Law & Order

Ways to Connect

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:

The lines were stark outside the courthouse.

A bustling street in downtown Brooklyn, N.Y., separated two groups. Each was fenced in by stone-faced police officers and steel barricades: an Asian-American community divided by Tuesday's sentencing of 28-year-old Peter Liang, the son of Chinese immigrants.

Thousands of people live in roughly 50 square blocks of Los Angeles known as Skid Row. Many are homeless and live on the street, while others live in shelters or short-term hotels.

Two Tennessee lawmakers are calling for a federal investigation into the arrest of at least five elementary school children.

According to the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, the children, who ranged in age from 6 to 10, were handcuffed and taken to a juvenile detention center because they failed to stop a fight that happened away from school property.

The trials of six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray were supposed to have been over by now. It was a year ago Tuesday that the 25-year-old black man died of a severe neck injury sustained in custody.

His death touched off violent protests, and — in a stunning announcement just days later — criminal charges.

State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said she had heard protesters' calls for "no justice, no peace."

But so far, there's been one hung jury, lots of legal maneuvering and delays.

Gabrielle Ware / GPB

For the first time in 16 years the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Dept. is now at full staff. Police Chief Joseph Lumpkin made the announcement Wednesday standing beside the  department's newest members.

The fully realized force comes as Savannah faces a murder rate nearly three times what it was last year, its worst year for homicides since 1991.

Georgia Department of Corrections

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied death row inmate Kenneth Fults’ plea for clemency. The board announced its decision Monday evening.

The 48-year-old is scheduled to die by lethal injection Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson.

Fults was convicted of the 1996 murder of his neighbor, Cathy Bounds, during a robbery attempt at her Spalding County home. He pleaded guilty, and a jury sentenced him to death. 

UPDATE July 7, 2017: Contrary to reports on social media, Judge Odell did not release Jerry Chambers Jr. after he was charged in the 2016 assault and attempted robbery outside the Savannah Mall.

According to District Attorney Meg Heap, that case was tried in juvenile court, where another judge found Chambers, then 16, not to be a delinquent, allowing his release. Chambers, now 17, faces three counts of felony murder in the July 5, 2017 shooting and fatal car crash in downtown Savannah. 

Original story, April 2016:

When the FBI tried to force Apple to unlock an iPhone last month, it was a battle of titans. There were high-powered lawyers and dueling public relations strategies. But when police encounter a privacy technology run by volunteers, things can be a little different.

For a brief span Sunday, the "C" in CHP stood for Chihuahua. That's because a black dog led what police describe as a high-speed pursuit over the Bay Bridge between San Francisco and Oakland, before being placed in official custody.

The dog's only identifying tag — black, with a silver human skull — served to cement his status as a hardcore animal who's not wowed by authority. His flight from the law was captured on a dashboard camera and posted to social media in what quickly became a well-liked video.

A Bibb County judge's tough-talk to at-risk children has gone viral. As of Friday evening, roughly 150,000 people have viewed the 10-minute discussion by Superior Court Judge Verda Colvin to about 20 kids in a Bibb County courtroom. GPB Macon's Michael Caputo spoke with Judge Colvin about her motivation to give the difficult speech to these children.

Michael Caputo: So what program brought you in these 20 or so kids together in that courtroom a couple of days ago. 

The CIA "inadvertently left" explosive material on a school bus after a training exercise with local law enforcement in Loudoun County, Va., the agency and the country sheriff's office say.

For all the talk in the last couple of years about reforming police, there are limits to what the government can do. But there may be another way, and it involves insurance companies.

John Rappaport, an assistant law professor at the University of Chicago, says he spent years studying police reform before it dawned on him to ask a basic question: What were the insurance companies doing?

"I just went on to Google and started searching and was just instantly amazed with the stuff I was finding," Rappaport says.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Bill Fickling sat on his front porch in the Ingleside neighborhood of Macon.

 

He pointed beyond the cherry blossom trees, well-known to those who live in the city. Through the woods is a house.

 

“The burglars were actually using that as a hide out, apparently that house is vacant,” said Fickling.

Georgia Department of Corrections

UPDATE:

The Supreme Court of Georgia denied Bishop's request for a stay of execution Thursday afternoon.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied death row inmate Joshua Bishop's plea for clemency. The 41-year-old's execution is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson.

The FBI says it has gotten into the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters in California, so prosecutors have dropped their case trying to compel Apple to do it. But the controversy is far from over. Local prosecutors across the country have iPhones that they would like to unlock, and they want to know if the FBI will use its master key to help.

Last week's terrorist attacks in Brussels have police in the U.S. reviewing their own preparedness, especially for the threat of multiple, coordinated attacks.

One question that often comes up is radio communications. In America, unlike Europe, most police radio chatter is on open frequencies.

During the Dec. 2 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., for instance, the general public was able to follow the drama of the manhunt by listening to police radio communications that were being streamed online.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

    

 

The scene in the small courtroom inside the Bibb County Law Enforcement center was a familiar one.

 

On a day scheduled for first court appearance, there was one charge on the docket. A murder.

Crime Crackdown Gets Fugitives Off The Streets

Mar 24, 2016
Office of Public Affairs

 

More than 140 people are in custody after a multi-agency crackdown on violent crime in Savannah.

Savannah was among a dozen cities targeted.

The U.S. Marshals service along with Savannah police, and the Chatham County Sheriff's Office arrested 144 suspects including 14 wanted for murder.

 

Savannah was among the government's so-called 12 "focus cities." It had 53 murders last year, the highest since 1991.

 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

When it comes to guns, Marciarea Torney-Daramanu is sure of one thing.

“With my kids now? When they get of age to own a gun I will make sure they are trained to use a gun,” she said.

She didn’t always feel this way. On a rainy day she shows me into her kitchen in her home in the Bloomfield neighborhood of Macon. She points to a magnet on her refrigerator.

“This is my son right here,” Marciarea said.

The photo is Stacy K. Johnson, Jr., Marciarea’s son. He’s holding his children.

“He’s the one that got killed right there,” she said.

Pages