Man who killed Colorado deputy livestreamed himself

Matthew Riehl, the suspect who opened fire on sheriff’s deputies near Denver appears in this social media photo by Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado. (Douglas County Sheriff’s Office/Handout via Reuters)
Updated 03 January 2018
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Man who killed Colorado deputy livestreamed himself

DENVER: Videos made by the man who shot and killed a Colorado sheriff’s deputy after concerns were raised about his mental health show the gunman calling 911 and then opening his apartment door and talking to responding officers before the shooting.
The footage , livestreamed on Periscope, was obtained by Denver’s KUSA-TV. The station broadcast clips from two videos in which Matthew Riehl says he would not hurt anyone except to defend himself before calling authorities.
“Maybe I bought over 1,000 rounds of ammunition from Walmart. It’s not illegal,” he says.
Later, he tells a police dispatcher that a man had invited him to his house and was acting strangely.
When authorities arrive at Riehl’s suburban Denver apartment, the footage shows him talking to at least two officers, telling them he wants to file an emergency restraining order against his domestic partner. He is upset when one officer offers to give him a phone number to call, and leaves the doorway to go back into a room.
“Did you not get the message? Wow. They didn’t get the message. They lied,” he is heard saying on the video.
At another point, Riehl is seen holding a glass in his hand and says he’s had two scotches. He is heard saying that drinking would help him defend himself if someone bothers him.
The TV station said Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock verified the authenticity of the videos and said the 911 call made by Riehl was the second one from his apartment in Highlands Ranch, 16 miles (about 25 kilometers) south of Denver, on Sunday.
The first 911 call was made by Riehl’s roommate, who told authorities Riehl was acting strangely and might be having a mental breakdown. Responding deputies to that call found no evidence of a crime and left.
The footage shows the shooting but the station did not air that footage. A clip purporting to show it has been posted elsewhere online.
Riehl, an attorney and an Iraq war veteran, previously posted videos criticizing Colorado law enforcement officers in profane, highly personal terms.
Wyoming College of Law students had been warned about Riehl, a former student, because of his social media posts critical of professors at the school in Laramie.
A Nov. 6 email from Assistant College of Law Dean Lindsay Hoyt told students to notify campus police if they spotted Riehl or his car near campus, KTWO-AM in Casper, Wyoming, reported. In addition, security on campus was increased for several days.
Campus officers called police in Lone Tree, Colorado, in mid-November to warn them about Riehl, suggesting his rants were indicative of mental illness, UW Police Chief Mike Samp told The Denver Post.
Samp said it’s possible that Colorado authorities faced the same issue as Wyoming officials when an apparently mentally ill, dangerous person makes indirect threats.
The deputy’s slaying was the most recent in a string of fatal shootings involving suspects who may have had mental health problems, and the state has expanded services in hopes of finding a solution.
Colorado opened 12 walk-in mental health crisis centers across the state and set up a 24-hour hotline after a gunman killed 12 people in a suburban Denver movie theater in 2012. Doctors testified the gunman, James Holmes, was mentally ill.
The Colorado Office of Behavioral Health has said more than 580,000 people have taken advantage of the expanded services, going to a crisis center or calling or texting the hotline or a separate help line for less urgent cases.
Riehl was licensed as a lawyer for five years in Wyoming and voluntarily gave up his license in 2016, said Wyoming Bar Association executive director Sharon Wilkinson.
He practiced at a law firm in the small city of Rawlins and later opened his own practice but withdrew from the bar in October 2016, making him ineligible to practice law in the state, Wilkinson said. That’s the same year records indicate he moved back to Colorado.
Wilkinson says the bar received no complaints about Riehl.
Authorities have said he fired more than 100 rounds before he was killed by a SWAT team.
Riehl, armed with a rifle, wounded four deputies, including Zackari Parrish in the initial gunfire. The other three deputies managed to get away but had to leave Parrish behind because of their injuries and the ongoing gunfire. Parrish later was declared dead.
About 1.5 hours later, the SWAT team arrived and exchanged fire with Riehl. He was killed and a fifth officer was wounded.
Two people in nearby apartment units were also wounded sometime during the prolonged standoff.


Egypt tightens grip on media with new bill

This file photo taken on March 22, 2018 shows apps for WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and other social networks on a smartphone. (AFP)
Updated 21 July 2018
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Egypt tightens grip on media with new bill

  • Social media accounts and blogs with more than 5,000 followers on sites such as Twitter and Facebook will be treated as media outlets
  • The media council will supervise the law and take action against violations

CAIRO: A controversial law passed by Egypt’s Parliament on Monday classifies social media accounts with more than 5,000 followers as media outlets, exposing them to the country’s harsh regulations for journalists.
Under the new law, social media users with a large following can be subject to prosecution for spreading false news or inciting crime.
The law prohibits the establishment of websites without first obtaining a license from the Supreme Council for the Administration of the Media, a government body with authority to legally suspend or block websites in violation of the country’s strict laws, and penalize editors with hefty fines.
Journalists are also forbidden from filming in prohibited areas, according to the new law.
While the bill stipulates that its provisions will apply to press and media organizations, Article 19 states that personal websites, blogs or social media accounts with no ties to the press are also liable to prosecution and must be licensed by the Supreme Council.
“That power of interpretation has been a powerful legal and executive tool used to justify excessive aggressive and exceptional measures to go after journalists,” Sherif Mansour, Middle East and North Africa program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, told Reuters this week.
The law’s vague language gives authorities even more power to control the media, he said.
Egypt has faced mounting criticism in recent years for its draconian laws regarding the press and freedom of expression, in addition to widespread human rights violations.
A 2015 counterterrorism law, enacted by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, gave the government sweeping powers over the regime’s critics under the guise of protecting the nation. The law allows prosecutors to detain suspects without judicial review, and order surveillance of suspected individuals or organizations without the need for a court order.
With a broad definition of what constitutes a terrorist act, the law creates a vague framework under which the government can arbitrarily detain citizens and implement punishments as severe as the death penalty. The law also requires journalists in Egypt to report only the official state version of any news related to national security.
In May 2017, the Egyptian government blocked about 20 websites affiliated with local and international news outlets, including independent news sites such as Mada Masr and Daily News Egypt, as well as blogs criticizing the regime.
A few months later, the government’s efforts were expanded to include sites affiliated with human rights groups and organizations. This included websites of local NGOs as well as international organizations like Human Rights Watch.
More than 500 websites are now blocked in Egypt, including VPN and proxy sites such as Tor and TunnelBear that allow Egyptians to circumvent online censorship. No official government body has claimed responsibility for blocking the websites.
According to a 2018 report by Human Rights Watch, El-Sisi’s repressive legislation offers the government “near-absolute impunity for abuses by security forces under the pretext of fighting terrorism.”
The report goes on to explain that in addition to numerous extrajudicial killings, hundreds have been placed on terrorism lists without due process with many more civilians being sent to military trials with charges of political dissent.
“The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, an independent rights group, said that as of mid-August, 378 people had disappeared over the previous 12 months and the whereabouts of at least 87 remained unknown. These numbers do not include those who were found killed after having gone missing,” the report said.
Reporters Without Borders called Egypt “one of the world’s biggest prisons for journalists” and said that many reporters have spent years in prison without being formally charged.
“The Internet is the only place left where independently reported news and information can circulate, but more than 400 websites have been blocked since the summer of 2017 and more people are being arrested because of their social network posts,” it said.