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Philadelphia Sheriff LGBTQ Liaison Found Dead; Slate Belt Explosions Arrest; Police Post Protest
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 06/07/19 8:28 pm | updated: 06/07/19 8:28 pm
An investigation is underway after a Philadelphia Sheriff's Office deputy was found dead at his desk on Friday morning, 6/7. Officials believe that Deputy Sheriff Dante Austin died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the head, but Sheriff Jewell Williams said an official determination will come from the Medical Examiner's office. Deputy Austin was the LGBTQ community liaison. "This is a tragedy for the Sheriff's Office, Deputy Austin's family, and the local LGBTQ community," said Williams. "Dante was a person who believed in and cared about everybody," Williams said. "He had the highest score on the Deputy Sheriff's exam when he was hired in November 2013. He was our first openly gay deputy sheriff and we promoted him to become our first LGBTQ community liaison in May 2017. He was scheduled to be promoted to sergeant on July 1, 2019." The pride flag outside of Philadelphia City Hall will be flown at half-staff.

Police and FBI have arrested a suspect wanted for a series of explosions in Washington Township, Northampton County over the past few months. 44-year-old Jason Muzzicato was arrested at home on Flicksville Road on Friday morning, 6/7. Authorities also searched his business, Bangor Motor Works, at 201 N. Main St. in Bangor. They found evidence that tied him to the explosions as well as the few undetonated devices that were found in the area. The explosions started back in March and most recently, there were two on Monday, 6/3. He is facing federal charges and is currently being held without bail. Washington Township police Chief Scott Miller said they are confident they have all the explosives and there is no danger to the public.

Protestors gathered outside of Philadelphia Police headquarters on Friday, 6/7, to demand action after controversial social media posts from many officers were recently compiled and published. The "Rally for Justice" started at noon at 8th and Race streets. The Plain View Project compiled a database of public Facebook made by officers "that appeared to endorse violence, racism, and bigotry." Attorney Emily Baker-White says that 328 Philadelphia officers past or present have posted troubling content. Ten officers have already been put on desk duty as a result, but the protestors want all involved officers removed from the street until an investigation can be carried out. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross says an independent law firm is helping the department individually investigate the posts. There will also be anti-racist, anti-bias and social media training for all police personnel.

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