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Police officer killed victim of break-in
The Columbus Dispatch ^ | July 20, 2012 | Allison Manning

Posted on 07/22/2012 9:32:41 PM PDT by Altariel

Maybe if the police officer had arrived just a minute later, the young man would still be alive.

That’s what the friends and family of Destin Thomas say, after Columbus police confirmed yesterday that it was one of their own officers who shot and killed Thomas while responding to a 911 call he had made on Tuesday morning.

Police gave few details yesterday about what happened between the 21-year-old Thomas and Officer William Kaufman, a 17-year veteran, citing the ongoing investigation.

They said that Kaufman shot Thomas twice, in his hip and chest. Thomas died at the scene.

“The fact that they’re trying to justify it, no apology or nothing, (just saying), ‘Oh, we’re just doing what we were trained to do,’” said Thomas’ cousin Derek Harris, 24. “I didn’t know you were trained to kill the person you were supposed to help.”

Police also said yesterday that they’ve charged a man who they had said earlier was thought to be involved in the break-in at Thomas’ Far East Side apartment — the reason that Thomas had called police.

David J. O’Neal, 19, of Shaker Heights, Ohio, is charged with grand theft auto, vandalism and receiving stolen property — all fourth-degree felonies — as well as a count of obstructing official business, a fifth-degree felony.

All of those charges are in connection to a stolen police cruiser that authorities say O’Neal took from an officer who was patrolling about a half-mile from Thomas’ apartment on Tuesday afternoon.

So far, O’Neal hasn’t been charged in the break-in, though Sgt. Rich Weiner, spokesman for Columbus police, said other charges could be filed. O’Neal was in the Fairfield County jail tonight under $500,000 bond.

Thomas was found with a gun next to his body, but police haven’t said where that gun came from or whether Thomas even had it in his hand when he was shot.

His roommate and cousin have both said that Thomas didn’t own a gun, and they think he somehow got the weapon off the men who broke into his apartment at 7277 Brooke Blvd.

Thomas’ roommate, DelShawn Walker, 22, said his friend had no interest in guns. “He said on several occasions, ‘I don’t plan on getting a gun. I don’t need one,’” he said.

Walker and Harris are angry with police. Thomas was the one the police were supposed to be protecting, they said.

“If (the officer) didn’t show up on time, he’d still be alive today, because he did their job for them (by chasing the burglars out),” Harris said.

Police have said that Officer Kaufman saw Thomas and another man run from the apartment. A neighbor said that a third man also ran from it, though police so far have arrested only O'Neal.

When Thomas called 911 at 8:46 a.m. Tuesday, he said in a whispered voice that people had broken into his apartment and he could hear them talking.

O’Neal was caught several hours later when Police Officer Billie Camp-Donovan saw him and recognized him as a suspect wanted in connection with the break-in. She jumped from her cruiser to chase him, and he doubled back and stole the cruiser, police say. Camp-Donovan then fired six gunshots at the cruiser, though she didn’t hit O’Neal.

The county prosecutor’s office will review both officers’ actions.

Walker and Harris wonder why, if Thomas was holding a gun when he ran from his apartment, the officer didn’t ask him to put it down. Knowing Thomas, they said, he would have immediately.

“I honestly believe he was trying to tell them, ‘I’m the one who called you,’” Walker said. “But they didn’t give him a chance.”

Police officers, though, say they have little time to sort out a situation when someone is holding a weapon.

Because of the rash of recent police shootings, officers held a demonstration of how they handle confrontations with armed people for media representatives at the Police Training Academy today.

Columbus Police Chief Kimberley Jacobs said it’s impossible for officers to predict what a person intends to do when that person approaches with a weapon.

“We have to be able to react in instantaneous fashion,” she said.

Asked if she was concerned that Thomas might have been wrongly shot, she said it “would be concerning if someone who has no (malicious intent) toward an officer was shot.”

“But we can’t predict that, and we can’t know that when someone has a gun in their hand.”

That explanation is little comfort to Thomas’ friend and cousin.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: banglist; columbus; donutwatch; dropgun; ohio
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Subtitle: Friends, family angry as questions go unanswered; one man charged
1 posted on 07/22/2012 9:32:46 PM PDT by Altariel
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To: Altariel
Being a law abiding citizen I'd sooner confront an armed thug kicking in my front door than I would a government unionist jack boot who can't (or can) read a warrant. How about you?

2 posted on 07/22/2012 9:42:13 PM PDT by I see my hands (It's time to.. KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER FREEPERS!)
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To: Altariel
Recognizing the hell G. Zimmerman now lives in at least he is alive. Had the person stalking and beating him been a government unionist jack boot he'd be dead.

