Source: Suspect spoke of ‘baby parts’ after Planned Parenthood shooting

30 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Accused Shooter Had Police Record.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The man accused of opening fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs was due for his first appearance in court Monday, as speculation continued to mount over what motivated the attack and how authorities would prosecute the suspect. Accused Colorado Springs shooter Robert Lewis Dear appeared to be a troubled loner with a long but relatively minor criminal history, who had been living in isolation. The two pro-life GOP candidates were the only two among the presidential field to say that the attack was fueled by anti-abortion ideology – while Carly Fiorina was at the other end of the spectrum, complaining that the murders were being used to ‘demonize’ the pro-life movement.

A law-enforcement official — who said Robert Lewis Dear’s rambling statement to cops included a rant about “no more baby parts” — said the comment was among a number of statements he made to authorities after his arrest, making it difficult to know his specific motivation. Authorities are now parsing his rant and online activities to understand the reasoning behind the assault that left three dead, including Police Officer Garrett Swasey and two civilians. Dear had several run-ins with the law in the eastern U.S., including an accusation that he had been a “peeping Tom” and that he had abused his wife. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains president Vicki Cowart said the violence seen on Friday had been bred by an ‘alarming increase in hateful rhetoric and smear campaigns’ against abortion providers. But he wasn’t convicted in either of those incidents, and nothing in his criminal record, or in interviews with people who knew him, suggested involvement in antiabortion groups.

The law enforcement official who recounted Dear’s statement spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not allowed to publicly discuss the ongoing investigation. US Attorney John Walsh said investigators have reached out to lawyers from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights and National Security divisions indicating that officials could seek federal charges in addition to state homicide charges. “She was the most lovable person,” Markovsky’s dad, John Ah-King, said from his home in Hawaii. “So kindhearted, just always there when I needed her.” “His greatest joys were his family, his church and his profession,” the widow wrote. “We will cherish his memory, especially those times he spent tossing the football to his son and snuggling with his daughter on the couch.” He appears to have led a bizarre life online, with profiles appearing to match his bio ranting about the apocalypse, and on a site called Sexy Ads, apparently seeking “a discreet relationship, casual sex, BDSM, a long-term relationship, spanking.” We know that he was a man who registered to vote as a woman.” Asked if he’d describe the murder as domestic terrorism, Cruz demurred. “I would call it a murder—and we’ll see what the facts are. Two months after anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress’ video was released, 60 percent of Americans said the congressional budget agreement must continue funding Planned Parenthood, a national poll by the Pew Research Center found. Fiorina claimed during the second Republican debate that she had seen a video in which a ‘fully formed fetus’ was seen on a table with ‘its legs kicking’ while someone could be heard saying ‘we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain’.

Planned Parenthood executive vice president Dawn Laguens has since hit back at politicians refusing to connect their anti-abortion rhetoric with Friday’s shooting. ‘It is offensive and outrageous that some politicians are now claiming this tragedy has nothing to do with the toxic environment they helped create,’ she said in a statement on Sunday. ‘And, you know, a lot of people, when they don’t have facts, when they don’t have a good backup, that’s when the rhetoric starts. One possible avenue is the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which makes it a crime to injure or intimidate clinic patients and employees. “The case may fit the criteria for a federal domestic terrorism case, but based on my experience, I would be very surprised if this is not simply a local prosecution,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, a former U.S. attorney and state attorney general. “Murder charges will be more than adequate on the local level.” Planned Parenthood said witnesses said the gunman was motivated by his opposition to abortion. Whatever authorities decide is sure to be controversial, given the political murkiness of Dear’s statements and the debate over Planned Parenthood, which was reignited in July when anti-abortion activists released undercover video they said showed the group’s personnel negotiating the sale of fetal organs. Rubio claimed during a September interview with KCCI 8 News that Planned Parenthood pushed women into abortions so that fetal tissues could be harvested and said it gave people an incentive to ‘look forward to having more abortions’. Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders tweeted their support for Planned Parenthood following the shootings.

The Colorado Springs clinic, though, has been heavily damaged and will be closed for an uncertain amount of time, said Vicki Cowart, the regional head of Planned Parenthood. A wave of demonstrations in support of the organization swept across the nation on Saturday, with demonstrations and candlelit vigils in Colorado and New York.

On Sunday it was revealed Jennifer Markovsky, 36, of Honolulu, and Ke’Arre M Stewart, 29, of Waco, Texas, were the two civilian victims killed in the attack. Still, the National Abortion Federation says it has since seen a rise in threats at clinics nationwide. “I can’t believe that this isn’t contributing to some folks, mentally unwell or not, thinking that it’s OK to — to target Planned Parenthood or to target abortion providers,” she said. Meanwhile a candlelit vigil was held at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs campus and a pro-abortion rally was held in Union Square, New York. ‘Every time s*** like this happens, john and I immediately make another donation to planned parenthood,’ she wrote, tweeting a link for fans to donate to the organization.

John Hickenlooper on CNN’s “State of the Union” called the attack “a form of terrorism” and said people needed to be mindful of “inflammatory rhetoric.” In 1997 his then wife also called police for a domestic violence evidence where she says he locked her out of their house and pushed her out a window when she entered.

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