Posts tagged with "Victims"

Handcuff art via Allison Christensen for use by 360 MAGAZINE

HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE UNITED STATES

Human trafficking can be defined as “a crime that  involves the exploitation of a person for labor, services, or commercial sex.” 

The illegal ring of human enslavement primarily for sex acts has been a problem in the United States for quite some time. The popularity of social media combined with the ongoing stresses from the COVID-19 pandemic have only furthered the presence of human trafficking in the country.

Human enslavement has been a rampant problem often stemming from the Midwest, expanding through the rest of the country. The Midwest serves as the epicenter for trafficking endeavors for several reasons. First off, the number of federal interstates that are common make it easier to transport victims. Commerce tends to be high in areas such as St. Louis and Chicago, simplifying the traveling process of victims. The Midwest has, too, been regarded as a safe part of the country, which masks the existence of human exploitation in this part of the country.

Although servitude of humans has great linkage to the Midwest, it has an intense correlation to the Black community, specifically Black woman. According to the FBI, 53% of all children involved in juvenile prostitution arrests are Black.

This linkage stems back to the racism and oppression prevalent in US history, combined with sexualization of people of color. The Center on Poverty and Inequality generated a study to investigate this point, and found that adults generally regarded Black girls as “less innocent and more adult like than white girls.” Black women continue to be targeted, predominantly by white men. A 2012 research study found that about 85% of people who purchased sex online were white men.

These prejudices impact perpetrator motives, as they are statistically more likely to go after Black girls/ women. A two-year review of alleged enslavement occurrences found that 40% of sex trafficking victims were Black women.

The pandemic and the rise of social media, too, has played its factor in the rise of human subjugation. With many individuals suffering from economic and social deficiencies, trafficking systems have grown exponentially. The victims tend to be vulnerable, often children, in search of some form of attention. Victims often are coerced into enslavement with false promises of jobs or stability.

The growing commonness of human trafficking in the US is alarming and must come to a stop. One of the key problems that prevents victims from being identified is that they often do not believe they are victims. Victims cannot comprehend or see what they’re going through to be considered exploitation, as they often form trauma bonds with their abusers, are hidden in plain sight.

Common signs that can help us identify human trafficking:

  • Physically appearing malnourished
  • Physical injuries
  • Avoidance of eye contact, social communication; primarily with law enforcement
  • Rehearsed replies in social communication
  • Lack of identification documents
  • Staying at hotels/motels with older males
    • Victims refer to males as boyfriend or “daddy” – street slang for pimp
  • Young children serving in family restaurants
  • Individual not allowed in public alone, often spoken for

Trafficking cases continue to grow in numbers, with victims regularly becoming younger and younger. A North Carolina woman was recently sentenced to over 19 years in prison for sex trafficking a 13-year-old girl. This NC proceeding provides insight into common patterns that occur in human enslavement circumstances. It highlights the dominance of social media used in trafficking acts, the susceptibility that victims face and how perpetrators are typically somewhat close to victims.

Authorities were made aware of this case on January 1, 2020, when a 23-year-old girl was a believed victim of sex trafficking. They were able to uncover that from December 2 to the 25 of 2019, Simone McIllwain had been sex-trafficking the young girl in the Charlotte area.

The girl met McIllwain through a shared relationship, when McIllwain started advertising the girl online for commercial sex. She arranged that the 13-year-old girl would perform sex acts in her own hotel room, while she obtained segments of the profits.

She pleaded guilty of sex trafficking of a minor in April 2021, when she was placed in federal custody. Now, she has been sentenced to 235 months in federal prison and 20 years of supervised release.

National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1 (888) 373-7888

SMS: 233733 (Text “HELP” or “INFO”)

Website: http://humantraffickinghotline.org/.

