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Duke removes Robert E. Lee statue from chapel entrance

Duke University released a statement Saturday morning that said the school removed the Robert E. Lee statue from its chapel entrance.

The announcement comes days after the statue was one of many vandalized around the nation after the Charlottesville, Virginia protests.

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The Duke University president, Vincent E. Price, sent the following statement to the students:

To the Duke community,

After hearing from and consulting with a number of students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and with the strong support of the Board of Trustees, I authorized the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee from the entrance of Duke Chapel early this morning.

I took this course of action to protect Duke Chapel, to ensure the vital safety of students and community members who worship there, and above all to express the deep and abiding values of our university.

The removal also presents an opportunity for us to learn and heal. The statue will be preserved so that students can study Duke’s complex past and take part in a more inclusive future.

Wednesday night’s act of vandalism made clear that the turmoil and turbulence of recent months do not stop at Duke’s gates. We have a responsibility to come together as a community to determine how we can respond to this unrest in a way that demonstrates our firm commitment to justice, not discrimination; to civil protest, not violence; to authentic dialogue, not rhetoric; and to empathy, not hatred.

As part of this effort, I am creating a commission, to include faculty, students, staff, alumni, trustees and members of the Durham community, to advise on next steps and to assist us in navigating the role of memory and history at Duke. The commission will look at how we memorialize individuals on the Duke campus in buildings and sculpture and recommend principles drawn from Duke’s core values to guide us when questions arise. I will ask this commission to work expeditiously.

In addition, and in concert with Provost Sally Kornbluth, we will use the next year to explore various aspects of Duke's history and ambitions through teaching and scholarship. This will include an exhibition in the Library; a campus conversation about controversy and injustice in Duke’s history; and a forum to explore academic freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly in the university. Further information about these programs will be forthcoming.

As this process moves forward, I welcome your thoughts about how Duke can best address the troubling events of the past few months, learn from a careful and unvarnished understanding of our national and institutional history, and build a stronger, more inclusive future as a university community.

Police: Cook threw hot grease on customer during fight at Memphis gas station

A gas station cook is a facing serious charge after police said she attacked a customer and threw a pot of hot grease on her. 

The victim told officers she entered a Shell gas station in Memphis early Friday and ordered chicken wings. 

She said the wings were undercooked. When she tried to explain the problem, she said the cook, Olivia Gipson, became agitated and started arguing with her.

>> Read more trending news

Police said Gipson punched the victim in the face when she tried to talk to a manager and pulled out a box cutter, slicing at the victim's face. The cook is also accused of throwing a hot pot of grease in the victim's face. 

Gipson told police the victim started the fight and she was just trying to defend herself. She was charged with aggravated assault.

When officers arrived, they said the victim was covered in blood. Police said there was a trail of blood all over the store. She had second-degree burns to her face, eyes, chest and shoulders, and was taken to Regional One in noncritical condition.

FOX13 spoke to the store owner, who said the victim never actually bought any chicken on the day of the incident. He also told us the victim has caused problems in his store before.

Mom Flees Carjacker

Mom Flees Carjacker

Police: Mom tried to breast-feed after being pulled over on suspicion of DWI

A woman pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated attempted to breast-feed her child while an officer spoke to her, police said.

Natasha Abrams, 27, was pulled over Thursday night in Albuquerque after police observed her driving erratically, KOB reported. As an officer tried to speak to Abrams, he witnessed Abrams attempting to feed her baby, according to the police report. The officer noted Abrams had watery, bloodshot eyes and the odor of alcohol was present.

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Abrams told police that she had been looking at her phone when the dog jumped on her, causing her to swerve. She said she had a glass of wine earlier in the day. Abrams failed sobriety tests and blew at or above the legal limit during a breath test, police said.

Abrams was arrested and charged with child endangerment in addition to DWI. The baby was placed in the temporary custody of the grandparents, police said.

Man Shoots and and Kills AAA Worker Over Long Response Time

Man Shoots and and Kills AAA Worker Over Long Response Time

Crowds gather for ‘Free Speech’ rally  in Boston

A free speech rally planned for Boston Common since last month is set to take place Saturday. Two protests have also been planned to take place denouncing recent violence that took place at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

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Cameras and other security measures were in place at and around Boston Common. Street closures are expected to begin Saturday around 10:30 a.m. Crowds could be seen gathering Saturday morning ahead of the noon rally.

Boston police and city officials began construction of barriers designed to keep the different rallies separated. In a news conference, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh asked everyone to help promote peace and stay safe Saturday amid the planned rallies. He advised people who aren't planning to attend to avoid the area around the common.

>> Tensions high in N.C. amid rumored KKK march

“They have the right to gather, no matter how repugnant their views are. But they don’t have the right to create unsafe conditions,” he said. “They must respect our city.”

Man tried to sell stolen refrigeration unit back to owner, police say

An Iowa man accused of trying to steal a stolen refrigerator back to its owner pleaded guilty to felony theft charges Thursday.

Roger Otts, 38, stole a refrigeration unit worth $12,000, police said. He then tried to sell the unit back to the owner, who was disguised as a buyer, for $8,000, KCCI reported. Otts was immediately arrested.

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Otts pleaded guilty to felony theft and probation violation charges, KCCI reported. A judge ordered Otts to serve 90 days for parole violations. Otts then will serve a two-year probation for the theft charge. If he violates the probation, as a habitual offender, he will be required to serve at least three years in prison.

Drawbridge Starts Rising As Man Crosses With His Family

Drawbridge Starts Rising As Man Crosses With His Family

Police: Man's attempt to carjack football players ends in beating

A man accused of attempting to carjack a group of football players ended up getting a beating, police said.

Angelo Martinez, 21, was seen hanging around a community center in Albuquerque on Aug. 11,  when a group of men were playing football. As the men returned to their car, Martinez asked them for a ride. They obliged, but as they pulled up to an address Martinez provided, he pulled out a gun and demanded they give up the car, KOAT reported. 

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The men exited the vehicle but as Martinez tried to take control of the car, he dropped the gun and one of the men reached in and punched Martinez in the face. The other men joined in, and were able to restrain Martinez, KOAT reported. The men told police they found a knife and a fake gun on Martinez.

Police were called and arrested Martinez at the scene. 

Jacksonville officer in critical condition after shooting 

One Florida officer is in critical condition and another is stable after being shot Friday, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said.

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The officers were responding to an attempted suicide call, Sheriff’s Office Director Mike Bruno said.

The suspect was shot by police and later died, deputies said.

The injured officers were taken to UF Health Jacksonville after the shooting.

When officers arrived at the house, they encountered a man armed with a high-powered rifle, Bruno said. Three people were barricaded in a bedroom inside the home.

>> Central Florida policeman shot, killed

The shooter shot through the front door at the responding officers, then exited the house and exchanged gunfire with police, Bruno said. One officer was shot in the hands and another was shot in the stomach, Bruno said.

The three people who were inside the home are safe, Bruno said.

Earlier Friday night in central Florida, one officer was killed and another was gravely wounded in a shooting in Kissimmee.

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