News Roundup

Law enforcement officers in Philadelphia arrested more than 50 people Tuesday night after a flash mob ransacked dozens of stores, including Foot Locker, Lululemon, Apple, and at least 18 state-run liquor stores. The looting began after a peaceful protest over a judge’s dismissal of charges against a Philadelphia police officer who shot and killed driver Eddie Irizarry through a rolled-up window after pulling him over for erratic driving. The Police Commissioner said the looters were not associated with the protests, but instead were “criminal opportunists” who launched a coordinated attack. The Associated Press has the story here.

In related news, Target announced earlier that same day that it was closing nine stores in four states because organized retail crime had made operating the stores unsafe and unsustainable. The stores include the East Harlem location in New York City, two locations in Seattle, three in Portland, and three in San Franscisco and Oakland. CNN has the story here.

Keep reading for more criminal law news.

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The Rape Kit Backlog and What’s Being Done about It

In 1985, Anthony Wyrick sexually assaulted two teenage girls in Charlotte. The police collected semen and other biological evidence but DNA testing was not available at that time and the crime went unsolved. Almost 30 years later, the case came to the attention of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s sexual assault cold case unit. Officers submitted the biological evidence for DNA testing. The results pointed to Wyrick, who lived near the scene of the crime in 1985 and who had since been convicted of an unrelated second-degree rape. Wyrick was eventually arrested, charged, and convicted. His conviction was affirmed last month in State v. Wyrick, which I how I learned of the case. Reading it got me wondering about the status of what is popularly known as the rape kit backlog.

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