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Authorities Say Escaped Georgia Inmates Caught In Tennessee

Jun 15, 2017
GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS / AP Photo

Two escaped inmates sought in the killings of two guards on a prison bus in Georgia were captured Thursday in Tennessee, authorities said.

Reward To $130,000 In Growing Search For Fugitive Inmates

Jun 15, 2017
GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS / AP Photo

The FBI is expanding the search for two inmates sought in the killing of their guards on a prison bus in Georgia, and a sheriff said Thursday the fugitives could be halfway across the country by now.

Georgia Department of Law Enforcement

A manhunt is under way for two inmates accused of killing two guards on a Georgia prison bus Tuesday morning.

Bibb County Sheriff's Office

Investigators say early tests show a mixture of two synthetic opioids could be responsible for a rash of drug overdoses and up to four deaths in Georgia.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Thursday that preliminary testing found that one of the drugs in the mixture is consistent with "a new fentanyl analogue."

US Army Colonel, Others Charged In Alleged Bribery Scheme

Jun 8, 2017

A U.S. Army colonel, his wife and a former defense contractor are accused of participating in what federal prosecutors call a bribery and kickback scheme connected to a Georgia military base.

Prosecutors said in a statement Thursday that Col. Anthony Roper conspired with his wife and others to seek and accept bribes in exchange for rigging more than $20 million in Army contracts to individuals and companies.

Katie Atkinson

Over the last two days hospitals in Central Georgia have seen a sharp increase in suspected opiate overdoses. At least 12 people have been brought in for treatment and four have died.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET

London Metropolitan Police have identified two of the three attackers involved in Saturday's violent rampage on and around London Bridge, releasing photos of Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane and asking the public for help in tracing their movements.

Police shot and killed the three attackers within eight minutes of the initial emergency call about the attack that killed at least seven people. Detectives are still working to identify the third attacker.

A "disgruntled employee" who was recently fired from a business near Orlando, Fla., fatally shot five of his former co-workers before killing himself on Monday morning, according to local law enforcement.

Four of the victims died at the scene, while a fifth died at a hospital, authorities said. Seven other employees were in the Fiamma Inc. building at the time of the attack and were unharmed. Fiamma is an Italy-based manufacturer of accessories for motor vehicles.

Body cameras are spreading fast through American policing, and they're generating an ocean of video. Axon, a company that provides secure cloud storage for police departments, says it has received more than 4 million hours' worth of video uploads from its clients.

Mistrust and alienation between black men and the police have become so entrenched that we need radical, sweeping change. The collective experience of black men in the criminal justice system is sobering. African Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be arrested than whites, and numerous studies have shown that black men are disproportionately targeted, stopped, frisked, and searched through the practice of racial profiling.

Oh, Code Switch fam: Has there ever been such a week? Because of the virtual smorgasbord of unfortunate news, you may have skipped putting these on your plate. Dig in. Keep a chaser of Pepto handy.

Georgia Executes Man Who Killed Elderly Neighbor In 1992

May 17, 2017
Georgia Department of Corrections

Georgia on Wednesday carried out its first execution this year, putting to death a man convicted of killing his 73-year-old neighbor 25 years ago.

J.W. Ledford's time of death was 1:17 a.m. after an injection of compounded barbiturate pentobarbital at the state prison in Jackson, Warden Eric Sellers told witnesses. Ledford, 45, was convicted of murder in the January 1992 stabbing death of Dr. Harry Johnston in Murray County.

Georgia Department of Corrections

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles has declined to commute the death sentence of J.W. Ledford. His execution is scheduled to be carried out Tuesday, May 16. It will be the first one this year. Georgia has long played a central role in the death penalty debate.

Kate Brumback / AP Photo/File

Federal authorities say a Panamanian detainee at a south Georgia immigration detention center appears to have killed himself.

Georgia Department of Corrections via AP

Lawyers for a Georgia inmate scheduled for execution next week are asking the state parole board to spare his life, citing a rough childhood, substance abuse from an early age and his intellectual disability.

J.W. Ledford Jr., 45, is scheduled to be put to death Tuesday. He was convicted of murder in the January 1992 stabbing death of his neighbor, 73-year-old Dr. Harry Johnston, near his home in Murray County, in northwest Georgia.

