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Aspiring TV producer mistakenly killed by deputies in West Hollywood

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posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 08:55 AM
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dug88


The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department acknowledged Thursday that its deputies mistakenly shot and killed a aspiring TV producer they thought was a stabbing suspect.

John Winkler, 30, had gone to a neighbor's apartment Monday night on Palm Avenue in West Hollywood where a man was holding people hostage and tried to help.

Winkler was shot when he rushed out of the apartment with another victim who had been trapped inside the apartment with a third victim and the suspect, sheriff's officials said in a statement.

Three deputies fired at Winkler. He was shot once and died.

Winkler's friend Devin Richardson said Winkler was friends with two of the people held hostage and had rushed over to the apartment when he heard them screaming.


Aspiring TV producer mistakenly killed by deputies in West Hollywood
I'm sorry this should be deleted. It seems like someone's beat me to it.

www.abovetopsecret.com...
edit on 10-4-2014 by dug88 because: already posted


Break this down...

Winkler hears screams, doesn't call 911. Someone else has called 911.

Winkler runs to home to try to help, doesn't call 911. Who called 911? Not Winkler.

He was running out, with a victim AND the suspect, after diffusing the situation, he should have stayed with the victim in the home so the police would call an ambulance. Again, who called 911? Apparently not Winkler.

Was he running in front of the suspect or behind? Why wasn't he calming the victim if the suspect were fleeing?




posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 09:18 AM
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I think its more than a split second and self defense to fire at the hostages running at the cops....this is an obvious thing the hostages would be doing! So the cops did the wrong thing and it ended in the wrong person, the hero civilian dying. Its sickening. If in doubt, in that split second, DON'T FIRE!
edit on 11-4-2014 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 10:17 AM
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Unity_99
I think its more than a split second and self defense to fire at the hostages running at the cops....this is an obvious thing the hostages would be doing! So the cops did the wrong thing and it ended in the wrong person, the hero civilian dying. Its sickening. If in doubt, in that split second, DON'T FIRE!
edit on 11-4-2014 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)


Please point out in the article where the officers knew the person running at them was a hostage?
edit on 11-4-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 10:19 AM
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Unity_99
I think its more than a split second and self defense to fire at the hostages running at the cops....this is an obvious thing the hostages would be doing! So the cops did the wrong thing and it ended in the wrong person, the hero civilian dying. Its sickening. If in doubt, in that split second, DON'T FIRE!
edit on 11-4-2014 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)


At any time did the police not identify themselves?

No, it is not obvious, and how can you say it would be obvious, unless you were once a hostage and know how hostages act.

This lady was a hostage


Hmm, police clearly evident in this video, do you suppose maybe Winkler should have stayed inside if the police were there?

And this one, the parent of the child who was taken hostage.



As you seem to think Winkler running out of the house is a normal or obvious thing, why would anyone run knowing the police are there? Winkler placed himself in danger.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 10:32 AM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 

Why are you blaming the victim?

Some crazy guy starts stabbing people, and they flee. They get shot by police for fleeing a guy with a knife. One dies. The other was stabbed already and also got shot, but lives.

Then they enter the apartment and don't shoot the guy who was stabbing people - only subdue him.

Cops are easily spooked and shoot first/ask questions later. They'd never cut it in many of the more dangerous professions - being a cop ain't as dangerous as being a farmer.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 10:40 AM
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Greven
reply to post by WarminIndy
 

Why are you blaming the victim?

Some crazy guy starts stabbing people, and they flee. They get shot by police for fleeing a guy with a knife. One dies. The other was stabbed already and also got shot, but lives.

Then they enter the apartment and don't shoot the guy who was stabbing people - only subdue him.

Cops are easily spooked and shoot first/ask questions later. They'd never cut it in many of the more dangerous professions - being a cop ain't as dangerous as being a farmer.


The guy was already OUT of the apartment, he was running OUT.

Winkler KNEW the police were there, Winkler ALREADY diffused the stabber, Winkler DIDN'T call 911. Winkler RAN out to where police were at. Winkler made a bad decision. All Winkler had to do was wait until the police entered.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 11:29 AM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 

Q1) How do you know that the victim knew police were there? We only have the word of the police for that.
Q2) Why would a normal person think running to the police for safety from a guy with a knife is dangerous?


Later, officials said, they learned that McDonald had held Winkler and the two other men hostage. When deputies arrived, McDonald flew into “a rage ... began stabbing the men and fighting with them.”

