Police contracts can stand in the way of accountability
A police officer engages with a protester Wednesday, July 1, 2020, in Seattle, where streets had been blocked off in an area demonstrators had occupied for weeks. Seattle police showed up in force earlier in the day at the "occupied" protest zone, tore down demonstrators' tents and used bicycles to herd the protesters after the mayor ordered the area cleared following two fatal shootings in less than two weeks. The "Capitol Hill Occupied Protest" zone was set up near downtown following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Police contracts can stand in the way of accountability
Collective bargaining agreements for officers provide protections that stand in the way of accountability, even when the federal government is overseeing an agency through a consent decree, experts said. Contracts designed to ensure officers receive fair wages and benefits have spilled over into public policy. “These examples bolster the hypothesis that some union contract provisions may impede effective investigations of police misconduct and shield problematic officers from discipline,” Rushin said. The city entered into a settlement agreement, or consent decree, the following year and passed an accountability measure for additional oversight. One Seattle officer who benefited from the union contract in recent years was Cynthia Whitlach.
The Latest: Man shot during protest over New Mexico statue
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)TOP OF THE HOUR:— Man shot as protesters in New Mexico try to tear down statue. — Seattle City Council votes unanimously to bar police from using tear gas and pepper spray. ___ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A man was shot Monday night as protesters in New Mexico’s largest city tried to tear down a bronze statue of a Spanish conquistador outside the Albuquerque Museum. Moments later a few gunshots could be heard down the street and people started yelling that someone had been shot. Gallegos said officers used tear gas and flash bangs to protect officers and detain those involved in the shooting.
US nears 100,000 pandemic deaths: Does Trump feel your pain?
Now there is another, a still-growing American casualty list that has exceeded deaths from the Vietnam and Korean wars combined. Actual deaths from COVID-19 are almost certainly higher than the numbers show, an undercount to be corrected in time. It is well beyond what he told people to expect even as his public-health authorities started bracing the country in early April for at least 100,000 deaths. Unlike his emotional vice president, Joe Biden, Obama practiced his own kind of social distancing, to the point of aloofness. This, too, is not Trump's way.
Violent crime persists in Jacksonville despite coronavirus pandemic
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Violent crime continues in Jacksonville amid the coronavirus pandemic. That’s why Jo-Lee Manning, executive director of the Justice Coalition, said she’s not surprised by the violent crime numbers. The Justice Coalition, a nonprofit organization, helps families impacted by crime by offering moral support and helping them navigate the court system. “So you’re just another person on the end of the phone.”The Justice Coalition is not the only anti-violence group dealing with this challenge. To learn more about the Justice Coalition, or to donate, click here.
Violent crime rages on in Jacksonville despite stay-home order
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Keeping a lid on crime during this pandemic is proving challenging for Jacksonville, especially after a violent weekend that included two officer-involved shootings. While violent crime has dropped in many major cities, that hasn’t been the case in Jacksonville. This month, there have been 10 homicides and 23 people shot, according to News4Jax records, more than the same time last year. “We have seen a spike in domestic issues and that is probably something you can directly relate to quarantine,” he said. Anyone with information related to any recent crimes is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
Violent crime up in Jacksonville despite social distancing
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Violent crime is still happening in the River City, despite much of the focus being on public safety with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Justice Coalition helps families impacted by crime by offering moral support and helping them navigate the court system. Tragically, violent crime is still being reported despite orders to stay at home and not gather in large groups because of COVID-19. It’s heartbreaking that they don’t get to do the vigil and things to honor their loved ones right now.”Manning's hope is for crime numbers and virus numbers go down. To learn more about the Justice Coalition, or to donate, click here.
Mayor taps ex-Dallas chief to head Chicago police force
Former Dallas Police Chief David Brown, left, speaks to reporters after Mayor Lori Lightfoot, right, nominated him to be Chicago's next police superintendent Thursday, April 2, 2020. The third was Ernest Cato, a deputy chief on the Chicago police force. The mayor said one of the things that most impressed her about Brown was that he implemented many reforms in Dallas that the Chicago department is now trying to introduce. During his tenure in Dallas, Brown took steps that were controversial among officers, including making use-of-force data public. In December, just days after Johnson announced his retirement and Lightfoot named Beck as the interim superintendent, the mayor abruptly fired Johnson.
No longer a victim: woman launches support group for violent crime survivors
FROM THE ARCHIVE: Bullets shatter peace for mom, young daughter"It changed my life," Herrington said. While it is not the life path she imagined for herself and her daughter, Herrington says she chose to take action. So, Herrington launched a support group called Messy Miracles. Through “Messy Miracles," she strives to help others out of the darkness. “If I can help just one person, then I think I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.”To learn more about Herrington’s work and Messy Miracles, visit her website.
Blast in Syrian town held by Turkey-backed gunmen kills 3
(AP Photo/Baderkhan Ahmad)ISTANBUL – A car bomb exploded in a Turkey-controlled northern Syrian town on the border Saturday, killing at least three people, Turkey's Defense Ministry said. The ministry blamed Saturday’s car bomb attack on Syrian Kurdish fighters, the third such attack in Tal Abyad this month, leaving at least 24 people dead. On Saturday, the Observatory said the Syrian troops withdrew amid an advance by the Turkey-backed fighters, who have been seeking to capture the town for weeks. It was not clear if the Syrian troops had since withdrawn. The patrols are part of the Russian-brokered ceasefire to ensure the Kurdish fighters withdraw from the border area.
Blast in Syrian town held by Turkey-backed gunmen kills 13
(AP Photo/Baderkhan Ahmad)ISTANBUL – A car bomb exploded in a northern Syrian town along the border with Turkey on Saturday killing 13 people, Turkey's Defense Ministry said. The ministry said about 20 others were wounded when the bomb exploded in central Tal Abyad, which was captured last month by Turkey-backed opposition gunmen from Kurdish-led fighters. The ministry blamed Syrian Kurdish fighters for the attack, saying it harshly condemns it and called on the international community to take a stance against this "cruel terror organization." Earlier on Saturday, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said Christian fighters will now oversee security in a northern Syrian region that has witnessed fighting between Turkey-backed troops and Kurdish-led militiamen. But the U.S. had partnered with the Syrian Kurdish fighters, their top allies in the war against the Islamic State group.