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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.

Why don't the police fire warning shots? That's a question that comes up a lot, especially after controversial shooting deaths.

Last fall, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and 10 other law enforcement groups got together to work out a consensus policy on the use of force — a sort of model document for local departments that want to update their rules. When the document came out in January, it contained a surprise: It allowed for warning shots.

The number was nothing less than a shock to the system. In text set beside a series of photographs, each one depicting a girl of color staring back at the camera, the image that went viral on social media last week claims to lay bare an appalling truth: "14 Girls Have Gone Missing in DC in the Last 24 Hours."

Trouble is, police say the claim is not true.

Editor's Note: This story includes videos and descriptions of violent encounters between police and civilians, as well as language that may not be appropriate for all readers.

Gwinnet County Sheriff's Office

On March 18, a pair of Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office deputies allegedly stole items from a storage area without permission.

Corporal Ronnie Rodriguez and Deputy Jason Cowburn were arrested by Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office investigators on March 22 and charged with theft of county property. Investigators did not specify what was taken, but arrest warrants valued the property between $1,500 and $5,000.

Was 'House Full Of Girls' A Business Or Criminal Enterprise?

Mar 24, 2017
Fulton County Detention Center

A Georgia man forced women he held at a million-dollar mansion to get gang-related tattoos, collected all the money they made at a strip club and threatened them if they wanted to leave, a prosecutor said Thursday.

But a lawyer for Kenndric Roberts, 33, said his client simply "had grand designs to become a very wealthy person," never held the women against their will, showered them with lavish gifts and promised to share profits from his entertainment company.

Chicago police say they've located a missing teenage girl who was sexually assaulted in an attack streamed live on Facebook.

The Associated Press reports that the girl was apparently raped "by five or six men or boys" in the video, which was watched live by dozens of people.

It's the second incident in the past three months where an apparent violent crime in Chicago, with multiple assailants, was broadcast live on Facebook as it happened.

Editors' note Monday, 12:55 p.m. ET: Since this story was first published, we have added material from another former student and former law clerks of Gorsuch, as well as more information about Jennifer Sisk's political affiliations. On Tuesday, Gorsuch disputed the allegation himself during his confirmation hearing and explained the lesson he intended to teach.

Silicon Valley, a region that attracts a diverse population from across the country and world due to its thriving tech sector, faces an existential question with real-world consequences: how might its mix of cultures change local policing?

Some recent history has created fertile ground for such a question.

Brandon Anderson / flickr

Unsolved murders can become cold cases, and leave more questions than answers. That’s where the Murder Accountability Project (MAP) comes into the picture. The group sifts through large amounts of homicide data to find crime patterns and predict possible outcomes.

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