Assuming this is true, put yourself in his position - if a guy started stabbing you/your friends, would you stick around to be stabbed by a psycho?

Let's see how well your decision-making process is when you're getting stabbed and otherwise assaulted. I bet it will be similarly 'bad' as you put it.
edit on 11Fri, 11 Apr 2014 11:30:02 -0500America/ChicagovAmerica/Chicago4 by Greven because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 01:37 PM
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Greven
reply to post by WarminIndy
 



Cops are easily spooked and shoot first/ask questions later. They'd never cut it in many of the more dangerous professions - being a cop ain't as dangerous as being a farmer.


I don't think I can say in almost 17 years on the job that I have ever been "easily spooked" at any point in time. I can say that there are times that I wish I had more information, and more time to make a decision, and I am lucky that I have never injured a victim or a bystander, (of course none of that applies anymore as most of my time is spent wondering what kind of creamer for my coffee, yeah injured desk jockey here)

The problem, and Xcath said it best, is hindsight. We all have it, we all use it, and it's always 20/20. We can sit here until the cows come home and try to figure out what would be the best course of action based upon all of the facts, but those facts aren't known in the middle of a situation, and well you have to trust instinct and a little luck to make the right decision.

I've seen cops (hell I've helped prosecute cops) that think their badge gives them the right to execute anyone they wish, harass people etc. those guys, yes I will always agree should be thrown in GenPop and let the rest of the trash sort them out. The general duty officers though that have to make these split second decisions, while they make mistakes, make far less of them than the media would like you to believe...



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 01:47 PM
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Greven
reply to post by WarminIndy
 

Q1) How do you know that the victim knew police were there? We only have the word of the police for that.
Q2) Why would a normal person think running to the police for safety from a guy with a knife is dangerous?


Later, officials said, they learned that McDonald had held Winkler and the two other men hostage. When deputies arrived, McDonald flew into “a rage ... began stabbing the men and fighting with them.”

Assuming this is true, put yourself in his position - if a guy started stabbing you/your friends, would you stick around to be stabbed by a psycho?

Let's see how well your decision-making process is when you're getting stabbed and otherwise assaulted. I bet it will be similarly 'bad' as you put it.
edit on 11Fri, 11 Apr 2014 11:30:02 -0500America/ChicagovAmerica/Chicago4 by Greven because: (no reason given)


Hmm, well the police DO IDENTIFY themselves.

The initial report said Winkler heard screams that's why he RAN TO the house, instead of calling 911 like most people would. If Winkler heard screams and then ran to it, he was not a hostage at the beginning.

And if someone started stabbing me or my friends, I would probably be fighting him.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 04:19 PM
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vkey08
I don't think I can say in almost 17 years on the job that I have ever been "easily spooked" at any point in time. I can say that there are times that I wish I had more information, and more time to make a decision, and I am lucky that I have never injured a victim or a bystander, (of course none of that applies anymore as most of my time is spent wondering what kind of creamer for my coffee, yeah injured desk jockey here)

Perhaps you are different. Here's some things that have happened that sour my opinion of the police:
A Ross County deputy sheriff has been placed on leave after authorities say he accidentally shot and killed a woman before a drug raid on Wednesday.
Moments later, the situation deteriorated even further when the house erupted into flames.
Regina Tasca is a “rogue cop” – and God bless her for it.
The DOJ also reviewed the use of nonlethal force involving significant harm or injury to people by APD officers and found a similar pattern of excessive force by officers against people who posed no threat and was not justified by the circumstances.
Police-related suits cost city more than $500 million since ’04
LAPD officers tampered with in-car recording equipment, records show
British police have fired Tasers hundreds of times at suspects' chests despite explicit warnings from the weapon's manufacturer not to do so
Police in Georgia forced a group of fifth graders to the ground at gunpoint this week as they attempted to build a tree fort in their own neighborhood.

These are just the stories I've come across the last two weeks, and I wasn't expressly looking for them (some are not from this month, for example).
reply to post by WarminIndy
 

As we all should know from Sandy Hook (if nothing else), initial reports are often very wrong. This is what the report in the OP claimed - in essence, that the victim threw himself into danger so he should be blamed:


In fact, John Winkler, 30, had gone to a neighbor's apartment Monday night on Palm Avenue in West Hollywood where a man was holding people hostage and tried to help.

This is what another report says:


Winkler was "hanging out" with some friends who lived in the apartment below him on Palm Avenue when a man who also lived in that apartment, Alexander McDonald, climbed over the balcony with the knife, sheriff's homicide Lt. David Coleman said.

