News Roundup

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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