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News Roundup

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As the New York Times reports, a prolonged shootout at a Kosher supermarket in Jersey City, New Jersey, on Tuesday terrified the city and left six people dead, including a police officer.  Now being investigated as an anti-Semitic hate crime, it appears that the supermarket was purposefully chosen as a target. Suspects David N. Anderson and Francine Graham, who both died during the attack, are thought to have shot Detective Joe Seals, a 15-year law enforcement veteran, in an encounter at a cemetery and then to have driven to the market where they began shooting at people with rifles.  When police arrived at the scene, they were immediately fired upon and a lengthy gun battle ensued, eventually concluding when an armored vehicle was used to ram through the front of the market. Keep reading for more news.

Myers Confirmed.  As the UNC School of Law announced late last week, Professor Richard Myers recently was confirmed by the Senate to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.  Myers was an Assistant United States Attorney prior to joining the UNC School of Law faculty in 2004. He graduated from UNC Law in 1998 and taught criminal law and criminal procedure as a professor.  The seat Myers filled was the longest standing vacancy in the federal courts.

Shootings Justified.  The News & Observer reports that Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman announced this week that two recent officer-involved shootings were justified based on self defense.  On Thursday, Freeman announced that Wake County sheriff’s deputies were justified in fatally shooting Troy Thompson in late August.  Thompson refused to leave his car during an encounter with the deputies. He was shot and killed when he tried to back over a deputy and pulled out a handgun.   

On Tuesday, Freeman announced that Sgt. Rodney L. Warner of the Raleigh Police Department acted in self defense when he shot Hugo Cortes-Ramirez in the leg in late September.  Warner encountered Cortes-Ramirez during a vehicle pursuit connected with a suspected kidnapping. The N&O report says Cortes-Ramirez pointed a gun at Warner and fled towards nearby woods, at which point Warner shot him in the leg.  Cortes-Ramirez then shot himself while in the woods.  

Pork Barrel.  A North Carolina traffic stop that occurred last weekend is making national headlines after the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office announced this week that $3 million in cash was seized.  As ABC News reports, the money is alleged to be the proceeds from drug sales and was discovered in barrels holding raw pork shoulders.  The ABC report says that the Department of Justice is assisting in the investigation.

Weinstein.  There were two developments in the Harvey Weinstein case this week.  As NBC News reports, Weinstein’s bail was increased from $1 million to $5 million at a hearing on Wednesday because Weinstein allegedly has repeatedly failed to comply with an electronic monitoring condition of pretrial release.  He remains free on bail despite the increase. As NPR reports, Weinstein also reached a tentative $25 million settlement agreement with numerous women who have accused him of sexual assault.  

Horse Mystery Possibly Solved.  Blue Ridge Now reports that a recent spate of horse attacks in the Spartanburg and Greenville area, including in Polk County, have been attributed to wild boars, rather than humans, by South Carolina law enforcement.  During October and early November, several attacks on horses were reported that involved the animals suffering lacerations. Though the case is now closed, some horse owners quoted in the report said that they have doubts about whether boars really are responsible.  One horse owner with 40 years of experience said that he had never heard of a wild boar attacking a horse and others expressed similar views.

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