News Roundup

On Tuesday, President Biden signed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act into law, bipartisan legislation that amends 18 U.SC. § 249 by expressly making lynching a federal hate crime.  A Time article explains that the bill will allow criminal prosecutions in situations where a group of people conspire to commit a hate crime which results in death or serious bodily injury.  The NewsHour aired a lengthy segment this week on the new law and the history of racial violence in the United States.  The bill passed the Senate unanimously and was opposed by only three members of the House of Representatives.  Keep reading for more news.

CJIL Job.. Readers may be interested to know that the School of Government’s Criminal Justice Innovation Lab is hiring a Marketing and Communications Manager.  In addition to developing and implementing marketing and communications strategies sharing the Lab’s work and building its brand, the position will be responsible for managing the Lab’s website redesign project.  More information about the position and a link to the application is available here.

The Slap.  One of the most widely discussed criminal law stories in the United States this week occurred at the Oscars on Sunday night where Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on live television after Rock made a joke at the expense of Jada Pinkett Smith, who is married to Smith.  A range of opinions have been expressed about the incident and they can be found everywhere from serious newspapers to your friend’s Twitter feed.  Rock declined to press charges according to the LAPD, and, later in the evening, Smith won the Oscar for best actor for his performance in King Richard.

Officer Delivers Baby While Directing Traffic.  The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department had a Facebook post late last week describing the exemplary performance of Officer M. Brennan who helped deliver a baby after being flagged down while she was directing traffic off-duty.  Brennan was handling traffic at Sugar Creek Charter School when someone frantically waived her over to the backseat of a vehicle where a woman was in labor.  Brennan donned gloves and instructed the woman to push.  The baby arrived and Brennan placed it on the mother’s chest for skin-to-skin contact.  EMS and the Charlotte Fire Department arrived immediately thereafter.

Officer Pay Bump.  A few weeks ago, the News Roundup noted that the town of Princeton was significantly increasing the starting salary for police officers in order to attract qualified applicants during a staffing shortage.  WITN reported this week that the Kinston Police Department is following a similar path, raising the starting salary for an officer from $32,000 to $40,000.  The article notes that Kinston currently is trying to hire six new officers and will be holding a hiring event at their office on Saturday.

Animal Services Performance Management.  Local government animal services work often overlaps with issues of criminal law and law enforcement agencies are significantly involved in providing animal services in many jurisdictions.  Readers may be interested to know that UNC School of Government faculty member Obed Pasha and Director of Animal Care and Control for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Services Dr. Joshua Fisher are teaching the online course Performance Management in Animal Services on April 27, 2022.

This course focuses on converting performance information into decisions that enhance the effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of local government animal service departments. The instructors will review performance management topics including goal setting, measurement, analysis, decision-making, and best practices. This course is designed for animal service professionals serving in supervisory, middle management, and leadership roles. A link to sign up for the course, along with more information and course contacts, is available here.