NC WOMAN SUES NYPD OVER EMPIRE STATE SHOOTING: MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — A North Carolina college student hit by police gunfire during a shooting outside the Empire State Building argued in a lawsuit Tuesday that the police department and the officers involved need better training to deal with such confrontations in the future.
Nine bystanders, including 32-year-old Chenin Duclos, were hit by police bullets, ricochets and fragments when two officers fired at a man suspected of gunning down a former co-worker outside the Manhattan landmark.
Duclos said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Manhattan's state Supreme Court that the department and the officers were "grossly negligent" in the way they handled the shooting — firing 16 shots on a crowded street outside one of the world's largest tourist attractions.
Amy Marion, an attorney representing Duclos in the lawsuit, said the NYPD needs to improve training.
"They consistently fail to properly train employees and officers in the settings they will encounter," she said.
The city's law department said officers had to make a quick decision in dealing with a life-threatening situation, and they would be vigorously defended.
DALLAS STEPMOM GETS 85 YEARS IN DEHYDRATION DEATH: DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas woman whose 10-year-old stepson died after she denied him water, even as temperatures soared over 100 degrees, was sentenced Tuesday to 85 years in prison.
Tina Marie Alberson did not react as her sentence was announced. She was convicted last week of reckless injury to a child, a second-degree felony, in the July 2011 death of Jonathan James.
Jonathan's mother, Krista Bishop, and other relatives said they were pleased with the verdict.
"We got what we needed," Bishop told reporters outside the court.
Police had thought Jonathan's death was heat-related until the medical examiner's report indicated otherwise.
Alberson, who testified in her own defense, told jurors that she limited Jonathan's water intake a few times as punishment for misbehaving, and that she saw him drinking water when he wasn't in "time-out." She said she saw no sign that he was in medical distress.
The boy's twin brother, now 12, testified that Jonathan repeatedly asked for water and pretended to use the bathroom so that he could sneak a drink from the faucet before their stepmother ordered him out. Joseph James told jurors he was concerned for his brother's health but was too afraid of Alberson to do anything.
POLICE: GIRL SCOUTS ROBBED OF $20 AT PA. MARKET: BERWYN, Pa. (AP) — Police are investigating the strong-arm robbery of Girl Scouts who were selling cookies at a Pennsylvania supermarket.
The theft happened at a Pathmark store in Tredyffrin Township, outside Philadelphia, around 5 p.m. Sunday.
WPVI-TV reports the thief reached into a cash box containing the scouts' cookie money. He got $20 before the girls closed the box. Police say the suspect then fled to the back of the building and drove off.
US AFGHAN COMMANDER CLEARED IN PETRAEUS EMAIL CASE: WASHINGTON (AP) — A Pentagon investigation has cleared Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, of professional misconduct in exchanging emails with a civilian woman linked to the sex scandal that led retired Gen. David Petraeus to resign as CIA director.
Pentagon press secretary George Little said Tuesday that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was informed of the conclusion by the Pentagon's inspector general.
"The secretary was pleased to learn that allegations of professional misconduct were not substantiated by the investigation," Little said, adding that Panetta has "complete confidence in the continued leadership" of Allen.
The matter had been referred to the Pentagon in November by the FBI during the course of its investigation of emails between Petraeus and his biographer-turned-paramour, Paula Broadwell. The FBI turned up thousands of emails between Allen and Jill Kelley, who was said to have received threatening emails from Broadwell.
14 HURT, 3 CRITICALLY, IN LOS ANGELES HOTEL FIRE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fire roared through a 90-year-old residential hotel in Los Angeles' harbor area early Tuesday, injuring 14 people, three of them critically.
People hung out of windows of the Palos Verdes Inn in San Pedro after the fire broke out at about 3:30 a.m., and one woman jumped from a second-story window and may have broken bones, Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said.
Other residents were threatening to jump, he said.
"Firefighters immediately threw ladders and rescued them from ledges," Scott said.
Firefighters returning from a nearby medical call saw smoke at the hotel before any 911 call had been received, he said.
It took 150 firefighters 34 minutes to extinguish the blaze, which spread rapidly through the 1923 building. Television news reports showed flames engulfing the interiors of some rooms.
FIRE AT BEALE AIR FORCE BASE CAUSES $10M IN DAMAGE: BEALE AIR FORCE BASE (AP) — Authorities say a fire at Beale Air Force Base in Northern California caused more than $10 million in damage.
A 38,000-square-foot civil engineering building was heavily damaged in the Monday afternoon blaze. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The base is located about 50 miles north of Sacramento.
Officials say one firefighter suffered minor injuries. Only one person was working in the engineering building at the time of the blaze.
LA-AREA CARJACKING SUSPECT COMMITS SUICIDE: LYNWOOD (AP) — A carjacking suspect hunted by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies has shot himself to death inside an SUV.
His body was found Tuesday morning in the Lynwood area.
He's believed to be one of two men who stole a Lexus at gunpoint from a driver in Compton shortly after 2:30 a.m.
Duran says a short time later, the men tried to get on a freeway but took a wrong turn and wound up under the freeway, where they the car tires blew.
The men ran off. One was found hiding a few hours later but it was seven hours before the search led to a second man inside a parked Ford Explorer.
Duran says deputies surrounded the car and fired tear gas inside. They later found the man dead inside.