Flickr / weaverphoto

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has signed the campus carry law. Starting July 1, anyone with a weapons license can carry a concealed gun on a state school’s campus. The Chief of Police for Valdosta, home of Valdosta State University, says this is bad news for public safety. Here’s Chief Brian Childress, in his own words.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Governor Nathan Deal has signed three new criminal justice reform bills into law.

 

Deal picked an audience of corrections, parole and non-profit workers at a convention called the Reentry Summit in Macon to sign the bills. The first of the three laws will affect funding for alternatives to prison time like the state’s drug courts, a place Deal says he tells his pastor friends to visit for sermon material.

David Goldman / The Associated Press

Georgia’s system for deciding parole just changed for the first time in a decade. Last month, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles approved new guidelines for determining if inmates should get out of prison early. One of the changes includes a person’s prior arrest history, rather than just their conviction history.

GPB

New research from the Southern Poverty Law Center and Emory University finds cases of alleged bias in the Atlanta Immigration Court. The AIC denies asylum to 98 percent of seekers, by far the highest rate of any immigration court in the nation.

Looking back at the 1992 Los Angeles riots, people often remember tensions between African-Americans, white law enforcement officers and Korean small business owners. That story gets even more complicated when you step into Pico-Union — a neighborhood that was, and still is, predominantly Latino.

Georgia Sets Execution For Man Convicted Of Killing Doctor

Apr 27, 2017
Georgia Department of Corrections via AP

A Georgia death-row inmate convicted of killing a 73-year-old doctor 25 years ago is set for execution next month, the state's attorney general said Wednesday. He would be the first inmate executed in the state this year.

New York City is set to begin giving body cameras to its police officers on Thursday.

Under the police department's pilot program, 1,200 officers in 20 precincts will receive the cameras. The officers will also be studied by scientists to see what effect the cameras have on policing.

As police don body cameras across the country, scientists are increasingly working with departments to figure out how the cameras change behavior — of officers and the public.

Gwinnett Officers Charged; Police Say Video Showed Assault

Apr 27, 2017
Gwinnett County Police Department

Police on Wednesday filed charges against two fired Georgia police officers who authorities say were captured on video kicking and hitting a man during a traffic stop. On Thursday morning, Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni had turned himself, with Master Officer Robert McDonald expected to follow sometime later in the day.

If you're one of the many who text, read email or view Facebook on your phone while driving, be warned: Police in your community may soon have a tool for catching you red-handed.

The new "textalyzer" technology is modeled after the Breathalyzer, and would determine if you had been using your phone illegally on the road.

Baltimore erupted in violence two years ago, after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a young black man who died in police custody. The unrest was about more than Gray's death, though — it exposed deep-seated problems facing many of the city's young people: lack of jobs, deep poverty, rampant crime and deteriorating neighborhoods.

Now, Baltimore residents are assessing what, if anything, has changed in the city since Gray's death.

Be honest: You're looking at this story thinking what else is there to add to reports on the 1992 riots that rocked LA, right? NPR has done anniversary retrospectives before, including a huge look-back on the 20th. But in the past five years, the issue of policing — how it's done, whether it's equitable, what happens when deadly confrontations occur — has become more urgent than ever. And what happened in Los Angeles that April night 25 years ago is a critical part of the current national conversation on policing and race. For the LAPD, there have been huge changes.

Taser International has sold a whole lot of stun guns since its founding in 1993. By the company's estimation, nearly two-thirds of all law enforcement patrol officers in the U.S. carry a Taser.

But since 2009, Taser has also been selling body cameras worn by police officers. The company says its cameras are now used by 36 of the 68 major law enforcement agencies across America, including the Los Angeles Police Department, which bought more than 7,500 of the devices.

Lambda Legal

A federal appeals court ruling this week in Illinois could affect a LGBT-rights case here in Georgia.

 

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled for the first time Tuesday that federal civil rights laws protect LGBT employees from workplace discrimination.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, has begun issuing weekly reports that name sheriffs, the agency claims, who are uncooperative when it comes to enforcing federal immigration laws. ICE says some sheriffs are refusing the federal government's requests to hold people in their jails believed to be in the country illegally. But many sheriffs argue what they're being asked to do is not constitutional.

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