Officials in Minneapolis have agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit by Jaleel Stallings, who was beaten by police officers while being arrested in 2020. The city will also pay Stallings' attorneys' fees and other costs. The arrest took place after police officers in an unmarked van began firing non-lethal rounds into a parking lot where Stallings was during protests over the death of George Floyd. Stallings, who had a concealed carry permit, returned fire. He surrendered when he realized it was police, but bodycam video showed officers striking and kicking him even though he wasn't resisting. Stallings claimed self-defense and was acquitted of shooting at the police in 2021.
San Jose, California, Police Officer Matthew Dominguez faces up to a year in prison after being charged with misdemeanor indecent exposure after reportedly masturbating at the scene of a call. Dominguez and two other officers responded to a call about a mentally ill person who was being violent at that person's family home. While the two other officers went to locate that person, Dominguez reportedly touched himself and exposed himself to female members of the person's family.
Mother Wendy Alvarez says her own 12-year-old son suffered second-degree burns on his hands after being forced to do bear crawls on a hot track at Anthony Aguirre Junior High School in Texas. The boy and other students were being punished, she said, after they tried to get out of running by hiding in the shade during a physical education class. A spokesperson with the Channelview School District confirmed four students received "non-life-threatening heat-related injuries." The spokesperson said the teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of the incident.
The Boise, Idaho, School District suspended Boise High School senior Daniel Dougherty for four days for having a gun with him near, but not actually on, school property. Someone saw Dougherty with the gun and reported him, leading the school to order people to shelter in place. The Boise Police Department responded, and officers found Dougherty broke no laws and made no threats. While Dougherty never took the gun onto school property, school officials justified the suspension by saying they consider some streets and alleys surrounding the high school to be part of its campus, citing the school handbook. However, local media report that the area where Dougherty parked is not among the areas listed as part of the school campus in that handbook.
Officials in Utrecht, Netherlands, plan to combat women being catcalled and harassed on city streets by catcalling men on city streets. The plan calls for a woman on a video screen to catcall men walking around the city center. City employees will then approach the men and ask them how they felt. The goal, officials said, is to show the men how uncomfortable being catcalled can make women feel.
A British employment tribunal has ruled that calling a man bald can be a form of sexual harassment similar to commenting on a woman's breasts. The ruling came in a case involving Tony Finn, an electrician for the British Bung Manufacturing Company. Finn claimed that he was called a "bald c---" at work. The three members of the tribunal, all men, ruled that this insult was a "violation against the claimant's dignity, it created an intimidating … environment for him, it was done for that purpose, and it related to the claimant's sex." Finn had worked at the company for nearly 24 years but was fired last year. The circumstances around his firing were part of the case.
In Roswell, Georgia, Centennial High School said in a statement that a substitute teacher caught on video in an expletive-filled classroom rant has been fired. The teacher, who wasn't named, told students that "When I was in high school, I was learning about Obama increasing drone strikes in my [expletive] country." One student said the teacher also compared Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler.
The Louisiana state Senate Education Committee has approved a bill barring students from accessing pornography or sexually explicit material on public university WiFi or internet services. State Sen. Beth Mizell, R–Franklinton, the author of the bill, said an investigation that found Louisiana State University mishandled numerous complaints of sexual misconduct "illustrated the need" to block students from accessing sexually explicit material on campus. The bill must still be approved by both chambers of the legislature.
A Maryland appellate court has overturned the murder conviction of Michael Maurice Allen Sr., who is serving life in prison for fatally stabbing his girlfriend in 2018. The court found a prosecutor and a judge violated Allen's constitutional right to remain silent during his trial. The prosecutor told jurors that Allen's decision to stop answering a detective's questions about the death indicated he was guilty. The judge overruled an objection by Allen's defense attorney and did not tell jurors to ignore that remark. The appellate court's decision means Allen can be retried.
New York City school teacher Chester Hingle has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and criminal obstruction of breathing. Police said Hingle choked a 12-year-old student at I.S. 217 School of the Performing Arts for roughly five seconds.
The British government is set to unveil a law that would force landlords to rent out empty retail spaces. The law would let local councils mandate that owners place shops that have been empty a year or more into a "rental auction," with the high bidder getting the lease. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called boarded up shops a "blight" that harms local economies.
