AGBC News Episode 39: Rice Cooker Suspect Caught and the 2004 RNC Protests

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NYPD officer fired for Eric Garner's death 🚨

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AGBC News Episode 39: Rice Cooker Suspect Caught and the 2004 RNC Protests
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  • The suspect wanted in connection with abandoning two empty rice cookers in the Fulton Street subway station and one in Chelsea was apprehended around 1am on August 17th. Larry Griffin of Bruno, West Virginia was seen in video being wheeled in a wheelchair out of a building in Longwood in the Bronx by paramedics with his head slumped to the side. Emergency responders had originally arrived at the location on reports of two people possibly overdosing, then identified Griffin from the subway security camera footage that had been circulated by police. Griffin had spoken to family members in West Virginia after the bomb scare incident and claimed he had found the rice cookers outside an Asian restaurant. Griffin's cousin described him as someone dealing with mental issues who had a tendency to pick up objects off the streets. The 26-year-old also has a criminal record in West Virginia and an active warrant was out for his arrest before the rice cooker incident. He is being held on a $200,000 bond and is facing three counts of placing a false bomb. His lawyers are reportedly in talks to arrange a plea deal and he will be back in court on September 6th.

  • More than five years after Eric Garner's death, the NYPD announced on August 19th that the officer seen on eyewitness video putting Garner in a prohibited chokehold will be fired. Police Commissioner O'Neill announced that former officer Daniel Pantaleo would be fired and the Commissioner attributed the years-long delay to the U.S. Justice Department asking the NYPD to postpone the internal NYPD investigation. The U.S. Department of Justice began an investigation in 2014 into the actions of officer Daniel Pantaleo, and in 2019, the Department of Justice, now overseen by Trump-appointed Attorney General William Barr, announced that they would not pursue civil rights charges against Pantaleo, a decision they voluntarily chose to announce one day before the anniversary of Garner's death. Pantaleo's supervisor, Sergeant Kizzy Adonis, pleaded guilty to charges of failure to supervise and will lose 20 vacation days, with Commissioner O'Neill stating "nothing about her actions on that day either caused the use of the banned chokehold or delayed the arrival of medical attention for Mr. Garner". The city medical examiner's office concluded that the methods used to detain him during arrest, combined with his respiratory health, led to his death. A chokehold is a prohibited procedure for the NYPD to use, but video from the scene clearly showed officer Daniel Pantaleo with his arm around Eric's neck. The incident ignited protests across the city and country and Garner's dying words of "I can't breathe" became a rallying cry of the Black Lives Matter movement. In 2015, the city reached a settlement with the Garner family in which they received $5.9 million in response to their wrongful death claim.

  • 15 years ago on August 26, 2004 — Protests begin surrounding the Republican National Convention scheduled to take place at Madison Square Garden

  • Two women who were arrested in 2015 for planning terrorist bombings in the city pleaded guilty this week to charges of teaching and distributing information about the manufacture and use of an explosive, destructive device, and weapon of mass destruction.

  • 28 years ago on August 28, 1991 — A drunken subway operator derails a '4' Train at Union Square just after midnight, killing five and injuring 121

  • This will be the final week if you've been meaning to take a selfie with the the marble lions at the main branch of the NYPL. The famous lion sculptures, named Patience and Fortitude, that have guarded the entrance to the library at 42nd and Fifth since 1911, will be taking a much-deserved trip to the spa starting September 2nd when their $250,000 restoration begins. Some significant cracks have formed due to water damage and the Tennessee pink marble has been dirtied by air pollution and weather conditions. The lions will be enclosed in plywood and lasers will be used to zap contaminants from the surface of the stone, while cracks will be evaluated and repaired via a variety of methods. If you'll be missing the lions during the weeks they're under repair, the NYPL's online shop even offers replica of Patience and Fortitude as bookends for $150.

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Park of the day

  • Macombs Dam Park — A large park situated next to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, Macombs Dam has all the athletic amenities, including a baseball diamond that sits in the footprint of the 1923 Yankee Stadium. The Parks Department swapped land with the Yankees when the new stadium was built, so the new stadium sits atop the old Macombs Dam Park and vice-versa!

Parks Events

And now let's check in with our robot friend for the concert calendar:

Concert Calendar

Find more fun things to do at

Learn about New York

Here's something you may not have known about New York:


The extreme highs and lows for this week in weather history:
Record High: 103°F on August 26, 1948
Record Low: 50°F on August 27, 1885

Weather for the week ahead:
Light rain on Wednesday, with high temperatures rising to 86°F on Friday.

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Intro and outro music: 'Start the Day' by Lee Rosevere — Concert Calendar music from


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