3 posted on 07/22/2012 9:44:48 PM PDT by I see my hands (It's time to.. KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER FREEPERS!)
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To: Altariel

Unbelievable.


4 posted on 07/22/2012 9:48:15 PM PDT by JLS
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To: JLS

Totally believable.

Poor guy didn’t have a dog for the cop to shoot, so...


5 posted on 07/22/2012 9:58:59 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1279 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...)
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To: Altariel

It’s apparently best to call 911 after the shooting stops and the guns are cleaned and put away.


6 posted on 07/22/2012 10:04:42 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: JLS

This reads like a bad movie.
The guy calls the cops, they show up and kill him. With a convenient throw down at his side, perhaps, of course.
Then the female officer gets her car stolen by someone she is chasing?

You are better off on your own.

At least then only the bunglers might be the only ones you need to worry about.

No mention of a dog. Must have been a slow day for PD.


7 posted on 07/22/2012 10:05:26 PM PDT by glyptol
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To: All

Cops don’t make mistakes. sarc


8 posted on 07/22/2012 10:07:41 PM PDT by Terry Mross ( To kin and former friends: Do not attempt to contact me as long as you love obama.)
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To: glyptol

The way I understand the police comments is that if they see you with a gun in hand they will shoot immediately!

After they have to be sure of their safety.

The officer ought be fired and prosecuted as should his bosses in the police department.


9 posted on 07/22/2012 10:09:52 PM PDT by hoosierham (Freedom isn't free)
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To: Altariel
Sgt. Rich Weiner, spokesman for Columbus police,

Rich... Richard... Dick Weiner.

Do parents give even the slightest thought to their new baby's name?

10 posted on 07/22/2012 10:11:15 PM PDT by eartrumpet
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To: Altariel

There’s no situation that can’t be made worse by calling the cops.


11 posted on 07/22/2012 10:15:19 PM PDT by trapped_in_LA
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To: hoosierham

He was just chasing a criminal the cops didn’t want to chase.

We can’t have peple supposing they are free citizens with the authority to make a citizen’s arrest, now can we?

</s>


12 posted on 07/22/2012 10:19:56 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: trapped_in_LA

Camp-Donovan then fired six gunshots at the cruiser, though she didn’t hit O’Neal.

Did she even hit the car?

Cruiser? Old term for a police car or navy ship or crusier weight boxer?

With her skill she could have hit all three and the dog too.

but who’s counting?


13 posted on 07/22/2012 10:27:19 PM PDT by glyptol
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To: Altariel

There’s nothing new here. Columbus cops have a long history replete with squirrelly shoots, incompetence, and unprofessional behavior.

When I was at at OSU many moons ago, the CPD had the reputation for being a bunch of trigger-happy yahoos with shit-for-brains who loved writing jaywalking tickets. I see little has changed.


14 posted on 07/22/2012 10:28:48 PM PDT by Emperor Palpatine (Tosca, mi fai dimenticare Iddio!!!!!)
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To: Altariel
Sad to say, but we have gone from “To Serve and Protect” to “To Intimidate and Subjugate”
15 posted on 07/22/2012 10:29:46 PM PDT by Tupelo (TeaPartier ..... but no longer a Republican)
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To: Altariel
"Police officers, though, say they have little time to sort out a situation when someone is holding a weapon."

Excuse me?Holding aversion is a constitutionally protected, inherent right. Thats sort of what "bear arms" means

16 posted on 07/22/2012 10:53:05 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (Legalize Freedom!!)
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To: muir_redwoods

“Aversion” s/b “a weapon”
Damned autocorrect


17 posted on 07/22/2012 10:56:14 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (Legalize Freedom!!)
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To: Tupelo

No, a different party is the beneficiary of the service and protection of the police—the State and its interests.


18 posted on 07/22/2012 10:59:06 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Joe Brower

You should read this article if you haven’t already.


19 posted on 07/22/2012 11:20:41 PM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: hoosierham
The way I understand the police comments is that if they see you with a gun in hand they will shoot immediately!

Back in te day they used to just call that 'shoot first and ask questions later'!

20 posted on 07/22/2012 11:30:52 PM PDT by Ron H. (Beelzebub or Satan? Not relly all that much difference in the end. Neither one is good for America!)
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To: Ron H.

Its a shame.

As an old cop and vet, many times I was reprimanded for putting myself in danger, because I would never draw my weapon unless I shot something.

I would walk up and ask why you had a gun in your hand.

Maybe I was stupid. I never wore a vest either.


21 posted on 07/22/2012 11:51:01 PM PDT by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: Steve Newton

Unfortunately, we have too few peace officers and too many LEOs these days.

And now, we are being treated to frequent examples as to why peace officers are and were superior to LEOs.


