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It’s Tuesday, April 20th – and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 – Those seeking a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine will get a chance to once again get the dose at the FEMA site being run at Miami-Dade College’s North campus starting Tuesday.
The move came after the pause on Johnson & Johnson one dose vaccines last week amid concerns over rare complications in some who had received it. The site opens at 7 a.m. and anyone ages 18 and older are eligible to get the vaccine while those ages 16 and 17 can get it with a guardian’s consent. The site was scheduled to close in May, but officials have not said if that would be extended.
No. 2 – The jurors who sat quietly off-camera through three weeks of draining testimony in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial in George Floyd’s death moved into the spotlight Tuesday, still out of sight but now in control of verdicts awaited by a skittish city.
The jury of six white people and six people who are Black or multiracial was set for its first full of deliberations. The jury, anonymous by order of the judge and sequestered now until they reach a verdict, spent just a few hours on their task Monday after the day was mostly consumed by closing arguments in which prosecutors argued that Chauvin squeezed the life out of Floyd last May in a way that even a child knew was wrong. The defense contended that the now-fired white officer acted reasonably and that the 46-year-old Floyd died of a heart condition and illegal drug use.
No. 3 – Across South Florida, local law enforcement agencies are prepared for any potential protests that may arise after the verdict is reached in Minneapolis.
This comes after Florida’s governor on Monday took aim at protesters, signing a bill that immediately created new crimes and increased punishments for existing ones if they occur during protests that threaten to damage property or to harm people. Flanked by two dozen law enforcers in Winter Haven, Gov. Ron DeSantis heralded what he called “the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country.” It’s a complicated, far-reaching new law that Democrats and the American Civil Liberties Union say is unconstitutional and it goes beyond just punishing rioters. For more, click here for the story from NBC 6 investigator Tony Pipitone.
No. 4 – Broward County announced Monday that it is now lifting most COVID-19 capacity restrictions and sanitation requirements for outdoor activities effective immediately.
The decision comes as more Broward residents become vaccinated and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention releases the most up-to-date guidance. Social distancing and facial mask requirements will remain in place for the foreseeable future along with certain indoor sanitization and signage requirements. As vaccination rates increase, regulations will be further reduced by additional amendments to the Comprehensive Emergency Order.
No. 5 – Detectives in Miami are searching for the man they say is behind two home invasion robberies that occurred within blocks of each other in early April.
The Miami Police Department released surveillance video of the incidents, with the first taking place April 2nd near the area of Northwest 12th Avenue and 30th Street. The homeowner, an 86-year-old woman, told police the man entered through the front door of her home and demanded money and jewelry before snatching a chain from around her neck, stealing two phones and fleeing the scene. In the second incident on April 10th, the suspect allegedly stole the purse from an 82-year-old woman as she tried to enter her home near NW 11th Avenue and 32nd Street. The two struggled and the woman fell two steps onto the sidewalk outside her home while the suspect fled the scene. Anyone with information is asked to call Miami Police or Miami-Dade CrimeStoppers at 305-471-TIPS.
No. 6 – As more people are getting vaccinated and restrictions are beginning to ease, some people across South Florida may be planning their next trip out of the area.
If that trip involves a plane flight, some consumer advocates are warning of scams that involve those infamous prechecks travelers sign up for through the TSA. Click here for those warnings in a report from NBC consumer investigator Sasha Jones.