taylor walking away with his hands in his waistband under his shirt.

“Get your hands up, now!” Cruz is heard yelling in the video.

“No, fool.” Taylor replies, continuing to walk away.

When Taylor turns around and removes his hands from this waistband, Cruz shoots him twice, striking him in the chest and abdomen.

A deposition obtained by KSL Tuesday noted that Cruz became emotional when he recounted the incident, and said that although he “wasn’t about to shoot [Taylor] in the back,” he was “100 percent convinced when I saw him turn around it was gonna be a gunfight.”

“Nothing that Mr. Taylor did assisted in de-escalating the situation,” Gill told the Salt Lake Tribune. “If anything, it escalated things.”

“Officer Cruz’s belief that Dillon Taylor was armed with a gun and intended to use it against the officers was reinforced by Dillon’s actions and the acts of others,” Gill wrote in a letter to Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank obtained by the newspaper. “By the time Dillon drew his hands from his waistband, Officer Cruz’s belief that Dillon was presenting a weapon [and ... would use the weapon against officers] was reasonable.”

Officials said Taylor’s blood alcohol level was .18 percent when he was shot, according to Fox Salt Lake City. Days before his death, Taylor posted Facebook statuses that indicated he was emotionally distressed, the station reported.

Kelly Fowler, the attorney for Taylor’s family, told the Salt Lake Tribune that the prosecutor’s decision indulges police hostility and paranoia in dealing with the public.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama went under Tim Gunn’s fashion microscope and got an approving nod, but not all first ladies fared as well — Hillary Rodham Clinton among them.

Gunn and a panel of fashion experts reviewed the fashion sense of the nation’s first ladies at a National Archives forum Tuesday, and found plenty of do’s and don’ts. Gunn rated Mrs. Obama’s style sense as “divine.” Jacqueline Kennedy he deemed a “style-setter.” But he wondered why Edith Wilson, wife of Woodrow Wilson, felt compelled to play amateur seamstress and remake her dresses over and over.

As a designer, Wilson “would have been the first one out on ‘Project Runway,’” the fashion consultant and TV personality joked.

“She was having difficulty making it work,” Gunn said, in a play on his trademark admonition to “make it work.”

As for possible future administrations, Gunn said Clinton has been looking “very presidential lately. There’s definitely an evolution that’s been taking place. The bar has been raised.”

Other panelists said it had taken Clinton some time to warm up to the idea that a first lady’s style reflects on her husband’s administration.

“I just feel like it’s not important to her,” designer Tracy Reese said. “Public service is very important, but her appearance is down on the list.”

Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, said Clinton’s signature style from her days as first lady was “the famous pantsuit and the hair problems.”

Looking further back in history to the 1800s, Steele noted that in the days of Sarah Polk, wife to James Polk, women wanted to show off a tiny waist, hands and feet, but have “plump, voluptuous shoulders and a big, big butt.”

“That sounds like Nicki Minaj, JLo and Kim K.,” Reese declared. She eyed a picture of an ivory brocade dress of Polk’s with a flouncy bottom and wondered aloud, “Can you imagine Kim Kardashian in that?”

Gunn sniffed, “I’d prefer not to.”

The forum was held at the National Archives, which has “signature” items worn by Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Obama on display as part of its exhibit, “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures.”

Among the items on display: the black and red Narciso Rodriguez dress worn by Mrs. Obama on the night of the 2008 election in Chicago and a pillbox hat worn by Mrs. Kennedy.

The forum was presented in partnership with the White House Historical Association.

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Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac


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MIAMI (AP) — The manager of a restaurant where 15 people were shot during a teen party over the weekend was arrested for selling liquor without a license, authorities said Tuesday.

Police and city investigators inspected The Spot on Monday and found three bottles of liquor behind the bar. The restaurant, which is popular for its fried conch, chicken wings and island music, is only licensed to sell food, beer and wine, according to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Police said The Spot should not have been functioning as a nightclub early Sunday morning when a shooting sent terrified patrons running from the club and wounded many youngsters, including an 11-year-old girl. Neighbors said the adult club had recently started hosting a teen night with popular DJs that was drawing large crowds.

A message left for manager Tiffany Johnson was not immediately returned Tuesday.

Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll said they’re waiting to hear from the fire marshal about whether the venue was over capacity. Surveillance video from a furniture store next door showed dozens of teens streaming out of the small restaurant when the shooting began around 1 a.m. Sunday.

Neighbors said the recent teen nights had become very popular and that large groups liked to shuttle back and forth between the restaurant and the convenience store across the street.

Mike Brown, who lives a few houses down from the restaurant, said he saw teens hitting the ground, jumping the fence and running toward him as gunshots were being fired. It’s not clear what prompted the shooting. Police have released few details and have not identified any suspects.

Most of the wounded had been treated and released, but four people remained hospitalized Tuesday. One was in critical condition, Jackson Health System spokeswoman Jennifer Piedra said.

Fire Rescue officials found minor violations during their inspection of the restaurant Monday, including a non-compliant extension cord, a broken door latch and an oven hood that needed maintenance, Carroll said.


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Efforts to recover bodies from an erupting volcano in central Japan resumed Wednesday, after search teams had been hampered by gas and hot ash shooting into the air.


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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida police officer has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal affairs investigation after he fired a stun gun into a 62-year-old woman’s back during an arrest in a Tallahassee neighborhood.

Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo called a news conference early Wednesday morning to announce the investigation after authorities obtained a video capturing the Tuesday afternoon incident that was shot by someone on a nearby porch. “Based on the video, I have enough concerns to call for an internal investigation,” DeLeo said. “We will conduct a thorough investigation into this incident. We want to be transparent with the community by sharing what we can at this point, including the video.”

According to police, the officers were responding to recent complaints from citizens about drug deals in the neighborhood located just a few blocks west of the governor’s mansion. The woman, Viola Young, approached one of the police cars parked on the narrow street to inquire about one of the people — two women and a man — who had been arrested.

The officer standing outside the squad car advised the woman to stay back. Police said that’s when Officer Terry Mahan approached Young and attempted to take her into custody.

In the video, Young appears to be walking away when the officer uses his stun gun, striking her in the back. She falls face-first to the ground. Officers surrounded her and eventually helped her to her feet and walked her to a squad car, the video shows. Police didn’t release the name of the person who shot the video, but he can be heard saying on the video: “done tased a lady for nothing.”

Police said Young was medically cleared by paramedics and taken to the Leon County Jail.

She was charged with resisting and obstructing an officer without violence, a first degree misdemeanor.

In his police report, Mahan said that after he told people to stay back she “responded by yelling, ‘I just want to know what is going on.’” Mahan said Young refused to leave and he told her she was under arrests. He said she yanked away from him when he attempted to grab her arm.

The incident comes at a time when Tallahassee police have come under scrutiny. Last month, the city agreed to pay $475,000 to settle a case over the arrest of a woman who ended up with a broken bone in her face after an altercation with officers.

Video from last year’s arrest of Christina West showed officers slamming her into a police car before throwing her to the ground. West can be heard screaming in the video. A grand jury decided against charging the officers in that incident but ripped Tallahassee police for how they handled the arrest.

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Follow Gary Fineout on Twitter: http://twitter.com/fineout .


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BLOOMING GROVE, Pa. (AP) — The discovery of two powerful pipe bombs during a massive manhunt in the Pennsylvania woods indicates the fugitive wanted in an ambush on state troopers is stressed out and making mistakes, authorities said as they repeated a call for him to surrender.

The explosives were not deployed, but they were fully functional and capable of causing significant damage, state police Lt. Col. George Bivens said Tuesday. Officials are convinced the weapons belong to 31-year-old Eric Frein, a self-taught survivalist who has been on the run since Sept. 12. He’s charged with killing one trooper and seriously wounding another outside their barracks in Blooming Grove.

The bombs were among several items that Bivens described as being “hastily discarded” by Frein at a campsite in the rugged terrain of the Pocono Mountains. He declined to identify the other objects, but said Frein abandoned them “under pressure” from the dragnet.

Bivens then addressed the suspect directly during a news conference: “You are clearly stressed. You are making significant mistakes.”

The disclosure about the bombs comes as deer hunters prepare for bow hunting season to open this weekend. Pennsylvania Game Commission spokesman Travis Lau said that assuming Frein is not captured overnight, hunting would be closed in the area of the search, which is teeming with hundreds of heavily armed law enforcement officers.

Lau said the exact perimeter of the closure has not been finalized. Hunters have already been asked to keep an eye out for cabins or other structures that look like they’ve been tampered with or used by Frein.

Officers have found several structures where they think the suspect has stayed, Bivens said, and police also know what Frein is eating and drinking. He noted there had been at least one credible sighting of Frein in the past 24 hours — from between 75 yards and 100 yards away, and through thick woods.

This probably wasn’t Frein’s original getaway plan, Bivens said, although he believes the suspect “had prepared to some degree for this possibility.” Frein’s car was found submerged in a swamp several miles from the barracks a few days after the shooting.

“I think things went wrong with his plan,” Bivens said. “I think he at least believed he would have another opportunity to prepare before he went off into the woods, and he didn’t get that opportunity.”

Authorities say Frein has a vendetta against law enforcement and ambushed two troopers during a shift change. Cpl. Bryon Dickson was killed and Trooper Alex Douglass remains hospitalized with unspecified injuries. Douglass has a long road to recovery, Bivens said.

Dickson wasn’t even supposed to work the night of the attack, according to Bivens, but was filling in for another trooper. He said there’s no evidence to suggest Frein deliberately targeted the troopers he shot.

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Matheson reported from Philadelphia.


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Mexico Army Slayings

Mexican prosecutors announced homicide charges Tuesday against three soldiers in the June killings of 22 suspected gang members in southern Mexico, challenging the army’s version that the suspects died in a shootout.


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CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. (AP) — A state trooper was accidentally shot during a gun training exercise at a safety facility on Tuesday and later died.

Trooper David Kedra was shot in the chest during a yearly training exercise at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Complex in Conshohocken, near Philadelphia, state police said. He’s the second trooper to be shot dead this month following Cpl. Bryon Dickson’s death in an ambush on Sept. 12. Kedra, 26, was flown by helicopter to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He had been a member of the Pennsylvania State Police since June 2012.

The campus where the shooting occurred has classrooms and training facilities for firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians.

The shooting remains under investigation, and state police didn’t disclose many details about it.

State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said it was with “an extremely heavy heart and deep sorrow” that he announced the death of Kedra, the 96th member of the state police to be killed in the line of duty.

“He died serving the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the men and women of the Pennsylvania State Police mourn his loss and extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends,” Noonan said.