civil rights

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.


Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

President Obama laid out stark statistics on the systemic racial inequities of the criminal justice system late Thursday, shortly after arriving in Poland for a NATO conference.

Speaking from Warsaw just after midnight local time, he addressed police violence and race in the wake of two high-profile shootings of African-American men by law enforcement officers.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A woman who began streaming video on Facebook immediately after her boyfriend was shot by police in suburban Minneapolis, Minn., says he had been stopped for a broken tail light — and that he was licensed to carry a gun. The killing of Philando Castile, 32, is the second fatal encounter between police and a black man to gain national attention this week.

el cajon / creative commons

Many Americans feel their vote no longer carries much clout in determining the decisions that most affect their lives -- whether it's about immigration, health care, gay rights, or gun control. The list goes on. The elected representatives they send to Congress as their voice are unable or unwilling to speak.

Almost at the last minute, a federal judge has declared a controversial Mississippi law unconstitutional.

The law, HB 1523, would have protected religious objections to gay marriage, extramarital sex and transgender identities. The judge says it favors some religious beliefs over others and would codify unequal treatment of LGBT people.

The state's governor has said he looks forward to an appeal, but Mississippi's attorney general has expressed hesitation over appealing the case.

Hartford Police Department

Hartford police arrested two men last week after a wild car chase that began in the city, ended in West Hartford, and left at least one officer injured. But the case has taken a turn, and state prosecutors said they are investigating whether police used excessive force at the time of the arrest -- "kicking or stomping one of the arrestees after that person was handcuffed," according to the Hartford Police Department.

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