Weatherford, Oklahoma, police officer Jeremy Anderson has been charged with neglect to perform a duty and larceny after being arrested for stealing 99 fentanyl pills from the police department's evidence room. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. The suspect originally arrested with the pills was charged with drug trafficking. That carries a sentence of up to 20 years.
An investigation by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights has found that prosecutors are often reluctant to use bodycam video from officers in the Minneapolis Police Department in court because the officers' language is so offensive. "When MPD officers scream obscenities at community members, it makes it challenging for prosecutors to do their job and therefore undermines the criminal justice system," the report said. The report found that prosecutors consider Minneapolis officers' language to be "much less professional and respectful" than that of officers in neighboring departments.
Florida Department of Corrections employees Ronald Connor, Christopher Rolon, and Kirk Walton have been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated abuse of an elderly or disabled adult, and battery/cruel treatment of a detainee in the beating death of inmate Ronald Gene Ingram. Ingram was being transferred from Dade Correctional Institution, where he was in the mental health unit, to Lake Correctional Institution. But before he could be removed from his cell, he threw urine on one officer. Prosecutors said the officers handcuffed Ingram, removed him from his cell and beat him. He had to be carried to the transport van after the beating. When the van stopped, he was found to be dead. The cause of death was ruled to be internal bleeding from a punctured lung.
Tara Coleman Hunter, assistant principal of an elementary school in San Antonio, Texas, has been charged with felony bodily injury to a child. Police said a 5-year-old boy had been sent to the assistant principal's office because he had been unruly. The boy struck Hunter, and she shoved him into a filing cabinet hard enough to leave a bump on his head. She then reportedly punched him in the face.
Jude McGovern, a retired New York city police officer now living in Swanlinbar, Ireland, came home one day to find "eight to 10" police officers had forced their way into his home and were searching his belongings. They were looking for a souvenir he'd brought with him when he moved to Ireland 25 years ago, a revolver he'd decommissioned by having the firing pin removed. McGovern said he made the mistake four and a half years ago of allowing a neighbor to photograph him with the gun, and the man posted the photo to Facebook. He said the Garda, the Irish police, must have finally seen the photo.
The Tallahassee, Florida, police department has placed Officer Shawn Wright on leave after video showed him picking a man up and slamming him to the ground head first. The department said the man, who was reportedly unhurt, was involved in a minor traffic collision and left the scene. Video showed he pulled away from officers when they tried to arrest him. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with property damage and resisting an officer without violence. Both are misdemeanors.
Shane Lee Brown, then 23, spent six days in a Las Vegas jail in 2020 after cops arrested him on a warrant for Shane Neal Brown, then 49. In addition to the age difference, Shane Neal Brown is both white and taller than Shane Lee Brown, who is black. Shane Lee Brown is now suing the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Henderson Police Department, which made his initial arrest, for civil rights violations, false imprisonment, negligence, and other wrongful conduct.
Erie County, New York, District Attorney John J. Flynn has charged Amber and Michael Naab with second-degree felony charges of criminal possession of a forged instrument. Naab said the two used fake COVID-19 vaccine cards to get into a Buffalo Bills game at Highmark Stadium. The Naabs face up to seven years in prison if convicted, but Flynn's office said he does not anticipate they will serve time.
A California Court of Appeal has upheld the firing of two Los Angeles Police Department officers who ignored a call from a supervisor to respond to a robbery in progress at the Macy's at Crenshaw Plaza mall. Instead of responding to the call, the two officers played Pokemon Go, catching a Snorlax and a Togetic. The court found that Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell were fired for "willfully abdicating their duty to assist a commanding officer's response to a robbery in progress and playing a Pokemon mobile game while on duty."
British Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the government is preparing legislation that would limit streaming services from showing comedy that some people might find offensive. Her remarks came in response to comedian Jimmy Carr's latest Netflix special. In one bit, Carr said that when people talk about the Holocaust they talk about the horror of the 6 million Jewish lives taken by the Nazis but not the thousands of gypsies who were killed. "No one ever wants to talk about that," he joked, "because no one ever wants to talk about the positives."