22 posted on 07/23/2012 12:08:55 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Altariel
Police officers, though, say they have little time to sort out a situation when someone is holding a weapon.

Better to murder someone with a gun just in case....

23 posted on 07/23/2012 12:24:18 AM PDT by freebilly
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To: Altariel

This is why we need gun control—to keep dangerous weapons in the hands of trained professionals. /s


24 posted on 07/23/2012 12:30:32 AM PDT by Trod Upon (Obama: Making the Carter malaise look good. Misery Index in 3...2...1)
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To: Altariel

Great work by the female cop getting her squad stolen. Probably had a shotgun in it too.


25 posted on 07/23/2012 12:32:18 AM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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To: Steve Newton
Its a shame.

As an old cop and vet, many times I was reprimanded for putting myself in danger, because I would never draw my weapon unless I shot something.

Yes, I do agree. It is easy to second guess situations like this and even I occasionally form an opinion based on what I read or see that is at odds with the published police version. I can only say that I'm glad I'm not in that situation. During my time in combat I practiced the 'shoot first' policy but that wasn't the same as being a police officer confronted with a man with a gun while responding to a call of the nature that is reported here in this news article.

It is a dangerous job but at the same time police officers are human and they have to deal with the fear factor. It's how the officer deals with that fear is what must be factored in, IMO. I personally believe that some officers panic and just shoot first when confronted with danger and fear and have only a spit second to decide to shoot or not and thus claim that they feared for their lives as it is usually seen as a get out of jail FREE card by the public. I do think that the police should not be allowed to be the only ones to investigate their own. There has got to be a better way to handle police involved shootings, IMHO.

26 posted on 07/23/2012 12:40:53 AM PDT by Ron H. (Beelzebub or Satan? Not relly all that much difference in the end. Neither one is good for America!)
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To: Altariel

Was the gun a ‘plant’?


27 posted on 07/23/2012 1:19:22 AM PDT by Bon mots ("When seconds count, the police are just minutes away...")
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To: trapped_in_LA
There’s no situation that can’t be made worse by calling the cops.

NONE.

28 posted on 07/23/2012 1:23:18 AM PDT by Lazamataz (I hate the Universe, and it hates me.)
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To: Emperor Palpatine

I graduated from a Columbus High School, one of the things that stuck with me from there is that I rarely saw a Police Car, on the other hand they had these helicopters that would fly all night and that damn searchlight of theirs would creep me out as it scanned across the backyard. After awhile a person could get used to the chopper noise but that light coming in the bedroom window was always creepy.


29 posted on 07/23/2012 5:16:09 AM PDT by The Working Man
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To: The Working Man

I graduated from a Columbus High School, one of the things that stuck with me from there is that I rarely saw a Police Car, on the other hand they had these helicopters that would fly all night and that damn searchlight of theirs would creep me out as it scanned across the backyard. After awhile a person could get used to the chopper noise but that light coming in the bedroom window was always creepy.

I forgot to say that was back in the early 70’s. I joined the service right out of high school and never went back there. I hear its changed a lot and not for the better. Even my parents moved shortly after I graduated from high school.


30 posted on 07/23/2012 5:40:49 AM PDT by The Working Man
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To: Steve Newton
Vests are part of the problem along with selective fire weapons, masks and other ninja gear. It breeds a paranoid and aggressive mindset that is in no way compatible with the age-old motto "to protect and serve."

We need community police, not jacked-up ninjas. If an officer thinks that he "needs" an M4 and body armor, he's doing it wrong. If areas are so dangerous that officers "need" military gear to police them, then the whole department is doing something wrong.

31 posted on 07/23/2012 7:45:12 AM PDT by jboot
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To: Ron H.

I agree/

There needs to be strong civilian oversight


32 posted on 07/23/2012 10:04:32 AM PDT by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: jboot

Oh my

One of my pet complaints

I NEVER want to see an officer with his face covered

If he is undercover he should not be working that detail.

No no

I want to know who you are


33 posted on 07/23/2012 10:07:24 AM PDT by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: Altariel

“But we can’t predict that, and we can’t know that when someone has a gun in their hand.”


Cops know that when going to a violent crime scene, that both the suspects and victims may be armed, and need to react with that’s basic truth in mind. Cops need reminded that their lives aren’t the first focus of the job, the lives of innocents come first. Cops had a choice in putting on the badge. Their victims didn’t get a choice.


34 posted on 07/23/2012 10:39:49 AM PDT by LevinFan
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To: LevinFan

Far too many officers are apparently being told otherwise in police academies: their number one priority is their safety.