Written By: McKinley Franklin 

Allison Christensen for use by 360 Magazine

Tornadoes Devastate Central and Southern United States

A devastating stream of tornadoes unleased late Friday December 10 and early Saturday December 11 across sections of the central and southern United States. In accordance with information from the Storm Prediction Center, there were at least 50 tornado reports. The states affected include Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee.

Click HERE to see how you can assist and support the victims of these destructive tornadoes.

The most substantial damage arose as Tornadoes and strong winds broke down a nursing home in Arkansas, an Amazon warehouse in western Illinois and an inhabited candle factory in Kentucky. People were killed in all separate incidents and responders have been struggling to rescue survivors.

At least one death out of an anticipated two in Arkansas has been credited to the collapsing of a nursing home. Several were trapped in the nursing home before being saved. Around 20 people were injured at the nursing home, and eventually all were taken out of the home and accounted for. Another individual in Arkansas was reported dead after being trapped in a Dollar General when the storm hit, as reported by Mississippi County Sheriff Dale Cook.

One of the tornadoes fell upon an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois on the night of Friday December 10. Authorities were unable to recount the exact number of workers in the Amazon warehouse because “the warehouse does not employ a ‘set staff.’” It has been verified, however, that at least two individuals died when the warehouse collapsed. Edwardsville police chief Michael Fillback validated this report on Saturday December 11 and stated that an additional person was hospitalized.

Fillback also communicated that rescue operations were not at ease due to misplaced power lines, concrete and extra water everywhere from the fire suppression system. An OSHA investigation was opened on Monday December 13 to dig deeper into the collapse of the Amazon warehouse.

On the night of December 10, another tornado hit the Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory in the Mayfield, Kentucky. Inside, around 110 people were working, and dozens were anticipated to be dead there. At least 40 people were rescued from the candle factory, but piles of metal and corrosive chemicals that toppled the factory limit the number of anticipated survivors that could be found alive.

Kyanna Parsons-Perez, survivor of the catastrophe that struck the candle factory, recounted the events of that night. She explained that workers had been hurried into a safety area before the storm officially hit. Parsons-Perez recounts seeing “a little dust of wind. My ears start popping. And it was like the building, we all just rocked back and forth, and then boom — everything fell on us,” Parasons-Perez told CNN’s Boris Sanchez.

During the devasting storm, Parsons-Perez broadcasted the tragedy on Facebook Live and made phone calls to 911 and other family members. She recounts realizing that rescuers were there when she felt pressure from people walking on the debris above her. “I was screaming like, ‘Sir, can you please just get this so I can move my leg?’ He said, ‘Ma’am, there’s about 5 feet worth of debris on top of you,'” Parsons-Perez recounts.

As of Monday December 13, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said that there is a confirmed number of 64 deaths across Kentucky, and that it could take some time to account for the full number of fatalities and damage that fully hit the state. Beshear noted that at least 105 individuals were unaccounted for as of that Monday morning. At least 13 people in the other varying states have been confirmed dead.

Emergency workers consisting of 300 members of the National Guard have been searching for survivors, searching through wreckage and remains and delivering water and generators to residents of Western Kentucky. Beshear talked of the damage during a press conference, stating “I’m not doing so well today and I’m not sure how many of us are. The people of Western Kentucky have gone through an unspeakable trauma. The devastation is unlike anything I have seen in my life,” Beshear stated.

President Biden is scheduled to travel to Kentucky on Wednesday, December 14 to assess damages and aid in the recovery processes. “We’re going to get this done. We’re going to be there as long as it takes to help,” Biden stated during a briefing on Monday December 13 regarding federal reaction to the destructive tornadoes. Biden ensures that he does not want to get in the way of rescue efforts, but to just provide aid to the community that truly needs it in these trying times.

By: McKinley Franklin

Television illustration via Rita Azar for use by 360 Magazine

New York Homicide Premiere

True crime programming Oxygen is delving into some of the most hair-raising and recent homicide cases in New York City with the premiere of “New York Homicide.”