This is why you aren't supposed to assume, especially with little facts. You assume the veracity of the initial report, when you forget to ask yourself a simple question.

If Winkler went to get involved in a fight, and now he's dead presumably without being able to tell his story - who told that initial report to the police? Or perhaps more accurately, who told the media this initial claim? I'd wager it was the police themselves, who have the most to gain by painting the victim in poor light to excuse their actions.



Someone called 911 and arriving deputies were told the hostage-taker was a thin man in a black shirt.

Deputies announced themselves and pounded on the door and at that moment one of the stabbing victims took the opportunity to escape, Coleman said.

"The door suddenly opened and a man with blood spurting form his neck entered the doorway" with Winkler — a thin man wearing a black shirt — running after him only inches away, Scott said.

The fleeing man appeared to be under "continuous attack," the sheriff said.

What was the prior report, again?


Deputies “announced themselves” at the apartment but got no response. The door suddenly burst open and a bloodied man came out. At the same moment, Winkler ran out, “lunging at the back of the fleeing victim,” according to the department.

The deputies believed that “Winkler was the assailant and the assault was ongoing and he would attack the entry team.”

So, they shot Winkler. And also the guy who was bloodied. Nice aim, there. A visual demonstration - try holding your hands up above your head as you prioritize running in terror as fast as possible. What does it look like?



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 05:42 PM
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Xcathdra

Where did you drag this load of BS from?


Albequerque PD was doing it.

or, was alleged to be doing it because they gave a bonus to cops suspended for shooting a suspect. It was labelled a "bounty" by the media and legal types involved.




Had people bothered to read the article you would see why shots were fired. The one person was killed and the second person was wounded.

If you are involved in a standoff and have 2 people burst through a door and start running directly at law enforcement what the hell would you do?


This is a hard point for sure. Because you are right.

But on the other hand....these are two people running for their lives from a desparate situation. What else would you have expected THEM to do?



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 06:46 PM
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bigfatfurrytexan
This is a hard point for sure. Because you are right.

But on the other hand....these are two people running for their lives from a desparate situation. What else would you have expected THEM to do?


Information that was not known at the time of the shooting.

Its also why I was asking how far the officers were from the door the people came thru.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 06:55 PM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 


You understand, perception is reality. Unfortunate in many cases, but its true.

You departments PR knows this. And I am sure you understand it. 2 unarmed victims being shot, with 1 killed....perception is reality. Not a large percentage of well reasoned people in the populace.

I have told you before, i admire you for the way you discuss your work. You, on these forums, represent LEO's very well. On this and other forums I have dealt with some real doozies. You...i believe you could carry out the duties of an LEO very honorably if you conduct yourself "out there" the way you do here.

But you have to understand....unarmed victims....



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 08:13 PM
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Police training must just be a joke these days. My job is dangerous and I have to do things that even some police would be scared to do, so if they can't be properly trained then there is a big problem. I had to train on the job for a few years before I went solo, and I am guessing their training program is just lacking on all levels not to mention lowering IQ requirements.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 08:32 PM
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Slickinfinity
Police training must just be a joke these days. My job is dangerous and I have to do things that even some police would be scared to do, so if they can't be properly trained then there is a big problem. I had to train on the job for a few years before I went solo, and I am guessing their training program is just lacking on all levels not to mention lowering IQ requirements.


In General (will vary by state since they set the standards for their state) Police Academy training will last anywhere from 6months to a year. That is just academy. Once they graduate they typically are assigned to a senior officer / Field training officer for an additional 6 months to a year before they are assigned to work on their own.

The one thing people don't quite comprehend about law enforcement is the academy teaches a person just enough to get themselves in trouble. Law Enforcement is not a profession where cadets can sit in a classroom for a year and be experienced officers at graduation. This profession is very much on the job training, which makes it more difficult.

Departments can hold training as much as they want, but in the end the situation is contrived, and almost all officers in training know this, which knowing / unknowing affects the training.

Until you start taking calls and gaining experience, the learning curve is extremely steep and even a minor error can result in death (as we see). Even then you are going to be faced with situations that do not fit into any category, in addition to situations that an officer cannot be trained to handle, requiring on the spot decision making while knowing full well the decision made must be owned by the officer who made it.

It is also a profession where the law is constantly changing, shifting, discontinued. All it takes is for one officer from one agency to make a stupid decision that will result in case law via the US Supreme Court that affects all law enforcement at all levels in the US and its territories / commonwealths. This does not include those appeals circuit rulings that only affect states within their circuit.

