National News
change state

Friday, August 23, 2019

New Jersey police launch strict ‘last resort’ use-of-force policy; chief wants it to be national model

The Camden County Police Department is rolling out a new use-of-force policy that is more restrictive than most others in the state, instructing police to only fire guns and use any other force only as a “last resort.” Police Chief J. Scott Thomson said the policy — which has at its core the “sanctity of human life” — should stand as a national model for other departments in a time when police force is being scrutinized more than ever. “We have long trained our officers in de-escalation and force minimization, but we wanted a policy that reflected that training,” Thomson said in a statement. Officers in Camden are trained to take things slow, de-escalate whenever possible and take steps to avoid deadly force situations, even if it means retreating and waiting for backup. Thomson said it keeps both police and the public safer.

In picking new police commissioner, Philadelphia Mayor faces defining choice

In normal times, choosing a police commissioner is one of the most significant and complex decisions a mayor makes. Mayor Jim Kenney’s search for a permanent replacement for Richard Ross does not come during normal times. The district attorney is warring with the police union. Thirteen officers have been fired for inappropriate social media posts. Others have been lionized for their roles in last week’s standoff with a gunman in Tioga. And longstanding issues with handling sexual harassment complaints in the department have reached the top brass, costing Ross his job this week. In choosing the person who will likely be the most visible city official aside from himself, Kenney must navigate opposing interests not only within the law enforcement community but also within his political base, a coalition of progressives who support reforms like lowering incarceration rates and older, white South Philadelphia voters who favor a law-and-order approach.
Philadelphia Inquirer - Metered Site

Detroit Police Chief defends facial recognition technology after U.S. Rep criticism

Police Chief James Craig has some advice to U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib: Talk to the families of homicide victims before criticizing facial recognition technology. Tlaib's spokesman fired back at the chief, saying he was being "disingenuous" by assuming her objection to the technology doesn't take victims' families into account. Tlaib tweeted early Tuesday her opposition to the controversial law enforcement tool, which Detroit police have employed for about a year and a half. The message was retweeted with a link to an article discussing presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' opposition to the technology. Craig said Tlaib and other critics of the software aren't looking at the whole picture. "Nobody ever talks about the victims in these cases," Craig said. "I would offer a word of caution to the congresswoman about using that kind of language in referring to technology that gives these grieving family members closure."
Detroit News

‘Donut Boy’ completes nationwide mission with visit to Hawaii police

With one more visit to the Kauai Police Department, Tyler Carach, aka “The Donut Boy,” has completed his mission. At a time when many cops get a bad rap, Tyler, 11, of Florida, embarked on a mission to thank every police officer in America with donuts. The visit to KPD was the last stop of his three-year goal of thanking cops in all 50 states. Before Kauai, he visited police stations on Oahu, Hawaii island and Maui. His organization, I Donut Need a Reason to Thank a Cop, Inc., began with a simple act of kindness in his hometown in August 2016, according to his mother, Sheena Carach. Tyler saw four deputies at a local store and asked her if he could buy donuts for them with his allowance. Tyler, who one day wants to become a K9 officer, brought over 90,000 donuts to officers across the country.
Honolulu Star Advertiser

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Manhunt continues for sniper who wounded deputy in California

A manhunt continues Thursday after a deputy was wounded in Lancaster. A large law enforcement presence responded to a mental health center in the area of Jackman Street and Sierra Highway following a report of a Sheriff's deputy shot Wednesday afternoon. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department confirmed that someone shot at deputies resulting in one deputy being wounded at about 2:45 p.m. Two people were detained and questioned as they were the last two to vacate the apartment building, according to the Sheriff's Department. The shooter remains at large, according to law enforcement. Authorities say it appears a deputy was walking to his personal car at the rear of the Lancaster Sheriff's Station located at 501 W. Lancaster Boulevard when shots rang out striking the deputy on the shoulder.
Fox 11 Los Angeles

Man sought after 4 students shot at Atlanta University Center block party

Hours before the start of a new school year, four students were injured in a shooting at a block party Tuesday night outside the Atlanta University Center library. Two Spelman College students and two Clark Atlanta University students, all of whom are women, were taken to a hospital with injuries ranging from graze wounds to gunshot wounds, according to Atlanta police. They were hit around 10:30 p.m., when someone opened fire into a crowd of about 200 people in front of the Robert W. Woodruff Library on James P. Brawley Drive. Police later identified the four as Erin Ennis, 18, of Powder Springs; Maia Williams-McLaren, 18, of Boston; Elyse Spencer, 18, of Rochester, N.Y.; and Kia Thomas, 19. Thomas’ hometown was not provided.
Atlanta Journal Constitution

‘I Didn’t Want To Hurt Her’: Teen Sentenced To Life In Prison In Maryland Officer’s Death

A Baltimore County judge Wednesday sentenced 17-year-old Dawnta Harris to life in prison with the possibility of parole in the killing of Officer Amy Caprio. Harris was also sentenced to 20 years for burglary and five years for theft. He did not speak at sentencing but one of his defense attorneys, Warren Brown, read his handwritten letter to the judge. “I didn’t want to hurt her,“ Harris wrote. “I just felt I was in a life-or-death situation. I wish I could go back to that day and not do what I did.“ Seventeen-year-old Harris was found guilty of killing Caprio in May, a year after she had died while responding to a burglary call in a Perry Hall neighborhood. Investigators said three teens were burglarizing a home while Harris waited outside in a getaway car, a stolen Jeep Wrangler that would become a deadly weapon.
Baltimore CBS Local

Concerned about ICE access to police database, Washington county sheriff’s office stops using it

The King County Sheriff’s Office has stopped using a key crime-fighting database after determining that federal immigration officials can access the records within it, raising concerns that deputies’ participation in the information-sharing system would violate a “sanctuary county” law passed last year. The decision last week to cancel the department’s membership with the Law Enforcement Information Exchange — the free police-records database known as LinX that’s used to help solve cases ranging from thefts to homicides — comes after the sheriff’s agency reviewed its information-sharing following a critical county audit last month. “After the audit, Sheriff (Mitzi) Johanknecht directed that we review our practices to make sure we didn’t have any other unintended data-sharing issues in violation of the code,” Undersheriff Scott Somers said Tuesday. “And this is one that popped up.”
Seattle Times - Metered Site

North Carolina Police officer donates organs twice to help strangers

A Gastonia Police officer gave part of himself to save others. He did so literally. Twice. Zachary Lechette was an agent with the State Bureau of Investigation in 2015 when a co-worker’s daughter needed a kidney. The young girl was too ill to receive the organ by the time she found a donor, and later died. Lechette used the tragedy as an opportunity to help others. In June 2015 at Duke University Hospital, he donated a kidney to a man he had never met. “This just seemed like a logical step,” he said. “If I had two kidneys, I knew one was a spare. If I can live healthy with one, I’ll help someone out. Why not?” Lechette calls himself a “research guy.” He looked into the risks involved with such a transplant and consulted his wife, a critical care nurse.
Gaston Gazette

Sign up to subscribe to custom state Blue Bulletin emails for free

click to subscribe