News Roundup

On Monday, state and federal law enforcement agencies raided three “full-fledged” casinos operating in Robeson County, according to the Fayetteville Observer.  The Observer says that the casinos were located in warehouses in various locations within the county, and that they were being run by members of the Tuscarora Indian Nation Sovereignty Territory.  As the News & Observer explains in another piece about the raids, the “Tuscarora are a federally recognized tribe in New York with ancestral roots in North and South Carolina,” though none of the groups identifying as Tuscarora in North Carolina have received federal recognition.  Keep reading for more news.

J. Kenneth Lee Passes. The Greensboro News & Record reports that civil rights attorney J. Kenneth Lee passed away recently. Among many other accomplishments, Lee was one of the first African Americans to enroll in UNC’s School of Law and was the founder of American Federal Savings & Loan Association in Greensboro.  The News & Record has a longer piece about Lee’s life here.

State Sued.  WTVD reports that Kyron Hinton has sued the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, alleging that the Highway Patrol’s negligence led to him being beaten by law enforcement officers earlier this year.  Officers encountered Hinton after responding to reports that he was standing in a turn lane in Raleigh while yelling and holding a gun.  The lawsuit alleges that the first officers on the scene had determined that Hinton was not armed and was not a threat, though Hinton admits that he was intoxicated and upset.  Dashcam video of the incident went viral and is available at the WTVD link.

Church Abuse.  WRAL says that former members of the Firstborn Baptist Church in Benson have reported disturbing allegations of abuse to the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office and to the news outlet.  According to some former members, physical and emotional abuse of children and other church members was common at Firstborn.  A Sunday school teacher, Jonathan Young, was charged earlier this month with sexually assaulting children at the church, and those charges appear to have motivated people to speak out about other abuse.

Carver.  The Charlotte Observer reports that Chris Mumma, the executive director of the North Carolina Center for Actual Innocence, has filed a motion alleging that investigators ignored witness reports of two alternative suspects in the 2008 murder of UNCC student Ira Yarmolenko.  Mark Carver was convicted of the murder in 2011.  The Observer report says that Mumma has asked that Carver’s conviction be thrown out or that he be given a new trial.

Drug Treatment Court.  WLOS reports that several non-violent drug offenders recently graduated from the Buncombe County Drug Treatment Court.  The Buncombe County program has existed since 2000, and the story is a good reminder of the work being done in drug treatment courts across the state.

Cruiser Contest Update.  Last week the News Roundup mentioned that the North Carolina Highway Patrol had a strong entry in the American Association of State Troopers’ best looking cruiser contest.  That wasn’t home state bias, the entry placed third.

Peak Roundup.  As the Winston Salem Journal reports, law enforcement agencies across the state are participating in the 2018 Law Enforcement Lip Sync Challenge.  The videos are nothing short of amazing.  Troopers from Surry and Stokes counties did “Man of Constant Sorrow.”  The Greensboro PD did “Summertime.”  The Forsyth Sheriff’s Office did a medley of hits from the 80’s.  The Charlotte PD did “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”  And the Pittsboro PD did “More Cowbell.”  The videos are awesome, that’s all there is to it.  Chime in with a comment if you know of videos from other jurisdictions.

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