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She was 8 years old and wearing a purple salwar kameez when she disappeared on Jan. 10.

A week later, on Jan. 17, her mutilated and lifeless body was found in a forest near Kathua in the Indian-controlled region of Kashmir. It was a mile away from Rasana, the village where her family was currently living.

The U.S. Supreme Court has again stepped into the bitter public turmoil over police shootings of civilians, ruling Monday that an Arizona police officer is shielded from being sued for shooting a woman in her own front yard.

The court said the officer acted reasonably, given that the woman, Amy Hughes, was carrying a large kitchen knife, that she was standing within striking distance of a woman who the officer did not know was Hughes' roommate, and that Hughes failed to drop the knife when ordered to do so.

She was there to remember the death of an unarmed black man at the hands of Sacramento police officers. But during the vigil for Stephon Clark, she was struck by a Sacramento County Sheriff Department vehicle.

A pipe was the only sign of drug use found near Chris Bennett's body in November. But it looked like the 32-year-old Taunton, Mass., native had stopped breathing and died of an opioid overdose. Bennett's mother, Liisa, couldn't understand what happened. Then she saw the toxicology report.

"I'm convinced he was smoking cocaine that was laced," she says. "That's what he had in his system, [it] was cocaine and fentanyl."

Three days of mourning have begun in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after the murder of a black human rights campaigner who spoke out against the lethal methods routinely used by security forces within the city's poorest neighborhoods.

Many residents of Rio are hardened to daily incidents of deadly violence yet the killing of Marielle Franco, a city council member and civil society activist, is being met by a huge wave of anger and indignation on social media, and protests on the streets.

The U.S. Supreme Court began churning out opinions Wednesday, producing four decisions — as many as the justices have produced over the past 4 1/2 months combined.

The topics were varied, touching on subjects ranging from gun control to whistleblower protection and terrorism.

A "muddle" on guns?

In a week highlighted by the national gun control debate, the court ruled that a North Carolina man who pleaded guilty to illegal firearm possession may still appeal his conviction on constitutional grounds.

Steve Ruark / AP Photo

New info from the Department of Corrections finds Georgia’s incarceration rate of black men dropped by 30 percent in the last eight years. But a huge imbalance still exists in our state prisons. African American men still make up nearly two thirds of Georgia’s prison population. We talk about this trend with Bill Rankin, Reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

As a police corruption trial in Baltimore reveals major allegations of misconduct, the city's police commissioner-designate is announcing changes.

Darryl DeSousa says the department is starting a new police corruption unit, as well as an Inspectional Services and Integrity Division that will conduct random polygraph tests for police in specialized units.

On one level, it looks like all is mostly back to normal in the small, rural community of Rancho Tehama in Northern California. But just below the surface it's clear people here are still grappling with the aftermath of a local man's murderous rampage nearly three months ago that killed five and wounded 12 others.

Trina Singleton picked up the newspaper the day after her son was murdered in Southwest Philadelphia.

"Violent day in Philly: 10 people shot, three of them fatally," read the headline.

Based on initial information from police, the article never revealed the fact that one of those three was Singleton's 24-year-old son, Darryl.

He was skinny and had a trim goatee. He wore Malcolm X-style glasses. At the time of his death, he was in school studying to be an EMT.

Emily Jones / GPB News

The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office will help patrol unincorporated areas around Savannah starting Feb. 1, the county announced Friday.

 

That is when the joint Savannah-Chatham police department will split into two separate forces after working together since 2005.

 

The new Chatham County Police Department does not have enough officers to do the job on its own. Chief Jeff Hadley said that’s in part because hiring officers takes time.

 

"Why did he even have a gun?" — it's a common refrain in America, often after mass shootings by people who legally aren't supposed to have firearms.

One of the worst recent examples was the massacre in a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church last November, in which 26 people were killed by a man whose domestic violence conviction should have barred him from buying guns.

Recent FBI investigations relevant to the 2016 presidential election have become the latest battleground in our deeply divided and partisan politics.

Some Republicans, disappointed by the lack of charges over Hillary Clinton's emails and distressed by the continuing probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, suddenly perceive corruption in the FBI. Democrats counter that the casting of doubt on the nation's top national law enforcement agency is an unprecedented outrage.

In suburbs just outside the city of Chicago, some police officers are paid fast-food wages; they work part-time patrolling high crime areas, just so they can use their badge to get better paying security jobs.

Many police chiefs say the low-wages and part-time positions are consequences of inadequate funding. That means departments can't pay for ongoing training, can't afford to fire problem officers and don't have the capacity to investigate police shootings.

A fatal police shooting in Kansas late last month focused attention again on how so-called swatting — prank 911 calls designed to get SWAT teams to deploy — puts lives at risk and burdens police departments.

There are more than 7,000 911 centers in the U.S. and, according to the National Emergency Number Association, they receive about 600,000 calls a day. Authorities don't track swatting calls nationally, though the FBI has been monitoring the practice of those types of fake calls for about a decade.

Emily Jones / GPB News

Savannah-Chatham Police Chief Jack Lumpkin said Thursday the department is poised to move forward as he leaves for Dekalb County.

He said violent crime rates have gone down during his three-year tenure, and that more citizens are working with police to solve crimes. He also touted the department's increased focus on intelligence-led policing.

Lumpkin's departure comes as the joint police department prepares to split, with separate forces set to serve the city of Savannah and unincorporated Chatham County beginning Feb. 1.

President Trump took office in January, vowing in a dark-toned inaugural to end what he described as "this American carnage" fueled by gangs, drugs and street violence.

America did see historic carnage in 2017, but critics say it had far less to do with gangs and drugs than with disturbed individuals with easy access to firearms.

Courtesy of Amy Soeldner

For the first time, Atlanta has a police officer dedicated to cases of animal cruelty. The position was created in October. And the first cop to fill the post is Senior Patrol Officer Amy Soelder. She’s a 22 year veteran of the force, and joins us in the studio.

The police response to the Pulse nightclub massacre in 2016 followed protocol, but more training and better coordination are needed moving forward, according to a new 200-page review from the Justice Department and the Police Foundation.

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