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Brother of California man killed by fleeing driver in Fayetteville seeks change in high-speed pursuit policies | Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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Brother of California man killed by fleeing driver in Fayetteville seeks change in high-speed pursuit policies | Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette


FAYETTEVILLE — The brother of a man killed when his car was hit by a fleeing driver in January wants to spare other families from a tragic, preventable loss. So, he’s started a petition drive to bring awareness to the issue.

David Michael Pemberton, 56, who had recently moved to Northwest Arkansas from California, was killed Jan. 13 when Noah Cargill, 20, of Fayetteville fled from an Arkansas State Police trooper who was attempting to stop him in connection with driving recklessly on Wedington Drive in Fayetteville, according to police.

Pemberton had moved for a fresh start and was helping his mother, who has had recent health issues, according to Jim Pemberton, his brother.

“He was simply going about his business when he lost his life due to this unsafe traffic pursuit,” Pemberton said. “No family should lose a loved one over a traffic violation, or as a result of any over-aggressive, unsafe traffic pursuits of any kind.”

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Cargill fled, running a red light and traveling through a neighborhood at a high speed, according to police.

During the pursuit, Cargill swerved around cars on Rupple Road, nearly wrecking multiple times before losing control of his 2018 Dodge Charger and crashing into an oncoming 2010 Toyota Prius, killing Pemberton, according to police.

Cargill was arrested by Arkansas State Police in connection with first-degree murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm, fleeing, reckless driving, driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license, speeding, operating a vehicle without insurance, careless driving, failure to stop or yield and running a red light.

The murder charge stems from Cargill actively committing two felonies — fleeing from a state trooper and being a felon in possession of a firearm — and acting in furtherance of those felonies when he caused a person’s death under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, according to a preliminary police report filed with prosecutors.

Pemberton said his brother would still be alive if the police had stopped their pursuit.

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“I went and visited the scene, and I was just shocked that a high-speed pursuit happened in a neighborhood where there are apartment complexes, a school, roundabouts,” Pemberton said Friday. “It’s evident and clear that that was not a safe area for a high-speed pursuit, and from the initial reports the speeds were up to 100 mph, maybe even more, in a residential area.”

Col. Mike Hagar, who heads up the Arkansas State Police, said Pemberton’s death is a worst-case scenario.

“Troopers are trained to put the safety of the general public first. Troopers are instructed to do one of two things if they have someone fleeing from them,” Hagar said in an email Friday. “They are to either engage that suspect and stop him as fast as they possibly can, or, if they cannot successfully do that, they are to disengage.”

Jim Pemberton said other, less dangerous options should be available. He said there should be speed limits for a pursuit in a residential area. There should be limits on the length of a pursuit, such as how many blocks before it is called off, he added. But there’s nothing like that, leaving it basically at the discretion of the officers.

The public’s safety should be of the utmost importance, not catching the perpetrator or traffic violator, Pemberton said.

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“In this case, this is a traffic violation, so you’re going to pursue someone at 100 mph for a traffic violation in a residential area when you could call in an intercept, you can run plates. There are so many things they could do to not put all the public at risk and still catch the suspect,” he said. “Well, they caught him, but he killed my brother, so clearly there was an imminent danger, and clearly that was not a good pursuit.”

Pemberton and his family have started a petition aimed at bringing about change in law enforcement policy and improved training in regard to police pursuits and the safety of civilians.

The petition is in no way an attack on law enforcement, just a call for change to better protect others during traffic pursuits. It’s a national issue that is worsening, he said.

His research shows between 2014 and 2018, there were over 2,000 deaths related to pursuits and 2020 saw 455 deaths — an average of well over one death per day.

Judgment calls

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Hagar said that from 2016 to the first of this year, troopers engaged in 3,725 pursuits and tactical vehicle interventions were used just short of 1,000 times.

“In all of those pursuits, we did not have an innocent civilian fatality. Not one in all those pursuits,” Hagar said. “But, one is too many, so we have been proactive in trying to get the message out to stop engaging in this type of behavior. We’ve done PSA’s, we’ve done news releases, we’ve done social media posts. Because our primary concern is the general public. Our primary concern is that this is going to happen. This is the worst-case scenario. An innocent civilian lost their life.”

In Arkansas, four drivers fleeing from state police died in 2023 as a result of a crash, making it the deadliest year for state police pursuits since at least 2016. Three of those deaths came after a trooper used a tactical vehicle intervention to end the chase.

In 2022, three people were killed in pursuits by troopers, state police data show, up from none in 2021. The state reported two fatalities from pursuits in 2020, one in 2019, none in 2018 and two in 2017.

