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If you've ever called 911 to report an emergency, thank the Johnson Crime Commission. Establishing a national emergency number was just one of more than 200 recommendations the Commission offered up in a landmark 1967 report "for a safer and more just society."

Judge Denies Bail For Woman Accused Of Leaking US Secrets

Oct 5, 2017
Lincoln County Sheriff's Office

A woman charged with leaking U.S. secrets must remain jailed until her trial, a federal judge ruled Thursday, saying her release would pose an "ongoing risk to national security."

Reality Winner, 25, is a former Air Force linguist who worked as a contractor for the National Security Agency at a facility in Augusta, Georgia, when she was charged in June with copying a classified U.S. report and mailing it to a news organization.

Miranda Nelson / Flickr/CC

A new Atlanta ordinance eliminating jail time and reducing penalties for having small amounts of marijuana will allow officers to focus on eliminating violent crimes instead of petty ones, the city's police chief said.

Marijuana remains illegal in Georgia, and the ordinance addresses only the penalties associated with marijuana offenses, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields told WSB-TV.

The Atlanta City Council on Monday approved the ordinance that reduces the fine for possession of an ounce or less of pot from up to $1,000 to a maximum of $75.

'I Screwed Up Royally' Accused Leaker Confessed To FBI Agent

Sep 28, 2017
Lincoln County Sheriff's Office

A young woman charged with leaking U.S. secrets to a news organization told FBI agents she was frustrated with her job as a government contractor when she tucked a classified report into her pantyhose and smuggled it out of a National Security Agency office in Georgia, according to court records.

Supreme Court Grants Temporary Stay Of Execution In Georgia

Sep 26, 2017
Georgia Department of Corrections

The U.S. Supreme Court granted a temporary stay of execution Tuesday night for a Georgia inmate whose attorneys argue that the 59-year-old black man's death sentence was tainted by a juror's racial bias.

Keith Leroy Tharpe, known as "Bo," was set to be put to death at 7 p.m. EDT at the state prison by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital, but the hour came and went as the justices considered his case. Just before 11 p.m. EDT, the court announced the temporary stay.

Advocates Want More Police Training For Mental-Health Issues

Sep 26, 2017
Stephen Fowler / GPB News

Supervisors for the Georgia Tech police officer who fatally shot a student thought the officer showed promise, but there is no evidence that he had received the kind of training that advocates say is crucial to effectively interact with people who have mental-health issues.

Officer Tyler Beck fatally shot Scout Schultz on Sept. 16, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has said. Beck and other officers responded after Schultz called 911 to report an armed suspicious person, investigators said. Police have said Schultz had a knife and refused to drop it after repeated commands.

Georgia Plans To Execute Man Who Killed Sister-In-Law

Sep 26, 2017
Georgia Department of Corrections

A man who killed his sister-in-law 27 years ago is scheduled to die Tuesday as Georgia carries out its second execution of the year.

Keith Leroy Tharpe, 59 and known as "Bo," is set to be put to death at 7 p.m. at the state prison in Jackson by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital. He was convicted of murder and two counts of kidnapping in the September 1990 slaying of Jaquelyn Freeman.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles — the only authority in Georgia with the power to commute a death sentence — declined on Monday to spare his life.

Lawyers Ask Panel To Spare Life Of Inmate Set For Execution

Sep 25, 2017
Georgia Department of Corrections

A Georgia prisoner scheduled for execution this week has spent the last 27 years regretting the decisions that led him to kill his sister-in-law as she was on her way to work with his estranged wife, his lawyers said in a clemency application.

Keith Leroy Tharpe, 59, is scheduled to be put to death Tuesday at the state prison in Jackson for the September 1990 shooting death of Jacquelyn Freeman.

Kevin D. Liles / AP Photo

When Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz was killed, the Schultz family said lethal force by officer Tyler Beck could have been avoided. The state of Georgia started to require crisis intervention training for officers in February of 2017.

Accused Leaker Asking Again For Pre-Trial Release From Jail

Sep 25, 2017
Lincoln County Sheriff's Office

Attorneys for a young woman accused of leaking a classified U.S. report want a judge to free her from jail pending trial, arguing prosecutors have added no new charges months after they warned the woman may have stolen additional secrets.

