—Police arrested Scott Michael Greene, a 46-year-old white man, in connection with the fatal shootings on Wednesday of two Des Moines-area officers. He was detained west of Des Moines without incident and charged Thursday.
—The officers—one from Urbandale, Iowa, and the other from Des Moines—were shot 20 minutes apart early Wednesday. Both were in their patrol cars. Police said they were killed in an “ambush-style attack.” They were identified as Anthony “Tony” Beminio and Justin Martin.
The Des Moines Register and other news organizations are reporting that Scott Michael Greene was charged Thursday with two counts of first-degree murder in the killings of Urbandale, Iowa, Police Officer Justin Martin and Des Moines Police Sergeant Anthony Beminio.
“The investigation has produced probable cause to support these charges,” according to a news release quoted by the Register.
Greene, who is being held at the Polk County Jail, could face life in prison if convicted of the charges.
President Obama paid tribute to the two Iowa police officers who were killed early Wednesday, saying they “represented our best, most decent instincts as human beings—to serve our neighbors, to put ourselves in harm’s way for someone else.”
The president praised officers across the country for their service to communities and risking their lives in the line of duty. He said in part:
All across the country, our police officers go to work each day not knowing whether they’ll come home at night. Their families live each day with the same fears. So as Americans, we owe them our respect and gratitude for their efforts to safeguard our families and our communities. And so as we once again mourn American police officers lost in the line of duty, we must also renew the call to match that same sense of service, that same devotion within our own lives and our own communities.
Obama, who has spent a good deal of time in Iowa in the last eight years on the campaign trail, also praised the community with how they handled the tragedy Wednesday, saying residents of Des Moines and Urbandale are “good, big-hearted people who look out for each other and are willing to come together across our differences.”
It is unclear whether the president will visit Des Moines in the wake of the shooting.
The Des Moines officer killed was Sergeant Anthony “Tony” Beminio, Sergeant Paul Parizek, the spokesman for the Des Moines Police Department, said at a news conference. He was “a great guy,” Parizek said. “It’s real hard” to lose him. Deminio had been with the department since 2005, he said. He was promoted last year.
The Urbandale officer was identified as Justin Martin, who joined the department in 2015. Both officers are white, as was the suspected shooter.
Parizek added that authorities did not know whether the videos posted on YouTube are a “relevant piece to our investigation.” He said he couldn’t confirm whether the man in the video was Scott Michael Greene.
Greene flagged down officers, presented his ID, and asked police to call 911, Parizek said. Greene was arrested without incident, he said.
In a statement, the attorney general said “the Department of Justice has offered any and all assistance to our state and local counterparts as they investigate these appalling attacks.”
I know that this is a time of particular tension and mistrust between law enforcement and many communities. I know that while we do not yet know what led the perpetrator to commit these awful crimes, many will be nevertheless be tempted to read a message or motive into this assault. But let me be clear: there is no message in murder. Violence creates nothing; it only destroys. And the path to the more just and peaceful society that we desire for ourselves and for our children is paved not with hatred and malice, but with compassion, and understanding, and the hard work of cooperation. Let those be our watchwords in the days to come.
The suspected shooter was first arrested for a misdemeanor in 2014 that came from an incident where he resisted arrest by two officers trying to pat him down for weapons at an apartment complex in Urbandale, The Des Moines Registerreported. Officers called Greene, who is 46 years old, noncompliant, hostile, and combative in that instance. He would later plead guilty.
Two days after that arrest, officers responded to a call saying Greene had threatened to kill a man in the parking lot of the same complex and he was charged with first-degree harassment. The Register reported Greene was accused of shining a flashlight in the man’s eyes, calling him a racist epithet, and then saying, “I will kill you.” Greene pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, and received a sentence of one year of probation.
A YouTube video posted two weeks ago to an account named “Scott Greene,” and titled “Police Abuse, Civil Rights Violation at Urbandale High School 10/14/16” shows an unpictured man arguing with several officers. The police ask the man to leave the property, saying he was “causing disturbance in the stands.” The video has not been confirmed, but is being investigated by Urbandale police. In another video on the same account, this one posted last week, a man resembling Greene holds a Confederate flag in front of people seated on bleachers. Urbandale High School's football stadium is located near the intersection where one officer was found dead Wednesday, the Register reported. Law-enforcement have not said if the videos were posted by the man arrested for the fatal shootings on Wednesday.
Police arrested Scott Michael Greene in connection with the fatal shootings of the two officers, the Des Moines Registerquoted Sergeant Chad Underwood, a spokesman for the Urbandale Police Department, as saying.
Other news organizations are also reporting the arrest.
The New York Timesquoted Sergeant Paul Parizek, the spokesman for the Des Moines Police Department, as saying Greene was on foot when he was taken into custody in Dallas County, Iowa. He offered no resistance, Parizek said.
