Law & Order

Ways to Connect

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.

Black Lives Matter Protesters Rally At Governor's Mansion

Jul 12, 2016
Sam Whitehead / GPB

Monday meant another night of protests in Atlanta, as hundreds of demonstrators outraged by recent police killings of black men held a sit-in outside the governor's mansion.

After gathering at the Lenox MARTA station, the protesters blocked a road near Lenox Square mall before marching to the mansion amid chants of "justice" and "black lives matter."

wikipedia.org

Outrage, protests and more violence are just some of the expected reactions to killings at the hands of law enforcement officers caught on camera. Some therapists theorize that repeated exposure to these controversial incidents can adversely affect mental health. Anger, fear, and frustration can all take a toll on weary viewers who can’t seem to escape images of violent incidents.

Updated at 10:00 p.m. ET with names of the victims and gunman

Two bailiffs were killed and a deputy sheriff was wounded in a shooting Monday afternoon at a courthouse in southwestern Michigan, according to Berrien County Sheriff L. Paul Bailey.

The gunman was shot and killed. The deputy sheriff was in stable condition, as was one civilian who was also wounded.

Bailey said the shooting took place on the third floor of the courthouse in St. Joseph, about 40 miles from the border with Indiana.

In the days since police officer Jeronimo Yanez shot and killed 32-year-old school cafeteria supervisor Philando Castile, thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest across the Twin Cities region. They've camped out in front of the governor's mansion, visited the site where Castile was killed, and marched and blocked traffic, demanding an end to police violence against black men and women.

Below, three area residents talk about what Castile's killing has meant to them.

Adeniyi Alabi

The man who fatally shot five police officers in Dallas may have had plans for a wider attack, the city's police chief said Sunday. Dallas Police Chief David Brown provided new details about the tense two-hour standoff that police had with the gunman before he was killed.

"We're convinced that this suspect had other plans," Brown told CNN, adding that the shooter "thought that what he was doing was righteous and believed that he was going to target law enforcement and make us pay for what he sees as law enforcement's efforts to punish people of color."

The name of the suspected gunman killed in Dallas is Micah Xavier Johnson, two federal law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation tell NPR.

Seconds after a policeman shot a man named Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minn., his girlfriend started live-streaming the aftermath live on Facebook.

notbuyingit.org

Atlanta consistently ranks high among sex trafficking hubs in America.

Tanjila Ahmed / Flickr

After a unanimous city council vote Tuesday night, the city of Clarkston will no longer arrest people caught with an ounce or less of marijuana. Instead, the policy requires that those caught pay a $75 fine. 

Ted Terry is the Mayor of Clarkston. He said the city is still following the law, but has decided to treat the punishment differently.

The Georgia Department of Corrections says several prisons are under lockdown because rising tensions between inmate gangs and the death of a prisoner last month.

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.

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