Reality Winner, a former Air Force linguist with a top secret security clearance, worked as a government contractor in Augusta until June, when she was charged with copying a classified report and mailing it to an online news organization.

Police in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night fatally shot a deaf man who they say was advancing toward them with a metal pipe as witnesses yelled that the man was deaf and could not hear them.

It's the fifth officer-involved shooting in the city this year, according to the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Officers were responding to a hit-and-run accident around 8:15 p.m., Capt. Bo Mathews, the police department's public information officer, told reporters Wednesday. A witness of the accident told police a vehicle involved went to a nearby address.

Georgia Wants To Execute Inmates Accused Of Killing Guards

Sep 19, 2017
Bob Andres / Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool

Two inmates accused of killing their guards on a Georgia prison bus three months ago were indicted Tuesday on multiple charges, including murder, and the state plans to seek the death penalty.

A grand jury indicted Donnie Russell Rowe, 44, and Ricky Dubose, 24. Each man faces two counts of murder, two counts of felony murder, one count of escape and one count of hijacking a motor vehicle.

Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Stephen Bradley filed notice with the court Tuesday that he plans to seek the death penalty against both men.

You might know it as a garbage truck.

But to police departments around the country, it has become a cutting-edge tool in law enforcement.

"More and more, we're seeing attacks both in the U.S. and abroad where vehicles are utilized," says Daniel Linskey, a retired Boston Police Department superintendent in chief who now works for a security management firm called Kroll Associates.

He points to the lethal examples of cars running into crowds in Nice, France, in London and in Charlottesville, Va., among many others over the past few years.

Updated 8:35 p.m. ET

The Salt Lake City hospital where a police officer roughly arrested a nurse who was protecting her patient's rights in July will no longer allow law enforcement agents inside its patient care areas. They'll now have to check in rather than enter through the emergency room.

Updated 10:10 p.m. ET

A Utah nurse and her attorney have released video footage showing an officer roughly arresting her at University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City. They say it amounts to assault.

The video shows an officer aggressively handcuffing nurse Alex Wubbels after she refuses to allow him to draw blood from an unconscious patient.

Jessica Gurell / GPB

Getting opioids can be very easy.  Getting rid of them can be very hard. There’s a lot at stake here.  Failure to do dispose of opioids can impacts lives, families, careers­–even the environment.

“These things shouldn’t be treated any differently than a loaded gun that’s sitting around the house,” said Dr. William Jacobs. 

He was a respected anesthesiologist with a successful practice and an idyllic family life but then he succumbed to temptation.

Jessica Gurell / GPB

Georgia is a major distribution hub for everything from food and cars to raw materials like cotton and turpentine. And, increasingly, illegal drugs, including opioids. The interstates and port that attract big business to the state also attracts drug traffickers. 

Dan Salter is the special agent in charge of the Atlanta field office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. He says that right now they're particularly concerned about fake Percocet pills that caused a spike of recent overdoses in Georgia and across the country.

GPB News/Emily Cureton

In South Georgia’s Wiregrass Country, a plaque in the town of Quitman marks a hanging place. It’s where, in August of 1864, four men were executed for plotting a slave rebellion. Over the next century, mob violence against African-Americans often erupted in South Georgia.

This is where our Senior Editor Don Smith was born and raised. He moved away in 1958. Don recently went back to his hometown to mark the anniversary of the Civil War hanging, and talk with longtime residents about how they remember the county’s history of racial violence. GPB's Emily Cureton reports. 

Jessica Gurell / GPB

Drugs like fentanyl aren’t just creating new risks for human police officers. The dogs who use their powerful noses to sniff out drugs are inhaling the dangerous synthetic opioids as well. So police departments are taking new steps to protect their dogs – and respond if the K-9s get sick.

Normally, it’s a police dog’s job to protect its handler, not the other way around. If you’re a police dog and somebody runs at your human waving a weapon, there’s only one response: you attack.

 

Sam Whitehead / GPB

Georgia’s public college and universities are back in session this week, and there’s a new presence on their campuses: concealed handguns.

Faculty, staff, and students are still trying to navigate exactly where guns will be allowed under the state’s new "campus carry" law.

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