Suspect arrested in Iowa police killings | News | DW | 02.11.2016
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Suspect arrested in Iowa police killings

Authorities in the US state of Iowa have said they apprehended the man suspected of slaying two Des Moines area police officers. The presumed gunman has been named as 46-year-old Scott Michael Greene.

Greene allegedly "ambushed" Sergeant Anthony Beminio of the Des Moines police department and Officer Justin Martin, who worked in the upscale suburb of Urbandale, early on Monday morning. Des Moines police spokesman Paul Parizek said it appeared that Greene had acted on his own.

"There's nothing to indicate right now that there was anyone else involved," Parizek said.

USA Iowa Anschlag auf Polizisten Verdächtiger Scott Michael Greene (Reuters/Urbandale Police Department)

Greene is accused of attacking the two officers as they were sitting in their patrol cars around 1 a.m. on Monday

Parizek did not comment on a motive, but a video posted to YouTube last month by someone calling themselves Scott Greene shows a run-in with police. While the maker of the video is not seen in the footage, the 10-minute long clip has a male voice arguing with the officer, claiming someone had taken away his Confederate battle flag at a Des Moines event.

The man is heard saying "African-American people" took his flag and "assaulted" him, and that he intended to press charges.

"You have to understand, in the current social climate that we're in, when you fly the Confederate flag standing in front of several African-American people, that's going to cause a disturbance, OK, whether you intended to or not," a female officer then responds.

The Confederate battle flag was used by the slavery-endorsing southern states in the US Civil War and is seen as a sign of racial bigotry by many Americans. 

Greene and both victims were white.

Lynch: Don't jump to conclusions

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch cautioned against jumping to conclusions in light of the racial tension currently felt across the country, particularly between black Americans and the police in the wake of a string of shooting deaths of unarmed African-Americans.

"This is a time of particular tension and mistrust between law enforcement and many communities," Lynch said from Washington, adding that "there is no message in murder. Violence creates nothing. It only destroys."

Clinton speaks on shootings

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that the shooting was "horrifying" and "heartbreaking."   Speaking at a campaign rally in Las Vegas, she promised that as president she would "bring the full weight of the law down on anyone who kills a police officer."

"Everyone is safer when the police respect the people they protect and the people respect the police who serve them." 

Clinton had earlier in the day called the mayors of Urbandale and Des Moines.

es/msh/jbh (AP, Reuters)

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