The Virginia Beach Police Department used forged DNA reports linking people to crimes to get them to confess or to cooperate with investigators, according to a state investigation. In at least one case, a forged report supposedly from the Virginia Department of Forensic Science was introduced in court as evidence. The police department said it stopped using forged DNA reports last year, but that the practice was legal.
Bronx Supreme Court Justice David Lewis has tossed convictions against 133 defendants in cases in which former New York Police Department Detective Joseph Franco testified. Franco has been indicted on 26 counts of felony perjury. Last year, the Brooklyn district attorney dismissed 93 other cases that had relied on Franco's testimony.
Prosecutors have charged Paivi Rasanen, a Finnish member of parliament, with three counts of hate speech for remarks she made about homosexuality. The government cited a tweet where she questioned why the Finnish Lutheran Church was officially supporting Finland's Pride week. The tweet included an image of Bible verses condemning homosexual acts. Also considered evidence: a 2004 pamphlet published by her church outlining the traditional Christian view on sexuality, and a radio interview.
Mexican officials seized 380,000 boxes of Kellogg's cereal in January, claiming that images of cartoon mascots on the boxes violated a law barring marketing to children. While most of the boxes were taken from a warehouse, officials also raided several retail outlets.
Following an outcry by students and parents, the San Diego Unified School District said that some, but not all, of the honors classes at Patrick Henry High School that had been cut will be restored. Principal Michelle Irwin said she was cutting the classes for equity reasons, saying she wanted to remove the stigma from non-honors courses and citing racial differences in honors course enrollment. Irwin also claimed it is redundant to have both regular and honors courses in the same subjects.
Former Philadelphia Police Officer Darren Kardos has been charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment of another person, and other charges in the beating of Rickia Young. In October 2020, Young had gone to pick up her nephew from a friend's house. Hours earlier, police had shot and killed Walter Wallace, and what began as peaceful protests had become violent. As she approached one intersection, officers ordered her to turn around. But as she tried to make a U-turn, several officers began hitting and rocking her SUV. Kardos broke the windows of the SUV and pulled Young out by the hair. Officers hit her with fists and batons and sprayed her with mace. Neither Young nor her nephew were charged with any crime. The city has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit Young brought.
Kentucky's Judicial Conduct Commission voted 6-0 to remove Daviess Circuit Family Court Judge Julie Hawes Gordon for misconduct, including using her post to intervene in criminal cases involving her adult son. The commission found Gordon "took actions to destroy evidence and obstruct justice" when she "cleaned up" her son's social media accounts and cellphone after he was arrested. She also contacted the judge and prosecutor in the case, trying to influence her son's bond. And she used her position to arrange special visits with him in jail and brought him food. She also created "conflicts of interest" because the attorney representing her son regularly handles cases in her court and she not did not recuse herself in those cases.
Rhode Island state Sen. Sam Bell has introduced a bill that would require all unvaccinated residents of the state pay a $50-a-month fine. The fine would apply to everyone eligible for the vaccine. Bell's bill would also force unvaccinated Rhode Islanders to pay double their state income taxes.
U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele, D–Hawaii, appears to have been in Washington, D.C., just once since the start of the year. He has cast five in-person votes in 2022, all in January. He's used proxies to cast his other votes. Kahele cites his concerns over COVID-19 for his absence from Congress. But local media outlets report he has been traveling the islands meeting with constituents and elected officials and possibly preparing for a run for governor. He has also been working as a pilot for Hawaiian Airlines. A spokesperson said Kahele only flies "occasional flights to maintain his certification."
The Charlotte, North Carolina, Citizens Review Board has agreed to review Police Chief Johnny Jennings' decision not to punish officers who handcuffed a teacher at gunpoint. The officers were looking for the suspect in a stabbing, a woman the victim identified as Jaselyn Horne. The teacher's name is Jasmine Horne, which is the name investigators entered into their database, leading officers to detain Jasmine Horne. The Charlotte Observer reports the review board rarely finds in favor of citizens, and even when it does, its opinions are only advisory. It does not have the power to punish officers.