35 posted on 07/23/2012 11:00:58 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Altariel

I live here, actually less than three miles from the incident. This is section 8 housing, in a relatively rural area. Just to the west is a very high crime area which has almost completely been shut down or bulldozed because businesses could not survive the crime. To the east is a very nice suburban area in a different county jurisdiction than Columbus. Columbus used to be a great city, we get daily multiple murders now. I understand from good sources that this victim knew the “robbers” they were at his apartment. He was involved in drugs and there was a dispute. He supposedly called police, they were there quickly, the assailants ran, the victim came out carrying a gun to shoot his “friends”, although the police did not know this, he was told to drop the weapon, he would not do so and was shot. While this was happening one of the suspects grabbed the police cruiser. So what did you want the police to do?


36 posted on 07/23/2012 11:20:49 AM PDT by Toespi
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To: Toespi

Whom are your sources?


37 posted on 07/23/2012 11:29:06 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Altariel

A long time Columbus police officer.


38 posted on 07/23/2012 11:32:10 AM PDT by Toespi
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To: Toespi

Do you have any independent, objective source for the information?


39 posted on 07/23/2012 11:53:58 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: muir_redwoods

Indeed. This same rationale will be used to gun down law-abiding Freepers who dare hold a gun in the presence of an Agent of the State.

I fear it will not be long before we read vanities beginning with “The police shot Freeper X.”


40 posted on 07/23/2012 12:40:50 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Altariel

No I don’t. But I do know the person who was relating the incident to me. Additionally, I do know the reputation of the apartment complex, I am aware, as anyone who lives closely to this misplaced section 8 housing area, of the crime rate, and the thugs who live there? Irrelevant of that, there were quite a few eyewitnesses to the event. Do you have an objective source other than the family and friends of the victim, who are being interviewed in this article?


41 posted on 07/23/2012 1:56:15 PM PDT by Toespi
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To: Toespi

The article mentions other individuals, including at least one neighbor who saw the victim fleeing.

In other words, there are third party witnesses available and the police, as the journalist points out, haven’t accounted for why the gun was found next to the victim’s body.

Since it was the police who, by their own admission, shot him because (they claim he) had a gun, it is the police’s versions of the story that is suspect in this instance.

No second amendment supporting conservative believes that mere possession or holding of a gun warrants one’s immediate execution.

Period.

If your “friend” supports the Second Amendment, it would be wise for him to denounce this Bad Shot, on principle.


42 posted on 07/23/2012 2:37:14 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Altariel

Oh stop it, I am not in the mood for a second amendment debate with this story. The police responded to a call in a very unstable neighborhood, with a reputation for drugs and violent crime. A person came out of the apartment where the call had been made from, he was brandishing a weapon. There were two other suspects running away and he was the only one with a weapon, which he refused to drop. It is being investigated and I am sure Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson will get it resolved.


43 posted on 07/23/2012 3:21:48 PM PDT by Toespi
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To: Toespi

Actually you are inventing details.

Let me remind you:

“Thomas was found with a gun next to his body, but police haven’t said where that gun came from or whether Thomas even had it in his hand when he was shot. “

Even if Thomas had a gun (which hasn’t been established) he has the second amendment right to self-defense. Since it has not been established that he was pointing any gun at police or running toward the police, the officer who shot him is guilty of murder.

The second amendment is a very important consideration in this case. “He had a gun in his hand/in a holster” should NEVER be appropriate justification, by any government employee, for shooting a citizen.


44 posted on 07/23/2012 4:08:51 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Bon mots

It’s certainly possible, given that the Official Story (tm) was apparently not pieced together at the time the police department was contacted for their input.


45 posted on 07/23/2012 4:10:45 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Emperor Palpatine
"Columbus cops have a long history replete with squirrelly shoots, incompetence, and unprofessional behavior."

Hmm....


46 posted on 07/23/2012 4:16:04 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Altariel

Ok dude back off. I have no personal knowledge of the events and you don’t either. Do not post to me again and do not accuse me of “inventing details” you are simply out of line.


47 posted on 07/23/2012 5:28:01 PM PDT by Toespi
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To: Altariel

>> “Police officers, though, say they have little time to sort out a situation when someone is holding a weapon.” <<

.
That’s why they’re paid such ridiculously high salaries. It’s time they either get competent enough to justify those salaries, or get fired and sent to jail.


48 posted on 07/23/2012 5:36:31 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they were.)
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To: Toespi; Altariel

Actually you did invent a detail: That he was “Brandishing” a weapon.

No such ‘fact’ has been established by any independent investigator.
.


49 posted on 07/23/2012 5:40:22 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they were.)
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To: null and void

There you go. The cop had to shoot somebody, might as well have been this guy.And what the hell, he bears a resemblence to the perp; he has two legs, two arms, and one head, so why pick at nits.


50 posted on 07/23/2012 5:40:26 PM PDT by sport
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