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Graduation ceremonies in California begin protest-free | The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Schools ask graduates for no disruptions

LOS ANGELES – A weekend of commencement ceremonies took place at six California universities on Friday, with no immediate sign of the large campus protests against the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza that have led to clashes with police and numerous arrests.

Officials called for celebrating the graduates without disruption at schools including the University of California Los Angeles and Santa Cruz campuses.

Commencement events also took place throughout the weekend and into next week at the University of California campuses at Davis, Riverside, San Diego and Santa Barbara.

At a UCLA ceremony, an announcement asking for no disruptions was applauded.

There were also cheers when a graduating class speaker, Camryn Redmond, referred to “the ongoing struggles facing indigenous communities worldwide, from Los Angeles to Gaza.”

Meanwhile, damage assessments continued at California State University, Los Angeles, where pro-Palestinian protesters from an encampment occupied and vandalized a building this week before abandoning it.

The camp remained in place Friday, campus spokesman Erik Frost Hollins said.

“For security reasons, we are not sharing plans, tactics or timing at this time,” Frost Hollins said. “The president has made it clear that the situation cannot be allowed to continue and has told the people in the camp to leave and leave.”

Police truck kills woman on SC beach

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – A woman has died after being struck by a police truck on a South Carolina beach, authorities said.

A Ford Ranger pickup was heading north in the Myrtle Beach area just after 1 p.m. Thursday when it struck the beachgoer, who was looking east, Lance Cpl. Lena Butler said in an audio statement.

The injured person was taken to Grand Strand Medical Center and died from his injuries, she said. The driver, the only person in the truck, was not injured, Butler said.

In a statement Friday afternoon, the Horry County coroner’s office identified the deceased woman as Sandra Schultz-Peters, 66, of Myrtle Beach.

The Horry County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Friday that the crash at the Nash Street beach access involved a department vehicle and that the officer involved was on administrative leave. The highway police are investigating the accident and an internal investigation will also be conducted.

Ex-cop charged over workplace porn video

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A former Nashville police officer has been arrested on two counts of official misconduct after law enforcement officials say he participated in an adult video while on duty.

According to Metro Nashville Police, 33-year-old Sean Herman was fired last month after Specialized Investigations Divisions detectives discovered the video and identified him while wearing his police uniform. Herman was arrested Thursday at his home in Sumner County.

Officials say Herman can be seen participating in a mock traffic stop in the video posted to OnlyFans, a site where fans pay creators for their photos and videos. The skit reportedly included Herman groping the female driver.

A police news release said the video was taken on April 26 in the parking lot of a warehouse while Herman was on duty as a police officer.

“Chief (John) Drake ordered the investigation to continue after Herman was fired, which resulted in his indictment,” the news release said. “A criminal court judge set Herman’s bond at $3,000.”

Second suspect jailed for kidnapping girls

JACKSON, Miss. – A second suspect was arrested Friday in connection with the kidnapping and death of a 4-year-old Louisiana girl who was found in Mississippi, Jackson Police Chief Joseph Wade said.

Wade told WJTV-TV that the suspect, a 32-year-old woman, is an acquaintance of a 36-year-old man who was arrested Thursday.

The woman was arrested at a South Jackson hotel as a result of a collaboration between multiple law enforcement agencies, the chief said. She was taken to the Hinds County Detention Center in Raymond.

According to Wade, the 4-year-old was found dead in a wooded area, while her 6-year-old sister was found alive nearby and taken to a hospital in Jackson.

Wade said there was evidence of possible human trafficking where the children were found, including small animal cages, and Jackson police contacted the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and Hinds County Human Trafficking Divisions to assess the scene.

The first person arrested, a Louisiana resident who had dated the girls’ mother, was the suspect of an Amber Alert in Louisiana before he was arrested. Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey said he was being held at the Rankin County Jail.

Louisiana State Police issued the alert after the girls’ mother, Callie Brunett, 35, was found dead in her home in Loranger, about 60 miles east of Baton Rouge. She was reported missing after no one had spoken to her since Tuesday, said Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jimmy Travis. A cause of death was not immediately released.

photo Law enforcement officers arrived Thursday in a wooded area in Jackson, Miss., regarding a Louisiana woman found dead in her home and her two young daughters kidnapped. (AP/WLBT)