Law & Order

Ways to Connect

Emily Jones / GPB News

Thirty Savannah residents face federal charges following an investigation of two rival gangs, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

 

The gangs operate in a small neighborhood southwest of downtown, known as Cuyler-Brownsville.

 

US Attorney Bobby Christine said since January, there have been more than 600 reports of shots fired in that neighborhood - and residents have said they’re scared.

Emily Jones / GPB News

As Chatham County and the City of Savannah get ready to separate their joint police department, some community groups are pushing to keep the force together.

 

Several groups spoke out against the separation Monday, including the Young Democrats and Republicans, and the National Action Network.

 

Antwan Lang of the Savannah Jaycees said his group has met with city and county leaders, some of whom he said are not putting public safety first.

 

Cybercrimes Present Unique Challenges For Investigators

Nov 13, 2017
Mike Stewart / AP Photo/File

The federal investigators looking into the breach that exposed personal information maintained by the Equifax credit report company are used to dealing with high-profile hacks and the challenges they present.

Left Bank Books

A new book explores why so many young men of color wind up in prison. “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America,” is the work of Yale Law School Professor James Forman, Jr. His father was a leader of SNCC -- the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. Forman, Jr. is a graduate of Atlanta’s Roosevelt High. He joins us in the studio. 

Courtesy of Heather Coggins via AP

In 1983 a black man named Timothy Coggins was found murdered, in Spalding County, Georgia. He had been stabbed and mutilated to the point of disfigurement. No arrests were made until now. We get an update on this cold case from Fred Wimberly of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Nelson Helm.

The names of black men and boys such as Eric Garner, Philando Castile and Tamir Rice, are often rallying cries during protests over alleged police misconduct.

The nurse who was roughly arrested at a Salt Lake City hospital has settled with the city and the university that owns the hospital for $500,000.

Updated at 4:27 p.m. ET

It took less than 24 hours after Tuesday's terrorist attack in New York for the finger-pointing to begin.

And the first fingers are being aimed at what had been an obscure State Department immigration program called diversity visas.

The Department of Homeland Security confirmed that the accused terrorist, Sayfullo Saipov, entered the U.S. with such a visa, after winning a yearly lottery in which up to 50,000 foreigners are awarded green cards.

A new poll out this week from NPR finds that 60 percent of black Americans say they or a family member have been stopped or treated unfairly by police because they are black. In addition, 45 percent say they or a family member have been treated unfairly by the courts because they are black. The poll is a collaboration between NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

When Floyd Conrade heard gunshots just above his Las Vegas hotel room the night of Oct. 1, one of his first reactions was to turn on a police scanner app on his phone. He wanted to know what was happening.

Mass Shootings And Gun Laws In Georgia: A Closer Look

Oct 25, 2017
Chris Ballard / GPB

There are many different definitions as to what constitutes a mass shooting. Depending on what definition you look at, there was anywhere from six to 383 mass shootings in 2016 in the United States.

Mother Jones, a nonprofit news magazine, found that six mass shootings occurred in the United States in 2016, none of which happened in Georgia. According to the FBI, there were 20 mass shootings in 2016, and according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive there were 383 – 17 of which occurred in Georgia.

Having police officers wear little cameras seems to have no discernible impact on citizen complaints or officers' use of force, at least in the nation's capital.

That's the conclusion of a study performed as Washington, D.C., rolled out its huge camera program. The city has one of the largest forces in the country, with some 2,600 officers now wearing cameras on their collars or shirts.

Typically, when law enforcement pursues a suspect who has failed to turn himself in on several outstanding warrants, it takes the dedicated effort of officers and some tips from the community to finally bring the person in.

It's fair to say what happened in Redford Township, Mich., this month was not typical: A suspect turned himself in after making — and losing — a pretty inadvisable bet with police ... involving doughnuts.

Guilty Plea But No Jail For Jewel Thief Doris Payne, 87

Oct 18, 2017
John Bazemore / AP Photo

A notorious jewel thief recently arrested at a Georgia Walmart store got no jail time during her latest court appearance.

Doris Payne, at 87, has stolen about $2 million in jewels over the last six decades. She was arrested July 17 for a misdemeanor shoplifting charge after a Walmart employee said she tried to leave the suburban Atlanta store with items she hadn't paid for.

Columbus Ends Fees For People Who Drop Abuse Allegations

Oct 13, 2017
Peter / Flickr/CC

The city of Columbus, Georgia has agreed to stop making alleged victims in domestic violence cases pay fees when they decline to participate in prosecutions.

The city also agreed to repay $41,844 in fees and damages for the 101 people it charged when they decided not to press charges against their alleged abusers.

