News Roundup

Quickly on the heels of last week’s racist mass shooting comes America’s latest tragedy.  On Tuesday, a teenager in Texas killed nineteen elementary school children and two of their teachers with an assault rifle he bought a week prior and the day after his 18th birthday.  While the shooting is the deadliest ever for a school in Texas, surpassing an incident with ten victims at a high school in Santa Fe four years ago, it is only the second-deadliest elementary school shooting in our history.  Twenty-six people died at Sandy Hook a decade ago, twenty of them children.  Keep reading for more news.

Response.  In the days after the tragedy in Texas, questions are emerging about the response of law enforcement as reports indicate that nearly 90 minutes elapsed between the shooter, Salvador Ramos, beginning to shoot outside the school and eventually being killed by a tactical unit that breached the classroom where he had barricaded himself.  Social media videos show that prior to the tactical unit arriving, parents pleading with well-armed officers outside of the school to enter the building and engage the shooter, though they did not do so.

Gunfire Detection.  CBS 17 reports that the Durham Police Department is implementing ShotSpotter gunfire detection technology as part of a one-year pilot program in the city.  Durham Police Chief Patrice Andrews recently told the City Council that the system will be deployed in areas with high gun violence rates and told CBS 17 that she recognized overpolicing concerns related to its positioning.  Andrews pledged that the pilot will be conducted with transparency. 

Facial Recognition.  As the New York Times reports, earlier this month Clearview AI settled a lawsuit brought by the ACLU accusing the company of violating an Illinois state biometric privacy law which requires consent before a company can use a person’s identifying physical characteristics.  Under the terms of the settlement, Clearview AI, which makes facial recognition software marketed to law enforcement, will have to reform its free trial process to prevent situations where individual officers use the software without formal permission from their department.

SOG Opportunities.  Readers may be interested to know that there are several new openings at the School of Government for positions that focus on criminal law.

As the News Roundup noted previously, the SOG Criminal Justice Innovation Lab is hiring a Legal Research Specialist to join its growing interdisciplinary team working on evidence-based solutions that promote a fair and effective criminal justice system.  The Research Specialist will be an attorney who, among other things, is responsible for legal research and writing supporting the Lab’s projects and model tools.  More information about the position and a link to the application is available here.

Another recently posted position is for a tenure track professor who will work with magistrates and specialize in criminal law and procedure, including motor vehicle law.  Among other things, the person in this position will be responsible for teaching at educational programs for magistrates and generating scholarship related to North Carolina motor vehicle law.  More information is available here.

Finally, the school is looking for a tenure track professor who will work with state court prosecutors.  In addition to teaching and maintaining NC PRO, the person in this position will partner with the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys to plan the annual orientation for new prosecutors and other programs.  More information is available here.