Reactions to the events in Charlottesville last week continue to dominate the news this week as confederate monuments across the nation come under renewed scrutiny. A statue of Robert E. Lee was removed from the entrance of Duke University Chapel over the weekend, and the Silent Sam statue on UNC’s campus was the focus of protests that garnered national attention. Several protesters, including a UNC student, were arrested during the Silent Sam demonstration. Over on the SOG’s Coates’ Canons blog, Adam Lovelady has a post discussing a North Carolina statute which limits the circumstances under which monuments may be removed from public property. Once obscure, the statute now is one of the most widely analyzed laws in the state. Keep reading for more news.
Hate Posters. News outlets across the Triangle are reporting that posters encouraging violence against antifa groups and bearing the white-supremacist slogan “you will not replace us” have appeared in Chapel Hill and Durham. In addition to the slogan, the posters depict silhouettes holding weapons and encourage people to “hospitalize your local antifa scumbag.” Last week’s News Roundup has a link to an Associated Press story that provides background on antifa groups.
Hate Banners. Appalachian State University’s newspaper The Appalachian reported that a banner for the white nationalist group Identity Evropa was discovered on a pedestrian bridge on the school’s campus earlier this week. The Appalachian report says that Identity Evropa is a racist white nationalist organization that is classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.
Wife Hiring Scheme. It seems that there is no end to the fallout from the scheme by former district attorneys Wallace Bradsher and Craig Blitzer to illegally hire each other’s wives for state jobs. WRAL reported this week that Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman has asked to be removed from a pending criminal case against Bradsher in order to protect the appearance of fairness in the proceedings. In a motion to dismiss the case, Bradsher, who is representing himself, accused Freeman of prosecutorial misconduct.
Baltimore Bodycams. The New York Times reports that more criminal cases in Baltimore are being dropped after new body-camera video surfaced showing “questionable activity” by Baltimore police officers. The questionable activity was not described with specificity. The News Roundup previously noted similar incidents occurring in Baltimore earlier this year.
Don’t Tase Me, Bro. Reuters has published a multi-part investigatory report entitled “Shock Tactics” that takes a close look at deaths caused by the use of the Taser stun gun. The lengthy report specifically examines the widely-used weapons manufactured by Taser International (now called Axon Enterprise), and suggests that Tasers are more dangerous than many people recognize. The report questions whether the company has engaged in practices designed to downplay the risks associated with the weapons and minimize its own exposure to lawsuits related to deaths involving the weapons.
Pharma Bro. Harper’s Magazine has published highly entertaining excerpts from the jury selection process in the recent securities and wire fraud trial of Martin Shkreli, the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals who raised the price of a drug commonly used to treat certain life-threatening infections by five-thousand percent overnight. Many would-be jurors were familiar with Shkreli due to the widespread media coverage of the price hike and did not think highly of him. Asked about being fair and impartial in the case, the first juror called for voir dire flatly stated “I’m aware of the defendant and I hate him.” Things went downhill from there.