Happy Independence Weekend to EVERYONE.  Independence/Freedom such a wonderful thing to celebrate.  I thank God that I was born in America during its prime years.  It was wonderful growing up in the land of the free, where everyone wanted to be.

And the world keeps getting CRAZIER!!

Updates 7/5/20

I am concerned that all the hype that was put forth about Antifa terrorism on the 4th of July, was likely a muse to rouse those who are willing to stand for America.  The fact that NO ONE from Antifa showed up tells me there was no such plan.  The militia and the armed citizens who showed up have now been recorded and marked.  This was a test.  Just like the shooting off of fireworks all month long has been a test of our police and fire response when overwhelmed with calls.  They are preparing for the purge.  Collecting data to feed to AI so AI can formulate the plan for CHAOS.   NO JOKE.  That is what they do.  They feed AI data and AI gives the marching orders.  We have all been used to provide data to the machine.  

Don’t be fooled.  There are terrorist training camps ALL across America where they have been preparing for the PURGE.  Even in the prisons, they have been training and forming organizations.  Do you know that they released prisoners just lately to avoid exposing them to CORONA?  The government has commissioned the gangs for this coming event.  It is COMING.  And it is COMING SOON.  Everything is in place.  


Armed militia members, bikers and white nationalists turned up at the grounds of the Gettysburg National Military Park on July 4 to defend against a supposed burning of the U.S. flag by leftists.
Armed militia members, bikers and white nationalists turned up at the grounds of the Gettysburg National Military Park on July 4 to defend against a supposed burning of the U.S. flag by leftists. (Andrew Mangum for The Washington Post)
You have to visit the webpage to view the video: 
Man wearing Black Lives Matter shirt surrounded by crowd in Gettysburg /1:16 / 2:41
Trent Somes said he was visiting his ancestors’ graves in Gettysburg, Pa., on July 4 when a crowd surrounded him, asking about his Black Lives Matter shirt. (Trent Somes/Youtube)

For weeks, a mysterious figure on social media talked up plans for antifa protesters to converge on this historical site on Independence Day to burn American flags, an event that seemed at times to border on the farcical.

“Let’s get together and burn flags in protest of thugs and animals in blue,” the anonymous person behind a Facebook page called Left Behind USA wrote in mid-June. There would be antifa face paint, the person wrote, and organizers would “be giving away free small flags to children to safely throw into the fire.”

As word spread, self-proclaimed militias, bikers, skinheads and far-right groups from outside the state issued a call to action, pledging in online videos and posts to come to Gettysburg to protect the Civil War monuments and the nation’s flag from desecration. Some said they would bring firearms and use force if necessary.

On Saturday afternoon, in the hours before the flag burning was to start, they flooded in by the hundreds — heavily armed and unaware, it seemed, that the mysterious Internet poster was not who the person claimed to be.

Biographical details — some from the person’s Facebook page and others provided to The Washington Post in a series of messages — did not match official records. An image the person once posted on a profile page was a picture of a man taken by a German photographer for a stock photo service.

Part of the right-wing response in Gettysburg to a rumored flag burning to be carried out there by antifa on July 4.
Part of the right-wing response in Gettysburg to a rumored flag burning to be carried out there by antifa on July 4. (Andrew Mangum for The Washington Post)
Hundreds turned out to prevent any burning of U.S. flags, but no one turned up to burn flags.
Hundreds turned out to prevent any burning of U.S. flags, but no one turned up to burn flags. (Andrew Mangum for The Washington Post)

The episode at Gettysburg is a stark illustration of how shadowy figures on social media have stoked fears about the protests against racial injustice and excessive police force that have swept across the nation since the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25.

Armed vigilantes lined the streets of small Idaho towns last month after false claims circulated online about antifa, a loose collection of activists who oppose fascism and have sometimes embraced property damage and violent protest in recent years. Similar hoaxes have befallen towns in New Jersey, South Dakota and Michigan in recent weeks.

It is not always clear who has made these false claims and why, whether they seek to advance a political agenda, antagonize people with whom they disagree or achieve some other goal.

Social media companies have in recent weeks shut down a handful of fake accounts created by white supremacist groups posing as antifa operatives in a bid to undermine peaceful protests.

In response to messages from The Post, the person managing the Left Behind USA account identified himself as 39-year-old Alan Jeffs, a lifelong Democrat-turned-anarchist from Pittsburgh who now lives in Des Moines.

The Post examined real estate, court and voter records, as well as other public documents, but could find no such person.

Once again, you have to visit the site to watch the video:

Who caused violence at the George Floyd protests? It wasn’t antifa. | The Fact Checker
Trump has consistently, misleadingly blamed antifa as perpetrators of violence at the George Floyd protests. (Elyse Samuels, Meg Kelly/The Washington Post)

Officials at Facebook and Twitter shut down the Left Behind USA pages last week after The Post inquired about the accounts, saying the person behind them had manipulated the platform by creating multiple accounts with overlapping content in an effort to amplify their messaging. The officials declined to identify the other accounts.

But fears of the antifa-sponsored protest had already taken root.

