A bank foreclosure and eviction goes horribly wrong when the former homeowner took four firefighters hostage in a suburban Atlanta, Georgia neighborhood on Wednesday.
The gunman who took four Georgia firefighters hostage Wednesday has been shot and killed, reportedly by SWAT-team members. One police officer was wounded, and all four firefighters have been taken to the hospital for minor injuries. The hostage scene erupted Wednesday afternoon after firefighters responded to a 911 call from a man saying he was having a heart attack at a home near Atlanta, police said. The gunman reportedly was holding the firefighters hostage over demands his utilities and cable be turned back on.
Initially five firefighters were held, but the gunman released one in order to move the fire truck.
According to authorities, police used a "flash bang grenade" to distract the suspect when they felt their officers were in "immediate danger" on the scene.
All four of the firefighters taken hostage are safe and sustained superficial wounds during their recovery effort and one Gwinnett County officer was injured. According to authorities, the officers injuries are non-life threatening.
A sheriff's deputy said the gunman is upset that the house is in foreclosure, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
According to property tax records, the home where the firefighters were being held was foreclosed on in November 2012 by Wells Fargo, and the mortgage then sold to Fannie Mae.
Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Edwin Ritter said the unidentified gunman was facing eviction and wanted the power turned back on.
The identity of the deceased has not yet been released pending notification of next of kin.
Four people were discovered dead Saturday inside a suburban Denver home following a barricade hostage situation, which drew in a team of 40 officers. One woman reportedly escaped the townhome, although it is unclear whether or not she sustained injuries. Officials first arrived on the scene close to 3 a.m. Saturday following reports that shots had been fired inside the home. The "armed and dangerous" man is reported to be among the deceased. The identities of the victims have yet to be released.
A SWAT team arrived in the area after a standoff took place between the gunman and police officers. Authorities said the gunman then shot at SWAT team members.
Police were initially unsure how many people were barricaded inside the home. Officers later confirmed that three people were found dead inside the home when SWAT moved in and shot the gunman.
Authorities said a fifth person managed to get out of the house. The identities of the victims and the suspect have not been released.
Tear gas was deployed into the home, according to police scanner traffic.
Police had evacuated several neighborhoods in the area for safety reasons.
Just last summer, a mass shooting occurred inside of the Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight screening of the film "The Dark Knight Rises." A gunman, dressed in tactical clothing, set off tear gas grenades and shot into the audience with multiple firearms, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others. James Eagan Holmes, the lone suspect, was arrested outside of the theater just moments later.
You really have to watch the video to believe how this Denver woman's eviction from her home of 24 years was handled. Never in my life have I seen anything like this. Grenade launchers to evict a 63-year-old woman?!?
Last week, a highly militarized police force arrived at the home of 63-year-old Sahara Donahue to evict her from her residence of 24 years.
Donahue was petitioning US Bank for an additional 60 days to remain in her home, so she could have some time to find a new place to live, secure her belongings and leave her home with dignity. She came to the Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition and an Occupy Denver General Assembly to ask for our help.
She knew no one in Occupy Denver prior to reaching out. We immediately started mobilizing to try to get her the assistance she needed and a group went to her house for the first rumored eviction on October 25. When that eviction didn’t happen, we planned an in-town action at US Bank, hoping to compel a bank official to ease Sahara's situation. Then we sent carpools up to her house in time for the rescheduled eviction, on October 30.
Occupiers laid barricades from fallen trees to prevent moving trucks and workers from entering Sahara's property and were able to stave off the eviction for a few hours. At 2:45 p.m., 10 or more truckloads of police in full combat gear armed with live-ammo AR-15s and grenade launchers arrived on the scene and forced occupiers to the ground at gunpoint.
Police then made their way to the house, broke down the front door, threw Donohue to the ground in her own kitchen and pointed their guns at the heads of a mother and son who were in the house with Sahara, among others. Police continued to break items in the house as they searched it. They unplugged the modem - the home's only form of communication as there was no cell phone coverage in the area - in order to stop the livestream.
The Occupy Denver legal team spent the next harrowing hour in a communication blackout wondering if they would be receiving calls from the hospital or the jail. Meanwhile, one brave foreclosure defense activist jumped into the bucket of the bulldozer that was going to tear through the barricades, forcing the operator to stop for several minutes. Three arrests were made, two activists were assaulted and all have been released.
Many people on the ground outside Donahue's home had experienced riot cop violence against Occupy demonstrators before, but all agreed that this was the most surreal and violent state repression they have witnessed. There has been overwhelming community support as other activists and concerned people watched the militarized drama unfold online. The big question everyone is asking: “Seriously, why are they in military gear?”
Early morning, July 10, SWAT police forced their way into the Seattle apartment of organizers from the Occupy movement. The sleeping residents scrambled to put on clothes as they were confronted with automatic weapons.
The neighbor Natalio Perez heard the attack from downstairs: “Suddenly we heard the bang of their grenade, and the crashing as police entered the apartment. The crashing and stomping continued for a long time as they tore the place apart.”