Lawrence County, Alabama, schools Superintendent Jon Bret Smith has placed Hazlewood Elementary School Principal Datie Priest on paid leave and issued her a written reprimand claiming she, among other things, violated the school system's discipline policy. Smith said Priest paddled one student twice on one day, once for 10 licks and the second for five. Smith said that "generally" only three licks are allowed. Smith said Priest did not properly document the paddlings. He also cited an instance where Priest told two school employees she would "throat punch" an autistic student who ran into her if he ran into her again. He also said clock-in times show she arrives 45 minutes to an hour late each day.
Miami-Dade County, Florida, police officer Alejandro Giraldo faces up to five years in prison after a jury found him guilty of felony battery and official misconduct in the arrest of a woman who had called police to report a neighbor had pointed a shotgun at her. Giraldo pushed Dyma Loving into a fence, tackled her to the ground, and handcuffed her. Loving was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence, but those charges were later dropped. Prosecutors said Giraldo's arrest report falsely said that Loving was "causing a scene" and was being "uncooperative."
The Palo Alto, California, police department said it is investigating the vandalism of a "Black Lives Matter" sign as a hate crime. Someone replaced the word "black" with the word "Asian" on a sign in the yard of a woman's home. The woman said the sign was valued at $10.
A California law mandating that grocery stores and restaurants donate unused food to food banks took effect in January, and the state has already received more than 500 requests for waivers from rural towns and counties. Some local officials in rural areas said that they do not have the infrastructure required for composting food that cannot be donated, and many food banks in rural areas said they don't have the resources to collect all of the food that would be donated. "I can't send the truck all over town, picking up leftover sandwiches," said Tom Dearmore, director of community services at the Butte County Community Action Agency, which operates a food bank serving an area of 8,000 square miles in six northern California counties.
Former Baltimore Police Department sergeant Keith Gladstone pleaded guilty in 2019 to conspiracy to violate civil rights for helping to plant a BB gun at the scene after another officer ran a man over with his car. He has now been offered immunity in order to testify against another officer involved in that incident. When he took the stand earlier this month, Gladstone admitted to a series of crimes dating back some 20 years. He said he began stealing from drug dealers in the mid 1990s, initially to pay informants, something he said was routine in the department. But Gladstone admitted that within a few years he was stealing cash, drugs and other items for himself.
In Port Orange, Florida, Martin Reese, an art teacher at Creekside Middle School, has been charged with disrupting a school function and disorderly conduct. Reese blared loud music in an effort to disrupt students taking the Florida Statewide Assessment test. He refused to turn the music off, and school officials had to cut the power to his room. Reese had been with the school system since 2009 but had been at Creekside for only a week.
Federal court-appointed monitors said jailers working for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department routinely violate use-of-force policy. In a recent report, the monitors said jailers regularly punch inmates in the head and have forced them to wait hours to put their clothes back on after conducting a mass strip search. Jailers who violate use-of-force policy are sometimes given remedial training, but "actual discipline is seldom imposed," according to the report.
Pennsylvania's Aliquippa School District has announced that it is going to begin searching students' bags and will confiscate and throw away "excessive amounts" of snacks. In a Facebook post, the school district said each student will be limited to one 4-ounce bag of chips and one beverage of no more than 20 ounces. That Facebook post was removed after receiving hundreds of negative comments, but the policy remains in place. Superintendent Phillip Woods said students were bringing snacks to school to sell or to trade, and the policy is aimed at reducing that activity.
An audit has found that nearly $900,000 of about $1.13 million in COVID-19 relief funds received by the city of West Haven, Connecticut, were spent on ineligible items or lacked sufficient documentation. Auditors did not examine some $600,000 in COVID-19 funds received by the city that are the subject of a federal fraud prosecution. Former Democratic state Rep. Michael DiMassa, who was an administrative assistant to the city council, and his former business associate John Bernardo were charged with wire fraud in October. Prosecutors said they stole $600,000 in COVID-19 funds by submitting fraudulent invoices to the city through a company they formed.
