Law

Courtesy of the Hoke County Sheriff's Office

The Fort Bragg Army Reserve officer charged after a series of threatening incidents Thursday night at a mosque in Hoke County is a decorated veteran of two deployments to Iraq, said an Army spokesman.

Photo: A photo identification card issued by FaithAction International
Courtesy of FaithAction International

A North Carolina legislative panel recommended banning police from using non-government issued IDs to verify people’s identity on Wednesday, potentially tossing out an instrument law enforcement uses to identify undocumented immigrants.

Durham County Detention Facility
Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) / Wikimedia

A federal review of the Durham County Detention Facility recommends creating a separate unit for inmates with mental health diagnoses.

Greenville Federal Courthouse
Eastern District of NC, US District Court

Eleven years ago, Mike Easley was North Carolina's governor, the Carolina Hurricanes began with what would be a Stanley Cup season and Apple had yet to unveil the original iPhone to the public. And on December 31st, 2005, North Carolina Eastern District Judge Malcolm Howard assumed senior status, a form of semi-retirement granted to U.S. federal judges.

Since then, Howard’s vacancy has yet to be filled.

photo of "How the Drug War Ruins American Lives" by Art Benavie
Praeger Press

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Comprehensive Crime Control Act. This spurred the "War on Drugs" and allowed the federal government to establish the Assets Forfeiture Fund and bring lawsuits against items of property.

In his new book, How the Drug War Ruins American Lives (Praeger Press/2016), Art Benavie examines how the Assets Forfeiture Fund has eroded American citizens' property rights.

Durhamites gathered at the LGBTQ Center to write letters.
Rebecca Martinez / WUNC

Nearly a dozen people are hunched over a long table at the LGBTQ Center of Durham on a recent evening.

They're scrawling hopeful sentiments on brightly-colored pieces of paper. The letters of support are headed to six young men arrested in North Carolina in targeted immigration enforcement actions in January.

Fayetteville Police Try a New Approach to Drug Crimes

May 18, 2016
A stamp of heroin.
Psychonaught / Wikipedia

When Fayetteville launches its Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program this fall, it will be the first city in the South to try a new approach to policing drug crimes.

A picture of lights on a police car.
Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr Creative Commons

The Greensboro Police Department will now require a report with an explanation every time someone is charged with resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer.

Deputy Chief James Hinson says this comes after community focus groups pointed out racial disparities in the prevalence of these RDO charges.

Rev. William Barber
NAACP / http://www.naacpnc.org/president

The North Carolina NAACP says Harnett County Sheriff's Office targets poor, rural residents. Now, the organization is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice for a thorough investigation.

The DOJ is already looking into the killing of a man by a deputy intending to search a home without a warrant, and the possible mishandling of another murder investigation.

Police badge
Scott Davidson via Flickr

 

Harnett County residents have accused law enforcement officials of aggressive behavior and overstepping their authority.

A Sheriff’s deputy killed a man after entering his home without a warrant, and his family wants answers. Prison officers tased an inmate and left him in a cell where he died 20 minutes later. The entire incident was recorded on surveillance video.

A federal judge has ruled North Carolina's voter ID law is constitutional.

In a 485 page opinion issued Monday, federal district judge Thomas Schroeder upheld North Carolina's voter identification laws. The decision also uphold changes to same-day registration and out of precinct provisional balloting.  

Pixabay / Public Domain

The politics of North Carolina’s House Bill 2 continue to make national headlines, as religious communities weigh in on the law's effects. Supporters of HB2 say it is a necessary measure to keep people safe in bathrooms. Opponents say the measure discriminatory and not in line with their faith.

 

Attorney Wade Smith
Tharrington Smith

As a young boy in Stanly County, North Carolina, Wade Smith did not know what he wanted to be when he grew up; he knew only that he had a deep desire to do something "good and useful." 

Raleigh Police Shooting, Akiel Denkins
Leoneda Inge

No charges will be filed against the white Raleigh police officer who shot and killed a young black man he was trying to arrest back in February.

