crime

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With 2015 half over, Hartford is at the top of the list when it comes to the number of murders in New England cities, with Springfield just behind.

Crime in America may be on the rise again. It's too early to talk about a national trend, but there have been troubling spikes in shootings and murders in big cities such as New York, Baltimore and Los Angeles.

Until recently, crime decreased steadily for two decades, and the national murder rate is half what it was in the early 1990s — so police departments are under pressure to crack down. But at the same time, their tactics are under more scrutiny from the public, and they have to be careful not to appear too heavy-handed.

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A video has surfaced on social media of what appears to be a Hartford police officer holding a man from behind while another hits him repeatedly in the leg -- at least ten times -- with a stick. Police are investigating the incident, but the department's response since the incident has been praised by the local branch of the NAACP. 

Rob Dozier / WNPR

Maurice Eastwood, the organizer of a basketball game in Hartford that turned deadly this past weekend, addressed accusations of carelessness at a press conference on Tuesday.

Twelve officials at an upstate New York prison have been placed on leave, as authorities investigate how two convicted killers managed to escape from the facility on June 6.

Among those placed on leave are Superintendent Steven Racette, of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, and Deputy Superintendent Stephen Brown, according to multiple media accounts.

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Connecticut lawmakers passed two bills on Monday aimed at reforming the state's criminal justice system. 

Updated at 2:28 p.m. ET

Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev broke his silence Wednesday and apologized to the victims and the survivors of the deadly 2013 attack.

"I am sorry for the lives that I've taken, for the suffering that I've caused you, and the damage that I've done," he said Wednesday during his sentencing hearing.

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A Derby nurse practitioner identified as the state’s highest Medicare prescriber of potent narcotics has admitted taking kickbacks from a drug company in exchange for prescribing pain medication.

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

Authorities on a massive manhunt for a pair of convicted murderers, who made an extraordinary escape from a prison in upstate New York two weeks ago, have shifted the focus of their search to Allegany County near the Pennsylvania border after reports of a possible sighting of David Sweat and Richard Matt.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Police in Charleston, S.C., say a man they suspect opened fire and killed nine people during a Wednesday prayer meeting at one of the city's oldest historically black churches has been captured.

A New York district attorney says the woman charged with helping two murderers escape from a maximum-security prison had discussed with them a murder-for-hire plot targeting her husband.

Adam Frenier / NEPR

Listing case after case of repeat offenders returned to the city’s streets on bails as low as $1,000, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno renewed his call to reform how bail is set in Massachusetts, especially for repeat violent offenders. Some people, Sarno said, need to remain in jail, not make bail.

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A new information sharing system for Connecticut law enforcement agencies has been delayed two years, while the estimated cost has ballooned nearly 40 percent to more than $52 million.

Two prisoners who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in northern New York last weekend are still on the loose. North Country Public Radio reports that at least 300 tips have come in so far, but authorities still have no idea where Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, two convicted murderers, actually are.

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Hartford has seen a dramatic rise in homicides this year. Twelve people have been killed so far since the start of 2015 -- more than twice as many as this time last year.

On Saturday, the Reverend Al Sharpton joined a march and rally in Hartford, calling for peace in the wake of this violence.

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A technology that allows police to remotely detect gunfire is going to cover a third of New Haven.

Police Chief Dean Esserman told the New Haven Register that ShotSpotter will cover five square miles by October -- more than tripling its current coverage.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

In a prison-break likely to draw comparisons to the film The Shawshank Redemption, two convicted murderers have escaped from a maximum-security facility in upstate New York by cutting through steel walls, shimmying through a steam pipe and emerging from a manhole on the outside.

Inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat broke out of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, near the Canadian border, early Saturday morning.

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury in Chicago. The Illinois Republican, 73, is charged with trying to evade cash withdrawal requirements, and with lying to the FBI about it.

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FBI Director James Comey recently made his second visit to the New Haven field office since becoming director nearly two year ago. He said he spoke with local police chiefs about how law enforcement can better participate in the conversation about race and profiling.

Hartford police are investigating whether a pastor who was shot while placing flags outside a church for Memorial Day was the victim of a hate crime.

In his New York Times column this week, Charles Blow discussed bikers and thugs in the aftermath of the Waco shootout on Sunday.

Public Domain

The Boston Public Library is working with local and federal law enforcement to find two missing pieces of artwork worth more than $600,000.  It’s not clear if the works by Rembrandt and Albrecht Dürer were stolen or misplaced.

Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, The Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS AG have agreed to plead guilty to felony charges and pay billions in criminal fines, the Department of Justice says. The offenses range from manipulating the market price of U.S. dollars and euros to rigging interest rates.

Yusuf Syed

Adnan Syed, who was convicted for murder in 2000, and whose case was the subject of the podcast Serial, was granted a post-conviction hearing in a court order released Monday.

On WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, attorney Rabia Chaudry spoke about the development, which came sooner than Syed's legal team expected.

Yusuf Syed

If you listen to public radio, you probably know her name. If you don’t listen to public radio, then you probably know her name from the massively popular Serial podcast. Julie Snyder is the senior producer of This American Life and she’s the co-creator of that show’s spinoff podcast, which told the story of Hae Min Lee's murder in 1999 and the conviction of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed.

A Glimpse Into The Dark Side of Technology

May 14, 2015
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We all depend on technology and its vast, positive potential on everything from poverty to medicine, but there’s a flip side. As we gear up for the Internet of Things, with greater connections come greater risks. 

Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice

A drifter who is already serving a prison sentence for killing a Wethersfield woman has been identified by NBC Connecticut as the suspected serial killer police believe is responsible for at least seven deaths in New Britain.  

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Is it time to rethink how we train our police? This hour, we take a closer look at police training guidelines both in Connecticut and across the nation. 

The owners of apartment buildings in Holyoke that are deemed to be “hot spots” for criminal activity will receive letters warning they must develop a security plan in collaboration with the local police or risk losing the building to receivership and possibly face criminal charges.

At a Holyoke City Hall press conference Monday, Mayor Alex Morse and Police Chief James Neiswanger held up a letter printed on red paper stock that was sent to the owner of a 40-unit apartment building where police were called more than 250 times in a six- month period last year. 

Columbine; Port Arthur, Australia; The Sikh Temple of Wisconsin; Newtown — the list goes on and on. And, by now, the elements of this type of massacre have become ritualized: usually one, but sometimes more than one, deeply disaffected person, almost always male, who is heavily armed with guns and/or explosives, targets the innocent. In the aftermath, which sometimes includes a trial, the crucial question of "Why?" is never really answered. Instead, most of us are left to wonder how any human being, however twisted, could be capable of such horror.

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