New York is a popular and influential city for people around the world, with such an impeccable blend of cultures, customs and language. This new series delves into the crime scene of New York and the people that are doing work to put an end to these murder cases. Investigators take viewers through some of the most intricate cases with help from former and current detectives. The stories of each murder place focus on the families of the victims. Loved ones are able to communicate the impacts of each murder and show the investigation process that follows each homicide.

Some of the cases that are covered in “New York Homicide” include:

The Last After-Party – 26-year-old Joey leaves an exclusive Meatpacking District club at 3am and tells his friends he’s going to an after-party with some new people he met that night and is never heard from again. His loved ones join forces with the NYPD to solve the infamous case.

Deadly Spell – Mama Edna, resounding matriarch of the Haitian community in Brooklyn is found murdered in her home. NYPD dive deeper into the case, revealing a voodoo practice that leads to an unimaginable discovery.

New York Homicide” comes from Good Caper Content and premieres Saturday, January 1 at 10:00pm ET/PT on Oxygen. New episodes air Saturdays at 9:00pm ET/PT. For a sneak peak, watch HERE.

Samantha Miduri illustration for 360 MAGAZINE

Building Collapse in South Florida

At least eleven people are dead after a building collapse in Surfside, FL. Rescue operations continue.

A condominium partially collapsed in South Florida on June 24, at 1:20 AM. At least half of the 135 units in the 13-story building have collapsed, according to the Miami-Dade mayor Danielle Levine Cava. The Champlain Towers South building was originally shaped like an “L,” but the lower half of that shape was completely sheared off, including the building’s pool and garage. 

The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue is leading the rescue efforts along with multiple other agencies. The White House and FEMA are also monitoring the situation and will provide assistance to the local officials if needed. 

A woman who resides on the ninth floor recalled her experience to Local 10, “The whole building shook like an earthquake. I opened my sliding glass and I saw a plume of dust and then I opened the door and I saw that the building had pancaked in the back.”

Another resident commented that he and his wife fled to the garage, only to find that the pipes had burst and it was flooded. 

Rescue teams are recovering victims from the rubble, while all tenants in unaffected apartments are being evacuated. Firefighters continue to sift through the wreckage for victims, which includes using dogs and microphones.

“Debris is falling on them as they do their work. We have structural engineers on site to ensure that they will not be injured, but they are proceeding because they are so motivated and they are taking extraordinary risk on the site every day,” says Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, describing the “extreme risk” of the firefighters  dangerous duty.

Over 400 workers are involved in the rescue effort, with up to 200 rescuers searching through debris at all times, according to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Alan Cominsky.

Surfside Mayor Charles W. Burkett cannot think of a reason for this collapse to have happened, other than an unexpected sinkhole or human interference. While he confirmed that roof work was being done on this building, this is a regular occurrence that he doesn’t believe could have caused the collapse. However, former Surfside Vice Mayor Barry Cohen, a resident of the collapsed building, believes that the roof work actually may have compromised the integrity of the building.

Unfortunately, a thunderstorm has paused all rescue efforts for the time being, according to Commissioner Sally Heyman.

On Saturday, June 26, at least 159 people remained missing. On Monday, two more victims were found. As of Tuesday, June 29, the number of missing persons has decreased to 150.

The Champlain Towers South condominium community have continued to mourn the victims of the tragedy in the days following the harrowing accident.

A third lawsuit has now been filed against the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association on behalf of ninth floor resident, Raysa Rodriguez. Rodriguez is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial. The compliant alleges: ““Despite the obvious duties required by Florida law, and this admitted duty of care by the Association’s Declaration and other governing documents, Defendant, through their own reckless and negligent conduct, caused a catastrophic deadly collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside.”

Rodriguez additionally alleged that in 2018, “major structural damages” were outlined in a structural field survey report submitted to the defendant by Morabito Consultants. The compliant is seeking a class action status lawsuit to represent all of the condominium’s victims of the tragic accident.

