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Stuck at sea

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
February 14, 2013 1:40:38 PM PST
Carnival Cruise is handing out free cruise tickets as one of the reimbursements for the disaster at sea of its "Triumph" ship. Triumph indeed. Poop deck has new meaning after this voyage, when the ship lost power, and thousands of passengers were stranded at sea with no electricity, no food and no toilets.

Was thinking about the current ads for cruise ships where the couple is looking out at sea from the deck, calmly, and remembering last year's vacation when their car was attacked by bears. Because a free ticket on a cruise is just the thing these folks want, right?

Tonight, close to our 11 p.m. newscast, the Triumph is expected to get to port in Alabama. There's some debate whether they'll be allowed to disembark in the dark. Yeah, I'd like to see them try to stop the folks who want nothing more than to get a meal and a shower.

We're watching the ship getting tugged to shore, as we wait for the emotional reunions that will surely happen. Jeff Pegues is on the story for us.

We're also getting reaction tonight to that grand jury's decision to not indict the New York cop who shot and killed an unarmed National Guardsman whom he pulled over on the Grand Central Parkway last fall. The man was driving erratically, weaving in and out of lanes, and, according to cops, it appeared he reached down for what they thought could be a weapon. That's when he was shot.

It is, history shows us, very difficult, absent camera crews rolling on the incident, to criminally charge police officers who were doing their jobs and claim they thought their lives may have been in danger. A couple of weeks after this incident, a cop was shot in a similar situation. Stopping a driver is always a crap shoot for cops.

Keeping your hands visible and on the steering wheel - that's what tell my kids; cops have guns, my kids don't, keep your hands visible, be polite, and do what the officer says. That's the advice I offer my children - or anyone.

The victim's girlfriend was in the front seat, and an off duty NYPD cop was asleep in the back, after the trio had been at a bar. The girlfriend claims the man didn't make any moves for a weapon, and he didn't have one anyway. That's what's driving some of the angry reaction tonight. Jim Dolan, who covered the shooting for us, is covering tonight's developments.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers, in Florida for baseball spring training, double teaming with Laura Behnke with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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