Wednesday’s killings in Des Moines comes just months after Micah X. Jones, an Army veteran angry at the police’s treatment of African Americans, killed five police officers on July 7 in Dallas.
Then on July 17, Gavin Long, a self-described black separatist, killed three officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund noted that 14 officers were killed in ambushes in the first six months of 2016. Three officers were killed in that manner in the same period in 2015. The percentage increase: 300 percent.
The Urbandale officer was killed at the intersection of 70th Street and Aurora Avenue at about 1:06 a.m. CT, police said. About 20 minutes later, a Des Moines police officer, responding to the scene where the first officer was shot, was killed near the intersection of Merle Hay Road and Sheridan Avenue.
Both officers were killed in their patrol cars.
“The shootings appear to have been ambush-style attacks,” the Urbandale police said in a statement.
A statement from Des Moines Public Schools said the Urbandale school district has cancelled classes Wednesday because the shootings occurred near Urbandale High School.
Classes in Des Moines are not being cancelled, but the city’s public schools “will be in close contact with the Des Moines Police Department throughout the day, and will take any additional precautions if needed.”
Ben Hammes, a spokesman for for Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, said:
The governor and lt. governor have been alerted to the attacks on law enforcement this morning. Shortly after the shootings, our office was briefed by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) on the shootings. DPS is working hand in hand with local law enforcement in the investigation. We will continue monitoring and working with law enforcement in the interest of public safety.
An attack on public safety officers is an attack on the public safety of all Iowans. We call on Iowans to support our law enforcement officials in bringing this suspect to justice. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the police officers who were tragically killed in the line of duty as well as the officers who continue to put themselves in harm’s way.
There’s a reason you miss the people you didn’t even know that well.
A few months ago, when millions of Americans were watching the Netflix series Emily in Paris because it was what we had been given that week, I cued up the first episode and was beset almost immediately by an intense longing. Not for travel, or for opportunities to wear beautiful clothes—two commonly cited high points in an otherwise charmless show—but for sports. Specifically, watching sports in a packed bar, which is what the titular character’s boyfriend is doing when the viewer meets him.
The scene is fleeting, and it’s also pretty bad. It doesn’t come close to capturing the sweaty intensity of a horde of nervous fans, poised to embrace each other in collective joy or drink through despair. I know this because I am, sometimes unfortunately, a person who has spent a good chunk of her adult social life watching sports in bars, both with my actual close friends and with 500 or so fellow travelers at the New York City bar that hosts expatriated University of Georgia alumni during college-football season.
A cautionary tale about what happens when municipalities lift restrictions too soon and the pandejos take over
Every Saturday night from my doorstep, I witness the agony and stupidity that is the coronavirus in Southern California. I live in Santa Ana, a supermajority-Latino city that has recorded 18 percent of all COVID-19 cases in Orange County and 18 percent of related deaths, despite making up just 10 percent of the county’s population.
When I step outside my home, I see plastic signs staked next to sidewalks asking—urging, really—in English and Spanish for everyone to wash their hands, wear face masks, and practice social distancing. The hashtags #ProtectSantaAna and #ProtegeSantaAna top these instructions.
The earnestness and importance of the messages don’t matter: Everywhere I turn, my neighbors ignore the suggestions with gusto. Down the street are tents on front yards packed with people attending a birthday party. Over there is a taco truck where people chow down shoulder to shoulder, despite signs stating that all orders are to-go. Off in all directions, I hear music: live mariachi, conjunto norteño outfits, brass bands, and DJs, echoing from blocks away. Sometimes I can even catch the sermon of a Pentecostal minister who never bothered closing his storefront church to indoor service.
The vaccines are phenomenal. Belaboring their imperfections—and telling people who receive them never to let down their guard—carries its own risks.
When Americans began receiving coronavirus vaccines last month, people started fantasizing about the first thing they’d do when the pandemic ends: go back to work, visit family, hug friends. But the public discussion soon shifted. One news article after another warned about everything that could go wrong: Protection isn’t immediate; vaccinated people can still transmit the virus; vaccinated people might get mild infections that could become chronic; vaccines might not work as well against new coronavirus variants. “COVID-19 Vaccine Doesn’t Mean You Can Party Like It’s 1999,” one headline admonished. Can vaccinated people at least hang out with one another? Nope, masks and distancing are still required. “Bottom line,” another article concluded ominously: “You will need to wear a face mask after you’re vaccinated until COVID-19 cases become nearly nonexistent.”
