It’s Tuesday, October 19th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - A police officer was shot and killed during an altercation with an 18-year-old suspect in a Hollywood neighborhood late Sunday night, in what the city's police chief called "one of the darkest moments in our department's history."
Officers had responded to calls of a suspicious incident around 10:30 p.m. near the 4100 block of N. Hills Drive when there was some sort of altercation with the suspect, Hollywood Police spokesperson Deanna Bettineschi said. The officer was shot and rushed to Memorial Regional Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. He was later identified as 28-year-old Yandy Chirino, a member of the department since 2017. The suspect, 18-year-old Jason Banegas, has an extensive arrest history and is expected to face first-degree murder, armed burglary, grand theft of a firearm, battery on a law enforcement officer and other charges, Chief Chris O'Brien said.
No. 2 - Former Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo spoke out shortly after his firing from the force, telling NBC News in an exclusive interview that his short tenure was a "pretty embarrassing episode in a 35-year career" but he also doesn't "plan on quitting."
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City commissioners unanimously voted Thursday to fire Acevedo after about six months into the job. The decision came following a trial-like hearing in which commissioners criticized Acevedo's job performance and public persona, especially related to the comments he reportedly made about Miami being run by the "Cuban mafia." Acevedo, who is Cuban himself, said he regrets saying it. Acevedo began clashing with the police union almost immediately after his April swearing-in, by taking over internal affairs and making significant changes to his command staff. He demoted four majors and fired two high-level police officers — a married couple — because they weren’t truthful about a crash involving a city-issued SUV.
No. 3 - The families of the 17 people killed in the 2018 Florida high school massacre, most of the wounded and others traumatized have reached a $25 million settlement with the Broward County school district in a lawsuit that had accused it of negligence.
David Brill, the families' attorney, confirmed Monday that 52 families from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland will be part of the settlement. He would not say how much each family will receive, but the families of the 14 students and three staff members killed will get the largest shares. Those will be equal. The settlement comes after the school district had won a state Supreme Court ruling that could have capped total damages at $300,000 without approval from the Legislature. The school district declined comment.
No. 4 - Colin Powell, who served Democratic and Republican presidents in war and peace but whose sterling reputation was forever stained when he went before the U.N. and made faulty claims to justify the U.S. war in Iraq, has died of COVID-19 complications. He was 84.
A veteran of the Vietnam War, Powell rose to the rank of four-star general and in 1989 became the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In that role he oversaw the U.S. invasion of Panama and later the U.S. invasion of Kuwait to oust the Iraqi army in 1991. While Powell had been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, he was also immunocompromised. Powell underwent prostate cancer treatment in 2003 and his longtime aide Peggy Cifrino said he had been treated over the past few years for multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. In announcing his death on social media, Powell's family did not address whether he had any underlying illnesses.
No. 5 - While more than 6 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to people across the globe, social media users continue to cite the number of reported adverse reactions to the vaccines to cast doubt on their safety.
A video shared on Instagram claims millions of injuries connected to the COVID-19 vaccines have been reported to the World Health Organization. The video is a screen recording from someone’s phone as they visit the WHO’s VigiAccess website, and search for information on the COVID-19 vaccine. The video highlights the 1.9 million records received by the health organization, and lists heart failure, hypertension and death as among the reactions people have reportedly suffered. The video implies that vaccines are harmful to people and could cause serious injury or death. However, the numbers highlighted in the video are taken out of context. Click here for the story from NBC 6 investigator Phil Prazan.
No. 6 - From annoying phone calls to fake texts that look legit to every mouse click you make -- the rise of online scams targeting your personal information has become big business for cybercriminals.
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, highlighting threats you should be aware of and actions you can take to protect yourself from becoming a target online. The Identity Theft Resource Center shows the spike in data breaches could reach a record high by the end of 2021 if the pace continues. Their Internet Crime Complaint Center, better known as IC3, is seeing a startling increase in cases. Click here to know how you can avoid your information falling into the wrong hands in a report from NBC 6 consumer investigator Sasha Jones.