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Miami residents protest shooting of motorist



Published: Wed, January 23, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Miami residents protestshooting of motorist

MIAMI -- About 150 people marched through Miami's streets to protest the fatal police shooting of an unarmed man sitting behind the wheel of a stolen car.

The protesters chanted "no justice, no peace" as they marched Tuesday, one day after the shooting. Some said the white officer who pulled the trigger should be charged with murdering the black suspect.

Eddie Lee Macklin, 20, was killed as hundreds of people headed home after a celebration honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

Miami-Dade Police Department Director Carlos Alvarez said it was too early in the investigation to assign blame in the shooting. But he added, "If the police officer thought that his life was in danger, then his actions are consistent" with the law.

Witnesses said Macklin was shot after plainclothes officers swarmed the stolen 1999 Lincoln Continental he was driving. They said an officer jumped onto the hood of the vehicle and fired through the windshield, killing Macklin.

Police officials disputed those accounts, saying Detective James Johns, 30, was "struck by the vehicle" and injured before he opened fire. Spokesman Juan DelCastillo said Johns did not purposely jump onto the car.

Elderly fugitive wantedin Calif. dies at home

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- Robert Lee Burns, who fought for more than a year to avoid serving out a life sentence in California in the murder of a highway patrolman, died at his home Tuesday.

Burns, 71, who had suffered from prostate cancer and heart disease, left a Eugene hospital and returned Saturday to his home in nearby Springfield after doctors decided they could not prolong his life, said Tami Ferguson, Burns' former sister-in-law.

Burns had been under house arrest while an Oregon court considered California's motions to return him to prison. But family members arranged for the security bracelet from his house arrest to be cut off, and falsely told him California had dropped the case.

Burns and two partners in 1963 robbed a bank in Sacramento, Calif., and while driving over the Sierras for Nevada, were pulled over for speeding by California Highway Patrolman Glenn Carlson. One of Burns' partners shot and killed Carlson. All three were arrested the next day.

Burns pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life. The other two men have since been paroled, and one of them died.

Burns served 41/2 years of his California sentence before being sent back to Oregon to finish an unrelated term for robbery. Oregon authorities deemed him completely rehabilitated, and then-Gov. Robert Straub refused to send him back to California to prison.

Trial begins in caseof girl locked in closet

DALLAS -- An 8-year-old girl was locked in a dark, filthy closet and weighed just 25 pounds when she was rescued last summer, a prosecutor said Tuesday as the trial of the girl's mother got under way.

"Without medical attention, she would have died," prosecutor Patricia Hogue said during opening statements in the trial of Barbara Atkinson, who is charged with serious bodily injury to a child.

Atkinson, 30, has pleaded innocent to the first-degree felony. She faces life in prison if convicted of depriving her daughter of food and locking her in a closet for months at a time.

Defense attorney Brad Lollar withheld his opening statement until after the state presents its case.

Prosecutors say the girl was kept in a lice-infested mobile home closet littered with human waste for months at a time. They showed the jury photos of the girl with distended stomach, bony limbs and sunken eyes. She weighed 25 pounds -- the size of a 2-year-old -- when she was found.

Eliminating rubella

CHICAGO -- Rubella, or German measles, a disease that once infected tens of thousands of people a year and was responsible for numerous birth defects, is on the verge of being eliminated in the United States, researchers say.

Cases of rubella have fallen from almost 58,000 in 1969, the year the vaccine was introduced, to 272 in 1999, according to a CDC study in today's Journal of the American Medical Association.

Almost all cases of the disease in the United States now are among Hispanic adults born in other countries, primarily Mexico -- meaning the virus may no longer be circulating in the general U.S. population, said Dr. Susan E. Reef of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Immunization Program.

"What we're seeing now shows the success of the U.S. program," she said. "The most important thing is that we can eliminate this. It's preventable. To me, that's exciting."

Associated Press




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