News Roundup

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Protests erupted in Charlotte this week in response to an officer-involved shooting of a black man, Keith Lamont Scott, on Tuesday afternoon.  The protests, to which law enforcement officers have responded by donning riot gear and using tear gas to disperse crowds, are making national news.  One person was shot during the protests on Wednesday night.  The Charlotte Observer reports that Governor McCrory has declared a state of emergency for the city and has deployed the National Guard and Highway Patrol troopers to assist local law enforcement.  At the time of writing, there are conflicting reports regarding the circumstances of the Scott shooting.  The Charlotte Police Department said that Scott was armed with a handgun when he was shot; some witnesses claim that he was reading a book.  Keep reading for more news.

Tulsa Shooting.  The Charlotte incident is not the only officer-involved shooting in the news this week.  As CNN reports, last Friday an unarmed Oklahoma man, Terence Crutcher, was shot by a police officer who encountered Crutcher because his vehicle was stopped in the middle of a street.  Reports suggest that Crutcher may have been intoxicated at the time of the encounter, but Tulsa police have said that he was not armed.  Video footage of the shooting which seems to show Crutcher behaving peaceably has sparked widespread condemnation of the shooting.

Big Apple & Garden State Bombs.  As the New York Times reports, a homemade bomb detonated in Manhattan on Saturday night, injuring 31 people.  Earlier in the day, a pipe bomb exploded in a trash can at a New Jersey 5K run; no one was injured but several similar devices were discovered nearby.  Hours after the Manhattan explosion, law enforcement discovered another bomb a few blocks away.  Then on Sunday, two men found a backpack containing a pipe bomb at a New Jersey Train station.  As this report from the Times explains, Ahmad Khan Rahami is the suspected bomber.  He is believed to have been inspired by international terrorists and was arrested following a shootout with police.

N.C. Supreme Court Race.  The News & Observer says that the outcome of the race for one of the seats on the North Carolina Supreme Court could change the “ideological tilt” of the court.  According to the article, the court currently has a “one-vote conservative majority” but that could change if Wake County Superior Court Judge Mike Morgan defeats 16-year incumbent Bob Edmunds in November.

K2 in N.C. Prisons.  Synthetic marijuana is a growing problem in North Carolina prisons, according to this report from the News & Observer.  The drug is made by “spraying mind-altering chemicals on dried plant material” and is suspected to be connected to several recent overdoses and deaths in state correctional institutions.

Does That Banner Yet Wave.  The Fayetteville Observer reports that “criminal charges will not be pursued against [a] Cumberland County teacher who stepped on a U.S. flag during a lesson on the First Amendment.”  Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West said that the North Carolina misdemeanor for flag desecration isn’t enforceable because it conflicts with a U.S. Supreme Court decision that says that flag desecration is protected speech.

Forensic Evidence Under Microscope.  The Wall Street Journal reports that the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology “released a final report Tuesday on forensics, concluding that much of the most common analysis used in criminal trials doesn’t meet scientific standards.”  The final report is said to “[raise] questions about the use of bite-mark, hair, footwear, firearm, and tool-mark analysis.”

Good Guy With Gun.  The Los Angeles Times reports that a mass stabbing in a Minnesota mall ended when an off-duty police officer shot and killed the knife-wielding attacker.  According to the report, Jason Falconer, a part-time cop, firearm instructor, expert marksman, and shooting range owner was shopping in the mall when Dahir Adan began stabbing people.  A Minneapolis firearm instructor quoted in the report says that the situation provides a good example of the value of proper training for people who carry firearms for self-defense.

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9 comments on “News Roundup

  1. Hat tip to Cumberland DA West for acknowledging that state law must yield to the U.S. Constitution….Not a given these days, of course….

    • To bad that don’t apply to ‘all Counties’ in NC. According to ‘paid counsel’ State law trumps the Federal Laws securing rights in Catawba County. Even when the NC Defenders Manual Suggests other wise.

      • State law is not important in the Francis U.S. flag stomping incident given that the SCOTUS has decided that the act is protected speech…where ‘freedom of speech’ is allowed that is.

        Francis, acting as a representative of the Cumberland County School System, clearly violated the Cumberland County School Policy against the encouragement or coercion of students to engage in radical, uncivil, and unpatriotic actions in support of socialist liberalism and the so-called social justice issues. Burning or stomping an America’s flag is in no way justifiable as an ‘impartial’ act and thus does not rate as impartial study and discussion. It is clearly a foul and insipid attempt to radicalize our sons and daughters in violation of this Cumberland County School Policy. Francis’ defense of ‘teaching a lesson’ will fail miserably in the face of this policy.

        Cumberland Co. School Policy: 7720 Employee Political Activities – The employee’s right of citizenship, involving registering, discussing political issues, voting, campaigning for candidates or issues, running for or serving in public office, and participating on a committee or board that seeks to serve the welfare of the community, will not be infringed upon due to employment by the school system. However;

        These political activities must NOT:

        *take place during school time;
        *involve school monies or materials; or
        *make use of an official school position to encourage or to coerce students or other employees of the system to support in any way a political party, candidate or issue.