I am not trying to offer an excuse, I am merely pointing out some of the things that most people do not take into account when looking at law enforcement actions.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 08:44 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


No I understand... The info below is not directed at you but to the thread in general.

And yes, I conduct myself on the street in the same manner I conduct myself in the forums. I work for the people and its their authority they have entrusted me with. I am a firm believer, when appropriate, to take the time to explain my actions / the law to those who ask. I am also a believer in "lecturing a person can have more of a positive impact than citing / arresting a person".

Have I let DWI's off? I have. I have had several instances in my career where I have stopped a person for DWI and instead of charging I have taken them home and released them to their parents. I can count on both hands the number of times ive down that in the last 10 years. People make mistakes, and those mistakes can be costly. Looking at the overall picture though the question is does my action serve the public interest?

An officer involved shooting resulting in the death of a person who should not have been shot is the ultimate nightmare scenario, for all parties involved.

I am not trying to make excuses or justify the officers actions. I am merely pointing out items that the general public do not think about.

Monday morning quarterbacking is even more of an issue and creates an unrealistic viewpoint to those who read about the incident and then form their opinion based on the info. I have no issues with civilian oversight of law enforcement actions provided those individual understand the legalities involved in reviewing those actions.

The media puts together the sequence of events based on the info they can obtain, and most times the info is not complete or inaccurate. People think the police are involved in a cover up by refusing to release material about the incident. They don't seem to understand that -

A - Media always wants to be the first to get their breaking news on air before their competitors. This often times results in misinformation being released because the media filled in the gaps by speculation and not by confirmation. This creates the second issue when Police do comment, and their information is not the same as the media's, that the police are hiding something.

B - Officer involved shootings are not handled in the same manner as another crime. The agency who is involved in the shoot generally will not conduct the investigation. That is passed on to another agency to avoid a conflict of interest. You then have the PA's office who will also do their own investigation. Depending on the situation you could also have a Federal investigation.
The media almost never talks about the autopsy / determination of cause of death or how long it can take crime labs to process evidence.

They take time and because the investigations are based on possible criminal action, the material collected cannot be immediately released to the public. If an appeal occurs you will still have information about the case under wraps. usually they become a matter of public law once every thing is completed, including all court actions.

Is it a crime to shoot and kill another person, regardless if you are a civilian or law enforcement? YES.
Is the deceased cause of death listed as a homicide? YES
Is the shooting justified under law? YES / NO

While its illegal to shoot and kill another person, if you are defending yourself / 3rd party the homicide is still a homicide but the action was justified given ALL circumstances.

The topic is complicated and I urge people to at least research law enforcement in your area. Talk to the departments in your area if you have questions. Communication is paramount, in both directions. It does not mean you have to like the answers you get, but at the very least you are now armed with the information needed to successfully get the law changed / dropped / etc.

Its one of those rare instances in this world where you get to see the playbook. Take advantage of it and push for the changes you think are needed. Get involved. You might be surprised to learn law enforcement may very well agree with your position and could possibly assist in getting laws changed.
edit on 11-4-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

edit on 11-4-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 09:33 PM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 


i agree with just about everything you said. Except the last part. I cannot recommend engaging a PD in dialogue.

Buying muscle cars, wearing riot gear, and owning military transport seems to be aimed at creating fear in someone. Ostensibly "the bad guy". It seems to be creating the opposite effect. I think some good PR would be needed to repair the damage to public opinion.

Ill tell you....the whole "they like to hire less intelligent officers" story that circulated (several times over several years) sure doesn't help matters much.



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 09:55 PM
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Xcathdra

Catacomb

Xcathdra

Aazadan

They can legally murder you and collect a bounty for doing so.


Where did you drag this load of BS from?

Had people bothered to read the article you would see why shots were fired. The one person was killed and the second person was wounded.

If you are involved in a standoff and have 2 people burst through a door and start running directly at law enforcement what the hell would you do?


Show restraint as a police officer. If people are running at you, with no weapons, you don't fire. I thought they trained for stuff like this with cardboard cutouts of a guy in a beanie and a gun with a mean face, and other cutouts of civilians. I guess they don't do that anymore? Just train them to shoot at everyone. That's great...not really.

Seriously...they should be able to determine whether someone has a weapon or not, and if they don't know, DO NOT FIRE.


Let me ask -

Where in the article does it state the officers said the persons were not armed?