The Wake County District Attorney’s office has ruled that police officer D.C. Twiddy shot Akiel Denkins in self-defense.

A drawing of a man with a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Bourbon is a hot commodity these days, but one brand is considered among the finest in the world.  It's called Pappy Van Winkle.  In this week's episode of Criminal, Phoebe Judge examines the rise of the brand, and how a theft in 2013 made it even more popular.

A drawing of a judge's robe.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Note: this article contains graphic language.

In 1985, three men in South Carolina viciously raped and attacked a woman at a motel. In this week's episode of Criminal, Phoebe Judge tells us about a judge who proposed a punishment he thought would fit the crime better than jail time. Criminal is a podcast recorded at WUNC and hosted by Phoebe Judge

Robert Wagner, Bragg N East, Raleigh Police
WagzFilm.com

The shooting deaths of black men by white police officers over the past few years has brought about much tension in city neighborhoods across the country.

They're raising questions like, “What happened to community policing?”

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrest.
Wikimedia Commons

Riverside high school senior Wildin David Guillen Acosta was headed to school on a typical morning in January when Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers detained him and took him into custody.

Acosta is being held in a facility in Georgia, awaiting deportation to his native Honduras. Acosta says he came to the United States to escape the ultimatum of a violent gang: join us or we will kill you.

Photo: Memorial for Akiel Denkins
Jorge Valencia

Hundreds of people attended a vigil Monday night for a man who was shot and killed by a police officer in Southeast Raleigh.

A picture of a gavel on a document.
Brian Turner / Flickr Creative Commons

The North Carolina legislature votes today on new congressional district maps. The move is required by a ruling of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that declared the current districts unconstitutional because of racial gerrymandering.

Lawmakers are expected to move the primary date for the congressional races from March 15 to June 7 and reopen the filing period for those races. The measure also calls for the elimination of runoff elections. 

A picture of a gavel on a table.
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

Lawmakers have until Friday to redraw two North Carolina congressional districts after a federal appeals court said they were unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

A three-judge panel from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals said the 1st and 12th districts were drawn primarily on race. 

Republican lawmakers have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to grant a stay of a lower court’s ruling to keep the districts intact with the March primaries just weeks away. However, they are also moving forward with plans to redraw the districts.

An image of the 1st congressional district in NC
Wikipedia / Public Domain

North Carolina Republican legislators said on Tuesday that they want to keep racial considerations out of consideration when drawing new congressional district lines for the state, even as they hope the U.S. Supreme Court will issue an order telling them they can continue using current voting maps.

A Republican-led special redistricting committee voted to draw maps using political party information from elections since 2008 -- but not voters’ race. They will use the criteria to ensure Republicans keep their 10 to 3 majority in the state’s congressional delegation.

Photo: Federal judges have struck down North Carolina's 1st and 12th Congressional districts.
Wikipedia

North Carolina lawmakers heard from dozens of citizens on Monday, as they await a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on whether they will be required to immediately re-draw some of the state’s congressional district lines.

About 80 people signed up to speak to lawmakers during a five-hour meeting heard at the General Assembly building and five satellite locations from the mountains to the coast. Some did not answer when their names were called and inclement weather forced the cancelation of a site in Guilford County.

Litigation, legal, gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal appellate court declared North Carolina's 1st and 12th Congressional Districts unconstitutional because they were gerrymandered on race. The court ordered legislators to redraw the districts within two weeks.

The ruling puts many issues surrounding the March 15 primary, including early voting and absentee ballots, in question.

A drawing of a sick tree.
Julienne Alexander / ThisIsCriminal.com

An iconic oak tree is the subject of this week's Criminal podcast, produced at WUNC. The program tells the stories of people who have done wrong, been wronged or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.

John Giedraitis was the city forester in Austin, Texas in 1989, when a beloved live oak tree there got sick.

"I proposed to my wife underneath the tree, because it's a big, strong, important tree that symbolizes timelessness, endurance, strength and that sort of stuff," Giedraitis says.

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