civil rights

Earlier this week, police shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, N.C., sparking days of protests and conflicting accounts of the moment that led to his death. Amid the demonstrations, one chant in particular rippled through the crowds: "Release the tapes."

Now, Charlotte police have done just that.

As officials in Charlotte, N.C., consider when, if, and how to release video of the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott earlier this week, lawyers for the family have released what they say is eyewitness video taken by Scott's wife.

A black man who runs from police shouldn't necessarily be considered suspicious — and merely might be trying to avoid "the recurring indignity of being racially profiled," the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court says.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Audio Pending...

Second chances are often talked about in relation to conversations about prison reform, but rarely do we hear from those who actually need them. This hour, we take a look at Connecticut’s “Second Chance Society” through the eyes of a former inmate

Starting in 2018, it will be illegal in Massachusetts for an employer to force prospective employees to divulge how much they were making at their last job.

It’s part of a sweeping new equal pay law signed by Gov. Charlie Baker Monday.

Massachusetts becomes the first state to forbid employers from asking job applicants how much they made at their previous jobs. The goal is to prevent women from being stuck in a cycle of low salaries.

While they say there’s much more work to do, advocates and law enforcement officials alike say have some reason to be optimistic about the future of police-community relations in New Hampshire.

“The community as a whole is discussing things a lot more,” Portsmouth Police Chief David Mara said on Tuesday’s episode of The Exchange, which focused on the relationship between law enforcement and minorities. “People are talking a lot more.”

Doug Butchy / Creative Commons

At 220 years old, Hartford’s Old State House is a relic from the past. It’s even thought to be inhabited by ghosts from our state’s history. But this Connecticut treasure is now closed to the public and it may even lose its historic memorabilia -- the result of the state’s ongoing budget problems. This hour, we examine the history of the Old State House and discuss what the future holds for the building

A federal appeals court has overturned North Carolina's sweeping voter ID law, ruling that the law was passed with "discriminatory intent" and was designed to impose barriers to block African-Americans from voting.

The ruling came from a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The state is "almost certain" to appeal to the full court or to the U.S. Supreme Court, NPR's Pam Fessler reports.

Michael Jordan is condemning violence against both African-Americans and police. His forceful and emotional statement, released by ESPN's The Undefeated, is a marked change for the NBA legend.

Jordan has been famously apolitical during his career — first as a Hall of Fame basketball player for the Chicago Bulls and more recently as an owner of the Charlotte Hornets — avoiding public statements on politics and civil rights, when other athletes have spoken out.

Though it's his job to enforce the law, Thomas Wydra — police chief of Hamden, Conn. — is not so sure about the laws on defective equipment.

"You may have something hanging from your rearview mirror. That's technically a violation," Wydra says. "You have an attachment on your license plate. That's technically a violation."

"It's a legal reason to stop the vehicle," he continues, "even though, in the officer's mind, that's not the most important reason why they're stopping the car."

The NBA will be relocating the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte because of HB2, North Carolina's controversial state law limiting civil rights protections for LGBT people.

The league says that the Charlotte Hornets and the city of Charlotte "have been working diligently to foster constructive dialogue and try to effect positive change."

But the local support for LGBT rights couldn't overcome "the climate created by HB2" in North Carolina, the NBA said in a statement.

The league says the city might host an All-Star Game in 2019, if the situation changes.

A sea of people participated in a demonstration in Roxbury against police violence Wednesday night, marching from Boston police headquarters through the South End and to Dudley Square.

The crowd appeared to number about 2,000 people, measuring at least two blocks-long as it made its way up Tremont Street toward Massaschusetts Avenue. Organizers of the rally said they were encouraged by the large turnout, but that more work needs to be done.

A Baltimore judge has found Lt. Brian Rice, the fourth of six Baltimore police officers to go on trial in the death of Freddie Gray last year, not guilty of involuntary manslaughter. That's the most serious charge Rice had faced; he was also cleared of lesser charges.

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

When Dallas Police Chief David Brown announced that Micah Johnson was killed by a robot with a bomb, it raised a lot of questions that we've been trying to answer. 

President Obama was in Dallas to take part in a service honoring the victims of last week’s attack. He was joined by former president George W. Bush, and a host of other dignitaries. The speakers didn’t just honor the officers, but addressed the importance – and pitfalls – of modern policing.

President Obama and former President George W. Bush spoke at an interfaith memorial service this afternoon for the five police officers murdered in Dallas last week.

Bush, a resident of Dallas, noted that he interacts with law enforcement every day.

"We're proud of the men we mourn," he said.

Diane Orson

A former Branford Police Chief last week’s shooting in Dallas that left five officers dead and injured seven others could be a setback to cultural changes that have been underway in police departments nationwide.

President Barack Obama says the shootings of five Dallas police officers would appear to have exposed the "the deepest fault line of our democracy" but that Americans must reject such despair.


Sam Hudzik / NEPR

Several hundred protesters gathered outside Springfield’s City Hall Monday, calling for fair treatment from police for blacks and Latinos.

Lori Mack / WNPR

Stand Together was the theme of a rally in New Haven Sunday, where city officials, community leaders, and New Haven residents gathered at one of the city’s African-American churches. 

The man who fatally shot five police officers in Dallas may have had plans for a wider attack, the city's police chief said Sunday. Dallas Police Chief David Brown provided new details about the tense two-hour standoff that police had with the gunman before he was killed.

"We're convinced that this suspect had other plans," Brown told CNN, adding that the shooter "thought that what he was doing was righteous and believed that he was going to target law enforcement and make us pay for what he sees as law enforcement's efforts to punish people of color."

On Tuesday, in Baton Rouge, La., 37-year-old Alton Sterling was shot by police. The next day, in Falcon Heights, Minn., police shot and killed 32-year-old Philando Castile. Both were black men, and videos of their deaths have been watched by millions online.

These two videos aren't special. And that's what's so heartbreaking. What do you do with that information as a black person — knowing that the graphic violent death of these men is not a special circumstance.

The Bahamas is advising its young male citizens traveling to the U.S. to "exercise extreme caution" in their interactions with police, following two recent high-profile police shootings of black men.

People across the country joined protests and held vigils late this week, following two highly publicized police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. As those incidents dominated headlines and social media, a sniper targeted law enforcement at a peaceful protest in Dallas, killing five police officers and shocking the nation.

Law enforcement officials are investigating identified suspect Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, of Mesquite, who was killed Friday morning by police after an hours-long standoff.

This is a developing story. Last updated 4:15 p.m. ET

Officials say a gunman shot and killed five police officers Thursday at a Dallas protest against police shootings of black men, in a bout of violence that didn't end until the suspected gunman was killed by police using a "bomb robot."

The suspect, who died in a parking garage, was named Micah Xavier Johnson, federal officials told NPR on Friday. Johnson was a military veteran who had served in Afghanistan, and told negotiators he was upset about police shootings and wanted to kill white police officers.

Speaking the morning after the streets of Dallas became a war zone during a sniper attack on police officers, Police Chief David Brown said, "We're hurting."

He continued: "Our profession is hurting. Dallas officers are hurting. We are heartbroken. There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city. All I know is that this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens."

Five officers were killed and six others injured Thursday night in downtown Dallas after a protest over two recent fatal police shootings. A suspect was reported dead early this morning.


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