News Roundup

Late last week President Donald Trump signed three Executive Orders that a White House blog post says are intended to “fight crime, gangs, and drugs; restore law and order; and support the dedicated men and women of law enforcement.”  A press release from the White House says that one of the orders directs Attorney General Jeff Sessions to develop a strategy to more effectively prosecute people who commit crimes against law enforcement officers; that the second order establishes a task force led by Sessions to reduce crime and restore public safety in American communities; and that the third focuses energy and resources on dismantling drug cartels and other transnational criminal organizations.  Keep reading for more news.

Lock ‘Em Up?  Against the backdrop of pledged vigorous enforcement of domestic criminal law, a piece from NPR’s Morning Edition says that a group of current and retired law enforcement officials are “hoping to talk the Trump administration out of a return to what they see as a ‘lock ‘em up’ approach to law enforcement.”  A group known as Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration have written a memo suggesting that a focus on violent crime, efforts towards sentencing reform, and more mental health and drug treatment are strategies preferable to arresting low-level offenders for quality-of-life crimes.

Muslim Community & Law Enforcement.  WRAL says that leaders from law enforcement and the Triangle Muslim community met this week at the Islamic Center in Raleigh to discuss the relationship between the two groups.  Members of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies attended the meeting, which was described as a form of community policing.  According to the report, meetings have been happening for quite some time and others are planned later this year.

Proposed HB2 Compromises.  The Winston-Salem Journal reports that various proposals to repeal HB2 have been introduced by Democrats in the General Assembly.  According to the report, the proposals repeal the controversial law while increasing punishment for certain existing crimes when committed in public restrooms and changing areas.  In other HB2 news, it has been widely reported that the NCAA will move several championship events out of North Carolina because of the law.

False Bomb Threats, Real Prison Sentence.  According to the Charlotte Observer, Cody Matthew Startt of West Virginia recently pleaded guilty in Burke County to 253 counts of terrorism and 251 counts of making false bomb reports.  The charges arose from accusations that Startt had made more than 400 false bomb threats in Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba counties; Startt was sentenced to 11 to 21 years in prison.

Packing Heat.  The News & Observer reports that some state legislators “want handgun owners to be able to carry their weapons concealed without a permit.”  To that end, they have introduced House Bill 69, the “Constitutional Carry Act.”  More details about the proposed legislation are available at the N&O link.

You Go Where You Don’t Belong.  Another report from the News & Observer says that a bill has been introduced in the legislature that “would impose a $100 fine on anyone caught driving with a live animal in their lap.”  The bill makes the activity an infraction.

Juju.  Regular readers know that it has been too long since the last post featuring the News Roundup’s favorite law enforcement activity – a good old fashioned viral cop/citizen dance-off.  It’s a thrill to report that Nash County Deputy Cody Williams and a young boy named Jason are lighting up the internet with this gem.


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