Macky Marker, a member of a Delaware militia called First State Pathfinders, posted a YouTube video calling on militiamen to go to Gettysburg. “If you plan on coming, I would plan on coming full battle-rattle … to be fully, 100 percent prepared to defend yourself and whoever you come with,” Marker said in the video.

Left Behind USA popped up on Twitter in February, advancing far-left ideas in a torrent of crude memes and graphics that decried capitalism, called for an end to police and advocated a moratorium on rent. The account attacked Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as a “rapist” and accused him of supporting racist criminal justice laws.

In May, the person sent out an urgent request for gas money on Left Behind USA’s Twitter account. He was stranded, the person wrote, with his roommate’s car while returning from a trip to Ohio to attend his grandfather’s funeral. He said his grandfather, a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers who had worked in Youngstown, died on May 28 at age 96.

Jim Burgham, the business manager of the IBEW Local 64 of Youngstown, told The Post that the union, which tracks deaths of current and former members, knew of no such person.

“That member you described doesn’t exist,” Burgham said.

It included a photo of a smiling, bearded man, purportedly Jeffs, and said he was in Beaver Falls, Pa. Using a reverse image search, The Post found that the photo came from the stock photo website

This image was used in identifying the organizer of a supposed flag burning set for Gettysburg National Military Park on July 4, but the picture is a stock photo.
This image was used in identifying the organizer of a supposed flag burning set for Gettysburg National Military Park on July 4, but the picture is a stock photo. (Deposit photos)

The Left Behind USA Facebook page was created June 2. When The Post initially sought an interview in mid-June, the person controlling the Facebook page responded in a message: “I don’t prefer to talk to conservative media sources.”

The person later identified himself as 39-year-old Jeffs and provided several details about his background. “I have been politically active since I was old enough to vote and have voted Democratic in every presidential and midterm election that I’ve been able to,” the person wrote in a private Facebook message to The Post.

Two media publications quoted Alan Jeffs this spring, citing another of his Twitter accounts that supported former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. The Christian Science Monitor found in an analysis of social media data that Jeffs’s Twitter account, @Bernieorelse, stood out for its frequent and aggressive posts against former Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg.

“Twitter is the real world now, even more than it was four years ago,” the Christian Science Monitor quoted Jeffs as saying in March.

The twitter account @LeftBehindUSA, run by a self-proclaimed antifa member who promoted a supposed flag burning in Gettysburg, Pa., on July 4.
The twitter account @LeftBehindUSA, run by a self-proclaimed antifa member who promoted a supposed flag burning in Gettysburg, Pa., on July 4. (Obtained by The Washington Post)

In April, a student-run news website at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism quoted Jeffs in a story about the Democratic presidential nomination. Jeffs said he lived just outside Pittsburgh.

That same month, his social media account @Bernieorelse was suspended by Twitter. A spokesman told The Post the account violated the platform’s rules but declined to elaborate.

On June 11, Left Behind USA posted an image on its Facebook page that seemed designed to agitate.

Around an illustration of a U.S. flag aflame, it announced: “Antifa presents: 4th of July Flag Burning To Peacefully Protest For Abolishing Police Nationwide.”

“No Bikers, Militias Or Other So-Called Patriots,” it said. “Children Welcome – Antifa Face-Painting”

A Facebook page called Central PA Antifa quickly denounced the event as fake, likening it to a hoax in Gettysburg three years ago.

In 2017, rumors of an antifa event at the national park prompted a large group of armed militia members to show up. They encountered no one from antifa, but one of the armed militia members accidentally shot himself in the leg with a revolver.

Local newspapers also picked up the story.

This town of fewer than 8,000 people grew alarmed. Residents flooded authorities with calls. Local officials pledged to mobilize the town’s entire 20-person police department and bring in others from bordering towns to protect homes, businesses and statues.

Soon, militia groups were vowing to protect the town as well.

“Multiple local residents in Gettysburg PA have contacted us with HEAVY concerns about the terrorist organization ANTIFA holding a flag burning event in their town,” a group that calls itself the Pennsylvania State Militia posted on its Facebook page June 23. The group said it would mobilize its “county response team” as “a deterrent against the enemy forces.”

Other Facebook groups called Patriots Against Treason, Defend Our Flag and Nation, Protect Our Flag and Battlefield from Being Destroyed quickly formed and announced they also would send people to Gettysburg.

Bill Wolfe, a Gettysburg resident and member of a private Facebook group called III% United Patriots of Pennsylvania, said in an interview that the flag-burning event represented an “ongoing attack on American heritage and culture.”

Antifa’s activities, he said, were part of a decades-long campaign by the Communist Party to take over the country.

Last week, the person who identified himself as Jeffs told The Post in a private message sent through Twitter that he expected “500 to 600” people to attend the flag-burning event. “We have mobilized groups from all over the area,” he wrote.

“We believe in open carry and plan to do so at this event,” he added, a reference to the practice of openly carrying firearms in public.

Twitter suspended the account two days later.

But even more outlandish rumors about the protest were circulating.

