Law & Order

Ways to Connect

A California man pleaded guilty Thursday in a federal court to an elaborate kidnapping that law enforcement had initially branded a hoax.

In court documents, 39-year-old defendant Matthew Muller is identified as a former Marine who suffers from bipolar disorder. He is described as a Harvard-educated lawyer who was later disbarred.

Hundreds of people marched through the streets of El Cajon, Calif., on Wednesday night, protesting the police shooting of an unarmed black man on Tuesday.

A 911 caller had reported that her brother was acting erratically and walking into traffic. She told police that he was mentally ill and unarmed, Andrew Bowen of member station KPBS reports.

It took nearly an hour for police to arrive on the scene. About a minute after they arrived, one of them shot Alfred Olango, The Associated Press reports.

On Tuesday, a police officer in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon, Calif., shot and killed an unarmed black man, sparking protests in the area.

El Cajon police Chief Jeff Davis said Tuesday night that police were on the scene because the man's sister had called 911, reporting that her brother was "not acting like himself," Andrew Bowen of member station KPBS reports.

The city of Charlotte, N.C., has lifted a midnight curfew, as protests over the weekend continued to be mostly peaceful.

Demonstrators have taken to the streets for nearly a week, after police shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott on Tuesday. Police say Scott had a gun; his family says he was unarmed.

The shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old African-American man, by Charlotte, N.C., police is under investigation and the circumstances are very much in dispute, but when you listen to protesters, you hear that their frustration isn't about just this one case.

Signs, rocks, tear gas, fireworks, broken glass, blood: The streets of Charlotte, N.C., have borne witness to days of unrest after a fatal police shooting on Tuesday.

Two nights of protests have included peaceful calls for unity as well as violence and destruction. On Wednesday night, a civilian was shot at a protest and now, city officials say, is on life support.

Editor's Note: Names of sexual assault victims have been changed in this story, to protect their privacy.

Haley woke up early one morning in June 2014. She had been out with a few friends at a bar in Ashland, Ore., the night before, and she felt safest going home with them rather than walking home alone.

"It turns out," she said, "the creeper that I had to be afraid of was in my circle of friends."

Lilibeth Diego lives in Malate, in one of Manila's seemingly endless slums. People are packed so tightly here, they often wash and bathe outside. Diego is 53 and has been a meth fiend, she says, since high school.

"Every day since 1981," she says. And she's got the emaciated-looking face and lack of teeth to prove it. She swears she never dealt drugs. A few weeks ago, though, after recently elected President Rodrigo Duterte launched his war on drugs, she surrendered, along with her husband.

She says it was an easy choice.

"I'm scared to die," she says.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services

Hartsfeld-Jackson Airport in Atlanta hosted an event Wednesday that marked the start of a national effort to combat the demand for products sourced from endangered species.

Speakers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the nonprofit organization WildAid, and even "The Walking Dead" took the stage at the event.

Heavy scrutiny surrounding officer-involved shootings has some law enforcement leaders rethinking firing at moving cars.

One of those agencies is the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which recently changed its policy on the issue. The LASD is the largest sheriff's dept in the country, with about 10,000 full-time sworn personnel.

Chicago's police superintendent took formal steps on Tuesday to fire five police officers involved in the shooting of Laquan McDonald. That same day, Mayor Rahm Emanuel quietly proposed long-awaited changes to how the city polices its police.

When should police be able to deactivate your social media account?

The question is becoming more urgent, as people use real-time connections in the middle of critical incidents involving law enforcement.

In the case of Korryn Gaines in Baltimore County, Md., earlier this month, police said that a suspect actively using a social media connection makes a standoff worse.

Allegations of sexual misconduct by Savannah Alderman Tony Thomas won't go before a criminal grand jury.

A Chatham County grand jury Friday found the evidence does not support a criminal case, largely because the statute of limitations has run out in all the cases, barring the state from prosecution.

Thomas is accused of sexually abusing several teenage boys. He has denied the allegations and said he plans to file civil suits.

Women Behind Bars

Aug 25, 2016
Vera Institute of Justice

A new report by the Vera Institute of Justice found the number of women in local jails is almost 14 times what it was in the 1970s, making it the fastest growing incarcerated population in the country. We examine what’s driving this trend and the challenges women face behind bars. 

Joining for the conversation: 

Students across the state are readjusting their sleep schedules as they head back to school after summer vacation. But not all kids spent the past few months sleeping in.

One Savannah program aimed to teach teenagers work skills while making the city safer.

 

Keynote speakers stood on a spotlit stage decorated in green and orange balloons as the crowd cheered the latest graduates of the Savannah Pre-Apprentice Program.

