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News Roundup

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Over the weekend a Georgia Tech student was shot and killed by a campus police officer in a tragic incident that set off protests on the school’s campus this week.  21-year-old student Scout Schultz was shot by 23-year-old campus police officer Tyler Beck on Saturday night.  Reports suggest that Schultz, who had some history of mental illness, may have orchestrated the shooting, reportedly calling 911 to falsely report an armed suspicious person and then advancing on responding officers while carrying a multi-tool and disregarding their orders to stop.  A few days after the shooting, a campus vigil held in remembrance of Shultz was followed by what has been described as a violent protest where a police car was set on fire and two officers were injured.   Keep reading for more news.

Deaf Man Shot.  On Tuesday night, an Oklahoma City police officer responding to a hit-and-run shot and killed a deaf man who the officer encountered on the scene and who was holding a metal pipe.  The Oklahoman reports that Magdiel Sanchez approached two responding officers while holding a two-foot-long pipe and did not respond to the officers’ orders to drop the pipe.  Though witnesses were yelling to the officers that Sanchez was deaf, it is not clear that the officers heard the witnesses.  One officer shot Sanchez while the other officer simultaneously deployed a Taser.  The shootings of both Sanchez and Schultz are stark examples of the challenges that officers face when making difficult decisions about the use of force.

Redistricting.  WRAL reports that North Carolina judges and lawyers are urging the legislature to be cautious in considering proposals for redistricting the state’s judicial and prosecutorial districts.  The report says that on Tuesday a select committee of House members heard from groups representing Superior and District Court judges, as well as the North Carolina State Bar and the North Carolina Bar Association.  Some judges who addressed the select committee suggested that a systematic study be completed prior to making changes to the districts.

Opioids.  The Wilmington Star-News reports that the national opioid epidemic is having an increasing effect on social services cases in the eastern part of the state.  District Court Judge J.H. Corpening is quoted in the report saying that he has seen “opiate addiction consume [the] caseload in the DSS world.”  Among other effects, Corpening says that in the past five years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of children removed from homes because of parents’ opioid abuse.

Equifail.  The fallout from the Equifax security breach that was revealed earlier this month continues to grab headlines this week.  As we’re all aware, a cyber security breach earlier this summer at the credit reporting agency Equifax exposed the sensitive personal information of roughly half of the United States population, leaving millions of Americans vulnerable to identity theft and fraud.  This week it was reported that as part of its bungling response to the incident, Equifax inadvertently directed some victims to a phishing site.  Luckily it seems that the site is not malicious – it was set up to publicly demonstrate vulnerabilities in Equifax’s response to the breach.  Point made.

Got Two Again.  There are some sentences that a person never expects to write, including the one that follows.  Police in Colorado Springs are asking for the public’s help in identifying a woman who is repeatedly defecating in public at various locations in the city.  Apparently fond of the sidewalk in front of the Budde family’s home, a mystery jogger now known across the country as the “Mad Pooper” has relieved herself in front of the residence at least once a week for the past seven weeks.  Charmin has offered the culprit a year’s supply of toilet paper if she turns herself in.

Flower Bandit.  A different unusual criminal mystery has embroiled Cornelius – the town’s police department is searching for a person who is stealing potted flowers from people’s porches.  Striking under the cover of darkness, a suspect described as “a nicely dressed blonde in her 30’s, with a pony tail” is misappropriating mums from homes across the town.  Comments on the department’s Facebook post about the incidents suggest that the community is on the lookout and will not stand for this lawlessness.

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