The Justice Department is poised to declare that former police officer Darren Wilson should not face civil rights charges over the death of Michael Brown, law enforcement sources tell NPR. Wilson, who is white, shot and killed Brown, who was black, in August. Brown was not armed.
"Two law enforcement sources tell NPR they see no way forward to file criminal civil rights charges" against Wilson, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports. She adds, "Those charges would require authorities to prove the officer used excessive force and violated Brown's constitutional rights."
A Bridgeport police officer has been acquitted of civil rights violations charges in the beating of a suspect captured on video.
The Connecticut Post reports that a U.S. District Court jury cleared Clive Higgins Wednesday of wrongdoing in the May 20, 2011, beating of Orlando Lopez-Soto in Beardsley Park. "I never stopped praying," said Higgins, who had been suspended.
Scot X. Esdaile, state president of the NAACP, called the verdict a miscarriage of justice.
Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 10:39 am
Overnight, police in France, Belgium and Germany arrested more than two dozen people suspected of having ties to terrorism.
In Paris, NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports that police moved in at dawn and arrested about a dozen people, who police said were tied to Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, who attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo, and Amedy Coulibaly, who attacked a kosher market in eastern Paris.
"These people are said to have been in their entourage," Eleanor told our Newscast unit. "They may have helped them to obtain cars, guns or may have been drivers."
Nate Quesnel, the superintendent of schools in East Hartford, told a story about a student sitting in the back of the classroom, a wool cap pulled over his eyebrows, his faced glued to a cell phone, his fingers attacking the screen in a gaming frenzy.
"Right away, I recoiled inside," Quesnel said. "I felt embarrassed." He was embarrassed because at the time, an executive from Xerox was presenting the students with information on job skills, including how to act during an interview.
The FBI arrested Christopher Lee Cornell of Cincinnati, charging him with buying weapons to carry out a terrorist attack on Washington, D.C. Cornell, 20, was monitored by federal agents who say he used Twitter to express support for the extremist group Islamic State as well as "violent jihad."
The arrest warrant for Cornell, who authorities say was known online as Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, says that he "purchased and possessed firearms in furtherance of a plan to shoot and kill United States Government officers and employees."
The reform is the first of its kind in the nation, and it works like this: every time police fire a Taser, they'll have to file a "use of force report."
"It's a very thorough report," said David McGuire with the ACLU of Connecticut. "It goes through the person's race, their age, their height, their weight; how the Taser was used; what mode it was used in; how many times it was fired; whether the person had an injury; whether medical assistance was provided."
Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 11:39 am
(This post was last updated at 6:50 p.m. ET.)
A nationwide manhunt for the suspects of France's deadliest terrorist attack in more than 50 years ended in a hail of gunfire on Friday.
After hours of tension in two separate standoffs that shut down parts of the Paris metro area, the two main suspects in the attack on a satirical magazine and a man who took hostages at a kosher grocery are dead, President François Hollande said in a speech to the nation.
The year is off to a tumultuous and sad start. Some New York Police Department officers continued their protest of Mayor Bill de Blasio at a funeral for a fallen colleague and reducing arrests for minor offenses. The protest is entering what Matt Taibbi described as "surreal territory." We also remember the iconic ESPN sportscaster Stuart Scott, who died Sunday. Finally, we discuss the news out of New Haven that The Anchor served its last drink this weekend.
Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 5:37 pm
Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET
Police from around the country are gathering at the Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens today to honor a fallen comrade, Officer Rafael Ramos, who was fatally shot in an unprovoked attack one week ago along with his partner, Wenjian Liu.
Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 8:31 am
Authorities in New York City are monitoring threats made against police since two officers were fatally shot on Saturday, and are upping security at some stationhouses.
The gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, shot and killed Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos in their patrol car before committing suicide. He had posted messages on social media suggesting the assault was revenge for deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of authorities.
Mayor Pedro Segarra and Hartford area religious leaders held a prayer vigil on the steps of City Hall to remember the two New York City police officers shot and killed last Saturday, and to call for an end to violence in Hartford.
Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 10:09 am
Protesters against police brutality marched along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on Tuesday, despite a call from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to suspend demonstrations. De Blasio asked people to wait until after the funerals of two police officers who were shot and killed over the weekend.
Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 12:36 pm
Updated at 12 p.m. ET
Protests over a police killing have returned to the St. Louis area, after a Berkeley, Mo., police officer shot and killed an 18-year-old black man Tuesday night. The authorities say he was armed; the shooting took place shortly after 11 p.m. outside a gas station in the St. Louis suburb that's just 2 miles west of Ferguson.
Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 4:55 pm
Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET
New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says tensions in the city are at their worst since the 1970s. Bratton spoke two days after Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and killed two police officers in New York. Brinsley had been arrested at least 19 times and reportedly had tried to hang himself last year.
Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 2:17 pm
Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET
Thousands of demonstrators gathered today for a "Justice for All" march in the nation's capital to protest decisions in Missouri and New York not to indict police officers involved in the deaths of two black men.
Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 3:16 pm
Since the Ferguson, Mo., shooting, there have been renewed calls for police departments to hire more minority officers, but it turns out it's not that simple.
Police in the U.S. are more diverse than they were a generation ago. In the 1980s, 1 in 6 officers belonged to an ethnic or racial minority. Now it's about 1 in 4. The challenge these days is finding enough recruits to keep that trend going.
Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses several national stories with implications here in Connecticut.
In the wake of the grand jury decisions in Staten Island and Ferguson, body cameras for police officers have been floated as one possible fix. It could hold officers more accountable for their actions, but it could also lead to unintended consequences.
Also, how does the Rolling Stone story on sexual assault on college campuses impact schools in Connecticut?
Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 5:44 pm
The Obama administration released new guidelines today to ban racial profiling by federal law enforcement officers. The guidelines replace ones adopted by the Bush administration in 2003.
The new rules prohibit profiling based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion or sexual orientation and apply to federal officers, such as the FBI and Secret Service and any local law enforcement that work with them on task forces.
Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 9:03 am
Frustration about two recent cases in which unarmed black men were killed by police brought new protests and road closures to New York City, Chicago, Washington, Boston, Cleveland and elsewhere Thursday.
Many of the demonstrators timed their marches to disrupt rush-hour traffic. In New York, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge was shut down, and protesters crowded the terminal for the Staten Island Ferry.
Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 6:08 pm
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton have announced plans to give training to police officers to help them treat all citizens with equal respect and with equal regard for their safety.
"These changes are happening because the people demanded it," de Blasio said.
Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 5:53 pm
The grand jury that weighed whether to charge the New York police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner heard from 50 witnesses and saw dozens of exhibits, including four videos, before declining to indict.