 

Milwaukee saw a second night of unrest on Sunday following a fatal police shooting this weekend. Sunday's protests were smaller and less destructive than the previous night's, although some violence continued and one person was shot and wounded under unknown circumstances.

The weekend's demonstrations and rioting were prompted by the police killing of a 23-year-old black man, identified by police as Sylville Smith, on Saturday. Smith ran from police during a traffic stop. Police say he was carrying a gun.

New York police are working to track down the gunman who fatally shot the leader of a mosque in Queens and his associate on Saturday as they were walking home from afternoon prayers.

Meanwhile, members of the Bangladeshi Muslim community are mourning the death of Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and his friend Thara Uddin, 64. They're calling on the police to investigate the killings as a hate crime.

On Wednesday morning, the United States Department of Justice announced the result of a yearlong investigation into the Baltimore Police Department, which found that BPD habitually violates the civil rights of its residents. These violations, the Justice Department found, have an outsized effect on the city's black population.

The American Bar Association has passed a resolution prohibiting lawyers from making sexist remarks, following the lead of many U.S. states.

Now, it is deemed professional misconduct to "engage in conduct that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination," including "sexual harassment and derogatory or demeaning verbal or physical comment," the resolution states.

Orlando nightclub killer Omar Mateen was shot at least eight times by police, according to an autopsy report released by the medical examiner in Orange County, Fla.

Mateen's attack on the Pulse nightclub left 49 people dead, and he was killed by law enforcement officers after an hours-long standoff.

After 49 people were killed at the Pulse nightclub in Florida in June, gay pride marches across the country saw amped-up police presence.

Baltimore County police shot and killed Korryn Gaines, a 23-year-old black woman, after an hours-long standoff on Monday — during which Facebook and Instagram, at police request, temporarily shut down Gaines' accounts.

Creative Commons

The bombing at Atlanta’s Centennial Park wasn’t the first terror attack on U.S. soil, but it changed how investigators and experts viewed domestic terrorism and the threat Americans posed to their own country.

Though it's his job to enforce the law, Thomas Wydra — police chief of Hamden, Conn. — is not so sure about the laws on defective equipment.

"You may have something hanging from your rearview mirror. That's technically a violation," Wydra says. "You have an attachment on your license plate. That's technically a violation."

"It's a legal reason to stop the vehicle," he continues, "even though, in the officer's mind, that's not the most important reason why they're stopping the car."

http://www.united-states-flag.com

 

A south Georgia judge ordered the removal of a Christian flag from a local courthouse after it's presence was called unconstitutional.

Chief Judge of Superior Courts, Robert Russell ordered the flag be removed from the Bryan County courthouse on July 21st.

Twelve-year-old Mannie Thames knows a lot of kids with BB guns. He says kids have them for safety and because they're cool.

"Sometimes people get bullied a lot, and they want to have something to protect their self," Thames says. "And sometimes people think it's cool, they want to shoot people for fun."

He explains this in between bites of snacks at the after-school center, Penn North Kids Safe Zone, in West Baltimore.

Replica guns that shoot BBs and other projectiles are popular with kids. But in some settings, they pose a special danger.

Members of the Wichita, Kan., police department spent Sunday afternoon eating and talking with people from the community, at a cookout that was planned with the local Black Lives Matter group.

The event was called the First Steps Community Cookout — a reference to its goal of bridging the gap between police and the community they serve. Taking place instead of a protest that had been planned for Sunday, the cookout came about after Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay had a lengthy meeting with activist A.J. Bohannon and other members of the local Black Lives Matter movement.

The recent targeted attacks on police in Dallas and Baton Rouge have law enforcement on edge. Some departments are telling officers to patrol in pairs when possible, and to be extra vigilant about possible ambush.

Complicating matters is the question of how to interpret and react to the presence of a gun. With more Americans now exercising their legal right to carry firearms, police find themselves having to make rapid judgments about whether an armed citizen is a threat.

It's a warm and muggy summer afternoon in Chicago, but that doesn't seem to bother the kids clamoring to ride the Ferris wheel, the Rock-O-Plane and other carnival rides set up in this southwest suburban park.

At the annual Chicago Fraternal Order of Police summer picnic, city cops and their families hauled in coolers and set up grills to enjoy food and bond with brothers and sisters in blue.

But there's something hanging over this picnic: the stress and strain of the job, and the scrutiny that many here say is harsher than ever.

Three law enforcement officers were killed and three others were injured in Baton Rouge, La., when a suspect fired on officers outside a convenience store.

This comes less than two weeks after a gunman opened fire on police at a protest in Dallas, killing five officers.

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