A separate Facebook post that circulated widely warned that antifa protesters were planning on “MURDERING White people and BURNING DOWN Suburbs” after the Gettysburg flag burning event. It cited a “controlled unclassified law enforcement bulletin.”

In the final days of June, local police publicly said that the post was false.

Militia members at Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania on July 4.
Militia members at Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania on July 4. (Andrew Mangum for The Washington Post)
One of the hundreds who turned up to thwart a supposed flag-burning event at Gettysburg.
One of the hundreds who turned up to thwart a supposed flag-burning event at Gettysburg. (Andrew Mangum for The Washington Post)

On Saturday, hours before the planned flag-burning protest, hundreds of bikers, militia members and self-described patriots began gathering outside the Gettysburg Cemetery and at nearby sites with Confederate memorials. Some waved Confederate flags. Many gripped assault rifles slung from their shoulders. One carried a baseball bat.

Steve Eicholtz, a 59-year-old from Biglerville, Pa., said he had seen enough of images of looting and rioting. It wasn’t going to happen here, he said.

“These people are acting like savages,” he told his fellow patriots, while holding an AR-15 rifle.

“We’ve been letting them get by with it for too long, but that changes now,” said Don Kretzer, 52, of Chambersburg, Pa.

Less than a mile away, at the Virginia Monument, hundreds of bikers and armed men gathered around a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Christopher Blakeman, 45, of Falling Waters, W.Va., said he felt compelled to join a group of about 50 bikers, mostly from Maryland, to protect the monument from rumored antifa protesters.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a hoax or not,” he said. “They made a threat, and if we don’t make our voices heard, it’ll make it seem like it’s okay.”

As the 3 p.m. start time for the planned flag burning approached, there was no sign of Alan Jeffs or of busloads of antifa members.

Suddenly, by the statue of Lee, a biker shouted that he had gotten an alarming call. Someone was preparing to burn a flag, after all, he said. Scores of people jumped on their bikes and roared toward the cemetery.

There, they learned it was not the threat they imagined.

A man had entered the cemetery wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt. The man, Trent Somes, later told The Post he was visiting the grave of an ancestor, not protesting. A seminarian and associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Hanover, Pa., Somes said a crowd of about 50 people surrounded him and aggressively questioned him about his shirt.

“I didn’t do anything to them,” he said.

Police arrived and encouraged Somes to leave.

“For his own safety, federal law enforcement made the decision to remove him, and he was escorted out of the cemetery,” Jason Martz, acting public affairs officer for Gettysburg National


Protesters clash over American flag burning at Black Lives Matter Plaza

Jul 4, 2020

US news
2 hours ago
Kanye West announces he is running for president in the 2020 US election
The rapper announced his presidential campaign on Saturday as July 4 celebrations continued across the US. “I am running for president of the United States,” he said, alongside the hashtag “#2020VISION.” Although there are some states in which it is too late for West to add his name to the ballot, he is still able to join the race as an independent in others.

Photo via @News4SA

Native Americans to protest Trump's Mount Rushmore visit

What a way to celebrate the 4th of July.

Three vans just pulled up and unloaded protesters, then they slashed the tires on the van to block President Trumps arrival.

Police scanner reports other roads are also being blocked as well.

Total Chaos is breaking out in South Dakota!

Agenda TV is a live news stream, they will be covering the whole event, complete with police scanner coverage…

The next two video are live streams in specifc locations, on the street, this is sure to be another barn burner.

Stay tuned for new updates as the evening progresses.

Agenda-Free TV ~ Trump Holds Event at Mount Rushmore – LIVE NEWS COVERAGE

Tear gas is being fired. 

Friday, July 3, 2020: Join the RSBN crew for all day LIVE coverage from Keystone, SD at Mount Rushmore for President Donald J. Trump remarks at South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration!

Right Side Broadcasting Network ~ LIVE: President Trump Speaks at Mount Rushmore; ALL DAY Coverage and Fireworks! 7/3/20

In the 1920s, South Dakota historian Doane Robinson hired sculptor Gutzon Borglum to construct a national monument to promote tourism in the state. Gutzon was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and had recently helped construct a memorial to Confederate leaders in the state of Georgia. Some of the funding for the Mount Rushmore project came from the KKK.

The mountain that was chosen for the site of the monument is known as “The Six Grandfathers” (Thuŋkášila Šákpe) by Lakota peoples, named after the Earth, the Sky, and the four directions.

The nine tribes of the Great Sioux Nation never agreed to or signed away their rights to this land; the Fort Laramie treaty in 1868, which the tribes did sign, guaranteed them “undisturbed use and occupation” of the land on which the Six Grandfathers, or Mount Rushmore, is on.

Today, coinciding with a Trump/Pence rally in Keystone, SD, Indigenous activists plan to assert their right to unceded treaty lands.

Unicorn Riot [LIVE] Indigenous Activists Assert Right to Unceded Land At Anti-Trump Protest

President Trump just left for South Dakota, where tonight he will become the first president since George H. W. Bush in 1991 to attend Mount Rushmore’s Independence Day celebration! The stunning fireworks show is returning after a decade-long hiatus.

