A New York City police officer was ambushed and killed in the Bronx on the Fourth of July by a man who reportedly had made threats towards police on Facebook. Officer Miosotis Familia, a mother of three, was on duty in a mobile command post Tuesday night when she was shot at close range by Alexander Bonds. Bonds, whose girlfriend had alerted police to his erratic behavior earlier in the evening, subsequently was shot and killed by officers responding to the incident. A report from the New York Times says that Officer Familia was the first female NYPD officer to be killed in the line of duty since the September 11 terrorist attacks. Keep reading for more news.
Viral Traffic Stop. An uplifting story about a traffic stop involving Durham Police Officer Dan Strandh and local resident Courtney Bailey has gone viral because of Strandh’s act of kindness during the stop. As the Durham Herald Sun reports, Officer Strandh stopped Bailey for traffic violations, including having an expired registration. Bailey, who has a young son, told Strandh that her car wouldn’t pass inspection because it had a worn tire she couldn’t afford to replace. At Strandh’s insistence, they went to a repair shop where he paid for a replacement tire and an inspection. Bailey’s Facebook video about the experience has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people.
Western Regional Crime Lab. The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that the new Western Regional Crime Lab in Henderson County is nearly complete and set to open later this summer. The state of the art lab will allow scientists to process a variety of forensic evidence more quickly and also has DNA testing capability. The lab will serve 33 counties west of Interstate 77, and will be staffed by approximately twice as many employees as the current lab in Asheville.
Citizens Review Board. The Charlotte Observer published an editorial last week that discusses 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 justified, and District Attorney Andrew Murray determined that no criminal charges against Officer Brentley Vinson were warranted. Nevertheless, the Observer editorial says that the Citizens Review Board’s ongoing independent analysis of CMPD internal findings is a worthwhile endeavor considering the impact of the shooting on the community.
Turn Up Your Radio. Following his instant classic Criminal Law Music post last month, John Rubin took his show on the road last Friday to be a guest on the legal-themed radio show True Bill hosted by James Rainsford on Hillsborough’s WHUP 104.7. Between criminal law tracks, John recounts tales of labor law practice in the 80’s, discusses recent criminal law legislation in North Carolina, and plugs his local big band The Ambassadors. If you missed the live broadcast, a recording of the show is available to stream on the station’s website.
Slip Slidin’ Away. Officers from the Asheville Police Department responded to a serious citizen complaint on the Fourth of July holiday earlier this week – some kids had partially blocked a neighborhood road with a homemade waterslide. What do officers sworn to protect and serve do when confronted with such a situation on a day dedicated to commemorating American ideals of freedom and independence? Ensure that the slide is safe and in good working order by taking a few laps, of course.