Rodriguez’ attorney, Adam Schwartzbaum, argued that the building has been aware of these “critical” structural issues for some time, and that warning signs of collapse have been apparent for the last decade. Schwartzbaum says, “Certainly for at least three years, there was a major red flag…sirens flashing, alerting the condo association of this of this danger.” He elaborated in another comment that, “based on our investigation there were many warnings signs more than 10 years ago, maybe even longer. These are not things that were just a few years ago.”

A letter sent from the building’s condo association president reveals that damage to the basement garage of the building had become “significantly worse” since its prior inspection, three years ago. The letter also reveals that the estimated repair costs had risen from $9 million to $15 million, reveals USA Today.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said that President Joe Biden thinks an investigation into the Champlain Towers South collapse should be set in motion.

The harrowing search-and-rescue operation is still currently underway, stretching into day six of the rescue effort.

A family reunification center has been set up for anyone looking for unaccounted or missing relatives at a community center at 9301 Collins Ave. Those searching for their loved ones or to report that they have been located are asked to call 305-614-1819. An emergency information hotline has also been created at 305-993-1071.

California Wildfire illustration by Heather Skovlund

Windsor Vineyards × California Wildfires

HOLLYWOOD CELEBS RAISE MONEY TO SUPPORT VICTIMS OF CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

Windsor Vineyards Wine Magnums featuring Celebrity-Designed Wine Labels To be auctioned on eBay starting at $10,000 bottle

This year marks the first anniversary of the 9,639 wildfires that affected over 10,000 California residents and businesses in 2020 — from wine country in the north down south to the Hollywood Hills. As the 2021 wildfire season fast approaches, celebrities are showing support and solidarity by partnering with Windsor Vineyards and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) to auction exclusive wines, with 100% of proceeds benefiting wildfire victims throughout the great state of California.

Windsor Vineyards and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy — recently featured during the 14th Annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute — have enlisted stars including Zooey Deschanel, Jeff Bridges, Kim Basinger, Fran Drescher, Melissa Joan Hart, Ryan Guzman, Kevin O’Leary, Denise Richards, Sydney Sweeney, Sahara Ray, Corbin Bernsen, Jean Smart, Alison Sweeney, Camille Grammar, Josie Canesco, and Camilla Belle to design one-of-a-kind wine labels to adorn magnums of Windsor Vineyards award-winning wines.

“The wildfires and the pandemic compounded to devastating effect for many Californians in 2020,” said Patricia McIlreavy, president and CEO of CDP. “It is an honor to partner with Windsor Vineyards in bringing together two items quintessentially Californian -creative artists and wine – in support of the state’s recovery.”

“As a Sonoma-based wine company, we feel a great affinity to the local community that was, and continues to be, affected by wildfires,” said Jessica Kogan, Chief Digital Officer of Vintage Wine Estates, owner of Windsor Vineyards. “Given Windsor’s 60-year history of producing the most exciting custom wine labels and bottle etches, a charity auction celebrating the creativity of today’s most inspiring generational stars felt right. It’s a perfect way for us to help make a real difference and support a cause that quite literally hits close to home.”

The limited-edition, celebrity-designed wine magnums will be available for purchase on eBay beginning May 4th, 2021 and will be auctioned June 1st through June 8th, 2021 with 100% of proceeds benefiting the CDP California Wildfire Recovery Fund. Donations to The Fund will support communities across the state as they prepare, rebuild and recover from wildfires.

About the CDP California Wildfire Recovery Fund:

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s mission is to leverage the power of philanthropy to mobilize a full range of resources that strengthen the ability of communities to withstand disasters and recover equitably when they occur. In addition to providing expertise, CDP manages domestic and international Disaster Funds on behalf of corporations, foundations and individuals through targeted, holistic and localized grantmaking. For more information, visit: Disaster Philanthropy website and Twitter

About Windsor Vineyards:

Windsor Vineyards is one of top three most awarded American wineries for the past 60 years. Windsor was founded by legendary winemaker Rodney Strong in 1959 to support customer requests for custom wine labels for his wines. Windsor Vineyards continues to be dedicated to producing great wine, personalized wine labels and custom-etched bottles for private and corporate customers and gift recipients in the United States and abroad. For more information visit Windsor Vineyards.