Golden State Times 🔴LIVE: President Trump hosts America’s birthday 4th of July Celebration Speech at Mount Rushmore

PBS NewsHour WATCH LIVE: Trump holds July 4 celebration at Mt. Rushmore


l E T 17
@Inevitable_ET Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump’s July Fourth address These people can gladly move to any other country since they hate America so much! If America’s so “racist” then why do immigrants try to enter illegally at all costs?

Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump’s July
Far-left protesters burned an American flag near the White House on Saturday, chanting “America was never great,” just moments after President Trump finished delivering a speech at the “Salute to
11:24 PM · Jul 4, 2020Twitter for iPhone


Vincent Kennedy

Illegal you say? They will lose all control. “We the People” #WWG1WGA

Gizmo Smurfer

We need reparations for the young black males attacking white people? NOT HAPPENING! Now Black Panthers is threatening to GENOCIDE whites? Black NAZI’S! I foresee a loss so devastating that America will never recover. Here’s what


The following media includes potentially sensitive content. Change settings


In addition to the threats from Antifa, I found the following threat from ISIS.  They seem to be primarily focused on New York and Washington, DC. 

ISIS Threats Leading Up to July 4 Depict Attacks on New York, White House


ISIS supporters have featured New York and Washington in threat propaganda leading up to the Fourth of Julywhich is not just our Independence Day, but a key caliphate anniversary— that has also included aviation threats.

One threat image spread onlinein recent days depicts jihadists watching a fiery plane crash and another from non-official ISIS media channel Maqdisi included the image of a plane in a vow to “soon” attack “the doors of Europe.”

Another image from al-Irbaad Media Foundationshows a U.S. soldier fleeing down a New York street away from the Manhattan Bridge. Al-Irbaad was founded in December, calling on the “knights of media and the lions of information, graphic designers, producers, and writer alike” to join and “intensify their efforts” to wage war from “both a military and a media point of view.”


Know O Crusader infidel that you — Allah willing — will soon be pursued in your own homeland,” said the New York image. “You will be pursued in the streets and in the alleyways and you will burn by the flames of the IEDs; only this time you will be feeling the pain of what you have inflicted for decades upon the Muslims, of killing, burning, destruction, and displacement in refugee camps.What is coming will — Allah willing — be directed at you, and in your own homeland. So be on the lookout until then.

An earlier image distributed in mid-June depicted a jihadist with a bag in his hand and RPG perched on his shoulder standing in front of a burning White House. Maqdisi also disseminated an image depicting President Trump kneeling in an orange jumpsuit in front of a masked jihadist, vowing “we will spare no effort in terrorizing your masses.”

Today a document circulated among ISIS supporters stressing that their “war” is three-pronged: physical, ideological and psychological.Another poster distributed online wordlessly depicted a jihadist driving a car rigged with explosives down a nondescript tree-lined road.

And while it’s far from extraordinary for law enforcement to receive federal cautions about keeping an eye on large public gatherings on national holidays, police departments have been alerted to potential — not specific — threats posed by domestic extremists as well as adherents of ISIS or al-Qaeda.

The bulletin issued last week by the FBI, DHS and National Counterterrorism Center,“Large Crowds at Independence Day Celebrations and Parades Present Attractive Targets for Violent Extremists,”notes that domestic extremists “have attacked perceived oppressors, opponents, or enemies engaged in outdoor First Amendment-protected rallies or protests during past summers.”

Regardless of the ideology of the terrorist, they “likely would use simplistic tactics and relatively easily obtainable weapons such as firearms, knives, and vehicles although some violent extremists have historically sought to use explosive devices.”

“The FBI, DHS, and NCTC remain concerned that [they] could target upcoming Independence Day celebrations, gatherings, or parades, though we are unaware of any current plots specifically targeting such events,” stated the bulletin, obtained by ABC News. “We note that attacks can occur with little to no warning because of the frequently lower levels of security around civilian targets, challenges in securing large crowds, and calls for attacks against soft targets.”

The Fourth does have significance to ISIS: July 4, 2014, was the day when leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi climbed the pulpit at the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul for his first video, declaring himself caliph and rallying support for the new Islamic State.

And July 4 plots have been thwarted before: Last year, Demetrius Pitts was arrested and charged with planning to attack Independence Day festivities in Cleveland on behalf of al-Qaeda. “I’m trying to figure out something that would shake them up on the 4th of July,” he allegedly told an undercover FBI employee, according to the Justice Department. “What would hit them at their core? Blow up in the, have a bomb blow up in the 4th of July parade.”

The online army of ISIS supporters – from lone keyboard jihadists to unofficial media groups that whip up a steady stream of propaganda for the terror group – traditionally latch onto holidays to encourage attacks in simple PR posters that are distributed online and posted on ISIS Telegram channels alongside standard propaganda fare of videos and nasheeds.