A jury has found former San Angelo, Texas, police chief Tim Vasquez guilty of receipt of a bribe by an agent of an organization receiving federal funds and three counts of honest services mail fraud. Vasquez convinced city officials to keep a contract for its radio communication systems with San Antonio-based Dailey-Wells Communications. But he kept secret from other officials that Dailey-Wells had been hiring his Earth, Wind, and Fire cover band Funky Munky for company events since 2007. Once the new contract was awarded in 2015, Dailey-Wells hired Funky Munky to play 10 shows for about $84,000. The band's other performances in that era earned them some $2,100 a show.
Craig A. Schmeckpeper, a former physical education teacher in Nebraska's North Bend Elementary School, has been charged with child abuse not resulting in serious injury. The incident happened in a P.E. class in which police said Schmeckpeper pinned a student's arms behind his back before telling the rest of the class to line up and hit the boy while he held him. Schmeckpeper reportedly said "free hits" and "free punches" as students walked by.
A British court sentenced Justin Lee Price, 19, to six weeks in jail for tweeting a racist message to soccer player Marcus Rashford. After Rashford missed a penalty kick in England's Euro 2020 finals loss to Italy, Price tweeted: "YOU F****** STUPID N***** MISSING A FREE PEN MY DEAD NAN COULD HAVE SCORED THAT." Price pleaded guilty to sending a grossly offensive message by public communication network.
Officials in the Chinese city of Langfang ordered the "complete culling of indoor animals" of COVID-19 patients in one neighborhood. The order was later stopped, but it isn't clear how many pets were killed. China has been pursuing a "zero COVID" policy since the pandemic started. While pets can get COVID-19 from their owners, the risk of them spreading it back to other humans is low, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer Shawn Guetschow has resigned from an off-duty security job at Lincoln Middle School after video showed him kneeling on a 12-year-old girl's neck. Guetschow was restraining her while trying to break up a lunchroom fight. He remains employed by the Kenosha police department, which says it is investigating the incident.
As Jerod Draper was dying of a meth overdose, video shows that staff at the Harrison County, Indiana, jail did not immediately seek medical attention for him. Instead, they placed him in a restraint chair and placed a hood over his head, used their Tasers on him repeatedly, stomped his feet, and used pain compliance holds on him. Harrison County officials agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit brought by Draper's family, but no one at the jail has been criminally charged in the incident.
Hong Kong police have charged two former editors of the pro-democracy newspaper Stand News with sedition. Chung Pui-kuen and Patrick Lam, who face up to two years in prison and a fine of up to 5,000 Hong Kong dollars ($640), were denied bail. Police also detained four Stand News board members for questioning. The newspaper said in December it was ceasing publication and laying off all its staff.
Former Ventura County, California, Sheriff's Deputy Richard Charles Barrios III has been sentenced to one year in prison followed by two years' probation after pleading guilty to destroying physical evidence. Barrios trashed the results of a drug test showing that a woman he had arrested for driving under the influence was clean. He then told a supervisor the woman refused to give a urine sample. After the woman complained to another deputy, the second deputy found the drug test. The woman provided a second sample, which also tested negative, and the charges against her were dropped.
As omicron cases soared in the winter, Quebec Premier François Legault imposed a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew to battle the spread of COVID-19. Legault has also barred gatherings at private homes and indoor dining at restaurants.
When a Redmond, Washington, police officer shot Andrea Thomas Churna six times, killing her, she was lying on the floor of the hallway outside her apartment and complying with police orders. That was September 20, 2020. The King County Sheriff's Office, which is investigating the shooting, says the officer who fired the shots and other officers on the scene have refused to cooperate with the investigation, and the local prosecutor has yet to file any charges. Churna, who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and other emotional and psychological issues, called police because she believed someone was trying to kill her. When they arrived, she was armed and admitted to firing a shot. But The Seattle Times reports she had put the weapon down and had been lying on the ground for more than three minutes before she was shot.
Trent Kellee Freeman, a former sheriff's office detective in Florida's Gilchrist County, has been charged with filing fraudulent Family Medical Leave Act paperwork, forging the signatures of doctors, and falsely claiming to have been hospitalized and even in a coma for medical issues including COVID-19. In reality, she had started a new job elsewhere. The agency also said Freeman bilked coworkers out of about $4,000 in donated sick leave.
