Law & Order

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The government of the United Arab Emirates is advising its citizens to avoid wearing the country's traditional dress while traveling abroad.

The machine looks like a terminal at your local convenience store, but police agencies in a number of states are using them to read money cards seized from crime suspects. Officers can instantly freeze or seize the funds loaded on prepaid cards using the handheld device, and some civil liberties advocates say the machines may be abused.

How many times last year did police pull a Taser on suspects nationwide?

Just like the total number of people shot by police, no one knows for sure.

Connecticut is the first state to require police to fill out a form for every time they pull a Taser. And it just released the first-ever statewide report on how police use them.

Marijuana is legal in Colorado — as long as you're 21 or older. It's still illegal for kids to possess, so juveniles are coming to dominate the marijuana arrests in Colorado. But another startling trend also has developed: Arrest rates have risen dramatically for young blacks and Latinos.

Ricky Montoya isn't surprised that's happening. He's standing outside Courtroom 4F in Denver's City and County Building, where he was just ordered to pay a $1,000 fine for his third marijuana possession offense.

When cities settle cases of inappropriate or illegal force by police officers, they pay — a lot. Chicago alone has paid out more than half a billion dollars since 2004.

Yet some advocates say all those payouts haven't had much of an effect on policing practices.

Jonathan Javor remembers the car thief with relish. A political strategist by day, the 34-year-old volunteers a couple of nights a month as a police officer in Tel Aviv.

During one recent shift, he and his partner, another volunteer, responded to a call from a citizen who was watching someone trying to steal a car. They were the first officers on the scene.

Oakland's mayor was blunt:

"I'm here to run a police department, not a frat house," Libby Schaaf said at a press conference on Friday.

A number of police officers in the California city have been accused of sexual misconduct; others have allegedly sent racist texts. Now three police chiefs have resigned over the course of just over a week.

Police in Mexico have long failed to inspire trust. The vast majority of crimes are never solved. Often, a signed confession is enough to put somebody in jail, even if the evidence is sketchy.

But with U.S. assistance, Mexico has been attempting to improve its judicial system — and the northern state of Chihuahua, which borders Texas and New Mexico, is considered one of the pioneers.

Singer Christina Grimmie, a former contestant on The Voice, was shot by a gunman after a concert in Orlando, Fla., police say, and later died of her wounds.

Orlando Police have identified Grimmie's killer as 27-year-old Kevin James Loibl.

Can Kids Be Scared Straight?

Jun 8, 2016
Grant Blankenship / GPB

At the inmate’s direction, the children drop to the floor.

“Down!” she shouts, almost screeches. Almost immediately there’s a new command.

“Up!”

A new command, just as fast.

“Jump!”

The kids can’t keep up. They aren’t meant to. Pretty soon it’s obvious that many of these kids, especially the ones who are not yet teenagers, are terrified.

Federal prosecutors announced they will bring no civil rights charges against two Minneapolis officers in last year's death of a 24-year-old black man, who died following a confrontation with police.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger largely hung the decision on a claim by protesters and witnesses that Officers Dustin Schwarze and Mark Ringgenberg handcuffed Jamar Clark before he was shot. Luger told reporters evidence "did not support that conclusion."

Even with Cliven Bundy and many of his militia supporters in jail, anger toward the federal government is still running high in some parts of the West.

Clashes between ranchers and federal land managers over grazing rights are continuing. In southern Utah, things have gotten so bad lately that some local sheriffs have threatened to arrest federal rangers who try to close forest roads and cut off access to ranchers and other users.

Sometimes it's hard to tell whether Garfield County Sheriff James "Danny" Perkins is serious or pulling your leg.

Louisiana's hate-crime protections now cover law enforcement and first responders. Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the legislation on Thursday after it had passed easily in the Republican-controlled Legislature, NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.

Flinga / Wikimedia Commons

Georgia has joined 10 other states in a lawsuit challenging whether the Obama administration can provide guidance to school districts on transgender bathroom policy. But a Georgia case shows courts have said sex discrimination laws do apply to transgender individuals.

Sam Whitehead / GPB

Some travelers headed through the south security checkpoint at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport will now get to use a new automated screening system that’s the first of its kind in the country.

