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Father Of Orlando Gunman Reveals Motives For Fatal Nightclub Shooting

Father of the gunman reveals Oralndo nightclub shooting was not driven by religious ideology. 

Police continue their investigation into the Orlando shooting that left 50 people dead and more than 53 injured at Pulse nightclub in Florida. Amid the tragedy, the father of the gunman--who has been identified as Omar Mateen--has revealed his motives.

Mir Seddique told news sources his son was not driven by religious ideology, but instead, he grew irate after witnessing two men kissing in Miami a few months before the shooting took place.

Understanding the severity of the situation, Seddique offered his apologies to all of the victims. “We’re apologizing for the whole incident," he wrote in an official statement to NBC.  "We weren’t aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country. This had nothing to do with religion."

Authorities have previously reported Mateen is suspected to have acted alone when he opened fire with an assault weapon and handgun on the nightclub. Mateen is cited to have strong convictions of the Islamic faith. Suspicions of terrorist activity heightened following an ISIS news agency taking responsibility for the attack, as reported by CNN. The gunman also allegedly pledged his allegiance to the organization. Mateen's connection to the terrorist group has not been confirmed thus far however, despite claims formed by the FBI.

Stay tuned as the story continues to develop.

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Nebraska Murder Suspect Tries To Kill Himself During His Own Murder Trial

A Nebraska man charged with first-degree murder attempted to kill himself Monday (June 23)  during his own murder trial.

As a trial witness left the stand, Aubrey Trail randomly stood from his wheelchair and shouted before repeatedly slashing his neck with a small blade.

"Bailey is innocent, and I curse you all,” Trail yelled.

Trail fell to the floor after the outburst with blood spewing from his neck. Deputies reportedly tried to disarm Trail while ensuring his own safety, and shortly after a cleaning crew was dispatched to the courtroom to clean the mess.

Trail, 52, and his girlfriend, Bailey Boswell, 24, both face the death penalty if convicted of the suffocation and dismemberment of Sydney Loofe. Trail and Boswell met Loofe via the social media dating app, Tinder.

On Nov. 16, 2017, Loofe went missing after Boswell and Trail arranged a date. Shortly after their meeting, the couple denied any involvement in her disappearance. Then Boswell gathered the press to confess to killing 24-year-old Loofe accidentally while enacting a "sexual fantasy."

Trail's defense team still thinks despite Monday's episode they can get a fair trial. Saline County District Judge Vicky Johnson said she will question each juror individually in her chambers and instruct them to disregard Trail's actions.

Testimony was scheduled to resume Tuesday morning. (June 25)

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Jessica Kourkounis

Charlottesville Killer James Alex Fields Jr Begs For Mercy Ahead Of Sentencing

James Alex Fields Jr, the white supremacist who plowed his vehicle into a crowd of anti-racism protesters in Charlottesville, Va., killing Heather Hedley and injuring others, reportedly asked a judge for mercy prior to his sentencing.

In a memo filed to the court last week, Fields' attorney argued his client shouldn't spend the remainder of his life in prison.

"No amount of punishment imposed on James can repair the damage he caused to dozens of innocent people, but this court should find that retribution has limits."

Field's attorney said he suffered "trauma" as a child primarily from being raised by a single paraplegic mother. Adding to his difficult upbringing, Fields reportedly also learned his Jewish grandfather murdered his grandmother before killing himself.

However, prosecutors struck back stating the 22-year-old has yet to show any remorse after killing 33-year-old Heyer. They also argued Fields kept a photo of Adolf Hitler by his bedside and just last month made disparaging comments about Heyer's mother during a prison phone call.

"Any mental health concerns raised by the defendant do not overcome the defendant's demonstrated lack of remorse and his prior history of substantial racial animus," prosecutors wrote.

On August 11, 2017, Heyer and many others took part in a counter-protest against the Charlottesville Unite The Right Rally. Self-proclaimed neo-Nazi, neo-Confederates and white nationalists holding Tiki torches and shouting hate speech and racial slurs gathered inside Lee Park to oppose the removal of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue.

Fields was found guilty of first-degree murder for Heyer's death and a host of other state charges.

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Mark Makela

72 Philadelphia Cops Moved To Desk Duty After Racist Facebook Posts

Several dozen Philadelphia cops were taken off the streets and moved to desk duty after an investigation unearthed racist and offensive Facebook post made by the officers in question.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports advocates published a database that cataloged the posts in late May. Although all 72 officers haven't been disciplined yet, Philadelphia Police Commissioner, Richard Ross expects the officers will face internal consequences and several to be fired.

“Of all the things we have to contend with in this police department, of all the issues that we have to deal with, this is one we certainly could have done without,” Ross said during the press conference Tuesday (June. 18).

Ross' comments were made after a violent Fathers Day weekend that resulted in 28 people shot and five people dying.

With 3,100 posts tracing back to the Philadelphia cops, the investigation is being conducted by the department's Internal Affairs division and Ballard Spahr law firm. The racist posts were brought to light thanks to the Plain View Project. Founded in 2017 by a team of Philadelphia attorneys, they created a research database of social media posts made by officers in the community that displays violence, racism, and bigotry.

While the investigation will be extensive as it is going through a list of stages, Ross adds that "We are trying to deal with some of the worst postings first."

Each post is being analyzed closely as they have to consider if they are protected by the First Amendment. If protected, there will be no further actions. If not, the next steps will be discussed.

Philadelphia Police Departments social media policy states that their employees "are prohibited from using ethnic slurs, profanity, personal insults; material that is harassing, defamatory, fraudulent, or discriminatory.”

It has not been announced how long the investigation will take.

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