Gun Violence illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Indianapolis FedEx Mass Shooting

EIGHT KILLED IN INDIANAPOLIS FEDEX FACILITY SHOOTING

What we know so far

  • Brandon Hole, the shooting suspect, opened fire outside and inside of a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana on Thursday evening.
  • Eight people were shot and killed, while several others were wounded in addition to the gunman.
  • Police believe the gunman killed himself as officers encountered him.
  • The motive for the shooting known at this time.

Law enforcement were notified of a mass casualty situation at the Indianapolis FedEx location late Thursday evening. Timothy Boillat, a FedEx employee, was inside of the building when the gunshots began, according to CNN. He was on break when he heard “two loud metal clangs,” not realizing that it was gun shots. Boillat said his friend saw someone grabbing a gun out of the trunk of their car. It was at that moment that Boillat saw a body on the ground. Levi Miller was interviewed this morning by the Today Show and stated “I saw a man, a hooded figure. The man did have an AR in his hand, and he started shouting and then he started firing. I thought he saw me, so I immediately ducked for cover.”

Deputy Chief of Criminal Investigations for Indianapolis Police, Craig McCartt, stated that four of the victims were found inside of the FedEx facility and four were found outside. The suspect was found deceased, in addition to eight other people. The Indianapolis Police Department said they have an idea of who the suspect was, however, have not formally identified him. The Department believes that the shooter was using a rifle, but they do not yet have any specifics on the weapon. The police are being assisted by the FBI in searching the suspect’s house. Special agent Paul Keenan is in charge.

During a news conference McCartt stated, “This suspect came to the facility. He got out of his car and pretty quickly started some random shooting outside the facility. There was no confrontation with anyone. That began in the parking lot and then he did go into the building.”

Alfarena McGinty, the Chief Deputy Coroner at the Marion County Coroner’s Office, said that the Department is conducting an investigation, but cannot yet enter the crime scene to confirm the victims’ identity until all evidence has been collected. “We are still a number of hours out before we are able to go on to the scene to conduct our investigation, and then after that, we’ll work with the families. Following that process, what we have to do is we will perform our examinations,” she said, adding that extra staff will be called in to complete those examinations in the next 48 to 72 hours, reports CNN.

According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, there have been at least 147 mass shootings incidents in 2021 in the United States. The Gun Violence Archive is an online archive of gun violence incidents collected from various law enforcement, media, government and commercial sources daily in order to provide near-real time data about the results of gun violence. GVA is a non-profit corporation based out of Washington DC, as stated on their website.

UPDATE:

Indianapolis Police has released the names of the deceased victims from Thursday night’s shooting. 

The victims are: 

  • 32-year-old Matthew R Alexander 
  • 19-year-old Samaria Blackwell
  • 66-year-old Amarjeet Johal
  • 64-year-old Jaswinder Kaur
  • 68-year-old Jaswinder Singh
  • 48-year-old Amarjit Sekhon
  • 19-year-old Karlie Smith
  • 74-year-old John Weisert

A statement by IMPD says the next of kin has been notified by the Marion County Coroner’s Office.

The cause of death will be determined after autopsies are complete, according to the statement. 

IMPD said the names of those injured are not being released. 

