Carolina North

North Carolina dog that died after ‘acute’ illness tests positive for coronavirus – NBC News

A North Carolina dog that died after suffering an “acute illness” earlier this month has tested positive for coronavirus, officials said Monday.

The death could mark a rare, potentially fatal case of COVID-19 in a pet, though it’s still unclear if there were other underlying conditions that contributed to its death.

The dog was brought to the NC State Veterinary Hospital in Raleigh on Aug. 3 after showing signs of respiratory distress earlier that day, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.

The person who brought the animal to the hospital told staff members that a family member had previously tested positive for coronavirus, though a later test returned negative results, the department said.

Citing patient confidentiality, the department did not provide additional information about the dog or the person who brought it to the hospital.

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The dog died the same day, a department spokeswoman said. Samples taken from the dog that were tested in a diagnostic lab returned a positive result, a result confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory, the statement said.

Investigators were still trying to determine why it died, the statement said.

Only a handful of animals in the United States have contracted the disease, according to a list maintained by the Department of Agriculture. Most of those infections have occurred after contact with people who had coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The department says the risk of animals spreading the disease to people remains low.

As of Aug. 7, when the agriculture department’s list was last updated, it had confirmed 13 cases among dogs in eight states, including an earlier positive antibody test in North Carolina. Several cats have also contracted the disease, according to the list. So did eight lions and tigers at the Bronx Zoo.

Last month, National Geographic reported that the first dog to test positive in the United States — a 7-year-old German shepherd from New York named Buddy — died on July 11, six weeks after he was confirmed to have the disease.

The magazine reported that Buddy had lymphoma when he died and it’s unclear how much the cancer and the virus contributed to his death.

Michael San Filippo, a spokesman for the American Veterinary Medical Association, said most dogs that have contracted the disease are asymptomatic or show only slight signs of infection.

That “seems to indicate that this is not a major problem for dogs,” he said. “But we have more to learn, like how it might combine with other conditions to cause more serious problems. We’re still advising caution with keeping pets away from people who are ill, and to practice social distancing with your pet and other pets and people outside your household.”

Tim Stelloh

Tim Stelloh is a reporter for NBC News, based in California.

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3 North Carolina police officers fired after conversation about ‘slaughtering’ Black people and the need for a second Civil War | TheHill – The Hill

Three police officers in North Carolina have been fired after they were heard on camera making racist comments, including the use of racial epithets and references to “slaughtering” Black people, police said Wednesday. 

Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams said Cpl. Jessie Moore and officers James Gilmore and Kevin Piner would be fired for misconduct after an internal investigation “uncovered extensive violations” of the department’s policies, including its standard of conduct and use of appropriate language. 

The department also released a document containing a detailed summary of the investigation. 

“Why are we releasing this information this way and at this time? Because it is the right thing to do,” Williams said. “Normally, personnel laws allow only a very small amount of information to be made public. However, in exceptional cases, when it is essential to maintain public confidence in the administration of the City and the Police Department, more information may be released.

“This is the most exceptional and difficult case I have encountered in my career,” he added. “We must establish new reforms for policing here at home and throughout this country.”

The investigation started a result of a supervisor’s routine inspection of a video from officer Piner’s in-car camera, Williams said. 

About 46 minutes and 12 seconds into the video, Piner started speaking with Gilmore from their respective cars. During the conversation, Piner criticized the department, telling Gilmore the agency is concerned with “kneeling down with the Black folks.” Gilmore then said he watched a video on social media about white people bowing down on their knees and “worshipping Blacks,” according to the report released by the department. 

About an hour and 14 minutes into the video, Piner received a call from Moore. Shortly into the conversation, Moore referred to a female he arrested using a racial slur. 

Later in the conversation, Piner told Moore he feels a second Civil War is coming and he is “ready,” according to the police report. He said he is going to buy a new assault rifle in the next couple of weeks, and said society will be close to “Marshall Law” and discusses “slaughtering” people using a racial slur. Moore responded that he would not do that, to which Piner said “I’m ready,” based on the report 

When interviewed separately, each officer admitted to their voice on the video and did not deny saying any of the things that were heard, according to the police report. However, each officer also denied being racist, based on the report. 

Williams said he is recommending that the officers will not be eligible for rehire in the city and will notify the North Carolina Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission of their behavior. The commission determines whether or not an officer can maintain their state certification.

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North Carolina sheriff’s employee fired after group converged on wrong black teen’s home – CNN

(CNN)A North Carolina corrections officer is out of a job and facing charges after he and 15 other people, some armed, harassed a black teenager they mistakenly believed was involved in a girl’s disappearance, the teen’s attorney said.