Though these online threats may not reflect active threats, a graphic designer with sympathies for ISIS yet no personal attack plan in the works can easily cook up a threat poster with a randomly chosen picture for the target, and it can be viewed by an impressionable resident of that city who may glean inspiration for an attack. This propaganda has repeatedly highlighted crowded areas such as parades, political gatherings, festivals and concerts as potential attack targets.

This past fall, there was a rash of online threat posters issued by ISIS-supporting media groups threatening non-specific concert venues. The first week of October, with timing possibly meant to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the Las Vegas massacre, a poster from Remah Media Production depicted a man blending into a concert crowd while wielding a large knife, warning, “Wait for our surprises.” This was preceded by a threat from prolific Al-Abd Al-Faqir Media depicting a grenade-wielding jihadist in a concert crowd, and followed by an online poster from Muharir al-Ansar depicting a cleaver-wielding jihadist at a concert and calling on Muslims in “Europe, America, Russia, Australia and elsewhere” to wage attacks.

More recently, ISIS provinces have been renewing their vows of allegiance to self-proclaimed caliph al-Baghdadi in online videos, including jihadists in West Africa, the Sinai peninsula, the Caucasus and the Philippines. ISIS titled the series, intended to underscore their global reach in the days after the fall of their caliphate in Iraq and Syria, “And the Best Outcome is for the Righteous.” The New York threat from Al-Irbaad begins and ends with this phrase.

In a mid-June ISIS West Africa video, a jihadist identified as Abu Salmah al-Mangawi says terrorists are highly motivated after ISIS defeats in Iraq and Syria to spread their objectives “throughout the entire world.” The Russian jihadists in the Caucasus video branded ISIS’ territorial challenges as a test from Allah that would cleanse the jihadist ranks from dead weight and leave them stronger going forward.

In domestic extremist threats, a neo-Nazi group that stepped up its recruitment after the August 2017 “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., resurfaced online in May to show camouflage-clad adherents conducting rifle drills and practicing hand-to-hand combat in scenes reminiscent of stylized ISIS videos.

The Atomwaffen Division recruitment video “Accelerating Vengeance!” showed a member with a torch and a bottle of lighter fluid setting aflame flags that others set in a pile: the flag of Israel, the United Nations flag, the Gadsden flag, a rainbow LGBT pride flag, a Black Lives Matter flag and a Blue Lives Matter flag.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency updated its “Security of Soft Targets and Crowded Places—Resource Guide” in April to reflect recent attacks and help prepare stakeholders for a breadth of threats ranging from bombings or active shooters to drones. Download the guide here.

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I searched the internet to find out what kind of violence we had going on today.  This is what I found


July 4, 2020, Illinois, Chicago, 6400 block of S Hoyne Ave, 1, 0. View Incident · View Source.for the Reports over the last 72 Hours

IF you visit this link you will be able to look at the violence in Chicago broken down by the hour.

Chicago July 4th: At least 23 shot, 4 fatally, in weekend violence so far, police say

1,200 more police officers on Chicago streets from Thursday to Sunday

CHICAGO (WLS) — At least four people are dead and 19 injured in shootings over Chicago’s holiday weekend so far, police said.

On the Fourth of July at around 7 p.m., Chicago police said a 7-year-old girl was fatally shot on a sidewalk in Austin.The shooting occurred in the 100 block of N Latrobe Ave, police said.According to CPD, a vehicle pulled up to the scene, and at least two suspects exited the vehicle, firing shots in the direction of the victim.The girl was shot in the forehead, police said. Over 20 rounds were fired, according to CPD.The girl was visiting her grandmother’s home for a Fourth of July celebration, a CPD spokesperson said.Police said a 32-year-old man was also injured in the shooting. He’s in fair condition at Mount Sinai Hospital with a gunshot wound to the ankle.Area Four Detectives are investigating.As of 5 p.m., police had recovered 17 firearms.

A woman was shot to death and two men were wounded Saturday near 31st Street Beach on the South Side.They were walking about 5:20 a.m. in the 3100 block of South Lake Shore Drive when a group of about six males approached, according to Chicago police.Three or four members of the group distracted the 34-year-old woman while two other suspects pulled out guns and started shooting at her and the two men she was with, police said. The woman was hit in the head and pronounced dead at the scene.A 26-year-old man was shot in the right leg, thigh and torso, police said. He was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, but his condition was not immediately known.The other man, 32, was grazed on his left leg, according to police. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in good condition.No one is in custody as Area One detectives investigate.

“The best way to reduce violence is to prevent it from happening.” City officials are preparing for a historically violent weekend in Chicago.

Later Saturday morning, 31-year-old man was fatally shot Saturday in Englewood on the South Side.About 7:15 a.m. he was sitting in the driver’s seat of a parked vehicle in the 6400 block of South Hoyne Avenue, when someone inside a dark-colored SUV began firing shots in his direction, Chicago police said.He was struck in the chest, neck, right arm and rushed to the University of Chicago Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, police said.The Cook County medical examiner’s office has not released the details of his death.Area One detectives are investigating.A 20-year-old man was also shot and killed near the 6600 block of South Halsted Saturday morning, police say.Earlier in the week, Chicago’s mayor and police superintendent laid out their plans to curb violence in the city this 4th of July holiday weekend, including 1,200 more police officers on the streets.Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a new violence prevention dash board to identify hot spots throughout the city, and coordinate efforts between police and violence prevention groups to try and make the holiday weekend safe.CPD Supt. David Brown expanded on the department’s approach Friday.”The best way to reduce violence is to prevent it from happening,” he said. “We will be targeting criminal networks that are the pipeline to violence in this city over this 4th of July weekend.”

