Police

Joslin Simms, the mother of Ray Simms who was murdered in May of 2005.
Justin Cook / justincookphoto.com/

Durham is a city on the rise. And over the past decade or so, it has established a reputation for its change and rapid development. 

But not far away from the city's booming downtown and repurposed factories  is a part of the city that is dealing with high crime rates and the losses of their young men due to violence and prison.

It is a tale of two cities: one prosperous and open to tourist and transplants, the other isolated and dealing with violence and drugs.

Photo: A camera pinned on a police uniform
cops.usdoj.gov

A bipartisan group of North Carolina lawmakers is proposing that some of the state’s largest police departments and sheriffs’ offices be required to have their officers wear body cameras while they’re on patrol.

The bill—which would impact law enforcement agencies serving roughly 60 percent of the state’s population, including in Raleigh, Charlotte, Wilmington and Asheville—would set aside $10 million over two years to help agencies pay for the cost of equipment and storing thousands of hours of video.

Breathing Back

Feb 24, 2015
Breathing Back: A Meditation Chorus is now on display at The Carrack.
Alexis Pauline Gumbs / http://thecarrack.org/exhibit/breathingback/

  The final words uttered by Eric Garner, "I can't breathe," have become a mantra for protesters across the nation speaking out against police brutality.

Two Durham-based artists have repurposed the phrase for a new cause: to help outraged and exhausted communities connect to a legacy of activism and build resources for their long-term spiritual, emotional and physical resilience. They call it “Black Feminist Breathing.”

The City of Greensboro is welcoming police and the community to discuss their relationship tonight.

Greensboro Human Relations Executive Director Love Crossling organized of the event.  She says some neighborhoods are satisfied with their interactions with police officers.

“We have other pockets of the community where there is debate about whether or not there is a level of courtesy and respect and adherence to policy and procedure.”

Photo: UNC School of Law
Photo by Caroline Culler

Prosecutors, defense attorneys, activists and former police officers will discuss the deaths of unarmed minorities at the hands of law enforcement at a forum at the University of North Carolina School of Law today.

The forum, organized by law school professors, will include three panels examining civil rights, self defense, and the use of force from legal, historical and activist perspectives, said Associate Professor Tamar Birckhead, one of the organizers.

Durham Police at Jesus Huerta protest in December 2013
Laura Lee

    

Across the nation, protestors have taken to the street to call for reforms in police action. The protests come in the wake of  two grand juries declining to indict police officers who killed Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

From the coast to the mountains, activists in North Carolina have joined the movement calling for greater police accountability.

 Saint Paul, Minnesota police officers covered in riot gear march and line up during the 2008 Republican National Convention (RNC) at the Xcel Energy Center.
Tony Webster

Police departments across the state of North Carolina are arming themselves with the same weapons and gear as the U.S. military. 

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

The decisions not to indict white police officers who killed unarmed black men in Ferguson, Mo., and New York have led to calls for reform.

Demonstrations across the country suggest a deep divide between some law enforcement agencies and the people they are charged with protecting.

Halloween in Chapel Hill
Matt Fields / Flickr/Creative Commons

Chapel Hill officials say they are prepared for tonight's annual Halloween celebration on Franklin Street. 

More than 300 police officers will be keeping an eye on thousands of people expected to attend the event between 9 p.m. and midnight. 

Lieutenant Joshua Mecimore works for the town's police department.  He says there are rules in place to help keep all the ghouls and goblins safe.   

“You know, we want people to know that you can't have alcohol in the event, you can't bring alcohol out of one of the restaurants into the event,” he says.

City of Fayetteville Police Department
bethebadge.com

The U.S. Department of Justice will spend the next several months reviewing the policies and practices of the Fayetteville Police Department. The review comes at the request of Fayetteville Police Department as part of the Justice Department's Community Oriented Policing Services program. They'll be looking at the use of force and deadly force by the police, as well as community interaction.

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