Law

Law
4:35 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Durham: New Policies For The Police Department?

Recently Durham City Council heard recommendations from the City Manager on how to improve police and community relations.
Credit Jorge Valencia

In Durham, the City Council could vote Tuesday night to change some policies for the police department.

At least two council members suggest the city manager's recent recommendations do not go far enough to improve the relationship between police officers and the community.

Durham Mayor Pro Tem Cora Cole-McFadden spoke on WUNC’s The State of Things Tuesday. She took issue with a recommendation which would allow officers to decide whether they need to get written consent before searching an individual.

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Law
5:08 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

New Civil Rights Commission Appointee Reflects On Voting Laws, Ferguson

Patricia Timmons-Goodson
Credit Duke University Law School

This summer President Obama appointed former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.  The Commission, an eight member panel, is charged with developing federal civil rights policy.  

Timmons-Goodson was the first African American female appointed to the North Carolina Supreme Court.  She spoke with  Phoebe Judge about the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown and changes in North Carolina's voting rights laws, among other topics.

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Law
9:51 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Fayetteville Police Chief: Collaboration Is Key To Stop Human Trafficking

Credit Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr

Police in Fayetteville say they will work with other local authorities to crack down on human trafficking in North Carolina. 

The Cumberland County District Attorney joined Fayetteville's mayor and police chief this week to renew their efforts to fight traffickers. 

The state's largest cities have reported several cases in recent months that involved kidnappings and forcing victims into prostitution. 

Fayetteville police chief Harold Medlock says the crime is not new in North Carolina, but authorities need to collaborate more to catch offenders.

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Law
4:14 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Should Accused Felons Get To Choose A Judge Or Jury Trial? You Decide

Credit DOliphant via Flickr

This November voters in North Carolina will decide whether people accused of felonies should have the opportunity to decide whether they want a judge or jury to decide their case. Jeff Welty, an associate professor in the School of Government at the University of North Carolina, has been studying the potential implications this constitutional amendment may have on the state.  He talked with Phoebe Judge.

Conversation highlights:

Why has it taken North Carolina so long to address the issue?

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Law
2:15 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Man Sentenced To Eight Life Sentences Released After 20 Years

Credit Kate Ter Harr / Flickr/Creative Commons

A North Carolina judge has ordered a man to be released from prison after serving 20 years of eight life sentences.  An attorney says 57-year-old Michael Alan Parker was released from Craggy Correctional Center near Asheville today. 

Parker was convicted in 1994 of 12 counts of sex crimes against his children, performed in a ritualistic manner. 

His defense attorney Sean Devereux asked for a new trial after doctors reviewed medical evidence.  Henderson County District Attorney Greg Newman says advancements in forensic investigations swayed the judge's decision.

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Law
6:26 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Discrimination Lawsuit Against NCDMV Will Go Forward

Credit NC DOT

A federal judge says he will not dismiss a lawsuit against the North Carolina DMV that accuses the department of discriminating against drivers with disabilities. 

The complaint was filed by the group Disability Rights North Carolina

It says DMV workers are using the state's Medical Evaluation Program to target disabled drivers for further review when they apply for licenses. 

The program allows anyone to request a medical evaluation if he or she believes a driver can not safely operate a motor vehicle. 

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Law
9:07 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Racial Profiling Trial Of Terry Johnson Concludes Friday

The trial of Terry Johnson's alleged racial profiling is taking place in Winston-Salem.
Credit Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

  The trial of Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson is expected to conclude Friday in federal court. The U.S. Department of Justice brough a lawsuit against the sheriff, accusing him to have profiled Latinos by ordering road-blocks in minority neighborhoods, and for calling on his deputies to arrest and detain Hispanics, without probable cause. He denied those claims Thursday, taking the witness stand in his own defense. Federal prosecutors tried to call Johnson's credibility into question by repeatedly trying to impeach him under cross examination.

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Law
8:50 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Durham City Manager Releases Recommendations For Police Dept.

Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield
Credit City of Durham

Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield is recommending that the Police Department require officers to complete racial equality training.

It's just one of dozens of points from a 131-page report his office compiled in response to complaints of racial bias and profiling within the department.

City Manager Tom Bonfield wrote that he reviewed the recommendations with the police department and six community advocacy groups.

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Law
8:43 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Defense Will Call More Witnesses At Day 7 Of Terry Johnson Trial

Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson

Defense attorneys will call more witnesses today at a federal trial alleging racial profiling by the Alamance County Sheriff.

Among the possible witnesses is Sam Page, an outspoken supporter of border control and increased deportations.

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WUNC Youth Radio
4:18 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Youth Radio: Dads In Prison

Aysia Evans and her father
Credit WUNC

The following is from WUNC's Youth Radio project reporter Chelsea Korynta.

When I was 15, my father was sentenced to three months in prison. I was one of the 2.7 million Americans under 18 with a parent who’s incarcerated. In 2013, Sesame Street even created a series of videos starring a Muppet named “Alex,” whose dad is in jail.

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