News Roundup

This week the Justice Department sued California Governor Jerry Brown and the state’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, alleging that certain recently enacted California immigration laws are unconstitutional. The New York Times says that the laws “restrict when and how local law enforcement can cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officers.” The Justice Department’s position is that the laws “reflect a deliberate effort by California to obstruct the United States’ enforcement of federal immigration law.” Keep reading for more news.

APD.  A jaywalking stop in Asheville in August of last year has been in the news recently after bodycam footage of the incident showing former APD Officer Chris Hickman beating Johnnie Rush became public.  Hickman was charged this week with assault and communicating threats because of his conduct while arresting Rush and the FBI has opened an investigation into the case.

Opioids.  New numbers from the Center for Disease Control suggest that the opioid problem continues to worsen. According to a new study, admissions to emergency departments for overdoses increased 30 percent from July 2016 through September 2017 as an average across a range of states. Some areas of the country saw admission rate increases that far exceeded the average; there was a 70 percent increase in the Midwest and the rate doubled in Delaware and Wisconsin. The increases come despite wider adoption of the overdose reversal drug naloxone.

Shkreli. The last time the News Roundup checked in on Martin Shkreli, the drug company executive known for drastically raising the price of an HIV drug, attorneys were having a hard time picking a jury for his fraud case because a substantial portion of potential jurors said they were aware of Shkreli and hated him. Shkreli eventually was convicted of fraud and prosecutors are seeking a 15 year sentence, but now things have made that familiar turn from bad to worse. The government has seized Shkreli’s one-of-a-kind Wu Tang Clan album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” valued at more than $7 million, and plans to auction it off to cover damages arising from his crimes.

Oscar. Terry Bryant realized a lifelong dream Sunday night, proudly live streaming a video to Facebook of himself holding an Oscar trophy and telling his followers that he couldn’t believe it was happening. There was good reason for Bryant’s disbelief — he was holding Frances McDormand’s award for best actress after stealing it while it was unattended. Bryant has been charged with felony theft and a person described as “Wolfgang Puck’s photographer” is being hailed as a hero for catching Bryant.

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