By the end of October 2023, state police had recorded 513 pursuits, about 33% of which occurred in the Troop A patrol area that includes Pulaski, Saline, Lonoke and Faulkner counties.

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That was higher than the 464 pursuits reported by the end of October 2022, the 493 reported by that date in 2021, and the 480 reported by the end of October 2020, data shows.

Fayetteville police say their pursuit policy is much more restrictive than that of the State Police and that officers are seldom involved in high-speed pursuits largely because they operate in a different, more urban environment. Fayetteville officers were not involved in the pursuit of Cargill that led to Pemberton’s death, according to Sgt. Stephen Mauk.

“We’re policing a densely populated area, whereas they’re for the most part doing policing activities on open highways,” Mauk said. “We do not pursue unless we are chasing a violent felon.”

Even then, officers weigh whether the greater threat to the public is coming from the individual remaining at large or from their pursuit of that person, Mauk said.

“So the person pursuing, even if it’s a violent felony, if the circumstances become dangerous considering the pursuit itself like crashes and densely populated areas, the vehicle conditions, road conditions, all these other factors, it can be terminated,” Mauk said. “It can also be terminated by a supervisor at any point.”

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Mauk said officers are not authorized to pursue unless they know on the front end that the person is being sought for a violent felony. Fayetteville officers have pursued bank robbers, shooting suspects and homicide suspects in the past, he said.

“If it becomes too perilous, then you shut it down,” Mauk said. “Your mission is to protect the citizens, protect the officer and protect the person fleeing as well.”

Mauk said another caveat is that if police know who the person is, they can get them later under safer, more controlled conditions rather than risking a pursuit.

“You set the conditions up to a more favorable outcome for everybody involved,” Mauk said. “We’ll just go get them later.”

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California

State Reaffirms Right to Contraceptive Care | California Governor

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State Reaffirms Right to Contraceptive Care | California Governor


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: California is making sure people know about their right to access contraception, including minors, 12-month supplies, and non-prescription emergency contraception. Pharmacists, major pharmaceutical companies, health plans, and Californians received reminders that current California law requires contraception access – including for minors.


SACRAMENTO – Across the country, attacks are mounting against every form of reproductive health care – from abortion to contraception. Today, California leaders are taking action to remind pharmacies, major pharmaceutical companies, health plans, and Californians that contraception is available to minors, in 12-month supplies, and for non-prescription emergency contraception.

“While some states are seeking to ban emergency contraception, California is proud to provide comprehensive protections and expand access to all forms of reproductive health care. We are making sure health care providers are following the law and that Californians know their rights when it comes to contraception and reproductive health care.”

Governor Gavin Newsom

WHY THIS MATTERS: A recent report, authored by the UCLA School of Law Center for Reproductive Health, Law, and Policy, revealed that a significant percentage of California pharmacies either required parental consent or entirely withheld emergency contraception from minors – a clear violation of California’s law. Among the community pharmacies surveyed that offer over-the-counter emergency contraception, only 50% indicated that minors were permitted to purchase the medication. Another report by the same Center recommended raising awareness among pharmacists of hormonal contraception options.

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WHAT AG BONTA SAID: “As we continue to face unprecedented attacks to reproductive freedom nationwide, we must double down on our commitment to protect the fundamental rights of all Californians. Together, our statewide efforts emphasize the right given to every young person to access timely emergency contraception without any barriers. At the California Department of Justice, we remain unwavering in our commitment that our state continues to be a safe haven for all individuals seeking reproductive health care services and medication.”


Today’s statewide efforts build on California’s demonstrated commitment to expand access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care.

California issued:

✔️ An alert to all Board of Pharmacy licensees reminding licensees of their obligations under state law. [Alert]

✔️ An All-Plan Letter (APL) reminding commercial health plans regulated by DMHC of their legal obligation to cover over-the-counter FDA-approved contraceptives with no cost-sharing to members. [Letter]

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✔️ A letter to the corporate offices of the major pharmacy chains reminding them that emergency contraception does not require a prescription or parental consent. [Letter]

✔️ A consumer alert, informing minors of their ability to access emergency contraception without a prescription or parental consent. [Alert]

✔️ An alert to all California pharmacies reminding them of their obligation under California law to provide minors access to emergency contraception. [Alert]


“Pharmacies are lifelines to the health and well-being of all Californians,” said Board of Pharmacy President Seung Oh. “The launch of today’s education campaign reinforces the important role pharmacies play to ensure all Californians – including minors – have access to contraception.”

“Health plans regulated by the DMHC must provide coverage of over-the-counter contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration at no additional cost to members,” said California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) Director Mary Watanabe. “This expansion of coverage will without a doubt provide more equitable access to reproductive health care by removing barriers such as cost.”

