Things That Matter

Doorbell Camera Shows A Woman Seeking Help From Neighbors As Captor Pulls Her Away

There is a disturbing video out of Arcadia, California that shows a man attacking his estranged girlfriend. The footage was captured on a neighbor’s Ring doorbell as the woman ran for help. The culprit, Robert Michael Mendez, 27, has been charged with suspicion of attempted murder, kidnapping and false imprisonment after Arcadia Police say they received footage of him dragging and assaulting the women. 

Ring doorbell surveillance footage shows Richard Michael Mendez dragging away his estranged girlfriend from a neighbors front door. 

The doorbell video shows the woman running to a neighbors front door and knocking for help. Mendez then runs up to her, grabs her by the hair and drags her away as she screams.

Authorities received the Ring doorbell footage taken from a home in the area of Santa Anita Avenue and Camino Real Avenue at around 11:40 p.m. that appeared to show a man, later identified as Mendez, dragging the woman who had showed up at the home begging for assistance. 

“The extent of the female’s injuries were severe enough to warrant hospitalization,” a police news release said. “Investigation also revealed that the female victim had been held against her will inside the residence since late (Sunday) evening.”

Many people have been shocked to see the disturbing footage that has made rounds on national news. 

Credit: @kandisscronetv / Twitter

The homeowners of where the attack happened sent the video to the police who then began searching through the neighborhood for Mendez. Upon knocking on his door, authorities identified him as the suspect. They also found the woman inside his home and she was quickly rushed to the hospital with significant injuries. Mendez was taken into custody without incident. 

Authorities say the woman was being held against her will at Mendez’s house since September 29. While fellow neighbors said that Mendez had kept to himself, they did notice numerous cars coming in and out of his house.

“I thought she was going to die,” Arcadia neighbor Tammy Raycraft told KCAL/KCBS, noting that she saw the entire incident go down. “We looked out the side window over here and witnessed him stomping on her, pulling her by her hair … it was awful. It was really traumatic to watch.”

The surveillance footage was provided by Ring, the Amazon-owned technology company, which has partnered with more than 400 police departments nationwide. But some people say this might infringe on privacy rights.

Credit: @mayawiley / Twitter

This incident is an example of how Ring and other tech companies have helped law enforcement agencies across the country find similar fugitives. As of now, Ring has stated that they are working with 405 police departments nationwide. The goal of this partnership is to convince people to not only buy the device but also sign up for its neighborhood watch app. In return, police get access to your Ring video footage with your permission. 

While the technology partnership has support, some worry about certain privacy issues. Police can still request video footage directly from Amazon if it has been uploaded to its cloud and the request is sent within 60 days of recording. This can happen even if an individual denies police access to that video footage.

While this only applies to users who live near law enforcement agencies that are working with Ring, it does set precedent for future surveillance technology. In this case, it helped lead to an arrest that might have never happened if it wasn’t for the video footage.

READ: Lupita Nyong’o Wrote A Children’s Book About The Prejudice In Favor Of Lighter Skin Color And It’s Out This Month

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People Are Talking About What They Would Look Up On Their Phone 5 Years In The Future

Things That Matter

People Are Talking About What They Would Look Up On Their Phone 5 Years In The Future

Hasn’t everyone had a desire to see the future at some point in their life? During so much uncertainty at the moment, it’s no wonder that people are wishing they had a chance to type in a question to the future and see what it holds. Recently, a user on Reddit posted a prompt about the future that instantly went viral.

Writing to fellow Redditers the users asked “You can’t time travel, but your phone has the internet from 5 years in the future. What do you search for first?”

Check out the pretty wise and honest answers below!