Murderous History illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Murderous History Series

TRUE CRIME MYSTERIES PULLED STRAIGHT OUT OF HISTORY

MURDEROUS HISTORY

ALL-NEW SIX PART SERIES PREMIERES SUNDAY APRIL 25 at 9PM ET/PT ON SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL

No fingerprinting? No DNA tests? No psychological profiling? No problem. Smithsonian Channel steps back in time to investigate history’s most shocking murder mysteries and reveal how they were solved in the upcoming all-new series, Murderous History. On the heels of the channel’s recent success in true crime, historians guide viewers through the sinister undercurrents of various city’s past where odd and lethal scandals perplexed historical detectives and expose the dark undercurrents of society. From the devastatingly bombed streets of London to industrial Chicago to Nazi Berlin, each episode captures nail-biting criminal investigations to prove that everything is not always what it seems. Murderous History premieres on Smithsonian Channel Sunday, April 25 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

At the scene of every crime is a story of a time, the place, and its people. This six-part series steps back in time to examine the most gruesome and compelling murder mysteries of the past 200 years, viewed through the lens of the eras and cities in which they took place. Through cinematic reenactments, we follow the determined investigators and complex perpetrators while revealing how each case made its own mark on history.

They happened in times of war and peace, during daylight and darkness, and to victims old and young. These are the stories of the most heinous murders of the 19th and 20th centuries, some which have faded from memory and others that continue to haunt their host cities to this day. Join us as we travel back to some of history’s defining moments when detectives had to overcome the limited tools of their era—and often invented new forensic techniques on the fly—in a race to catch the killers before they struck again.

Murderous History is produced by Warehouse 51 Productions Ltd. for Smithsonian Channel. The executive producers are TKTK from 51 Productions and John Cavanaugh for Smithsonian Channel. 

About Smithsonian Channel

Smithsonian Channel, a ViacomCBS Inc. brand, is the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing factual entertainment, available in HD and 4K Ultra HD across multiple platforms. Smithsonian Channel, winner of Emmy and Peabody awards, is the home of popular genres such as air and space, travel, history, science, nature and pop culture. Among the brand’s hit series are Aerial America, America in Color, America’s Hidden Stories, Apollo’s Moon Shot, The Pacific War in Color and Air Disasters, as well as critically acclaimed specials that include The Green Book: Guide to Freedom, Black in Space: Breaking the Color Barrier, Walk Against Fear: James Meredith and Princess Diana’s Wicked Stepmother. Smithsonian Channel is available internationally in Canada, Singapore, Latin America, the UK and Ireland.

End Gun Violence illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Boulder Shooter Kills Ten People

Colorado Supermarket Mass Shooting:

Gunman kills 10, including police officer

The series of mass shootings have continued within the United States, this time in Boulder Colorado at 3600 Table Mesa Drive. A gunman killed 10 people at a King Soopers supermarket on Monday afternoon. One of the victims included police officer Eric Talley who was first on the scene. Officer Talley was first to respond to report of gunfire at the grocery store. The workers and shoppers that survived were able to flee the scene and others were able to take shelter within the store – enduring the horrific violence that echoed throughout the store.

The shooting started shortly after 2:30 p.m. in the parking lot of King Soopers. Videographer Dean Schiller provided a livestream video showing what appears to be victims and an employee saying the shooter was inside of the store. Two roommates commented that “he just came in and started shooting” without saying a word. They went on to note that the gunman “let off a couple of shots, then was silent, and then he let off a couple more – He wasn’t spraying.”.

Survivor Ryan Borowski commented to CNN’s Don Lemon that he was still processing what happened. Borowski had just gone to buy some ice cream at the grocery store. He had changed his mind at the last minute and went down a different aisle. Borowski then heard the first gunshots, which he then started running to the back of the store. Borowski and several others rushed out of the store through the back, telling employees “Gun, gun, gun. Run, run, run.” Borowski went on to comment “I don’t remember anybody screaming. It was just go, go, go, get out of here… I knew I had to move.”.

Steven McHugh commented that his son-in-law and his two granddaughters were in the store as their dad got the vaccination for Covid-19. McHugh was told that his family watched people get shot and managed to run to a staff area to hide in a coat closet until police were able to intervene.

