News Roundup

As the New York Times reports, seven law enforcement officers from Florence, South Carolina, were shot on Wednesday as they attempted to serve a search warrant.  One officer was killed.  Many of the details of the incident were unclear at the time of this writing, but it appears that the suspect, Fred Hopkins, opened fire with a high powered rifle from a tactically advantageous position, requiring that officers in the line of fire be rescued with a hardened military-style vehicle.  The Charlotte Observer says that the officer who was killed, detective Terrence Carraway, spent 30 years with the Florence Police Department, was an Air Force veteran, and was known among his colleagues as the bravest officer on the force.  Keep reading for more news.

DWI Motion Deluge.  The Greensboro News & Record reports that the North Carolina Supreme Court’s reversal of State v. Turner, which you can read about here, resulted in an incredibly busy week for the Guilford County DWI Cleanup Court.  The News & Record says that Guilford defense attorneys have filed more than 1,000 motions to dismiss DWI cases based on Turner since 2016 and that, following the reversal, Chief District Court Judge Tom Jarrell ordered that all of the motions be heard this week.  They made it through at least 248 cases on Monday.

Kevin Olsen Acquitted.  The Charlotte Observer reports that Kevin Olsen, the younger brother of Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, was acquitted by a jury of rape and sex offense charges this week.  Olsen’s former girlfriend accused him of sexually assaulting her in early 2017.  The Observer report notes that text messages between Olsen and his accuser constituted a significant portion of the evidence in the trial.               

Looked at my Watch, Looked at my Wrist.  In 2017 when Apple introduced the iPhone Face ID feature, allowing phones to scan their owners’ faces in order to unlock the devices without entering a passcode, everyone agreed that it wasn’t creepy and was super secure.  In the carefree days of 2017 we knew that because our faces are unique there was little danger of someone else being able to unlock our phones.  That confidence was misplaced, it turns out, because as recently demonstrated in Ohio, law enforcement officers who lawfully possess your phone and suspect you of child pornography crimes might just aim it at your face and cause the phone to unlock, arguably without running afoul of the Fifth Amendment.

Jail Death Lawsuit.  As WLOS reports, the family of a woman who died of a methamphetamine overdose while in custody at the Buncombe County Detention Center has filed a lawsuit against various parties that alleges claims of wrongful death and violations of constitutional rights.  Michele Smiley died at the detention center in October of 2017.  WLOS says that the lawsuit alleges Smiley told detention center staff that she had ingested “a lot” of “meth,” began displaying overdose symptoms, and that staff were negligent in their care of her thereafter.

Malware Sentence.  Last month an Atlanta defense contractor, Mittesh Das, was sentenced to two years in federal prison and ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution after being convicted of installing malware on computer servers at Fort Bragg.  After the Army gave a new contractor the responsibility of maintaining a computer program that handles pay and personnel actions for Army reservists, Das dropped a “logic bomb” into the program’s code which caused it to malfunction.

Not Just Havanas and Bananas.  Newsweek reports that a jail in Texas recently received a donation of overripe bananas that included an unexpected bonus – 540 kilos of cocaine with a street value of about $18 million.  The Newsweek story says that the DEA isn’t yet sure how the cocaine wound up mixed in with a banana shipment.  If I were looking for suspects, I’d start with the grandsons of sailors.

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