“I’d try to be like Bill Murrays character by the end of Ground Hog day. Find out if there’s any needless deaths from preventable accidents that I may be able to change. Obviously I’d have won the lotto too, this would give me plenty of resources and free time to become a local superhero.”- Meglamore

“I would start a blog on my pc and then switch to my phone to check if it now has updates from the future. If so, my future self could talk to my present self. I could read about my mistakes and try to avoid them. If a post disappears, that would mean that I did it right.”- thezubek

“My son to make sure he’s still alive. He’s chronically suicidal and should be on his own by then. I worry about it.”- Gadgetownsme

“Queen elizabeth (if there were more searches available). Then probably see which countries still exist as they are now, See how covid-19 played out. Memes so I can make an accurate “this is a meme from the future” Then see what are the biggest breakthroughs of science in the last 5 years, probably at least medicine and energy. Also obviously lottery numbers or something.”- uhrilahja

“I would check my mails and message Apps to find out how I’m doing in the future. If the phone continuously updates, so that it always show the internet of in five years. Then I would probably look for scientific breakthroughs like fusion and also for catastrophes. Then I would start writing messages to myself like a diary so I can see them in the present. And also in 2025 I would start copying the messages from then in 5 years and send them to myself so I can see the messages of the next ~100 years assuming I live that long. Edit: I probably would write a script that copies the messages for me.” – Barti666

“Check if im still single.” –Beans_In_The_Dark

“My family member’s names, i Want to know who to call and go see every chance i get if they don’t have that much time left.” – EothainVSorcs

“Wars or terrorist attacks that have happened so that we can avoid them or prepare for stuff like pandemic and natural disasters early.”- themattv140

“Whether or not Donald Trump (or one of his allies) is President.”- Pepperspray24

“Besides the obvious (lottery, election, myself, etc) I would want to see if opera made a comeback after the pandemic or if the virus was the final nail in the coffin of this art form, which has been slowly headed towards its demise for decades now.

Edit: I should have said here that I’m a huge opera fan and I hope I’m wrong!

And I’m not talking about the web browser.” –IoSonCalaf

“Using this logic, I’d want to try to fight climate change. We’re approaching the point of no return, and unless we figure out how to change things quickly, we’re fucked. I’d use the first five years to learn the issue. Then, I’d right a big note to self online on what I studied, what was important, what wasn’t. I’d include things to avoid, things to try going for, a point of no return that scientists concluded, and that they should constantly update in case I get involved in an accident. This would lead to a long chain of studying, trying to find solutions, and ways to get involved into politics in order to actually have a chance of making anything change. The saddest part is, it might not even be possible, and so there would be an unlimited amount of me’s trying to prevent imminent doom, only to fail over and over and over again.”- Chicken_0n_Fire

“Trump conviction.”- micialicia

“I’d look up how my own writing has gone, because five years from now I would definitely have gotten past some of the things I was stuck on. I would save myself some time by just copying my finished story and posting it now. I could get a different perspective on my finished work, see all my new ideas. This could go many ways because I could be hella confused on how I got a certain headcanon about a character and just general confusion on a lot of stuff, and some of the journey of writing is the journey of figuring it all out, and I might not fully understand it all just reading my finished story and not having gone through the process of writing it, like not being able to get into my future self’s head to really understand it the way my future self does, but it could be really nice to save myself five years of time.

I’d look up reviews for future games, movies, and show to see if they are as good as the trailers suggest, and prevent myself from wasting time on unenjoyable content.

Basically after looking up all the general world-altering stuff, I’d surf the internet like I normally do, but this time I won’t have to wait for all the new content.

I would also see which celebrities have been accused and/or convicted of crimes; see who I should really support and who’s going to stay a good person and who’s going to be revealed as corrupted.

I’d see how the elections turn out and if things are better or worse with the new president, try to prepare for said problems, and depending on if I can convince other people to believe that I really have a future phone, maybe I could try and change who gets voted for if it turns out to be worse.

I’d look up recent science discoveries, see what has been revealed as myth and new health concerns. I’d see how bad global warming has got and if we’ve finally managed to start really doing something about it.

See all this stuff with Black Lives Matter and corporate greed and all the political stuff and how it all turned out and how we got there, and see if I was wrong and if I need to change my opinions on things and try to lead us down a different path if it ends badly.

Basically see how things turn out and if I should change my opinions on things.”- Ice_the_Irken

“Interesting to see how many people pick COVID as what they would search. I would search global warming-linked disasters to make sure I wasn’t living anywhere where they’d happen. And 2020 election results to see whether or not I need to move forward with moving to Canada.” –jabberingginger

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Uber Says It May Shutdown In California As It Fights Against Gig Worker Law

Things That Matter

Uber Says It May Shutdown In California As It Fights Against Gig Worker Law

Mark Ralston / Getty Images

Is it possible that you won’t be able to get an Uber or Lyft in California? Well, it’s actually very likely that your apps won’t work much longer. The two companies are threatening to go dark in the Golden State as the two fight back against AB5 – a state law that offers protections to gig economy workers.