The 21-year-old suspect, Ahmad Al Issa, was taken into custody and treated for injuries, however, there are not many answers as to why the violent crime was carried out. Issa is facing 10 counts of first-degree murder and will be taken to Boulder County Jail. Officials say it will take days to investigate the crime scene thoroughly and notify families of the loss of their loved ones. Local, state, and federal agencies responded to the scene to aid in the investigation.

Officer Eric Talley had been with the department since 2010 and was very passionate about his job according to Officer Mark Bliley, head of the Boulder Police Department’s union. Bliley continued to say that Talley had a unique ability to connect with people; that he was a highly respected, well-loved person and officer – a solid person that everyone loved.

Kelli McGannon, King Soopers spokeswoman, said the company is working with investigators and will be deferring to law enforcement on all inquiries about the shooting. “Our hearts are broken over this senseless act of violence,” she said.

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords commented “It’s beyond time for our leaders to take action” on gun control. Giffords is a gun control advocate and mass shooting survivor. She went on to comment that “This is not normal, and it doesn’t have to be this way. This is an especially personal tragedy for me. I survived a shooting at a grocery store, in a tragedy that devastated my beloved community of Tucson. It’s been 10 years, and countless American communities have had to face something similar. Today it’s a tragedy in Boulder, Colorado. This past weekend it was a house party in Philadelphia. And last week it was an armed attack on Asian American women in the Atlanta area.”

The supermarket shooting occurred just seven days after the violent mass shooting in Atlanta where eight innocent people, including six Asian women, were killed when a gunman terrorized three spas. On March 17, five people were gunned down in a drive-by shooting while preparing a vigil in Stockton, California. Just a day later, four victims were shot in Gresham, Oregon. In Houston, five people were shot within a club during a disturbance on March 20. In Philadelphia, five people were injured and one murdered during a shooting at a party on the same day.

The Colorado Healing Fund is collecting donations for victims of the Boulder shooting. The Colorado Healing Fund is a non-profit organization created to support victims of mass tragedies.

Victims of the King Sooper’s Mass Shooting:

  • Denny Strong, 20 years old
  • Neven Stoanisic, 23 years old
  • Rikki Olds, 25 years old
  • Tralona Bartkowiak, 49 years old
  • Suzanne Fountain, 59 years old
  • Teri Leiker, 51 years old
  • Officer Eric Talley, 51 years old
  • Kevin Mahoney, 61 years old
  • Lynn Murray, 62 years old
  • Jody Waters, 65 years old
No More Hate illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Atlanta Shooting

By: Carly Cohen × Heather Skovlund

Early this week, a tragedy had occurred in Atlanta, Georgia. A total of eight victims were killed at the Georgia spa. Six of the eight victims were Asian, and when the suspect got caught, he claimed that “his actions were not racially motivated.” It was stated that it was too soon in the investigation to claim this shooting as a hate crime; however, the shootings were “aimed at a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.” The suspect claimed that apparently “sex addition” drove him to commit these murders.

There were multiple incidents: the first occurred at Young’s Asian Massage Parlor in a mall off Highway ninety-two, about thirty miles north of Atlanta. When the police got the call, five people were shot, and two were dead while three were rushed to the hospital. An hour later, after this tragedy, two other shootings happened right across the street- one being on Piedmont, the other at the Gold Spa and Aromatherapy.

There were seven women and one man; most of them were Asian. The victims have been identified as Delainia Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng.

Yaun and her husband, Mario Gonalez, were off work getting a couples massage at Young’s Asian Massage when the tragedy started. Her husband safely made it out of the salon, but he and his wife were in separate rooms when the shooting was started. They had a family together; a thirteen-year-old son and an infant daughter. It is sad to say that this woman was a victim in this shooting that not one person deserved -separating families, taking parents, taking siblings. It is a terrible, terrible thing that no one deserved. John Beck, Yaun’s manager, voiced to BuzzFeed News that “her heart was so big.” She would feed homeless people and offer them clothes and a place to shower. Hearing a person who is so kind and so pure as Yaun makes you ask the question, “why do bad things happen to good people.” It doesn’t make sense and is not fair.