How Representative Adam Kinzinger, an evangelical Republican, decided to vote for impeachment—and start calling out his church
The letter writer’s message was clear: Representative Adam Kinzinger is doing the devil’s work, and he is possessed by demons. It’s not hard to guess why Kinzinger would receive such a note. He was one of 10 Republican members of Congress who defied their party and voted to impeach President Donald Trump for inciting the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Kinzinger knew most Republicans in his solidly conservative district would not agree with him. But the choice was easy: As someone who identifies as a born-again Christian, he believes he has to tell the truth. What has been painful, though, is seeing how many people who share his faith have chosen to support Trump at all costs, fervently declaring that the election was stolen. The person who sent that letter—by registered mail, to be extra sure he got it—was a member of Kinzinger’s family. “The devil’s ultimate trick for Christianity … is embarrassing the church,” he told me and a small group of other reportersthis week. “And I feel it’s been successful.”
I have found that most of the serious approaches to happiness can be mapped onto two ancient traditions, promoted by the Greek philosophers Epicurus and Epictetus. In a nutshell, they focus on enjoyment and virtue, respectively. Individuals typically gravitate toward one style or the other, and many major philosophies have followed one path or the other for about two millennia. Understanding where you sit between the two can tell you a lot about yourself—including your happiness weak points—and help you create strategies for a more balanced approach to life.
They’re just as good at recognizing messes as women—they just don’t feel the same pressure to clean them up.
When you think of messiness, you might think of the unsavory ways it manifests: sweaty socks left on the floor, food-encrusted dishes piled in the sink, crumbs on the counter. Messes themselves are easy to identify, but the patterns of behavior that produce them are a bit more nuanced. Really, messiness has two ingredients: making messes, and then not cleaning them up.
There is a widely held belief that boys—and later on, men—are particularly messy. At least some grounds for this stereotype exist, but sex has little to do with it. “There’s no evidence of inherent, biologically based sex differences in cleanliness or messiness,” Susan McHale, a professor of human development and family studies at Penn State, told me. She said innate preferences for orderliness might vary from child to child, but cultural factorshave a significant influence, and it’s worth investigating which half of the messiness recipe is driving the gender disparity.
We’ve known for months that young children are less susceptible to serious infection and less likely to transmit COVID-19. Let’s act like it.
Federal health officials at the CDC this week called for children to return to American classrooms as soon as possible. In an essay in the Journal of the American Medical Association, they wrote that the “preponderance of available evidence” from the fall semester had reassured the agency that with adequate masking, distancing, and ventilation, the benefits of opening schools outweigh the risks of keeping kids at home for months.
The CDC’s judgment comes at a particularly fraught moment in the debate about kids, schools, and COVID-19. Parents are exhausted. Student suicides are surging. Teachers’ unions are facing nationalopprobrium for their reluctance to return to in-person instruction. And schools are already making noise about staying closed until 2022.
The new White House chief medical adviser explains what it was really like to work for an administration that tried constantly to undermine him.
You couldn’t have blamed Anthony Fauci if at any point over the past year he’d told Donald Trump he’d had enough, thank you, and quit. Everyone has a breaking point. There was the time the former president called him “a disaster” on a call with Trump-campaign staff. Or the day a White House official gave reporters an oppo-research-style memo claiming that Fauci had been “wrong on things” related to COVID-19. And Trump’s retweet of “Time to #FireFauci” would have been one humiliation too many for most.
But in the end, Trump got fired, and Fauci got promoted—he’s now the chief medical adviser to the Biden White House. “The thing that got me through it was, I did not let that bother me,” Fauci told me in an interview this week. “People cannot believe that. But it’s true. The problem is so enormous. People’s lives are at stake. I’m a physician. I’m a scientist. I’m a public-health expert. I know what I need to do. All that other stuff is just a distraction. Quite frankly, it’s bullshit.”
Patients say the “Rock Doc” helped them like no one else could. Federal prosecutors say his “help” often amounted to dealing drugs for sex.
Video collages by Sara Serna
You need to be a certain kind of person to want a reality-TV show about yourself. Jeffrey Young was one of those people. In 2016, Young, who was 42 at the time, invited a cameraman to shoot a pilot episode about his life as a nurse practitioner in Jackson, Tennessee. It doesn’t sound like much of a sell—a middle-aged man doling out medical advice in a city midway between Memphis and Nashville. But Young was eager to let the world know that he was no typical nurse practitioner.
Throughout Jackson, he had created for himself a reputation as a rock-and-roll renegade, happily showing off his piercings, tattoos, and goatee. He blasted heavy metal at his private practice and filled his Instagram feed with photos of himself smoking cigars. In his frequent social-media updates, he would drink and flip off the camera. Though he was not an M.D., Young christened himself “the Rock Doc.”
Images from around the world, showing canine COVID-19–detection programs under development
Promising early results from several studies have encouraged researchers around the world to develop and expand canine programs that may screen people for COVID-19 infection at places like airports, hospitals, or sports venues. While these early experiments appear to demonstrate high levels of accuracy by the sniffer dogs, researchers also caution that peer-review processes and larger-scale studies are still needed. Gathered here are images from Russia, England, Chile, Australia, Iran, Finland, and more countries, where these canine COVID-19–detection programs are being developed.