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Before The Legal Fight For Abortion

Jan 18, 2017
The Associated Press

Nearly 44 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized getting an abortion with its Roe v. Wade decision. The battle over abortion rights goes back a long way in the United States, long before the landmark decision in 1973. There was a time in the 19th century when abortions during early pregnancy were legal according to common law. But by 1880, most states had passed anti-abortion laws.

Sgt. Marty Tucker thinks millennials have trouble talking to strangers. Tucker runs training for the Sheriff's Office in Spokane, Wash., and he says new recruits seem inhibited when making face-to-face contacts with members of the public.

"They're so stressed out about making contact that they don't think about anything else," he says. "So they get up there, and then they'll freeze up."

Italy has been described as the world's biggest open-air museum.

And with illegally excavated antiquities, looting of unguarded, centuries-old churches and smuggling of precious artworks, it's also an art theft playground.

But thanks to an elite police squad, Italy is also at the forefront in combating the illicit trade in artworks — believed to be among the world's biggest forms of trafficking and estimated to be worth billions.

Two law enforcement officers have been killed during a massive manhunt for a murder suspect in Orlando, Fla.

Master Sgt. Debra Clayton radioed from a Wal-Mart shortly after 7 a.m. Monday, saying she was "attempting to contact a murder suspect," according to a statement from the City of Orlando. Other officers radioed two minutes later, reporting that an officer had been shot. The 17-year veteran of the department died after she was transported to a hospital.

French police have reportedly arrested more than a dozen people during raids linked to the high-profile robbery of reality TV star Kim Kardashian West in Paris last October.

During the robbery, a group of thieves burst into the private residence where Kardashian West was staying, held her at gunpoint, then escaped on bicycles with jewelry worth about $10 million.

The Justice Department is issuing new guidance to federal agents on how to secure eyewitness identifications, an initiative designed to reflect decades of scientific research and bolster public confidence in the criminal justice system, NPR has learned.

In an effort to take advantage of the intimate relationships between stylists and their clients, a new law in Illinois will require salon professionals to receive training in domestic abuse-prevention as part of their licensing process.

The law, which goes into effect Sunday, aims to educate beauty professionals to recognize signs of abuse. But stylists won't be required to report violence, and are protected from any liability.

A North Carolina judge is temporarily blocking a law that would have limited the power of the state's incoming governor. Democratic Gov.-elect Roy Cooper defeated incumbent Republican Pat McCrory in November in a tight race.

The number of law enforcement officers shot and killed in the line of duty increased sharply in 2016 relative to 2015, according to a preliminary report from The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The overall number of officer fatalities rose by 10 percent, remaining lower than the average for the previous ten years.

The darkest moment for American police this year was July 7 in downtown Dallas, when police officers providing security for a peaceful protest march suddenly found themselves under attack. And those weren't the only cops targeted this year. Deadly ambushes followed in Baton Rouge, Des Moines and Palm Springs.

As a result, many police will remember 2016 as a grim chapter in what many call the "war on cops." These ambush-killings of officers created a sense that they were under siege, threatening to poison the post-Ferguson debate over police reform.

Deadly encounters between police and civilians often made 2016 a year full of palpable tension. Across the country, demonstrators took to the streets to protest police shootings, while at the same time officers in a number of states were targeted and killed by gunmen.

Both situations have prompted law enforcement to examine use-of-force policies.

Robert Jimison / GPB

Texting the 911 number during an emergency is now an option for several metro Atlanta residents.

Last week Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Dunwoody, and Brookhaven announced new texting programs for the 911 emergency service. The new feature is aimed at making communication easier for those with hearing and speech disabilities or for emergency situations where a voice call is not an option.

Roswell Police Department

A former Roswell police sergeant is suing the city after being terminated for flying a Confederate flag outside of her home. Silvia Cotriss filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court and names the City of Roswell, the Chief of Police, and the City Administrator as the defendants.

Geriatric Jewel Thief Arrested At Georgia Mall

Dec 14, 2016
John Bazemore / AP Photo

An internationally recognized jewel thief once again finds herself behind bars. Dunwoody Police arrested Doris Payne, 86, Tuesday after she allegedly tried to shoplift a $2,000 diamond necklace.

Police incident reports state that Payne tried to conceal the stolen necklace in her back pocket before making an effort to leave the store unnoticed. Payne now faces charges of larceny shoplifting and is being held at the DeKalb County Jail.

Suspect Arrested In Shooting Of 2 Lavonia Police Officers

Dec 13, 2016

Investigators say they've arrested a man suspected of shooting and wounding two Georgia police officers.

In a news release late Monday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation says Khari Anthony Dashaun Gordon was charged with multiple counts including attempted murder and assaulting a police officer.

The two Lavonia officers were making a traffic stop Monday evening in northeast Georgia near a restaurant when officials say the 22-year-old Gordon opened fire. Both officers were hit.

GBI Says Thousands Of Rape Kits Await Testing

Dec 6, 2016

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says more than 4,200 rape kits containing evidence from sexual assault cases statewide await testing.

