News Roundup

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According to a new survey from the Pew Research Center, the nation’s police officers say that “recent high-profile fatal encounters between black citizens and officers have made their jobs riskier, aggravated tensions between police and blacks, and left many officers reluctant to fully carry out some of their duties.” In a survey of more than 8,000 officers, roughly three-quarters of respondents said that they are more reluctant to use force when it is appropriate and a similar number reported less willingness to stop and question people who seem suspicious.  While these results are generating headlines, the survey is wide-ranging and includes a variety of information about officers’ experiences in a challenging profession to which an overwhelming majority (96 percent) feel strongly committed.  Keep reading for more news.

Beyond the Bench.  A new episode of the SOG’s Beyond the Bench podcast is available for download.  Loyal blog readers and podcast listeners know that season two of the podcast has been tracking two neglect cases involving homeless juveniles.  The new episode takes a break from following the court cases and focuses on the children, allowing the listener to find out how their perspective is represented in court.

Sentence in Dylann Roof Trial.  As NBC News reports, Dylann Roof was sentenced to death in his federal hate crime trial, becoming the sixty-third person on federal death row.

Crime Stats.  The FBI has released its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report covering the first six months of 2016.  Compared to the same period in 2015, the data from 2016 reveal “overall increases in the number of violent crimes reported and overall declines in the number of property crimes reported.”

Mystery Flu.  An article in the News & Observer says that a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine applied concepts currently used to study disease epidemics to the phenomenon of gun violence.  In an analysis of individuals in Chicago, the study determined that “social contagion was responsible for 63.% of the . . . gunshot violence episodes that occurred between 2006 and 2014,” and that predictive models incorporating social contagion were better at predicting “future gunshot subjects.”

Bypass Mode.  The News Roundup previously noted that last year the FBI took control of a child pornography website, keeping it online and making it run faster.  This week, Ars Technica reports that the FBI’s reluctance to reveal the source code for a “network investigative technique” – seemingly a piece of hacking software that allowed the Bureau to discover users’ true IP addresses which were otherwise obscured by their use of the TOR network – may imperil prosecutions stemming from the investigation.

Notorious.  When the children in 8-year-old Michele Threefoot’s class were required to come to school dressed as superheroes, Threefoot took an unconventional approach to the assignment.  Rather crusading in a cape or mask, she donned a jabot and spectacles and assumed the persona of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  The likeness was remarkable, according to Ginsburg herself.

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