Xiaojie Tan was the owner of Young’s Asian Massage as was another victim of the attack. She was known for being an extremely hardworking small-business owner and had such a big heart filled with love and kindness. Her client, Greg Hynson, stated that when he came for an appointment on his birthday a year ago, she had a birthday cake waiting for him. Another victim, Paul Andre Micheals, was a U.S Army infantry veteran married for more than two decades. He was a “dedicated, hardworking, loving man,” his brother stated.

These killings brought a “wave of outrage and attention to violence against Asian-American people.” As soon as social media was notified of the attacks and assumed to be focused on Asian’s, you could see all over the media celebrities, influencers, and people left and right posting regarding standing up for the lost lives and spreading awareness to this hate crime and all hate crimes in general. The media has been outraged and will continue to stand together.

Veterans illustration by Kaelen Felix for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Postal Inspection Service Lists Scams Targeting Veterans

As Veterans Day approaches this Wednesday, Operation Protect Veterans is alerting more than 17 million U.S. veterans to scams that are specifically targeting them. OPV is a joint crime prevention program created by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and AARP.

Some of these scams are listed as: 

  • Secret Veterans Benefits Scam: Veterans are told they qualify for “secret” government programs or benefits that offer thousands of dollars. But first, they attempt to collect personal information or a fee.
  • Pension Poaching Scam: Scammers often offer veterans lump sum payments up front, in exchange for signing over all their future monthly benefit checks.  
  • Bogus Employment Scam: Scammers post fake job descriptions to collect personal information from a veteran’s job application, or they charge an employment fee.
  • VA Loan Scams: Offers to refinance VA loans at extremely low rates. 
  • Update Your File Scam: An imposter, claiming to be from a government agency, attempts to get a veteran’s personal information to “update their file,” so they can maintain their benefits.
  • Aid and Attendance Scam: Veterans (or their family members) receive an offer to move their assets into a living trust so that they can qualify for financial assisted Iiving benefits.

According to research conducted by AARP, veterans are twice as likely as the general public to be victims of scams. What can veterans – and those who care about them – do to prevent being taken advantage of by scammers? 

The Postal Inspection Service advises every veteran do the following:

  • Visit the Postal Inspection Service’s website (www.uspis.gov) to learn about scams targeting veterans and what they can do to prevent becoming a victim.
  • Check out any offer with a trusted family member, friend or your local veteran’s affairs office before acting. 
  • Don’t be pressured into acting immediately. If you are dealing with a legitimate outfit, they won’t try to pressure you to act before having a chance to check it out and think about it. If they do, just say “no” and hang up.
  • Get an answering machine and caller ID display. Then, let the machine answer the phone for you. If you don’t recognize the person leaving a message, don’t pick up the phone! 
  • Contact your telephone service provider, and ask them what kind of services they offer to help you block unwanted calls.
  • Report if you believe you have been the victim of a scam. Contact your local police or AARP (protectveterans@aarp.org or 877-908-3360).
  • Get credible information on how to qualify for veterans’ benefits by contacting your state veterans’ affairs agency. Visit www.nasdva.us, and click on “Links.”

“Veterans have access to special benefits and share a special bond that scammers know and use to take advantage of them,” said Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale. “The Postal Inspection Service works hard every day to stop scams targeting veterans, but we need everyone to become better informed, so they can help spread the knowledge to the veterans they know and love. 

“I encourage all Americans to make this Veteran’s Day not only a day of remembrance and thanks for our veterans,” Barksdale continued, “but also to make it the start of learning about, and helping to spread information on scams targeting veterans.”

For more information on scams targeting veterans and other scams, visit www.uspis.gov. To learn more about the U.S. Inspection Postal Service, visit www.uspis.gov. You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.