        This policy should not be construed as prohibiting (1) the impartial study and discussion of political or other controversial issues in the classroom setting; (2) the distribution at the high schools of nonpartisan literature promoting voter registration; or (3) distribution of nonpartisan literature providing information about bond elections.

        There were OTHER CCSS policies and regulations violated by Francis. Click to read about them.

        http://tptn.fayettevilleforum.net/index.php/2016/09/22/black-fayetteville-n-c-teacher-who-stomped-on-u-s-flag-blames-students-for-his-predicament/

  2. “Raises questions” is generous. The report says multi-sample DNA mixtures (3 or more donors) is ok under some circumstances but not many, the prospects of developing bitemark analysis into a scientifically valid method is low and should be abandoned, fingerprint analysis has some false positives but improvements are being made, firearm identification through toolmarks currently fails to meet foundational requirements but it can be improved, footwear analysis is not scientifically valid, and hair analysis – microscopic – not DNA – has not established validity and reliability and 11% of FBI cases where hair analysis found hair samples to come from the same donor was compared with DNA (where available) found that DNA over-ruled the earlier conclusion.

  3. I don’t know that a person who is ordered to stop and raise your hands but refuses can necessarily be called to be acting “peacefully”. I note that two officers at the scene disagree with your position. I hope that the DA has not rushed to judgement the way Nifong and the Baltimore DA did. It behooves me that all of these victims of police shootings all refuse to obey the officers lawful demands. Meanwhile two people have been shot and killed by law-enforcement offices in Sampson county in the last 18 months and hardily a peep from anyone. Of course both of those victims were white!!

  4. I need some help. My 28 year old son was shot at by a neighbor when he was cutting down a tree on his property. My son was recently confronted by the neighbor when my son was working on a food plot on his own property. The neighbor drove up to my son on a 4 wheeler type of vehicle and said “What are you doing?” My son stated that he was making a food plot. The neighbor then jumped onto his vehicle and drove away. Less than a week later my son went out to work on his food plot and saw tire tracks all through the seeds he had planted. He then decided to fall a tree to stop the vehicles from using the trails on his property. While he was cutting the tree down he was shot at by the neighbor. My son jumped on his tractor and drove away from the area, while shooting his shot gun into the air. He continued to have shots fired at him, one so close that it went through the roll bar on the tractor, just inches from his head. The police arrived and questioned each party. They investigated the neighbor’s yard and property while my son waited out in front of the house. In the end, the police gave both guns back, said my son was trespassing and left. We all met with the sheriff the next day. The sheriff told us that our son was intoxicated, and trespassing. We met with the magistrate. He listened to our story and, after reading the unofficial police report advised us that we should get a copy the next day, (Monday) and decide if we want to press charges. My son went to get the report and was presented with a partial report from the clerk. When he asked for the complete report the clerk began blacken out areas of the report with a sharpie.
    My son was able to get a lawyer who said the whole situation was strangely handled and would be interesting in investigating. That was yesterday. Today she didn’t sound so interested, especially after talking to the DA. The DA in all of this said that there wasn’t enough evidence.
    All of that said, isn’t it illegal to shoot at someone just because you think that they are on your property? The neighbor admitted to shooting at my son, then changed his story to he was target shooting into a berm. Great, toward the guy who is running a chain saw? I’m so very confused about our legal system right now. We are just regular people, who work hard for a living in professional jobs. We don’t break the law. And we expect the law to protect us. Does anyone have any advice? Shouldn’t this incident be investigated more? My son thought that he and his neighbor would be taken to jail until all was sorted out. Instead he was encouraged by the police officer to come talk to his neighbor to work it all out. My son refused. The police did say that the neighbor was using an AR. They did note the bullet hole in the tractor. The same officer told us all in the magistrate’s office that all of this could have been prevented if my son and the neighbor had just sat down “like gentlemen” and discussed the problem. My son would have been more than happy to discuss any question or concern with the neighbor, prior to being shot at. I have documented everything that I could with names and dates and quotes. I just feel like our concerns are being swept under the rug. Is it legal to shoot at someone who you think is on your property? Does it make anyone wonder that the investigating officer’s last name is the same as the property owner’s? How about that when we met with the sheriff, he accused my son of trespassing and being intoxicated. So I guess that’s a good enough reason to shoot at someone? I never thought it was. I guess I should say that we live in a very small town where everyone knows everyone and/or are related. This is very scary to my and my family. As I said, we don’t break the law, and we don’t know the correct procedures that the police are to carry out, but this all seems very odd. And now? We are in fear for our son’s life as the neighbor lives two houses down.

  5. […] evidence to help Pitt County prosecutors win a murder conviction.” As the News Roundup previously noted, the scientific validity of firearm analysis, and many other forensic disciplines, recently has […]

  6. […] Attorney Andrew Murray announced Wednesday that the officer who fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott earlier this year lawfully used deadly force and will not face criminal charges.  Murray explained that a CMPD and […]

  7. […] the role of the Charlotte Citizens Review Board in investigating the officer-involved shooting of Keith Lamont Scott last year.  The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department determined that the shooting was […]

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