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News Roundup

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This week several pipe bombs were mailed to political figures and political activists.  A series of similar manila envelopes containing suspected explosives and bearing the return address of former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz were sent to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, John Brennan, George Soros, and Robert De Niro.  Suspicious packages also were sent to Maxine Waters and Joe Biden.  None of the devices exploded or otherwise injured anyone; the story was developing quickly at the time of writing.  President Donald Trump called the attempted bombings “despicable acts” and said that “threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.”  Trump later made statements suggesting that the news media was to blame for feelings of hostility in the nation.  Keep reading for more news.

Political Volunteer Threatened.  The Charlotte Observer reports that on Wednesday a volunteer at a Mecklenburg County polling place was threatened and called a racial slur by a man who appeared to be armed.  Derek Partee, a former detective from New York, was volunteering at the polling place to support state senator Jeff Tarte when he was approached by Jason Donald Wayne and two other people.  Wayne allegedly was openly carrying a weapon in a holster as he referred to Partee using a racial slur and called him a “Black piece of s***” while exposing his holstered weapon.  When Wayne was arrested, he was carrying a holstered BB gun.

Patrolman Honored.  The Fayetteville Observer reports, that North Carolina Highway Patrolman Kevin Conner was remembered this week at a funeral attended by more than 3,500 people, including Governor Roy Cooper.  Conner was shot and killed during a traffic stop earlier this month.  Cooper told the mourners, who filled two gymnasiums to capacity, that the affection Conner’s colleagues had for him was apparent when they introduced Conner to the Governor as he toured Columbus County in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.  Two people have been arrested in connection with the murder.

Florence Officer Passes.  As the New York Times reports, South Carolina officer Farrah Turner of the Florence County Sheriff’s office died this week after spending three weeks in critical condition following the ambush in that county earlier this month.  Turner is the second law enforcement officer to have died as a result of the ambush.  In a statement, the Sheriff’s office said that Turner was an “ultimate professional” who excelled at everything she did.  The suspect in the ambush, Frederick T. Hopkins, has been charged with two counts of murder.

Taser Death Lawsuit.  The Charlotte Observer reports that a lawsuit has been filed against the Stanly County Sheriff’s Department arising out of the 2016 death of Marlon Bryan Lewis.  After calling 911 to report that he was in distress, Lewis was involved in a fight with responding officers and ultimately died.  The lawsuit alleges that officers tased Lewis 26 times during the altercation and that the electrical shocks caused his death.  A pathologist who conducted an autopsy stated that in her opinion Lewis died from cocaine toxicity.

Carruth Released.  As WSOC-TV reports, former Carolina Panthers player Rae Carruth has been released from prison after serving 18 years for his involvement in the death of his pregnant girlfriend, Cherica Adams.  Carruth apparently has moved to Pennsylvania where he will be on post-release supervision.  Carruth’s release has garnered significant media attention, including a Charlotte Observer podcast series.

O’Connor Diagnosis.  CBS News reports that retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced in a public letter on Tuesday that she has been diagnosed with dementia.  O’Connor, who is 88, said that because of her condition she no longer will be able to participate in public life and asked that new leaders come forward to continue her work advancing civic learning and engagement.  O’Connor was the first woman to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Buzzard Pounces.  When two inmates made a break for it during a criminal hearing in Judge R.W. Buzzard’s Washington courtroom last week, the judge “wanted to at least find out where they were going” so he shed his robe and alighted from the bench to give chase, pursuing the pair through the courthouse and down a stairwell.  Dispensing legal advice as he went, Buzzard warned the would-be escapees that they should stop because they were just “making things worse.”  When the procession arrived at the emergency exit at the bottom of the stairs, Buzzard wrangled one man into custody.  This was all captured on video.

You may wonder how in the heat of the chase Buzzard had the presence of mind to unburden himself of his robe.  Simple – a previous incident requiring the judge to wrestle a litigant who had attacked an attorney taught Buzzard that “grappling in a robe is very restrictive.”

Back to CLE.  “CLE, CLE, there ain’t no place I’d rather be” surely is among the Grateful Dead’s most memorable refrains, and there’s hardly a place you’d rather be on November 16 than right here at the School of Government getting 6.25 hours of high quality CLE including an hour of ethics and an optional hour of substance abuse.  We hope you’ll join us next month for Back to School: CLE @ SOG.

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