In brief: Memorial honors N.J. cop killer
JERSEY CITY, N.J. – A day after a rookie police officer was gunned down in an ambush, mourners came to pay their respects at a makeshift memorial with candles, balloons, empty liquor bottles and messages of love from friends scrawled on T-shirts taped to a brick wall – to his killer.
“Rest easy,” “Thug in peace” and “See u on the other side” were among the things friends wrote to Lawrence Campbell, who police say ambushed Officer Melvin Santiago early Sunday as he responded to an armed robbery call at a 24/7 pharmacy. Other officers returned fire, killing Campbell.
Visitors to the memorial would not give their names. But Barbara Jones, Campbell’s neighbor, told the Jersey Journey that the Campbell she knew was nothing like the man city officials say was lying in wait for officers to arrive before opening fire.
“He was a good man. He looked out for everybody on the block,” Jones told the newspaper.
Angelique Campbell, Campbell’s widow, told News 12 New Jersey on Sunday that she was sorry for Santiago’s family but that her husband should have killed more officers if they were planning to kill him. She later apologized for the comments.
City officials lashed out that some residents were grieving for the suspect instead of the rookie officer.
Mayor Steven Fulop called Angelique Campbell’s comments “ignorant” and “disgusting.” Police Director James Shea said they weren’t representative of the city or even of Campbell’s neighborhood in southwest Jersey City.
KKK allegations shake Florida police
ORLANDO, Fla. – Fruitland Park police Chief Terry Isaacs said his department has been shaken by troubling but unproven allegations that a deputy chief and a former police corporal were associated with the Ku Klux Klan.
The allegations, contained in a confidential FBI report provided to Isaacs by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, led to the sudden resignation of Deputy Chief David Borst and Isaacs’ decision Friday to dismiss Officer George Hunnewell.
Isaacs would not confirm that the report linked the two officers to the KKK, instead describing the group as a “subversive organization.”
Bin Laden aide’s convictions vacated
WASHINGTON – A civilian appeals court on Monday vacated two convictions of a former aide to terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.
In a split decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concluded a military commission lacked authority to convict Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al-Bahlul of two out of three charges.
Military prosecutors charged al-Bahlul with conspiracy to commit war crimes, providing material support for terrorism and solicitation of others to commit war crimes. A military commission convicted him of all three crimes and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
In the decision Monday, the appellate court rejected al-Bahlul’s challenge to the conspiracy charge but vacated the other two convictions.
Court clears way for ocean blasting
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – A federal appeals court has cleared the path for seismic testing off the coast of New Jersey that will blast the floor of the Atlantic Ocean with loud noises as part of a climate change research project.
The 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected New Jersey’s request to block the testing off Long Beach Island, which aims to use acoustic research to examine sediment dating back tens of millions of years. The barrier island stretches along the coast for about 18 miles.
Environmentalists, fishing groups and some elected officials oppose the work, saying it could harm or kill marine life including dolphins, turtles and whales. But the groups planning the research say they will do everything possible to minimize disruptions.
With the ruling, testing could begin any day.
White House opposes subpoena
WASHINGTON – The White House is opposing congressional Republicans’ subpoena of President Barack Obama’s political director to testify on Capitol Hill this week.
White House counsel Neil Eggleston said in a letter Monday that the House Oversight Committee’s demand that political director David Simas testify threatens the president’s independence and ability to get candid advice to carry out his constitutional duties.
Eggleston asked Chairman Darrell Issa to lift the subpoena. But Issa’s spokeswoman said Simas currently still is expected to appear at Wednesday’s hearing, which will examine whether the White House political office is an abuse of taxpayer funds.
White House staff is planning to brief Issa today on the political office’s compliance with the law.
Obama closed the White House political operation in 2011 but reopened the office earlier this year.