So, Winkler the TV producer was holding a gun, or a knife...while he was kidnapped? And, he then ran at the police? Is that what you are saying?

I'm saying the cops are inept...if you want to defend that, so be it.
edit on 11-4-2014 by Catacomb because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 10:33 PM
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Catacomb

Xcathdra

Catacomb

Xcathdra

Aazadan

They can legally murder you and collect a bounty for doing so.


Where did you drag this load of BS from?

Had people bothered to read the article you would see why shots were fired. The one person was killed and the second person was wounded.

If you are involved in a standoff and have 2 people burst through a door and start running directly at law enforcement what the hell would you do?


Show restraint as a police officer. If people are running at you, with no weapons, you don't fire. I thought they trained for stuff like this with cardboard cutouts of a guy in a beanie and a gun with a mean face, and other cutouts of civilians. I guess they don't do that anymore? Just train them to shoot at everyone. That's great...not really.

Seriously...they should be able to determine whether someone has a weapon or not, and if they don't know, DO NOT FIRE.


Let me ask -

Where in the article does it state the officers said the persons were not armed?


So, Winkler the TV producer was holding a gun, or a knife...while he was kidnapped? And, he then ran at the police? Is that what you are saying?

I'm saying the cops are inept...if you want to defend that, so be it.


How about you re-read my post and then read your post that it was in response to. If your intent is to make an asinine comment only to try and play dumb when called out, so be it. Let me know and I wont hold my breath for you to give a real answer.

Your comment made an assumption. I asked you to show me where the info was in the article that allowed you to make that assumption.

The technical term is called a leap of logic, and its just as bad when civilians do it.

Secondly - You once again made an assumption with your last comment. Had you taken the time to read my posts and understand them you would have noted, several times, that I never stated I supported the officers actions or approved of the actions.

People like you, with your mindset, are why there is a massive issue when it comes to communication. Your preconceived notions are just as dangerous as the preconceived notions people accuse law enforcement of making.

It needs to stop.
edit on 11-4-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2014 @ 12:30 AM
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bigfatfurrytexan
i agree with just about everything you said. Except the last part. I cannot recommend engaging a PD in dialogue.

While I completely understand how that mindset came into existence, if we are to make an effort to change things communication is a must. It will not be easy in some areas and will be easier in others. Just my 2 cents. I would rather make an effort and hope it starts the changes that are needed rather than writing it off without an attempt (not slamming you or your position btw - just a personal viewpoint I hold).




bigfatfurrytexan
Buying muscle cars, wearing riot gear, and owning military transport seems to be aimed at creating fear in someone. Ostensibly "the bad guy". It seems to be creating the opposite effect. I think some good PR would be needed to repair the damage to public opinion.

Again I can see your point. My thing is when we make the news, its almost always for the worst case scenarios. Since doing good rarely ever makes the news it can create a blanket perception that all law enforcement is bad.

Military items ae a double edged sword. Again, I see your point and understand the perception it creates. The flip side is the military equipment often comes free or at a massively reduced amount. Contrary to the viewpoint that law enforcement is a revenue stream, law enforcement budgets are problematic. My state has a law that restricts the amount of fines that can go towards a police departments budget. The funds don't go into the departments budget - it goes to the cities general funds.

As an example in a neighboring county, which has one large municipal department with over 300 officers followed with the Sheriff's who also has a few hundred employees and several smaller city departments. Those agencies are able to pull in decent federal grants. The issue with those grants is how that money is distributed among the various agencies. As one would guess, the large municipal department and the sheriffs office eat up a very large chunk of those funds. Whats left is not a lot and creates issues on trying to get new equipment.

Military equipment is built to higher specs than civilian equipment. That equipment allows money set aside to be used for other projects / needed items / training. The other benefit is the higher construction standard - You have an increased clearance from road surface to the underside of the vehicle. It is also better able to handle extreme weather better than civilian equivalents. It allows access to areas that a standard police vehicle would not be able to reach.

Again I understand the perception it creates. However I don't think people look at the side of the coin (paragraph above) to see the benefits.



bigfatfurrytexan
Ill tell you....the whole "they like to hire less intelligent officers" story that circulated (several times over several years) sure doesn't help matters much.

True / valid point. The issue with that is the blanket mentality that is applied to all agencies. I don't think people would be happy if they were treated as a drug addict / drug mule because an arrest was made 3 states over.


Question to all -
I listed some of the positive benefits for the military item. Can anyone give me some negative issues?




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