Chicago police will be doing their part this weekend, but the mayor said it must be an all-hands-on-deck effort across Chicago if the city is going to avoid a repeat of the past two deadly weekends.”It’s not just on the police department. Not just on the fire department. Not just on elected officials,” Lightfoot said. “All of us have to embrace our notion of community and think about what we can do, each of us in our own way, to make our communities safe and healthy and vibrant.”With more officers on the streets from Thursday to Sunday, they will be focusing on getting illegal guns off the street.”I will also have officers on foot patrols across our neighborhoods including the walking beat to get to know their neighborhood and residents and protecting them so they can celebrate safely,” Supt. Brown said.Police will be partnering with community groups to help deter violence.WATCH: Chicago officials announce July 4th weekend safety plan

Mayor Lori LIghtfoot discuesses plans to keep Chicagoans safe over the July 4th weekend.

“We’ll be working around the clock,” said Chris Patterson, with the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago. “And in most cases across the city, you’ll see outreach workers, case managers and victim advocates working from a 2pm to 2am shift and even longer than that, because we know that maybe half of the conflicts that are arising are happening after midnight.”Officers will be monitoring social media for large gatherings – and not just to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”We know that in certain areas that are plagued by gun violence, large gatherings are a recipe for disaster,” Lightfoot said.They mayor had this message to those bent on violence: “Before you pick up a firearm and pull the trigger aiming for somebody else, think about the number of children that have been killed just in the last two weeks.”

Supt. Brown said the best way to reduce violence is to prevent it from happening in the first place. He is hoping his officers will be able to make that happen this weekend, but workers at a day care center near the Englewood Police District said they still worry about safety.”They can’t be everywhere, they’re right across the street and things still happen right across the street,” said LaParish Trimuel, director of Learn Together Grow Together. “So it’s like, what can we do?”RELATED: Chicago violence: 15 shot, 3 killed ThursdaySupt. Brown said the department will participate in a series of #HitTheHood events to provide peaceful opportunities to celebrate the holiday weekend. Activists say their message is simple: those who want peace in Chicago far outnumber those who would point a gun.”It is important that we take back our streets,” said Cleopatra Draper, with the #HitTheHood Coalition. “In order to combat violence, we have to get out and be active.””Things ain’t never going to change in Chicago until we change,” community organizer Jahmal Cole said. “Things ain’t never going to get better until we get better.”Mayor Lightfoot said she is standing behind a decision by Brown to sweep young people off drug corners. The ACLU is criticizing the plan to sweep those corners, but the Mayor Lightfoot is not changing her mind. She said gangs are putting kids out on the streets to do their dirty work.”If any civil liberties group has a problem with people who are killing our people over drug spots, let’s have a conversation because you need to have your attitude readjusted,” Lightfoot said.Lightfoot also appeared on CNN Thursday night to discuss the topic. She told Chris Cuomo that crime emerges from neighborhoods where people lose hope, lacking access to jobs, health care and education.As for President Trump’s criticism about crime in Chicago, the mayor said he shows no leadership, and has never called her and asked what he can do to help

Lightfoot told Chris Cuomo that crime emerges from neighborhoods where people lose hope, lacking access to jobs, health care and education.

Area community groups say they will be out in force this holiday weekend in tandem with police to help prevent violence in their neighborhoods.On the eve of the long holiday weekend, hundreds gathered to march for peace at St. Sabina Church, where a street mural now reads “Demand Justice.””Everybody came out when George Floyd was killed, and we should have,” Father Michael Pfleger said. “But we ought to come out when our babies are killed, too.”

Some business owners fed up with the violence created the group “I’m Telling, Don’t Shoot.” This weekend, they’re bringing in several security companies and violence prevention organizations along with clergy to monitor the streets. They will be another set of eyes for police. Kates Security Company on the South Side is pitching in resources and manpower to help.WATCH: South Side security company to help police over 4th of July weekend

Kates Security Company on Chicago’s South Side is pitching in resources and manpower to help police this July 4th weekend.

“With the skill set and training at Kates Security, he has been so gracious to give additional resources and give additional coverage to beats that we consider our most activity beats,” said Ald. Stephanie Coleman, 16th Ward.”We believe in no incidents. I have a very trained team. We come here to help the alderman and help the community,” said Bill Kates, of Kates Security.Kates said his team is not there to make arrests, but to alert police when they see trouble.State Representative LaShawn Ford wants long-term solutions to keep kids out of harm’s way and occupied. He brought together local athletes to demand more investment in young people from education to athletics. Ford said the city needs to do more than beef up patrols this weekend.WATCH: Hundreds march for peace on Chicago’s South Side

Activists say their message is simple: those who want peace in Chicago far outnumber those who would point a gun.