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BIGGER PICTURE: Recently, as a leading member of the Reproductive Freedom Alliance, Governor Newsom urged U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to take additional steps to ensure that all forms of contraception are affordable and accessible. Learn more about California’s nation-leading efforts to protect and expand reproductive health care as well as rights and resources available to people accessing abortion care, regardless of where they live, at Abortion.CA.Gov.



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Biden calls Putin a 'crazy SOB' at California fundraiser

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Biden calls Putin a 'crazy SOB' at California fundraiser


President Biden has called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “crazy SOB” at a California fundraiser, prompting a flurry of angry responses from the Kremlin and Putin’s allies. 

Biden made the comment Wednesday at a campaign event in San Francisco while speaking about climate change. 

“This is the last existential threat, it is climate. We have a crazy SOB that guy, Putin others. And we always have to be worried about a nuclear conflict,” Biden said. “But the existential threat to humanity is climate.” 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded Thursday by saying that Biden’s comment was “probably some kind of attempt to look like a Hollywood cowboy,” according to Reuters. 

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WHITE HOUSE REPORTERS FEEL HEAT FROM ADMINISTRATION OVER COVERAGE OF BIDEN, TRUMP: ‘NAGGING AND COMPLAINING’ 

President Joe Biden escorts Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., from Marine One to attend a fundraiser in San Francisco on Wednesday, Feb. 21. (AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

“The use of such language against the head of another state by the president of the United States is unlikely to infringe on our president, President Putin,” Peskov added. “But it debases those who use such vocabulary.” 

“Has Mr Putin ever used one crude word to address you? This has never happened. Therefore, I think that such vocabulary debases America itself,” Peskov also told Reuters. 

The news agency reports that former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the existential threat to the world is from “useless old geezers, like Biden himself” and that the “senile” president is “ready to start a war with Russia.” 

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HALEY ACCUSES TRUMP OF SIDING WITH A ‘DICTATOR AND A TYRANT’ AS SHE BLASTS HIM OVER LACK OF PUTIN CRITICISM 

Putin attends meeting in Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting in Russia on Thursday, Feb. 22. (AP/Sergei Bobylev/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool Photo)

Biden also criticized Putin and his allies last week following the mysterious death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in prison. 

Biden said Friday that there is “no doubt” it was a “consequence of something that Putin and his thugs did.” 

Alexei Navalny in Moscow, Russia

Biden has also criticized Putin following the death of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny last week. (AP/Pavel Golovkin)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP 

“People across Russia and around the world are mourning Navalny today, because he was so many things that Putin was not,” Biden continued. “He was brave, he was principled, he was dedicated to building a Russia where the rule of law existed and where it applied to everybody. Navalny believed in that Russia, that Russia, he knew it was a cause worth fighting for and obviously even dying for.” 

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Fox News’ Kaitlin Sprague contributed to this report. 



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California, Oregon State have sights set on similar goal

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California, Oregon State have sights set on similar goal


Oregon State and California each head into the last four games of the regular season with a chance to reach .500 overall, starting with a game Thursday in Berkeley, Calif.

The Beavers and Golden Bears are each 11-15 overall with Oregon State 3-12 in Pac-12 and California 7-8 in conference play.

The Golden Bears have a chance to finish in the top six in the conference with a winning record in Mark Madsen’s first year as head coach.

California is coming off an 82-80 win at Washington on Saturday.

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Jaylon Tyson scored 21 of his team’s 42 points in the first half while making 8 of 11 shots from the floor.

He finished with 28 points and six assists, including his final one to Jalen Celestine for the winning 3-pointer with five seconds remaining at Washington.

“Jaylon Tyson made the most unbelievable read with the pass and Jalen Celestine made just the most unbelievable shot to win the game,” Madsen said.

Tyson and fellow Texas Tech transfer Fardaws Aimaq are leading California in scoring, with Tyson averaging 20.3 points and Aimaq scoring 14.7 per game.

Tyson is averaging 7.1 rebounds and Aimaq is pulling down 11.2 per game.

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Oregon State is coming off a 60-58 loss to Oregon at home on Saturday.

It was the Beavers’ sixth straight loss to their rivals, including three consecutive two-point losses at home.

Michael Rataj led the Beavers with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor. He also had nine rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Oregon State was outrebounded 40-30 and was outscored 44-28 in the paint.

“Our big thing was to have a better year than we did a year ago,” said Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle, whose team was 11-21 last season. “We still have the opportunity in front of us with the games we have to get on a roll, win some games and put a positive spin on it.”

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–Field Level Media

Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.





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