Jordan Kita is charged with forcible trespass, breaking and entering and willful failure to discharge duties, New Hanover and Pender County District Attorney Ben David said last week.
Kita, who the teen’s family says wedged his foot in the door when 18-year-old Dameon Shepard and his mother tried to close it, committed the crimes “while armed and in uniform in a county that he was not duly sworn in and in furtherance of personal not law enforcement purposes,” the prosecutor said.
Pender County resident Austin Wood, who is accused of carrying a gun in the mob, is charged with going armed to the terror of the public, the police said.
The New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon fired Kita, he said in a statement that David read to reporters.
“Upon hearing of the incident involving Jordan Kita, I immediately began an internal affairs investigation,” the Friday statement said. “Today, after speaking with the district attorney and (Pender County) Sheriff (Alan) Cutler, Jordan Kita has been terminated.”
Asked why no one was arrested May 3, when the incident happened, Cutler told reporters his office “wanted to make sure the right thing was done.”
“Instead of rushing in and making a charge that evening, the situation was defused,” he said. “We felt like the threat was over, and this has allowed us … some time to be able to investigate this situation and make some informed decisions.”
David declined to delve too deeply into the facts but urged residents to “please remain calm and to know that committed professionals are going to see that justice is done in a courtroom, not the court of public opinion.”
CNN’s attempts to reach Kita and Wood went unanswered as of Monday afternoon.

The allegations in the case

Monica Shepard and her son, Dameon, are one of two black families in the middle-class Pender County neighborhood about a 30-minute drive northeast of Wilmington, family attorney Jim Lea told CNN. Her son is about to graduate from Laney High School, and a bright yellow sign reading, “Congratulations, Dameon. We are proud of you!” sits in the front yard.
On May 3, at about 10 p.m., Dameon Shepard was playing video games when he heard a knock at the door. His mother was sleeping. The teen opened the door, Lea said, to find a group of about 15 white people — mostly men and three of them armed — on the porch and walkway of his property.
The group “came up like a lynch mob up to the door demanding the Shepards answer their questions,” Lea told CNN.
They were looking for another black teen and wanted information about a 16-year-old girl who Lea said had run away from home. At the head of the group was Kita, in uniform, and a man who identified himself as the girl’s brother but may have been her father, Lea said.
“Directly behind them were two armed individuals, one with an assault weapon and one with a shotgun,” Lea wrote last week in a letter to David.
Dameon Shepard attempted to close the front door on them, but Kita “stuck his foot in the door and refused to let him shut it and kept demanding to come into the home. Dameon became very frightened and hysterical and kept repeating that his name was Dameon,” the letter said.

Mother enters fray

Monica Shepard woke up during the confrontation and ordered her son to go back inside, and Kita and others began grilling her, insisting they be allowed to come in, Lea wrote.
“As she attempted to close the door, (Kita) placed his foot again and pushed against the door preventing (her) from closing it fully. She repeatedly demanded that they leave,” his letter said.
The black teen being sought by the group, and the teen’s mother, previously lived next door but had moved out of the neighborhood weeks before the incident, Lea told CNN.
The group eventually began to realize they were at the wrong residence, the letter said. The group dispersed but many of them, including the people who were armed, returned when Pender County deputies arrived at the home, Lea wrote.
The deputies made no arrests, despite the Shepards’ and some of their neighbors’ protestations, and later, a captain with the sheriff’s office came by and told Shepard “it was complicated to arrest anyone who had been there the previous night or apprehend them,” Lea’s letter said.
The deputies hadn’t even taken anyone’s name, but he’d follow up, the captain told Shepard, according to the letter.
“We obviously cannot have armed groups of citizens patrolling the streets of Pender County or New Hanover County terrorizing innocent families,” Lea wrote in conclusion.
The 16-year-old girl was found later that night, Lea told CNN.

‘No one’s above the law’

David said he consulted with 10 prosecutors before making his decision to have Kita and the other man arrested. Part of the problem was figuring out where exactly the law had been broken because “not everything that offends us is illegal under the criminal laws,” he said.
More arrests could come, he said.
Where Sheriff Cutler said his deputies took their time to “make sure we made an informed decision,” David said the sheriff was also dealing with a protocol, put in place years ago by David’s office, that prohibits citizens from swearing out misdemeanor warrants against law enforcement officers.
Because officers are so often in a position to be accused of wrongdoing — and because the integrity of the institution demands authorities “make absolutely certain that no one is wearing the badge who would violate the laws” — his office requires that a criminal investigation precede any officer’s arrest, he said.
“No one’s above the law, and no one’s beneath its protection, and one thing that we absolutely make certain of is that anyone who’s violating the law be treated the same,” he said.
David would not say how Kita was related to the missing girl, but he said there was a “familial relation and they’re not total strangers to each other.”

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North Carolina now estimating COVID-19 recoveries – WLOS

North Carolina now estimating COVID-19 recoveries – WLOS
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