A report this month says the agency also has evidence from more than 5,400 cases that occurred before 1999 and will determine if DNA analysis is still needed.

A new state law prompted this month's report. The law was intended to speed up testing of rape kits following reports of sexual assault.

Georgia Department of Corrections

Update 12/07/2016:

 

 The Supreme Court of Georgia and U.S. Supreme Court denied Sallie’s attorney’s requests for a stay of execution Tuesday. Sallie was executed at 10:05 p.m. Tuesday evening. 

Original Story:

On Tuesday night, Georgia plans to carry out its ninth execution of the year, the most since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in Gregg v. Georgia in 1976.

 

At the same time, new death sentences are getting rarer and rarer. It’s been more than two years since a Georgia jury handed one down.

 

Getting inside the state’s capital punishment contradiction, means getting inside the cases of the condemned. 

 

Derek Bridges / Flickr

Crime rates in Atlanta are reportedly down about 30 percent since 2009. But how has the Atlanta Police Department achieved that number? How are other areas of Georgia faring in fighting crime?

We talk crime statistics in Atlanta and across the state with Vernon Keenan, Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Atlanta Police Department Assistant Chief Shawn Jones, and Georgia State University Criminology Professor Dean Dabney.

A man was fatally shot following a dispute in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Reno, Nevada, on Thanksgiving night, police say.

The incident began about 6 p.m. on Thursday. Local news station KOLO reported that "there was apparently a dispute over a parking spot" and said police characterized the shooting as a road rage incident.

In mid-August, an affable, 40-year-old man from Everett, Mass., overdosed at his mom's home after almost 25 years of heroin use. Joe Salemi had overdosed before, but this time couldn't be revived. Salemi's brother, Anthony, says he was pretty sure when his brother died that there must have been something besides heroin in the syringe. The medical examiner later confirmed it.

"I knew, deep in my mind, it was going to be the stuff that everyone's talking about now — fentanyl," Anthony says. "Because I never thought straight heroin would kill him."

PBS

The new PBS documentary "Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise," explores the many twists and turns of the civil rights movement over the last 50 years. The four-part series airs November 15 and 22 at 8 p.m. on PBS.

The documentary ends with the current struggles highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement. To talk about those issues, Georgia Public Broadcasting hosted a panel discussion with three experts and leaders in the African-American community in Atlanta. 

Valerie Reneé / Flickr

Voter suppression and intimidation is a very real issue in Georgia. We talk with Kristina Torres of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the most recent and shocking examples from across the state. We also bring on University of Georgia Professor Charles Bullock to provide context and discuss the implications of voter intimidation.

Police used pepper spray and what they called nonlethal ammunition to remove Dakota Access Pipeline protesters from federal land Wednesday. Demonstrators say they were trying to occupy land just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation where construction of the controversial pipeline is scheduled.

A Canadian woman who worked as a nurse has been charged with the murders of eight nursing home residents in Ontario over the course of seven years.

If Elizabeth Tracey Mae Wettlaufer is found guilty, The Globe and Mail reports, the 49-year-old woman would be "among the worst serial killers in Canadian history."

The head of the largest association of police chiefs in the U.S. has issued a formal apology on the group's behalf for "historical mistreatment of communities of color."

Speaking Monday at the annual meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in San Diego, Terry Cunningham said his remarks on behalf of the group were aimed at breaking a "historic cycle of mistrust."

He said that policing is, in essence, a "noble profession" that has seen dark periods in its history.

What's striking about all the controversial police videos we've covered is how different they can look to people, depending on their backgrounds. If you're a police officer, certain things might stand out, while if you're a civilian or you've been arrested by a police officer, other things might catch your attention.

Grant Blankenship / Georgia Public Broadcasting

Should the State of Georgia execute Gregory Paul Lawler as planned on Wednesday, it will mark a milestone in at least two different ways.

 

Lawler was sentenced to death for the 1997 killing of Atlanta police officer John Sowa. His execution will be the seventh in Georgia in 2016. That makes two more than in 2015 and makes Georgia the only state in the nation accelerating the rate of execution year over year. That’s the first milestone.

 

Promising information that is more standardized and complete than has previously been available, Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the Department of Justice will collect data on the police use of deadly force in the line of duty.

A few years ago, a pair of sociologists named Andrew Papachristos and Christopher Wildeman decided to study gun violence in Chicago. They focused on a specific community on the west side: overwhelmingly black and disproportionately poor, with a murder rate that was five times higher than the rest of the city.

Their approach was to look at gun violence the way epidemiologists study disease — examining the way it spread by social connections. And like a virus, they found that there were certain people who were especially at risk of being touched by it.

Pakistani lawmakers have passed a new law closing a loophole that has allowed perpetrators of so-called "honor" killings to go free.

"Hundreds of women are murdered every year in Pakistan by male relatives who accuse them of violating family honor. A woman can be killed for just socializing with a man," NPR's Philip Reeves tells our Newscast unit from Islamabad. "The culprits usually escaped punishment because the law allowed the victim's family to forgive them."

But that has now changed, as Philip explains:

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