After the raid, the residents pored over the papers handed them by a detective. One explained: “This warrant says that they were specifically looking for ‘anarchist materials’ — which lays out the political police state nature of this right there. In addition they were looking for specific pieces of clothing supposedly connected with a May First incident.
When the police finally left, they did not arrest anyone.
The raid is a heavy-handed threat delivered by armed police aimed at intimidating specific people – but also st suppressing the work to continue the Occupy movement in Seattle, and create E4E as a space for radical gathering.
A family in Raleigh has been evicted and forced from their home through an illegal foreclosure. They have been ordered to remove all personal property from their home by Sunday April 8, 2012. The family has bravely chosen to fight eviction and foreclosure and is requesting community support. Evidence of robo-signing by the bank, which is a fraud, has been uncovered and the entire foreclosure process is under attorney review.
It is up to us to send a clear message that we will not allow this to happen.
On Monday, April 9th, community participants will enter the house and refuse to leave as an act of civil disobedience. Another 10 families in this predominantly African-American neighborhood are facing similarly illegal foreclosure and eviction.
A coalition coordinating with Max Rameau of Take Back the Land and including; Mortgage Fraud NC, Occupy Raleigh, Save Our Homes and Occupy Greensboro are quickly mounting a public protest and home defense. The objectives of this action are: We demand that Nicole and her family be allowed to reclaim possession of their home. We call for a NATIONAL MORATORIUM on all foreclosures, evictions, and utility shut-offs. We demand that banks negotiate loan modifications that include principal reduction. We call for the creation of a community land trust.
This foreclosure eviction protest is one of a growing movement across the country. Take Back the Land, the Occupy movement and others are partnering with homeowners to demand that housing be recognized as a human right. In the last year, successful eviction resistance has been used nationally from Los Angeles to Atlanta and Washington DC. This will be the first use of civil disobedience in defense of foreclosed homes in North Carolina.
Police have cleared out the Occupy Kansas City encampment that went up last October in Penn Valley Park near the Liberty Memorial.
Officers brought a SWAT team to along for fFriday's eviction, but the removal was peaceful and no force was used.
Several tents had been on the land across from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, with protesters holding vigils as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Most were protesting economic issues such as high corporate profits and income inequality.
Kansas police told the occupiers on Tuesday they needed to leave, and officers returned Friday to clear out the park.
A city crew used a dump truck to cart off tents and all occupy belongings that still remained in the park.. Large waths of dead grass remained as reminders of the months-long protest.
Occupy Kansas members say they will continue as a group.
The above video is from a Houston, TX news report that captured video of the local police department testing a new predator spy drone. After realizing they'd been "caught" a police spokesman said that they "would tackle privacy and illegal search issues later."
This report in the Los Angeles Times Sunday evening sent chills down my spine. Already, local governments have used tear gas, flash-bang weapons, rubber bullets, Tasers, and sound canons against Occupy protesters. A sheriff in North Dakota has used predator drones to track cows and would-be cattle thieves. Are Occupy protesters next?
Armed with a search warrant, Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke went looking for six missing cows on the Brossart family farm in the early evening of June 23. Three men brandishing rifles chased him off, he said.
Janke knew the gunmen could be anywhere on the 3,000-acre spread in eastern North Dakota. Fearful of an armed standoff, he called in reinforcements from the state Highway Patrol, a regional SWAT team, a bomb squad, ambulances and deputy sheriffs from three other counties.
He also called in a Predator B drone.
For decades, U.S. courts have allowed law enforcement to conduct aerial surveillance without a warrant. They have ruled that what a person does in the open, even behind a backyard fence, can be seen from a passing airplane and is not protected by privacy laws.
But, had anyone imagined the use of predator drones against U.S.citizens when these previous rulings were made?
"We don't have to go in guns blazing," the sheriff said in a telephone interview. "We can take our time and methodically plan out what our approach should be."
"We don't have to go in guns blazing," as I read that, I can imagine future press releases that say, "We don't have to go in guns blazing, but in this case we felt it was warranted."
The glowing green images showed people carrying what appeared to be long rifles moving behind farm equipment and other barriers. The sheriff feared they were preparing an ambush, and he decided to withdraw until daybreak. The Predator flew back to its hangar.
At 7 a.m. the next day, the Predator launched again and flew back to the farm. The drone crew was determined to help avoid a bloody confrontation. No one wanted another Ruby Ridge, the 1992 shootout between the FBI and a family in rural Idaho that killed a 14-year-old boy, a woman and a deputy U.S. marshal.
This time, Janke watched the live Predator feed from his office computer, using a password-protected government website called Big Pipe.
Around 10 a.m., the video showed the three Brossart brothers riding all-terrain vehicles toward a decommissioned Minuteman ballistic missile site at the edge of their property. The sensor operator in Grand Forks switched to thermal mode, and the image indicated the three men were unarmed.
Janke signaled the SWAT team to move in and make the arrests. No shots were fired.
At least no one was killed, at least in the example provided. While I can't imagine what sort of use this would be to law enforcement in their attacks on the Occupy movement, it's disturbing to hear of something that was developed for war being used on U.S. soil, and without warrants. Just a short while ago, I also couldn't imagine pepper spray or rubber bullets being used on peaceful protesters, either.