The school board in Lorain, Ohio, has fired Palm Elementary School Principal Debra Pustulka and paraprofessional Monika Sommers-Fridenstine after an investigation found that the two forced a 9-year-old student to eat food retrieved from a garbage can. A lawsuit filed by the girl's family says Pustulka told the girl she had to finish what was on her tray. The girl didn't want the food and threw it away. Sommers-Fridenstine retrieved the food and forced the girl to eat it as other students watched.
Knoxville, Tennessee, police Officer Cody Klingmann was driving more than 80 mph in a 45 mph zone and not using his lights or sirens when his patrol car slammed into another vehicle, killing Mauricio Luna. Both state law and department policy require officers to use their lights and sirens if they drive faster than the speed limit. Klingmann remains on active duty and the local district attorney has decided not to prosecute Klingmann, saying he was following another officer on a street with very little traffic.
Jacksonville, Florida, sheriff's office Deputy Alejandro Carmona-Fonseca was charged with online solicitation of a child, transmission of harmful material to a child, and unlawful use of a two-way communication device after a high school boy said the deputy sent obscene images to him via Snapchat. But a local media investigation has found that before this incident, during his 15 years in the department, Carmona-Fonseca was the subject of 28 complaints from citizens and other officers, ranging from improper action to unbecoming conduct to traffic offenses. More than half of those complaints were upheld, and Carmona-Fonseca received five referral letters or written reprimands and 15 counseling sessions, among other disciplinary actions.
In 1986, Bill Heine installed a sculpture of a 25-foot shark crashing through the roof of his home in Oxford, England, to make an anti-war, anti-nuclear statement. He did it without getting the approval of local planning officials, said his son Magnus Hanson-Heine, because he didn't believe the government should be able to decide what art people should see. The local council spent years trying to get it removed. But they've now changed their mind and declared the shark a protected landmark, against the wishes of Hanson-Heine, who still owns the house. "Using the planning apparatus to preserve a historical symbol of planning law defiance is absurd on the face of it," said Hanson-Heine.
In a letter to Sheriff Alex Villanueva, Los Angeles County Inspector General Max Hunstman claimed his office has compiled a list of 41 deputies who are members of "gang-like" organizations, including the Banditos and the Executioners. The letter did not name any of the deputies. In a statement, the sheriff's department said Huntsman "failed to provide any actual evidence or new information." "This is another irresponsible attempt from Mr. Huntsman to discredit the organization, through omission and misrepresentation," the statement said.
Police strip-searched a 15-year-old girl without her parent's permission or knowledge at her London, England, school, according to a report from local child protective services. Teachers said the girl smelled strongly of cannabis, but when they searched her, they found no drugs. So, they called the police. When cops arrived, they took the girl into a room and strip-searched her, including making her bend over, spread her buttocks with her hands and cough. The girl is black, and the report said racism may have been a factor in how she was treated.
Richard Dunn, a substitute high school teacher in New Jersey, was charged with four counts of endangering the welfare of a minor and one count of lewdness after police said he masturbated in front of students on two different occasions. Police said a student captured one of the incidents on video.
Ocean Gate, New Jersey, Mayor Paul Kennedy has been charged with official misconduct and theft after prosecutors said he sold borough-owned furniture and kept the money. Officials said Kennedy sold the furniture through a personal Facebook Marketplace account.
A Decatur, Alabama, liquor store owner is suing the city and a police officer who punched him when cops responded to a shoplifting incident he reported. Kevin Penn held the shoplifter at gunpoint and called cops. When police arrived, store surveillance video appeared to show Penn unloaded his gun and placed it on a counter. Officers took the thief into custody. But three of them confronted Penn about his gun. When Penn said he had a right to have a gun, Officer Justin Rippen stepped forward and punched him. The officers then wrestled Penn to the ground, handcuffed him and arrested him for obstruction.
In the first three months after St. Paul, Minnesota, voters approved a rent control law, building permits for multifamily housing are down 80 percent, even as overall construction is up. Unlike rent control laws in other cities, the Minneapolis law does not exempt new units. Some units that were already planned before the law passed are still going forward, but developers said they are going to price the rents higher than they had planned.