The Transportation Security Administration launched the new system Tuesday and will re-open the entire checkpoint Wednesday.

Wiki Commons

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer made a big announcement recently. The company will no longer allow its products to be used for executions. Pfizer was the last FDA approved supplier of lethal injection drugs so now many states including Georgia will have to get their drugs from pharmacies that are loosely regulated. These facilities are called compounding pharmacies. 

We speak with Mercer University College of Pharmacy's Grady Strom about what compounding pharmacies are, how they're regulated, and the ethical debate among pharmacists about providing drugs for lethal injection. 

VA

Cathedral Henderson was responsible for the scheduling of nearly 2,700 patients at the Charlie Norwood VA Hospital in Augusta, Georgia. 

The 50-count indictment against Henderson alleges he canceled patients’ medical appointments, falsely stated that services had been completed or that patients refused services.

This trial is the next development in a series of issues at Charlie Norwood. In 2011, scheduling problems at the Augusta VA led to three deaths. Norwood became one of more than 100 Veterans Affairs hospitals nationwide to be investigated in 2014.

New York Times

A Georgia district attorney says his office is still investigating a November incident involving Coweta County sheriff's deputies using their stun guns 15 times on a handcuffed man in the back of an SUV.

Footage of the incident, which ended with the death of 32-year-old Chase Sherman, was made public Friday.

Law enforcement officials in Southwest Georgia say five people found dead in a burning house were shot before the fire began. A 25-year-old man is charged in the case.  

Chathamcounty.org

 

Chatham County primary elections are just around the corner. Tuesday, May 24 marks the day several local politicians will face off before general races in November.

Running for Chairman of the Chatham County Commission are incumbent Al Scott and 3rd District Commissioner Tony Center. 

Embattled Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he will disband the city's police oversight agency. It is charged with investigating police shootings and misconduct — but it has long been criticized for slow investigations that rarely result in disciplinary action.

NPR's Martin Kaste tells our Newscast unit that scrapping the Independent Police Review Authority is a response to a crisis of confidence in Chicago's police. Here's more from Martin:

In Rome's vast Piazza del Popolo, two uniformed men try to help a German tourist with directions. And, as is all too common in Rome, instructions get lost in translation.

But it's the men's uniforms that leave the woman more perplexed. The cops assisting her are not Italian. They're Chinese.

They're part of an unprecedented experiment in which Italian and Chinese police are working together this month on joint patrols on the streets of Rome and Milan.

Police say a Department of Homeland Security police officer suspected of killing his wife Thursday, is also a suspect in two shootings in suburban Maryland on Friday.

At least two people were killed and two others injured Friday in separate incidents outside two shopping centers, according to the Montgomery County Police Department.

The Montgomery County Police Department said Eulalio Tordil, 62, has been taken into custody.

In the case of the infamous serial killer dubbed the "Grim Sleeper," a Los Angeles jury has found Lonnie Franklin Jr. guilty of killing nine women and one teenage girl over the course of more than 20 years, from the 1980s to the early 2000s.

The controversial North Carolina law that prevents transgender people from using public bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity, and limits protection for LGBT people, violates federal civil rights law and can't be enforced, the U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday.

Georgia's First Black Police Officer

May 3, 2016
Linda Chen/GPB News

The first African-American police officer in Georgia was sworn in 69 years ago. A total of nine black police officers joined the Savannah Police Department on May 3, 1947. They became known, collectively, as the “Original Nine.” Retired Lieutenant John White was the first to take the oath and is the only surviving member. Producer Linda Chen spent an afternoon with White as he looked back on that landmark moment of his storied career in law enforcement. 

Three people linked to San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook — including his brother — have been arrested on charges involving an alleged "sham marriage," according to the Justice Department.

Syed Raheel Farook, 31, was taken into custody Thursday morning by the FBI along with his 31-year-old wife, Tatiana Farook, and her 26-year-old sister Mariya Chernykh. They face charges of marriage fraud conspiracy and making false statements under oath.

Baltimore police said a police detective shot and injured a boy after mistaking a replica pistol in his hand for a real gun.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis told reporters that two plainclothes detectives were driving in East Baltimore on Wednesday afternoon and saw the boy with "what looked like a firearm." Here's what Davis said happened next:

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