“It is very, very important that the city or Chicago, state of Illinois, not only push cops for the holiday,” Rep. Ford said. “We need to open our parks. We need to open up our parks so the young people can go swimming, so the young people can play basketball.”Like so many mothers primarily on the South and West sides, Quinniya Hearn is worried about the holiday weekend. She has an 8-year-old daughter who is looking forward to the Fourth of July.”I am more fearful now because I can’t even determine what are fireworks versus gunshots now,” Hearn said.She said her heart goes out to the parents who have recently lost children to gun violence. Hearn and her daughter are likely going to spend the weekend at home.”What is the solution? That is my question,” Hearn said. “I think more of us need to continue together and put our brains together to figure it out.”Brown also thanks the 10th District for their hard work over the last few months.A series of anti-violence events began Friday evening in various neighborhoods across the city in an effort to stop crime during Fourth of July weekend.Marches and other community gatherings are scheduled to engaged neighbors.One of the events in a Block Party in Englewood at 59th and Racine called “Increase the Peace.”Organizers gave away face coverings, hand sanitizer, and got ready to cook food for the neighborhood Friday evening.The block party was close to where 20-month-old Sincere Gaston was shot while riding in his family’s car last Saturday.Gaston was one of seven children killed in Chicago over the last two weekends.Community members said it is not enough to simply say “stop the violence,” but outreach to the young people who are doing the shootings need to happen as well.”You have a lot of young people that are out here with hatred in their heart from years of being neglected, from years of being invisible. We have to make sure now that they’re not invisible anymore,” said Pastor Dwayne Grant with “Increase the Peace.”Police have asked the public to help be their eyes and ears.”We think it’s really important for all of our communities in this city to be on board with ensuring if they see something suspicious, report it early. Don’t wait until things get violent to start calling and letting us know as police to be engaged on particular neighborhoods,” said Superintendent David Brown.To increase the number of eyes and ears, members of the Englewood community, including business leaders have hired security guards to patrol the area. Those guards were hired to notify the police if they see any problems.The Sun-Times Media Report contributed to this article.


Independence Day protests sprout up around DC, clash with celebrations

occupy h street
The “Occupy H Street” tent encampment that D.C. police pushed out of their original location around noon on Saturday. (WTOP/Ken Duffy)

During the 244th birthday of America, amid grand displays of patriotism on the National Mall and at the White House, the American flag burned outside Lafayette Square in protest of racial injustice in the country.

Members of the Revolutionist Communist Party, or RevCom, attempted to burn a few small American flags in that area just after 8 p.m., before they were confronted by other protesters, WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez reported.

“This is what they want, don’t give it to them,” a demonstrator who intervened said. But RevCom ignited a larger flag minutes after arguments with other protesters who disagreed with the flag burning. As the flag burned, protesters chanted “slavery, genocide and war” and “America was never great.”

Just ahead of the 9 p.m. fireworks show, protesters marched from Black Lives Matter Plaza to the National Mall and weaved between the hundreds of people sitting on the grass awaiting the show. Those protesting and celebrating came face to face when demonstrators shredded Trump flags on the mall during a confrontation, Alvarez reported.

Riot police occupied the Mall as the fireworks began. Over the booming pyrotechnics, protesters yelled “Black Lives Matter” while they marched on the Mall near the Washington Monument.

Earlier in the day a tent occupation was cleared by police at the epicenter of protests in D.C. near Black Lives Matter Plaza. Alvarez reported that around noon police moved in to try and clear the area at 16th Street and H Street.

The encampment has been dubbed “Occupy H Street” according to Alvarez, who added that no one was arrested or pepper sprayed as they were moved roughly a block away.

Ahead of the ‘Salute to America’ celebration on the National Mall — featuring a speech from the President, fireworks and a flyover — hundreds took to the streets early Saturday afternoon to march. Alvarez followed marchers through the Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan neighborhoods as the group chanted “no justice, no peace” and “fire fire, gentrifier.” Alvarez reported the march traveled through some of the District’s most heavily gentrified neighborhoods and were bringing attention to the issue of gentrification.

“For anybody who has lived in this city, you come down here, and you see a city that we’ve been priced out of. You come out here, and you see a city that has dramatically changed from the city that you grew up in. This is our city. These are our streets. The chocolate city is still chocolate,” said Tylik McMillan, an organizer with Concerned Citizens D.C.

McMillan spoke to the group of protesters through a megaphone in the Columbia heights area, and led protesters continued to march through Adams Morgan. Eventually, Alvarez said the group happened to run into Rahul Dubey, who sheltered protesters in his home during a June 1 clash between protesters and police on Swann Street.

The group gathered around Dubey and chanted “you’re a hero.”

“He is a hero, but he shouldn’t have had to be,” McMillan said. “We shouldn’t need any heroes for us to be able to peacefully exercise our First Amendment rights. We shouldn’t need any heroes to peacefully exist in these streets that we pay taxes to fund. We shouldn’t need heroes to protect us from the ones who that are supposed to protect and serve. That’s why we’re marching.”

