Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 12:12 pm
Ferguson, Mo., found a degree of civic calm this week after days and nights of angry clashes between protestors and the police.
Now the city is working to restore trust with residents after a white police officer fatally shot black teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 9. City leaders and residents say one way to do that might be to equip police with personal video cameras.
"All the cops have to have body cameras and dashboard cameras," says resident Alonzo Bond, "so everybody can be accountable."
Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 11:08 am
It's almost 4 p.m., and police officers Ernest Stevens and Ned Bandoske have been driving around town in their unmarked black SUV since early this morning. The officers are part of San Antonio's mental health squad â€” a six-person unit that answers the frequent emergency calls where mental illness may be an issue.
The officers spot a call for help on their laptop from a group home across town.
"A male individual put a blanket on fire this morning," Stevens reads from the blotter. "He's arguing ... and is a danger to himself and others. He's off his medications."
Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 1:08 pm
New Orleans is still reeling from another spate of violence last weekend, when five people were killed by gunfire and 11 wounded, including two toddlers. The city has launched high-profile campaigns to address gun violence, but a big part of the problem is an acute shortage of police.
Karen Rogers lives in the lower 9th Ward, where a recent drive-by shooting left two people dead and several more wounded. Police say it was drug-related.
"This is not the first time [I've heard gunshots]," says Rogers. "This is the first time to actually see people murdered and shot."
Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 9:55 am
For people connected to the Memphis juvenile courts, April 2012 is unforgettable. That's when federal investigators determined that the Shelby County juvenile court system discriminated against African-American defendants.
The Justice Department said the system punished black children more harshly than whites. In the most incendiary finding, investigators said the court detained black children and sent them to be tried in the adult system twice as often as whites.
The exact cause of prisoner Jerome Murdough's death at Rikers Island in February is still under investigation. But the temperature in the cell when he was found in New York City's biggest jail was at least 100 degrees.
The death of Murdough, who had severe mental illness, called renewed attention to a long-standing problem: maintaining reasonable temperatures in jails and prisons.
When Courtney Lockhart was tried for murder in Alabama, the jury unanimously recommended a life sentence, but the judge overrode that recommendation and sentenced Lockhart to death instead. Now the convicted murderer is asking the state Supreme Court to examine Alabama's unique process of judicial override.
Alabama is an outlier. It's the only state in which judges routinely override jury decisions not to impose the death penalty.