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February 13, 2019

BATON ROUGE POLICE - BLACKFACE

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A photo of two white Baton Rouge police officers wearing dark makeup has prompted an apology by the city’s police chief.

The Advocate reports the photo was taken before a 1993 undercover drug sting in a predominantly black community that the police chief at the time recalled as “very successful.” Still, current Chief Murphy Paul issued an apology Monday after the photo surfaced.

The photo was posted online over the weekend by The Rouge Collection. It shows two officers, Crimestoppers coordinator Lt. Don Stone and now-retired police Capt. Frankie Caruso, posing above a caption reading “Soul Brothers.”

In a statement, Paul says blackface photographs are inappropriate then and now. He apologized on the department’s behalf to city residents and to anyone who may have been offended by the picture.

WOMAN FOUND IN SUITCASE

GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) — The ex-boyfriend of the New York woman whose body was found inside a suitcase in Connecticut is held without bail on a charge carrying a potential death penalty.

Javier Enrique Da Silva Rojas was detained yesterday in the death of Valerie Reyes after a federal court appearance in White Plains, New York.

The woman’s body was found inside a suitcase discarded on the side of a Connecticut road. Da Silva Rojas was arrested Monday in Queens, New York. A defense lawyer did not immediately comment.

Federal authorities say Da Silva Rojas told authorities that Reyes fell to the floor and hit her head after they had sex on Jan. 29 at her residence. They say he said he then tied her and put her in a suitcase.

SAN DIEGO - ASYLUM

SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego County supervisors say they plan to sue the Trump administration over the widespread releases of asylum-seeking families.

Two supervisors said the board voted in closed session yesterday to challenge the administration’s handling of the families. They didn’t elaborate on grounds for the lawsuit or when it would be filed.

Since late October, the U.S. has been releasing asylum-seeking families so quickly that they don’t even have time to make travel arrangements, merely giving them notices to appear in immigration court.

The families often end up in shelters run by charities, straining the resources of border towns.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lauren Mack says the agency doesn’t comment on pending litigation. Previously, the agency has said it has limited authority to detain families, referring to a 20-day cap on holding children.

BEACON FROM MISSING AIR AMBULANCE FOUND

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The owners of an air ambulance that disappeared in Alaska with three people on board say searchers have detected the beacon signal from the missing plane’s cockpit voice recorder.

Guardian Flight spokesman Jim Gregory says the signal was detected yesterday.

The company says in a statement that searchers will work on pinpointing the location of the device from the King Air 200 that disappeared Jan. 29 en route to pick up a patient in the southeast community of Kake.

The pilot, flight nurse and flight paramedic on board the plane were Guardian Flight employees.

The Coast Guard searched hundreds of square miles before suspending the search Jan. 31.

An aircraft wing and other debris were found at the search site. Guardian Flight officials say they believe it was the missing plane.

PROBE ENDS IN INVESTIGATION OF FIGURE SKATER

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The organization that investigates accusations of sexual misconduct and abuse in sports in the U.S. has halted its probe into figure skater John Coughlin, the two-time national pairs champion who died by suicide last month.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport says there was no reason to continue its probe into allegations sexual misconduct against Coughlin because its purpose is to “protect the sport community and other covered persons from the risks associated with sexual misconduct and abuse.”

Coughlin had received an interim suspension from SafeSport and U.S. Figure Skating for unspecified conduct last month — and was barred from any activities sanctioned by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Coughlin died at his father’s home in Kansas City, Missouri.