News Headlines 3/16/21

TEENS WHO CROSS BORDER ILLEGALLY TO BE HELD AT DALLAS CONVENTION CENTER: Amid a surge of unaccompanied minors illegally crossing the border with Mexico, the administration plans to house up to 3,000 teenagers who’ve done so at a convention center in Dallas, the Associated Press reported yesterday (March 15th), citing a memo that was sent to members of the Dallas City Council. The administration has been struggling to find space for the unaccompanied minors who’ve been straining the immigration system less than two months into Joe Biden‘s presidency. The AP report citing the memo says the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center will be used for up to 90 days beginning as early as this week to house boys ages 15 to 17.

TWO MEN ARRESTED IN ASSAULT ON POLICE OFFICER WHO DIED AFTER CAPITOL ATTACK: Two men have been arrested and charged with assaulting a U.S. Capitol Police Officer during the January 6th attack on the Capitol who died afterward. George Tanios of West Virginia and Julian Khater of Pennsylvania were arrested Sunday (March 14th) on charges including assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon for allegedly using bear spray against Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. However, they don’t know whether the deployment of the bear spray caused or contributed to Sicknick’s death, which has emerged as a possible theory after investigators had initially believed based on statements gathered early on that he’d been hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, which doesn’t appear to be the case. Sicknick collapsed later on and died at a hospital the next day. The circumstances surrounding his death are still unclear, and a final cause of death hasn’t yet been determined. The acting chief of the Capitol Police said officials consider it a line-of-duty death.

SECURITY FENCING AROUND CAPITOL TO BE SCALED BACK: The security fencing that was put up around the U.S. Capitol after the January 6th attack that has been drawing criticism for still being there from lawmakers from both political parties is going to be scaled back. Timothy Blodgett, who’s the acting House sergeant-at-arms, said in a memo yesterday (March 15th) to members of Congress that it will be done in two phases after the Capitol Police said there isn’t a, quote, “known, credible threat” justifying keeping it in place. Blodgett said the outer perimeter fencing will be removed in the latter part of this month and Independence and Constitution Avenues, the two major streets around the Capitol, will be opened for traffic. An inner perimeter will be moved closer to the Capitol this week, reopening access to nearby streets and some sidewalks. Additionally, razor wire on top of the fencing will be removed.

CAR PLOWS THROUGH SAN DIEGO HOMELESS CAMP, KILLING THREE: A 71-year-old man plowed his car through a sidewalk homeless encampment in San Diego Monday morning (March 15th), killing three people and injuring six others, two of them critically. The driver, Craig Voss, was arrested and faces charges including vehicular manslaughter and a felony DUI. San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said Voss was driving through a tunnel when he drove his car up on the sidewalk. Nisleit said Voss got out of his car and tried to help people before telling police he was the driver.

ATTORNEY FOR OFFICER CHARGED IN GEORGE FLOYD’S DEATH ASKS FOR TRIAL DELAY OVER $27 MILLION SETTLEMENT: An attorney for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in George Floyd‘s death, asked the judge Monday (March 15th) to delay the trial after a $27 million settlement for Floyd’s family was announced on Friday. Defense attorney Eric Nelson said he was concerned the news had, quote, “incredible potential to taint the jury pool,” and also again brought up the possibility of moving the trial to another city, a motion which had previously been denied. Word of the settlement came during the current jury selection process for Chauvin’s trial. Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill agreed to consider the request for a delay.