News Roundup

President Obama delivered the annual State of the Union address this week, and the Washington Post reports here that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg seized the moment to take her annual State of the Union nap. Hopefully this news roundup will keep everyone awake!

Innocence inquiry in Whiteville. A three-judge panel will convene today to consider a claim of factual innocence by Joseph Sledge, convicted of a double homicide almost 40 years ago and sentenced to life in prison. The case features new DNA evidence and a recanting jailhouse informant. There are some indications that the State may not contest the matter, though nothing official yet. WRAL has the story here.

Carrboro officer saves life with Naloxone. In the 2013 legislative session, the General Assembly enacted G.S. 90-106.2, Treatment of Overdose with Opioid Antagonist; Immunity. The statute was designed to increase the access of law enforcement officers and others to naloxone, a substance that may be used to reverse a heroin overdose. According to this News and Observer story, a Carrboro officer just became the first in the state to administer naloxone in the field. Well done.

No federal charges expected in Ferguson. This New York Times story begins: “Justice Department lawyers will recommend that no civil rights charges be brought against the police officer who fatally shot an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Mo., after an F.B.I. investigation found no evidence to support charges, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.” No official announcement has been made and Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to make the final decision.

Innovations in drug smuggling. I stumbled on two stories this week that share a common theme. First, CNET reports here that a “drone carrying [three kilograms of] methamphetamines crashed into a parking lot at a shopping center in Tijuana [Mexico] on Tuesday . . . near the San Ysidro border crossing.” The story asserts that other techniques that have been used to transport drug near or across the border include “catapults [and] a pneumatic pot cannon.” Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports here that “[d]rug smugglers are turning ‘trusted travelers’ into unwitting mules by placing containers with powerful magnets under their cars in Mexico and then recovering the illegal cargo far from the view of border authorities in the United States.” Truly, human ingenuity knows no bounds.

Shake it off. Finally, check out this video of burly Dover, Delaware police officer Jeff Davis singing and dancing by himself in his patrol car to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off. Haters gonna hate, but I think it’s pretty charming.

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