Other protests sprouted up throughout the District during the holiday, with some disrupting traffic along major roadways.

WTOP’s Rob Stallworth reported that all traffic on the 14th Street Bridge was jammed due to peaceful protesters on the eastbound and westbound sides of Interstate 395, between the 14th Street and 11th Street bridges, as of 1:45 p.m. Saturday. About two hours later, demonstrators cleared the road and all lanes of traffic were opened.

July 4 at Black Lives Matter Plaza
WTOP 2020
Stallworth also reported that the southbound 3rd Street tunnel from New York Avenue was also closed due to demonstrations, with the westbound ramps to Maine Avenue blocked off as a result.

Earlier Saturday afternoon in the District, a sit in organized by law students from Howard University and University of D.C.

The goal of the demonstration, according to organizers who spoke with WTOP’s Andrea Cambron, was to bring attention to the black women and black transgender women who they said are killed at the same rates as black men.

“There are still people struggling, there are still people dying, there are still people that do not have the equality of rights that our founding document promised,” Renée McDonald Hutchins, dean of UDC Law School, said to those participating in the sit-in.

“And so we need to continue to fight, we need to continue to struggle we need to continue to stay in the streets until real progress is made.”

Hutchins urged those at the demonstration to not feed into a sense of hopelessness about their cause.

She said their work won’t be finished until the color of someone’s skin does not define a person’s outcomes in the criminal justice system, or until black and brown children no longer go to schools that are under resourced and neighborhoods are desegregated.

This is a developing story, stay with WTOP for the latest.

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez, Steve Dresner, Andrea Cambron, Ken Duffy and Rob Stallworth contributed to this report.


 At least 7 reported shootings mark violent Fourth of July in Memphis


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s been a violent Fourth of July weekend, as within the past 24 hours, there has been at least seven reported shootings in Memphis.

The booming sound of fireworks, for many, is a sign of celebration but for some on Saturday, it was a sign of something far more sinister.

“We were over here,” a witness to one of the shootings said. “We were just fixing up our tables, and next thing we know, we see the ambulances come all around, and then the police came. I said, ‘What’s done happened here?’”

On Rocky Knob Road in Whitehaven, a teen was rushed to the hospital in critical condition after being shot.

Neighbors said they heard arguing coming from a home throughout the day.

Unfortunately, what they initially thought were fireworks, turned into gunfire.

“I could just imagine what the other people’s family is doing, what they’re going through,” the witness said.

Only 30 minutes later, police said a woman said a man driving a gold Pontiac Grand Am shot at her vehicle on I-240 near Lamar. Police said she’s OK, but the suspect got away.

In South Memphis, another shooting unraveled on Alcy Road near Silver Street.

“When I backed into the middle of the street, I kind of paused for a little bit because I heard a lot of fireworks, what I thought were fireworks, but they were gunshots,” the man who was shot at said.

The man said he barely escaped with his life after a silver Saturn Vue with three men inside fired at his truck with a rifle.

Sadly, another man was shot, but police said he’s going to be OK.

The man said the attack seemed random.

“They’re just shooting,” the man who was shot said. “The car was in front of them, and they’re just shooting. They don’t know those people. They’re just shooting at those folks because they were in front of them.”

It’s definitely a sad way to end Fourth of July.

There have been no arrests yet in any of the reported shootings.

If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.


Violent July 4th in Baton Rouge: 2 dead, 6 injured in three separate shootings across city


sirens stock police lights
File photo

Two people were killed and another six wounded Saturday in three different shootings Baton Rouge on the Fourth of July. 

A triple shooting in the 700 block of East Buchanan Street near Highland Road left one dead and two injured just after 2 p.m., according to Baton Rouge Police Department spokesman Sgt. L’Jean McKneely.

Both injured victims were taken to a nearby hospital.

Just over an hour later, four people, including two children, were injured in a drive-by shooting in the 11300 block of Greenwell Springs Road.

An East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office release said the injuries of all four victims are not considered life-threatening.

The victims were in a vehicle when a passing vehicle’s occupants shot at them, deputies said.

East Baton Rouge Parish Emergency Medical Services confirmed it responded and one victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities have not identified any of the victims, suspects or motives in the three shootings as of Saturday night.

The parish has seen more homicides during the first half of 2020 than over the same period for each year in the past decade.

Summer is often a peak time for gun violence when people are spending more time outside, children are out of school and temperatures are rising.

Add to that the coronavirus pandemic that has forced children home from school earlier in the year, closed businesses and left many people unemployed, and East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III likened it to having two summers as far as the gun violence rate goes.


LATEST 2 hours ago

8:35 PM – July 4, 2020

A military flyover of Philadelphia, as well as Boston, New York City, and Baltimore, marked the Fourth of July after the usual festivities were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

— Tyger Williams and Tim Tai

2 hours ago
8:25 PM – July 4, 2020

The Fourth of July holiday was marked by peaceful protests across Philadelphia and Atlantic City, where police arrested several people who blocked traffic.