Federal Judge Clay Land approved these terms in a class action settlement of a lawsuit filed by the Southern Center for Human Rights in October 2016 against the city of Columbus, a local judge and several law enforcement officers.

The parent company of the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, MGM Resorts, is providing new information that contradicts the latest police timeline of the mass shooting that took place Oct. 1. In a statement, the company says information from police indicating that a hotel security guard was shot six minutes before the shooting began is "not accurate."

Atlanta Contractor Gets 5 Years In Contract Bribery Case

Oct 10, 2017

An Atlanta contractor has been sentenced to serve five years in prison as part of an ongoing federal investigation into bribes paid for city contracts.

A judge on Tuesday also ordered Elvin R. Mitchell Jr. to pay more than $1.12 million in restitution. Another city contractor, Charles P. Richards Jr., is set to be sentenced later Tuesday. Each man pleaded guilty earlier this year to a conspiracy charge.

Prosecutors say Mitchell and Richards conspired to pay city officials to award them lucrative city contracts, with more than $1 million paid out between 2010 and 2015.

If you've ever called 911 to report an emergency, thank the Johnson Crime Commission. Establishing a national emergency number was just one of more than 200 recommendations the Commission offered up in a landmark 1967 report "for a safer and more just society."

Judge Denies Bail For Woman Accused Of Leaking US Secrets

Oct 5, 2017
Lincoln County Sheriff's Office

A woman charged with leaking U.S. secrets must remain jailed until her trial, a federal judge ruled Thursday, saying her release would pose an "ongoing risk to national security."

Reality Winner, 25, is a former Air Force linguist who worked as a contractor for the National Security Agency at a facility in Augusta, Georgia, when she was charged in June with copying a classified U.S. report and mailing it to a news organization.

Miranda Nelson / Flickr/CC

A new Atlanta ordinance eliminating jail time and reducing penalties for having small amounts of marijuana will allow officers to focus on eliminating violent crimes instead of petty ones, the city's police chief said.

Marijuana remains illegal in Georgia, and the ordinance addresses only the penalties associated with marijuana offenses, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields told WSB-TV.

The Atlanta City Council on Monday approved the ordinance that reduces the fine for possession of an ounce or less of pot from up to $1,000 to a maximum of $75.

'I Screwed Up Royally' Accused Leaker Confessed To FBI Agent

Sep 28, 2017
Lincoln County Sheriff's Office

A young woman charged with leaking U.S. secrets to a news organization told FBI agents she was frustrated with her job as a government contractor when she tucked a classified report into her pantyhose and smuggled it out of a National Security Agency office in Georgia, according to court records.

Supreme Court Grants Temporary Stay Of Execution In Georgia

Sep 26, 2017
Georgia Department of Corrections

The U.S. Supreme Court granted a temporary stay of execution Tuesday night for a Georgia inmate whose attorneys argue that the 59-year-old black man's death sentence was tainted by a juror's racial bias.

Keith Leroy Tharpe, known as "Bo," was set to be put to death at 7 p.m. EDT at the state prison by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital, but the hour came and went as the justices considered his case. Just before 11 p.m. EDT, the court announced the temporary stay.

Advocates Want More Police Training For Mental-Health Issues

Sep 26, 2017
Stephen Fowler / GPB News

Supervisors for the Georgia Tech police officer who fatally shot a student thought the officer showed promise, but there is no evidence that he had received the kind of training that advocates say is crucial to effectively interact with people who have mental-health issues.

Officer Tyler Beck fatally shot Scout Schultz on Sept. 16, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has said. Beck and other officers responded after Schultz called 911 to report an armed suspicious person, investigators said. Police have said Schultz had a knife and refused to drop it after repeated commands.

Georgia Plans To Execute Man Who Killed Sister-In-Law

Sep 26, 2017
Georgia Department of Corrections

A man who killed his sister-in-law 27 years ago is scheduled to die Tuesday as Georgia carries out its second execution of the year.

Keith Leroy Tharpe, 59 and known as "Bo," is set to be put to death at 7 p.m. at the state prison in Jackson by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital. He was convicted of murder and two counts of kidnapping in the September 1990 slaying of Jaquelyn Freeman.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles — the only authority in Georgia with the power to commute a death sentence — declined on Monday to spare his life.

Lawyers Ask Panel To Spare Life Of Inmate Set For Execution

Sep 25, 2017
Georgia Department of Corrections

A Georgia prisoner scheduled for execution this week has spent the last 27 years regretting the decisions that led him to kill his sister-in-law as she was on her way to work with his estranged wife, his lawyers said in a clemency application.

Keith Leroy Tharpe, 59, is scheduled to be put to death Tuesday at the state prison in Jackson for the September 1990 shooting death of Jacquelyn Freeman.

Pages