News Roundup

The Durham Herald-Sun reports that the Durham District Attorney’s Office dismissed a murder charge against Alexander Bishop, a Durham teenager who was accused of killing his father in 2018.  The dismissal, based on insufficient evidence, follows a trial court ruling last year that search warrants in the case were invalid because an investigator misrepresented evidence when applying for them.  Keep reading for more news.

Bishop.  Alexander Bishop reported his father William’s death to 911 in April 2018, indicating that it appeared that a family dog had tangled its leash around his father’s neck.  He was charged with murder in early 2019.  Bishop’s attorney said in a press release following the dismissal that William Bishop “appears to have died after a tragic cardiac event during or after which the dog got his leash wrapped around [his] neck.”

Officer Involved Shooting.  WRAL reports that preliminary findings from the Raleigh Police Department indicate that a man who was shot and killed by an officer last week pointed a handgun-style BB gun at the officer prior to being shot.  Police were notified that a person near a Big Lots store in a shopping center off of Glenwood Avenue had dropped a gun on the sidewalk and was acting suspiciously.  Soon thereafter, Senior Officer W.B. Tapscott arrived and encountered Keith Dutree Collins who fled from Tapscott before pointing the BB gun at him, prompting Tapscott to open fire.

The WRAL report says that people who have seen the body cam footage of the incident, which was shown to the media and members of the public who wanted to see it, had different views of whether it was necessary for Tapscott to shoot eleven rounds at Collins.  A former Raleigh police officer who had seen the footage said that Collins posed a threat throughout the time Tapscott was firing, while community activists who saw it thought that Collins no longer posed a threat after an initial lesser number of shots.

ncIMPACT Season 2.  I watch a lot of PBS and over the past few weeks the station has been frequently reminding me that Season 2 of ncIMPACT is premiering this week with episodes airing at 8pm on Thursdays.  On the show, Anita Brown-Graham and her team examine policy issues around the state through town halls, interviews with local leaders, and visits with various organizations. Season 1 of the show featured several episodes that may be of interest to blog readers, covering topics including pretrial bail reform, employment after incarceration, and mental health and incarceration.  Season 2 includes episodes on the opioid crisis and the enduring consequences of criminal convictions.  All of the episodes that have aired are available to stream online for free.

Second Amendment Resolutions.  The Winston-Salem Journal, WFMY, and WLOS have stories this week about North Carolina counties considering resolutions in support of the Second Amendment.  As the Journal and WFMY report, Forsyth and Rockingham counties recently joined several others across the state in approving resolutions supporting the Second Amendment.  WFMY says that Rockingham joins Alamance, Davidson, and Randolph counties as a “Second Amendment Sanctuary,” and the Journal says that Forsyth has designated itself a “constitutional rights protection county.”  WLOS reports that discussion of a similar proposal at a Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting this week drew an overflow crowd.

Weinstein.  The Associated Press reports that prosecutors rested their case in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial in New York this week.  Six women have testified over the past two weeks in a trial that involves an allegation that Weinstein raped one woman and sexually assaulted another.  The AP story says that each of the women testified to a similar pattern of conduct by Weinstein where he would feign interest in their careers in order to orchestrate situations where he could attack them.  The trial is ongoing with Weinstein’s defense team beginning to call witnesses.

2 thoughts on “News Roundup”

  1. A former Raleigh police officer who had seen the footage said that Collins posed a threat throughout the time Tapscott was firing, while community activists who saw it thought that Collins no longer posed a threat after an initial lesser number of shots.

    We must continue to educate the masses about Graham v. Connor, in which the Supreme Court of the United States declared quite clearly that:

    “The Fourth Amendment ‘reasonableness’ inquiry is whether the officers’ actions are ‘objectively reasonable’ in light of the facts and circumstances confronting them, without regard to their underlying intent or motivation. The ‘reasonableness’ of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene [NOT a spouse, civilian bystander, politician, liberal, news reporter, activist, racist NAACP/BLM protesters/rioters, defense attorneys], and its calculus must embody an allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions about the amount of force necessary in a particular situation.”


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