Uber says that they’ll need to rethink their entire business model if forced to follow AB5, hence the likely shutdown. But many find it suspicious that the company will be shutting down through the November election, when voters will be asked to vote on Prop 22, a ballot measure that would exempt Lyft and Uber from the new regulations.

An Uber shutdown is looking more likely in California as the company plans its response to new state laws.

All the drama started when California (among some other states) started enacting ‘gig worker’ protection laws that were meant to force companies like Uber to reclassify drivers as employees. Currently, drivers are classified as ‘independent contractors’ and are not eligible to receive any benefits, such as healthcare, retirement plans, and overtime.

Uber moved to limit the impact of that law while also admitting that change was needed to better protect their drivers. Not too long after Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi published an op-ed in The New York Times with the headline “Gig Workers Deserve Better,” a San Francisco judge ruled that Uber and Lyft had to reclassify their drivers as employees within 10 days.

In his ruling, Schulman wrote of Uber and Lyft, “It is high time that they face up to their responsibilities to their workers and to the public.” He rejected the argument that Uber and Lyft are simply technology companies, asserting “drivers are central, not tangential, to Uber and Lyft’s entire ride-hailing business.”

Two days later, Khosrowshahi responded with an ultimatum: If Uber had to abide by California labor law, it would require a business model change so extreme the entire company would have to pull out of the state until November. Which is convenient, since California has an initiative in the November election that would overturn much of the state’s gig economy law.

The shutdown would be used to fight back against a recent gig economy law that Uber says would eat away at profits.

Over the last five years, several states have enacted legislation against Uber and Lyft’s operating methods. The companies have come to rely on a tried and tested playbook: threaten to suspend service in the area. The threat, which the companies would sometimes follow through on, appeared designed to rile up customers and drivers, and put more pressure on lawmakers. And it often worked: look at Austin, TX.

Now, both Uber and Lyft say they are once again considering suspending service to get what they want. They say they may suspend their operations in California as soon as this week while simultaneously pushing for a referendum in November to exempt them from the law, known as AB-5.

Although the pandemic has reduced demand, a shutdown would largely impact Black and Brown communities.

Credit: Mark Ralston / Getty Images

Although the companies are planning on going dark in the next week or so, many industry experts don’t think the shutdown will have the impact they hope for. The pandemic has greatly reduced demand for ride sharing as people are staying at home and many more are working from home.

However, much like the pandemic itself, the shutdown would likely have an outsized impact on Black and Latino communities – two groups who have largely come to reply on the companies for commuting to and from work or school. Several studies have shown that Black and Brown workers make up the majority of ‘essential workers’ – so many don’t enjoy the privilege of working from home.

An Uber or Lyft shutdown would force many of these workers back on to buses and trains, further putting already impacted communities under increased risk for contagion of the virus.

The companies are betting on a November ballot initiative to help bail them out from new regulations.

Credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images

Although a judge has tried to force the companies to follow the law – the legal system may not have the last word. Uber and Lyft are counting on California’s voters to help them circumvent AB5, which went into effect in January and makes it more difficult for companies to use independent contractors. Uber and Lyft built their respective businesses on the concept of using freelance drivers who aren’t eligible for traditional benefits like health insurance and paid leave. 

Earlier this year, the companies, along with DoorDash, raised nearly $100 million to place a question on the November ballot. They succeeded, and this fall, voters will be asked to permanently classify ride-hailing drivers as independent contractors. The measure, called Proposition 22, also directs the companies to adopt certain labor and wage policies that fall short of traditional employment.

To help build support, the companies are turning to their customers. Lyft has taken a very active approach with urging its customers to vote yes on Prop 22 – they’ve emailed them and added pro-Prop 22 messages to the app. Meanwhile, Uber is considering similar tactics to ones the company used in 2015 in New York, when the company added a pop-up feature in its app to troll the mayor of New York City and encourage the company’s customers to pressure him to back off on proposed legislation that could seriously hamper Uber’s growth efforts in the city. It worked, and Mayor Bill de Blasio relented.

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