News Roundup

The Detroit Free Press reports that a $100 million federal civil lawsuit has been filed against the Michigan school district where a high school student killed four of his peers and injured several others in a shooting last week.  Keep reading for more on this story and other news.

Michigan.  The plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit suit are two year sisters, 17-year old Riley Franz who survived being shot in the neck and her younger sister Bella who witnessed Riley being shot as the pair walked out of a bathroom.  Reports suggest that school officials were aware that the shooter, sophomore Ethan Crumbley, had been searching the internet for ammunition on his cell phone during class and had drawn a picture of handgun and a bleeding person immediately before the shooting.  The drawing, which prompted school officials to hold a meeting with Crumbley’s parents directing them to seek mental health treatment for their son, was captioned “The thoughts won’t stop.  Help me.”  The attorney who filed the federal suit said that an additional suit will be filed in state court.

Last week the News Roundup noted that Michigan prosecutors were considering whether to file criminal charges against Crumbley’s parents for seemingly allowing him access to the handgun he used in the shooting and not taking the school’s warnings about his behavior seriously.  Since then, James and Jennifer Crumbley have been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Chief on Patrol.  WRAL reports that Durham Police Chief Patrice Andrews and other high-ranking managers are picking up shifts on regular patrol assignments to make up for vacancies  in the department.  Thirteen percent of the department’s positions are vacant at this time, an increase from 7 percent a year ago.  The WRAL report says that everyone from the rank of investigator and up will work four patrol shifts between January and March 2021.

Antiquity Restriction.  The New York Times reports that hedge fund billionaire Michael H. Steinhardt has been barred for life from acquiring antiquities following an investigation by New York prosecutors into his possession of millions of dollars of stolen artifacts from around the world.  The prohibition is part of a non-prosecution agreement in a years-long case where investigators recovered more than 3,000 objects valued at more than $200 million from Steinhardt.

Smollett.  Actor Jussie Smollett was convicted this week of lying to police about being the victim of a falsified racist and homophobic assault.  In 2019, Smollett, who was then an actor on the popular show Empire told Chicago police that he had been attacked by two people who yelled racist and anti-gay slurs and put a noose around his neck. Smollett’s lawyer continued to assert his innocence following the verdict.

Parliament Funkadelic.  If you want to get down, down on the ground, apparently the place to go is the British Parliament.  As the BBC reports, nearly all of the bathrooms in Parliament buildings recently were tested and showed traces of cocaine.  The tests come amid reports that drug use is rampant among members of the government.