Law & Order

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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.

Since winning the Republican National Convention in 2014, Cleveland has refurbished its Public Square, fixed up downtown streets and finished construction on a $270 million taxpayer-funded hotel.

Now it's showtime.

This week, the RNC's 2,000-plus delegates—along with their staffs, tens of thousands of journalists and untold numbers of demonstrators—will crowd into Northeast Ohio to see Donald Trump accept the Republican nomination for president.

Some people in the Faroe Islands really want Google to include the archipelago's byways in its Google Street View function.

The Faroe Islands tourism board has launched a campaign called Sheep View 360, shot by attaching body cameras to a handful of the archipelago's many sheep. The sheep wander around the self-governed Danish territory in the North Atlantic, showing off the summertime greenery.

What they do not show off is the roads, but as the tourist board sees it, that's where Google comes in.

When you listen to the protesters, the message is clear: They think police are too quick to pull the trigger when faced with potential danger.

The reality is that it's very difficult to tell whether this is something that's changing: The statistics on police use of force in the U.S. are too unreliable to say anything for certain.

Orlando police say a break-in occurred last night at the Pulse nightclub, where the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history occurred last month.

It happened "just hours after police released the business back to its owners," as Reuters reports.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Throughout his tenure, Governor Nathan Deal has pushed for criminal justice reform, including education and occupational training behind bars. That has more felons going from cell block to firehouse.

In the middle of Chester, a rural town about an hour from Macon sits the Dodge State Prison. Ride through the open gate and you see the typical looking prison surrounded by barbed wire.

But to the left is a firehouse complete with two bays where shiny red trucks sit pointed towards the road.

After more than a week of violence and racial tension sparked by the deaths of black men at the hands of police and the shooting deaths of five officers in Dallas, we're getting more perspective from African-American law enforcement officials. We wanted to know how black officers, folks who find themselves right in the middle of heated conversations about race and policing, are processing everything that happened.

The Triple S Mart in Baton Rouge has become a shrine and a gathering place for activists. It's where Alton Sterling was shot and killed by police officers just over a week ago.

Standing in front of a large mural of Sterling at the convenience store, his son, 15-year-old Cameron Sterling said he hoped his father's death would help bring people in the city together.

"My father was a good man," Cameron said. "That was a sacrifice to show everybody what was going on."

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

President Obama and former President George W. Bush spoke at an interfaith memorial service this afternoon for the five police officers murdered in Dallas last week.

Bush, a resident of Dallas, noted that he interacts with law enforcement every day.

"We're proud of the men we mourn," he said.

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